Category Archives: Gulf states

Egypte : l’étonnante posture du Qatar

Par Mehdi Karimi – 27 juillet 2013

Affiches au Caire montrant le logo de la chaîne qatarie Al-Jazeera avec une main sanglante. « Une balle peut tuer un homme » dit l’affiche « mais une caméra mensongère peut tuer une nation ».  Crédit photo : Kelly McEvers/NPR

Affiche au Caire montrant le logo de la chaîne qatarie Al-Jazeera avec une main sanglante. « Une balle peut tuer un homme » dit l’affiche « mais une caméra mensongère peut tuer une nation ». Crédit photo : Kelly McEvers/NPR

La destitution du président égyptien Mohamed Morsi, et la mise à l’écart des Frères musulmans, semblent remettre en cause la récente accession au pouvoir de cet acteur majeur de l’islam politique. Avec lui, l’un de ses principaux sponsors, le Qatar, a essuyé un revers de taille dans sa stratégie régionale de soutien aux partis politiques affiliés aux Frères et montés en puissance dans le sillage des soulèvements populaires. Pourtant, Doha a choisi de prendre acte du nouvel équilibre des forces en Egypte, de reconnaître la nouvelle présidence intérimaire et de renouveler son engagement à soutenir le pays dans la grave crise économique qu’il traverse. Une réaction déconcertante alors que les nouveaux maîtres du Caire disposent, à présent, des faveurs du puissant rival saoudien. Continue reading

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Filed under Egypt, Foreign Policy & IR, Français, Gulf states, Qatar, Saudi Arabia

Yémen : Etat des lieux d’une Révolution oubliée

Par Basile Roze – 19 janvier 2013

Président Hadi. Source : thehindu.com

Président Hadi. Source : thehindu.com

Isolé au sud de la péninsule arabique, le petit état pétrolier du Yémen peut en apparence sembler nettement moins intéressant et stratégique que ses lointains voisins Tunisien, Egyptien ou Syrien dans la lutte actuelle des peuples arabes pour le recouvrement de leur liberté politique. Et pourtant, avec le départ négocié de l’ancien président Saleh sous la pression de la rue fin 2011, les Yéménites ont bouleversé un ordre politique vieux de trente ans. Avec lui, ils ont inévitablement réveillé des conflits couvés par la domination autocratique de l’ancien président, entre les vocations sécessionnistes du Sud, les révoltes tribales du Nord et, bien sûr, l’activité acharnée d’Al-Qaïda. Le Yémen se retrouve ainsi aujourd’hui au centre de plusieurs problématiques cruciales : les défis et espoirs d’une transition politique négociée, les réveils tribaux et sécessionnistes qui menacent de déstabiliser la zone, l’endiguement désiré par les Etats-Unis et leur relais Saoudien d’Al-Qaïda dans la péninsule arabique et l’est africain.

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Filed under Arab Spring, Français, Gulf states, Yemen

This is Our Gulf: The Legacy of the Abu Musa and the Tunbs Dispute

Commentary by Bart Hesseling – 15 April 2012

Bahr-e Fars: A clear Iranian message on a football pitch in Abu Musa (source: Google Maps)

The recent visit by president Ahmadinejad of Iran to the disputed island of Abu Musa, the first by an Iranian head of state since Hashemi Rafsanjani in 1992, set off a storm of protest in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE recalled its ambassador from Tehran and even convened a special session of the GCC council of foreign ministers. The dispute over Abu Musa and the two Tunbs has become a symbol of Arab-Iranian enmity and, along with the occasional spats over the denomination of the Gulf (Arabian vs. Persian), provides a convenient way for both Iran and the Arab Gulf states to close ranks. Continue reading

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Human Rights and Syria: An Original Position for the Gulf?

Commentary by Riccardo Dugulin – 26 March 2012

Source: informeuropa.it

On February 29, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted by an overwhelming majority a resolution condemning the flagrant violations of human rights in Syria. Regardless of the fact that the HRC cannot generate legally binding resolutions, the move of the council must be read as a major step forward in the international push to limit Bashar al-Assad’s ability to further wage war on his own population. Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been instrumental in drafting and garnering support for the resolution. The Syrian crisis represents the first event in Middle Eastern recent history in which local Arab powers, along with Turkey, openly take a position and lead the way in denouncing crimes committed by an Arab government against its own population through a UN resolution. Continue reading

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Filed under English, Foreign Policy & IR, Gulf states, Lebanon & Syria

The Saudi Arabian Porcupine and the Spring in the Desert

By Riccardo Dugulin – 10 December 2011

In the course of the first weeks of autumn, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia went through a number of events which largely altered its perception of the regional strategic balance.  On October 8th President Ali Abdallah Saleh stated once more he would leave power in ‘coming days’ amid further protests and violence in Yemen. On October 12, an alleged terrorist plot lead by Iranian secret agents was unfolded in Washington as a hit squad was preparing the assassination of Adel Al Jubeir, Saudi Ambassador to the US. On October 21st President Obama declared that all US troops will be leaving Iraq by January 2012, thus leaving the Iraqi armed forces as the only responsible for the sovereignty and security of their country. On October 22, Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud died. At the age of 80, he had been the longest serving minister of defense and Crown Prince since 2005. Continue reading

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Qatar’s Trailblazing Diplomacy

Commentary by Bart Hesseling – 21 November 2011

Sheikh Hamad, right, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani at the Arab League summit, Damascus, March 2008 (© Hussein Malla/AP Images)

The incredible diplomatic activity of the tiny peninsula nation of Qatar heralds a major shift of power, as the old power brokers in the Middle East are either embroiled in revolutionary fervour or too nervous about upsetting the regional system, fragile as it is. Qatar has no such qualms and has thrown its full weight behind the forces of change. On the diplomatic front, after having pushed the Arab states into an unprecedented UN-backed coalition with NATO that proved crucial in ousting Qaddafi, Qatar is now spearheading the Arab League’s moves to put maximum pressure on the regime in Syria. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, English, Gulf states, Qatar

Interview: Anthony Shadid on the Political Reconfiguration of the Middle East (Part I)

 Interview – 7 November 2011

Anthony Shadid

Anthony Shadid is the Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times. Before joining the Times, Mr. Shadid served as the Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post. Over a fifteen-year career, he has reported from most countries in the Middle East and broader Arab world. Anthony Shadid was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice, in 2004 and 2010, for his coverage of the war in Iraq. In 2007, he was a finalist for the same prize for his coverage in Lebanon. Anthony Shadid is also the author of two books, “Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam,” (2000) and “Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War” (2005). This interview was conducted by Shereen Dbouk in Beirut on the 2nd of November, 2011. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, English, Foreign Policy & IR, Gulf states, Interview, Turkey