After a season of disputes that culminated with MBS and MBZ, the two most powerful leaders in the Arab world, refusing to take each others’ phone calls, all is well again and warm relations are resumed, at least for now.
An Omani peace initiative and Saudi eagerness to end the war may possibly start Yemen on the road to peace but Emirati ambitions and Houthi gains complicate further an already intensely complex crisis.
Oman is well placed to move by incremental, evolutionary steps towards a democracy rooted in Islamic values but is Sultan Haitham ready to take those steps?
Arab Digest · So how is Biden doing in the Middle East?
The kingdom received much favourable publicity when it announced major reforms to labour laws and the kafala system but the reality is little has changed and exploitation and abuse remain rampant.
As the Gulf states seek to shift away from oil dependency, Oman is uniquely placed to diversify its economy and transition to a green energy future.
Summary: With the Saudis and the Emiratis falling out, speculation has increased that Opec’s days are numbered but there are persuasive short- and long-term reasons for the cartel to hang together.
Arab Digest · Big Oil, the Gulf and Climate Change
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are in the midst of a public feud over production cuts with the potential to wreck OPEC+ and set off an oil market pricing brawl.
As uncertainty hovers around the Biden administration’s approach to the Middle East, Samuel Ramani, a non-resident fellow at Gulf International Forum reflects on Vladimir Putin’s MENA strategy. This is a transcript, edited for clarity and length, of a recent podcast conversation with Arab Digest editor William Law. The podcast is available here.