COVID-19 (U.S. Department of State) Government Reactions and Commentary [Update] The government has announced a wave of flight cancellations, although airlines have been left to fill in the details for many cases: First, several MENA destinations along with South Korea and Italy: https://twitter.com/KSAmofaEN/status/1236782999934509056 Then several European destinations, including Germany and France as well as Turkey … Continue reading Coronavirus
The Palestinian Issue Through the (Very Recent) Ages First, check out Ian Black's excellent review of GCC-Israel ties. Now, a look back at the past 5 years or so of prominent commentator Abdelrahman al-Rashed's main articles related to Palestine and the Palestinians. From 2014 - "The Secret of Palestine's Negotiations" I doubt that Kerry’s plan … Continue reading The Deal of the Century
[To be updated] Official and Semi-official: Restraint The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs was guarded in its official statement, despite implicitly referencing past Iran-associated actions as justification and motivation for the act. The Kingdom “calls for the importance of self-restraint” to avoid “aggravating the situation, with unbearable consequences.” https://twitter.com/KSAmofaEN/status/1213136791966027776 Adel Jubeir (Minister of State for … Continue reading Qassem Suleimani
" Maj. Gen. Terrence J. McKenrick, US Army Central deputy commanding and Gen. Dhafer bin Ali Al-Shehri, Royal Saudi Land Forces northwest area commander, attend the Earnest Leader 17 closing ceremony held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on August 10, 2017. " U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Mark Hanson Pensacola Shooting After a … Continue reading Aramco, Pensacola, Etc.
Riyadh Agreement One of the top stories for local media and commentary was the signing of the Riyadh Agreement, which "ended a three-month standoff that threatened to split the anti-Huthi bloc." (Peter Salisbury, ICG). A wide range of commentary presented this is a major diplomatic triumph for the Kingdom: Yemen could have been tossed into … Continue reading Riyadh Agreement and Aramco IPO (11/4 to 11/11)
President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, 2018. Source. Saudi-Russia Ties A fair bit of commentary in Okaz on the Kingdom diversifying its relationships by strengthening ties to Russia - to be updated as more comes in. Update [10/17/2019]: Key Themes of Commentary: The Kingdom pursues a flexible foreign policy that balances old … Continue reading Russia, Turkey, L. Paul Bremer III
Kurais oil facility, one of two sites hit by attacks last weekend, in 2017 (Source: Planet Labs, Inc.) Given the demands of other work I don't have time to cover the Saudi media scene at present in depth - suffice to say that coverage of the (almost certainly but not conclusively Iranian-backed) attacks on oil … Continue reading The Eye of the Storm – Abqaiq and Khurais