Fast moving post-Covid infrastructure developments in the region are threatening Egypt’s soft power and revenue; a proposed new global internet traffic corridor would bypass Egypt altogether. Cairo has to move quickly to head off the competition.
The Gulf city-state of Dubai thought it had put the Covid pandemic back in a box; the virus thought otherwise.
Summary: Mauritania is hopeful that its leading role will take G5 Sahel to prosperity but the road to get there is strewn with economic, environmental and security challenges.
Israel continues to expand its control of East Jerusalem through residential, industrial and tourism projects that will force thousands of Palestinians from their homes and businesses.
The Biden administration offers some hope that Yemen’s long running war may be steered on a path towards peace but as the suffering of the Yemeni people continues huge obstacles remain in place.
MBS is haunted by his crimes and facing a daunting array of problems. A moment of opportunity is approaching for the Biden administration to force his hand; the first step would be publication of the CIA Khashoggi report.
Summary: the Future Investment Initiative had a big splash at its launch in Riyadh in 2017. But after the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi ‘Davos in the desert’ has struggled.
Covid-19 second wave plunges Egypt’s national health system back into crisis. The regime deploys propaganda and disinformation as it engages in vaccine diplomacy with China.
Iraq’s economy is hurtling down a road to ruin but it is not too late for a change of course.
As 2020 draws to a close, there is a flicker of hope that a just-announced unity government and the Biden presidency may signal the beginning of the end of a brutal war that has raged for nearly six years.