Under a cloud in most of the twentieth century, tribalism has reasserted some of its strength for good as well as bad. A moral code which can be at odds both with state law and with Islamic law.
A second bombing of Shi’ites in the Eastern province claimed by IS. Saudi oil policy unchanged.
A stable point in a region of deprivation and breakdown, Djibouti is the centre for relief operations for Yemen, and has attracted a cluster of foreign military bases. We will hear more of it.
Activism in the Shia majority and repressive action reduced. Closely aligned in an unequal relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Campaign to retake Ramadi and Anbar province against a background of confusing and contradictory statements. The coalition meets in Paris on Monday.
The wars in Yemen and against IS not going well. A major atrocity against the Shi’ite majority in the Eastern province.
The fall of Ramadi, a sizeable city close to Baghdad and a familiar name from the US-led invasion of Iraq, the biggest IS military success this year. IS still likely to be overcome on the battlefield. But what next remains unclear.
In our posting of 13 May we commented on the last-minute decision of the Saudi King Salman not to attend the GCC Camp David summit with President Obama, and the absence of Sultan Qabus of Oman and Shaikh Zayid of the UAE. ..
Preparations for Obama's meeting with Gulf leaders clouded by speculation about King Salman's last-minute cancellation. Wide and elusive agenda. First, three comments on yesterday's posting "Britain and the Arabs": 1*A recently retired British ambassador comments "Thanks for this interesting report. I wonder if it does justice to Ministers in Cameron’s first government? …
Britain’s relations still conditioned by history, but the election revealed declining British interest in “overseas”. UK remains involved in the Middle East, but likely to be reactive rather than proactive. Britain’s relations with the Arab world today can not be divorced from history, which has of course both a positive and a negative side. British imperialism and in particular the history of the British mandates in Palestine and Iraq have left bitter memories, still only partly faded. To some extent this has been compensated by the close …