Western Sara – UN succeeds in bringing all the stakeholders in this ancient problem together. Algeria and Morocco bad neighbours. Talks to resume in 2019.
Yemen peace talks begin, with release of prisoners as a confidence measure. Saudi Arabia on the back foot, the US administration obsessed with Iran, but Congress looking for a halt.
GCC summit in Riyadh solves no problems but keeps the show on the road. MBS turns up at last.
A number of instances showing respect by Muslims for other religions. A 21st-century development.
Jordan – continuing protests over austerity and corruption. Remains a significant regional player. MBS doesn’t come.
MBS visited six Arab states before and after the G20. Proof of confidence he is under no threat at home. Governments toe the line of friendship, with some rewards. Problems in the Maghreb.
The Hedges case is symptomatic of the increasing risks of and restrictions on scholarly research in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia may or may not continue to bend to President Donald Trump’s wish to see the oil price go lower still. But there are good reasons to suppose that, whatever Opec decides on 6 December, the trend for the next few weeks at least may be upwards.
Tunisia – MBS visit handled smoothly. Economic problems and strikes. Tourism up. The ghost of the Arab Spring.
Airbnb delists properties in the occupied West Bank. Outrage in Israel. Economically insignificant but will catch attention for BDS at least for 15 minutes.