Popular Boycott of Turkish Goods

Symbol used for the "Boycott Turkish Goods" campaign on Twitter This all kicked off with a speech from Turkey's President Erdogan to the Turkish parliament on October 1, which included reference to: The rulers of some countries in the region [who] pursued, in self-denial, policies that do not comply with wisdom, logic, and conscience, are … Continue reading Popular Boycott of Turkish Goods

Bandar bin Sultan Interview (10/2020)

Bandar bin Sultan with George W Bush, 2002 (White House photo) A recent media interview by Prince Bandar bin Sultan has attracted considerable media attention and commentary, not the least from analysts seeking to read the tea leaves about when, exactly, Saudi Arabia might normalize relations with Israel. Bandar appeared on Al-Arabiya, a station run … Continue reading Bandar bin Sultan Interview (10/2020)

Workers, Finance woes, and Israel (May 1-7)

Foreign workers Saudi papers and media outlets have seen an uptick in discussions of foreign workers - probably concerns over Saudi citizens' employment once the economy starts to open up again + reported COVID-19 cases being disproportionately among expatriate workers in the Kingdom. These have ranged from fairly neutral discussions of statistics and labor markets … Continue reading Workers, Finance woes, and Israel (May 1-7)

Coronavirus

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 Deal of the Century

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

Qassem Suleimani

[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

Aramco, Pensacola, Etc.

" 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 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