Putin’s visits to Saudi Arabia and the UAE mark a significant change in the relationship, as perceptions of US decline are reinforced by Trumpian flip-flop.
Prolonged and very large protests against corruption in Lebanon, accusing all parts of the multi-sectarian elite.
The 25th anniversary of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty falls on 26 October but neither side sees much to celebrate. How will the future of the relationship evolve?
Kais Saied president of Tunisia by a landslide – rejection of the ruling elite.
Syria – US permits and then opposes Turkish assault on the Kurdish north. Fears that IS may rise from the ashes.
Iranian tanker reportedly attacked off Jedda, but facts and responsibility unclear. More US forces to Saudi Arabia.
Egypt – peaceful protest continued in the second week but has been crushed. Government concessions on austerity and restoring subsidies though limited will alarm foreign investors and the IMF. No effective external support for the protests.
Some Arab regimes have continued to develop their relations with Israel despite the latter’s conduct towards the Palestinians. But there’s a limit to how far they will go.
Tunisia – presidential election next week a run-off between one candidate who can’t campaign and another who doesn’t. Parliamentary election no clear winner. Economy in poor shape.
Donald Trump is not being as inconsistent over the Middle East as the news flow may have you believe.