Showing posts for "Saudi Arabia"
This week it was announced that a second Catholic church has been completed in Abu Dhabi and will be inaugurated with a mass on June 11. The first, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, was donated by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi in 1965 to serve Roman Catholic residents. Read more »
Yesterday President Obama greeted the number two and three officials of Saudi Arabia, in the Oval Office.
Obviously, U.S.-Saudi relations are not in good shape, as we learned from the refusal of King Salman to attend the Gulf summit Mr. Obama tried to call. Read more »
On May 13 and 14, President Obama will be hosting a summit meeting with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation. The members nations are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar.
The problem is, it may not exactly be a “summit” meeting at all. Sultan Qaboos of Oman has been ill, as is Sheik Khalifa, president of the UAE. Two down. I imagine the king of Bahrain, King Hamad, will attend, and so will the young Emir of Qatar, Sheik Tamim. Read more »
One of the oddest news stories of the week reported that:
Senegal will send 2,100 troops to Saudi Arabia as part of an international coalition combating Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, the West African nation’s foreign minister said on Monday….”The international coalition is aiming to protect and secure the holy sites of Islam, Medina and Mecca,” Senegalese Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye told parliament. “The president…has decided to respond favourably to this request by deploying a contingent of 2,100 men in the holy land of Saudi Arabia,” he said. Read more »
The Saudi Royal court announced several important decisions yesterday. The most significant are the retirement of Saud Al-Faisal as foreign minister and his replacement by Adel Al-Jubeir, who has been Saudi ambassador to the United States, and most important of all a change in the line of succession. Crown Prince Muqrin is out, deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (MbN) is now first in line for the throne, and the new deputy crown prince is the king’s son Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). Read more »
The Washington Post reported this today:
An airstrike killed dozens of people Monday at a camp for displaced people in northern Yemen, in what appeared to be the single deadliest attack since a Saudi Arabia-led coalition sent warplanes to target Shiite insurgents advancing across the country. Read more »
In 2001 to 2003, after the 9/11 attacks, more and more analysts predicted the demise of the House of al-Saud. I recall classified intelligence analyses saying this, and a good example of the journalism of the time is “The Fall of the House of Saud” by Robert Baer (a former intelligence officer) in The Atlantic. The last line of that piece was “sometime soon, one way or another, the House of Saud is coming down.” Read more »
The Gaza war took a new turn today, when Hamas violated a cease-fire in order to kill and capture IDF soldiers. The reasonable conclusion to draw is that Hamas’s agreement to the cease-fire was a ruse, meant to give them this opportunity.
That action has several effects beyond destroying the cease-fire itself and prolonging the war. It certainly solidifies Israeli public backing for the war, which was extremely high anyway. The nature of the enemy is made even clearer. The contemptible nature of so much of the criticism of Israel around the world is also made clearer, coming from voices that appear indifferent to the nature and conduct of Hamas, to Israeli deaths, and to the deaths of Arabs anywhere else—in Syria, for example—as long as Jews are not responsible for those deaths and if there’s no opportunity to criticize Israel. Read more »
Will the crisis in Iraq lead to a rapprochement with Iran? Will the effort to strike a nuclear deal expand into a broader agreement?
That is the nightmare of many of our allies in the Middle East, including the Gulf Arab states, Jordan, and Israel. My colleague Max Boot in his blog today explains why it is a dangerous idea to think that we have common interests with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. At the Commentary Magazine web site, Max has written “Getting Fooled by Iran in Iraq.” Here is an excerpt: Read more »
Pressure Points tracks developments in the Middle East and democratization and human rights issues globally.