Qatar and the GCC

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Qatar's relationship with Saudi Arabia and the UAE remains difficult. The problem is Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood at a time when the Saudi and UAE obsession with the MB seems almost to rival their obsession with the Shias. As it happens this affects a number of items on today's political agenda: policy towards al-Sisi’s Egypt …

Sandhurst

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The British Royal Military Academy of has played a unique role in the post-imperial history of the Middle East and its relations with Britain. Military training and higher education have long been part of the imperial and post-imperial relationship. Germany was first in the field with its military mission in the Ottoman Empire; Enver Pasha’s German military training …

Turkey

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The WAND aims to cover developments in the Arab world, and therefore looks from time to time at international or regional developments elsewhere which affect it. The elevation from prime minister to president of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the election on 10 August was expected (detailed results are at link.) The new government has not yet been …

GCC: more strains

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The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reported on 5 July that a Bahraini police officer was killed in a “terrorist” bombing that took place in a [presumably Shia] village south of the capital Manama, apparently the first such death since March. Saudi, UAE, Bahraini and Egyptian ambassadors, withdrawn from Qatar in March, are still not reported to have returned. …

Qatar: land of peace?

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The Institute for Economics and Peace, an Australia-based research organisation with an impressive reputation, has issued its Global Peace Index report for 2014 ranking Qatar as the most peaceful country in the Middle East, but with a slightly lower ranking than in previous years. Qatar is one of the case studies in the report, page …

More moves on the Gulf chessboard

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There has been no apparent progress in repairing relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. On 25 May Bahrain announced that the Bahrain Ambassador will not return to Qatar at present and that "GCC committees are still working on overcoming differences." According to the Doha News the Saudi and UAE ambassadors also …

Labour problems: Abu Dhabi

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In postings on the problems of expat labour in Qatar, mainly relating to preparations for the football World Cup, we have commented that the same problems exist in other Gulf states, and on 12 May we mentioned among others a protest about conditions of workers building the Guggenheim museum in Abu Dhabi. Construction has finished on …

Expat labour: Qatar and wider

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First, we thank James Spencer for the following comment on yesterday's posting on MERS:
One small quibble, if I may: "around a quarter of those infected have died." I think it more accurate to say "around a quarter of those known to be infected have died." Many of those who died had underlying, often chronic, conditions.
We …

Qatar: labour reform

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First we thank former British ambassador Jeremy Greenstock for this comment on our posting yesterday on Gaza: Right time to cover Gaza, when the Kerry talks are showing signs of running out of steam and when even a modicum of success there will not win over the majority of ordinary Palestinians nor deal with the more fervent …

The Qatar dispute, workers and football

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The article below published in the Huffington Post by James Dorsey of Singapore University explores the way that three controversial issues, all of which we have considered in recent postings, feed off each other: the row between Qatar and Saudi Arabia (supported by the UAE and Bahrain), the large number of expatriate workers in the …