Search results

General

Sector

Regions

Sort options

179 results found for your search

Free

Confronted with long-term concerns over the budget’s ability to support such huge levels of public spending (GSN 906/12), and more immediate criticism over governance issues – highlighted by new reports of corruption linked to subsidiaries of European aerospace giant EADS  – how wealth is shared out in Saudi Arabia is a hot issue that will not go away, with the ‘Arab Spring’ adding urgency to complaints that many citizens are excluded from jobs and social benefits. 

Saudi Arabia
Free

Has Oman’s version of the Arab spring been overwhelmed by the model of Gulf government reaction to the blossoming of popular movements? That model has become apparent in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where the heavy hand of the security forces is being mitigated by the promise of limited political change and the spending of more money to create jobs and improve services.

Oman
Free

In a major breakthrough for Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s combative MPs have approved a national five-year development plan, the first for decades, and the creation of a Capital Market Authority (CMA). But, with confrontation looming over MPs’ insistence on passing a $13bn measure to buy up unpaid consumer debts, it remains too early to talk of a lasting transformation of the political atmosphere.

Kuwait
Free

Iranian envoy Ali Akbar Velayati arrived in Moscow on 11 July, carrying a verbal message from Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and a written one from President Hassan Rouhani, both addressed to President Vladimir Putin. From the Russian capital Velayati was due to head to Beijing to convey Tehran’s message to President Xi Jinping. Putin’s Syria envoy Alexander Lavrentiev was due in Tehran on 18 July.

Iran
Free

Projects such as King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and the new financial city north of Riyadh have been proposed as one solution to make it easier for foreign investors and banks to operate in King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz’s Kingdom than his father, Saudi Arabia’s founder King Abdelaziz Bin Abdelrahman (Ibn Saud), apparently intended.

Saudi Arabia
Free

The decision by King Salman Bin Abdelaziz to lift the ban on women drivers is a deeply symbolic development for the kingdom which could also provide a useful boost for the economy, but it also reinforces a troubling question for the Al-Saud: how to match the need for reform while maintaining their conservative credentials.If oil prices were high and the Saudi economy was doing well, it is doubtful whether the reform would have been made.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Saudi Arabia’s decision to relinquish a coveted United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat and a spate of briefings by some of the kingdom’s most prominent Atlanticists recording Riyadh’s growing impatience with US policy and its implementation, come after at least two years of rising frustration at misfiring diplomatic initiatives and deep post-Arab Spring strains (see page 6). The critical question is whether the friction between Riyadh and Washington, which is understandable in any long-term alliance, goes deeper still, threatening the international order that the coming together of King Abdelaziz Ibn Saud and Franklin D Roosevelt helped to create.

Saudi Arabia
Free

The images and tales that emerged from Al-Shabaab’s attack on Kenya’s Westgate mall were searingly dreadful. Mothers shielding toddlers, blood pooling on tiles, the sheer terror of gunfire in what was supposed to be a benign location. Rarely has the vocabulary of winning been so unconsonant. “We have defeated our enemies,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta declared as the four-day siege came to an end on 24 September, leaving at least 70 people dead. For all the bravery of security forces, for all the unity of horrified Kenyans, it is wrong to suggest that anyone wins.

Yemen
Free

Omani state minister for foreign affairs Yusuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah’s 7 July visit to Damascus was the most high-level public visit to Syria by an official from a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member state for at least four years. It affirmed Muscat’s continued interest in being a regional interlocutor, as Bin Alawi met his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem and President Bashar Al-Assad. It repaid Muallem’s late 2018 visit to Oman, when the Syrian foreign minister praised Muscat’s “supportive positions towards Syria”.

Saudi Arabia
Free

In the immediate post-9/11 years Gulf watchers became used to the level of ‘Saudi-bashing’ coming out of the United States. Sensationalist authors churned out books such as Princes of Darkness: The Saudi Assault on the West, or Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism that sought to explore the flaws in Saudi culture and religious thought that had allowed the Kingdom to produce 15 out of the 19 hijackers.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Away from the breathless tones of Saudi-boosters and investors looking to make a big killing around the Saudi Aramco listing, it is easy to let the debate swirling around Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS)’s ruthless rise to power detract from the potential benefits of his ambitious programme to reduce the kingdom’s dependency on oil and provide a more sustainable future for its young population. The Vision 2030 initiative’s National Transformation Plan (NTP) is, after all, the most ambitious reform initiative Saudi Arabia has launched in the modern era.

Saudi Arabia
Free

On 14 September, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a damning account of torture in UAE prisons, detailing the alleged mistreatment of two Syrian prisoners, the enforced disappearance of one of the so-called UAE Seven, and concerns over the health of up to 60 civil society activists still being held without charge. All the detained have been arrested as part of a crackdown on a perceived Islamist threat to the federation, details of which GSN has regularly reported over recent months.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Saeed’s three-day official visit to Iran has cemented decades of steady relations between the troubled Islamic Republic and Oman, for long seen as a moderate and sensible state whose good offices are valued by international partners. The visit, the Sultan’s first since Shah Reza Pahlavi’s fall in 1979, has highlighted the importance that Muscat attributes to maintaining steady relations with its large and powerful neighbour.

Iran | Oman
Free

In the wake of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report into human rights abuses during the government’s crackdown on protesters, Bahrain has entered a critical phase.

Bahrain
Free

Suspicions about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear intentions are growing in the United States, amid evidence of undeclared uranium activities in the north and other undisclosed activity. The concerns led the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in early August to insert a provision in the Intelligence Authorisation Bill which requires the US administration to investigate Riyadh’s efforts to develop a nuclear capability.

Saudi Arabia