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.
Mawlid popular holiday, widely celebrated by both Sunnis and Shia but condemned by some including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Prophet’s Birthday (al-Mawlid al-Nabawi, or simply Mawlid) is celebrated in the month of Rabi’ al-awwal, by Sunnis usually on the 12th and by Shia on the 17th. There is some flexibility as the precise date is not recorded. This year 12 Rabi’ al-awwal coincides with 21 November, and in most Arab and Muslim states Mawlid will be today or tomorrow, though the celebrations begin the night before. In some countries …
Sudan – old genocide charge unresolved, but conflicts reduced and security improving. US warming up relations.
Cabinet cut from 31 to 21 members as Sudan faces severe economic problems. Deals with Turkey and China. Torrential rains
As Prime Minister Imran Khan prioritises blasphemy in line with strong sentiment in Pakistan, and also with Saudi policy. He needs Saudi finance but is not personally close to the Saudis. Next problem: China and the Uighurs.
Syrian government forces to target Idlib next. Complications with Israel, Iran, Turkey, Kurds, China, US, IS. Russia in the driving seat.
The hajj next week, with the Eid on 21 August. Health, innovation, politics, crime, devotion.
President Xi’s visit to Abu Dhabi marks a change in Chinese policy, with the Middle East a key link in China’s belt and road initiative, and his own emergence as a world leader, not afraid to address problems such as Palestine or Qatar vs. the 4.
Kuwait supporting Saudi Arabia, for example over oil production, but with some reservations and with an eye on other alliances. Spat with the Philippines over expat workers.
Impressions of the Vienna OPEC meetings. Complicated interpretation of the final communiqué. All more or less satisfied, price likely to settle around $75. Long-term issues ducked.