Riyadh Agreement and Aramco IPO (11/4 to 11/11)

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)

Russia, Turkey, L. Paul Bremer III

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

The Eye of the Storm – Abqaiq and Khurais

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

Bridging the Gap(s)? (Updated 9/1)

UAE pilot, US-UAE joint exercises, 2012: Air Combat Command The anti-Houthi coalition has witnessed layers of recriminations over the past couple of weeks: the STC accusing the UN-recognized Hadi government as corrupt and incompetent, thereby justifying the STC’s takeover in the Souththe Hadi government accusing the STC and the UAE of acting in concert to … Continue reading Bridging the Gap(s)? (Updated 9/1)

The UAE and its leadership are a red line, yet…

The latest flare-up of KSA-UAE tensions regarding Yemen appears to have come to something of a close with Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan, a major instigator behind a series of international Twitter spats over the weekend, opting to take a 10-day Twitter sabbatical. While it remains to be seen whether Dhahi Khalfan keeps to his … Continue reading The UAE and its leadership are a red line, yet…

KSA-UAE: Yemen, Hadi and the STC (8/23-25)

Saudi Arabia and the UAE A range of reporting and analysis (Tim Lister for CNN, Alex Stark at FP, Taylor Luck for CSM) has focused on the mounting tensions in the UAE-Saudi coalition to restore Yemen’s UN-recognized government to power. Efforts by the UAE-trained and –backed Southern Transitional Council to seize power in Southern Yemen … Continue reading KSA-UAE: Yemen, Hadi and the STC (8/23-25)