Summary: for more than a decade the government of Bahrain has used the harsh repression of individual rights and the banning of protests to silence critics but this week saw the detention of a prominent cleric bring people defiantly into the streets.
Summary: talks need to resume to achieve a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East, and build on the recent thawing of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Summary: the Syrian president who has conducted a ruthless and bloody war now appears poised to be welcomed back into the Arab fold by fellow dictators and authoritarian ruling families.
Summary: the renewal of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a win that takes down the temperature in the region and one that represents a setback for Netanyahu and a message for Biden.
Summary: Trump’s granting Morocco’s claim to the Western Sahara looked a clever stroke and a big win for Israel but the road to final diplomatic recognition has hit a bump or two.
Summary: President Biden has promised to hold MbS to account and impose consequences on the ruthless and unstable Saudi leader. The best way for him to do so would be to secure the release of Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz.
Summary: a recent court case highlights the failure of a UK government programme that was aimed at bringing meaningful judicial and police reform to the Gulf state kingdom.
Summary: the recent visit has less to do with commercial arrangements than with Abu Dhabi’s desire to shore up support for the Abraham Accords and find a way out of the Yemen quagmire using Oman as an interlocutor.
Summary: Iraq has still to form a government nearly a year after parliamentary elections. The impasse is indicative of a far bigger malaise: a dysfunctional state whose sovereignty is held hostage to armed groups and sectarian interests.
Summary: the decision to bring Syria back into the Interpol fold has serious and long-term consequences as the battle to contain the captagon trade in the Gulf and the wider Middle East intensifies.