More on the GCC: Kuwait First we thank a former diplomat who served in Qatar for following comment on the article “Break Up in the Gulf” by Bilal Saab circulated in our posting of 9 March:
Qatar and Saudi Arabia The row over Qatar’s independent policy (considered in our posting of 6 March), in particular continuing support for the Muslim Brotherhood, continues. Neither side has given ground although the practical consequences are so far limited to shadow boxing.
Atheism Atheism, like apostasy from Islam, is a taboo subject in the Middle East (as it was for the most part in Britain and elsewhere until the 19th century).
Muslim Brotherhood: Gaza, Jordan and the Gulf Egyptian outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood has a ripple effect throughout the region.
Muslim Brotherhood: 30 convicted in the UAE 20 Egyptians and 10 Emiratis have been given jail sentences of up to 5 years in the Emirates for establishing a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Kuwait: the new government The Kuwait Times reports that the newly reshuffled cabinet still headed by the Prime Minister Shaikh Jabir Al Mubarak Al Sabah (posting of 8 January) has already been sharply attacked in Parliament, with calls from traditional supporters of the government for the prime minister’s resignation.
America’s role Today’s posting, for which we thank Conflicts Forum, departs from our usual practice is two ways: it is very long, and it is primarily about America rather than the Middle East.
Kuwait shuffles the pack A substantial reshuffle of the Kuwait government with the appointment of seven new ministers has attracted little media comment.
Saudi Arabia and Iran The competition between Saudi Arabia Iran for regional preeminence has a sectarian element: each claims to be the leader of one of the main tendencies in Islam.
Oman: unusually assertive Reports that Sultan Qabus bin Said of Oman facilitated a secret dialogue between the US and Iran that culminated in the recent Geneva agreement, and the blunt statement by the Omani foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi in advance of the GCC summit in Kuwait