West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Bhurishravas » 11 Jun 2017 14:53

http://www.aljazeera.com/video/news/201 ... 45409.html
Russia appears reluctant to choose sides over Qatar-GCC rift.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani says dialogue will solve the diplomatic crisis dividing the Gulf Arab nations.
He has been in Russia trying to shore up support against an embargo on Qatar.
But the Russian government appears hesitant to choose sides amid major differences with Qatar over the Syrian conflict.
Moscow is a major backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Doha supports armed groups fighting the government.


Putin seems like a really sensible guy.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby UlanBatori » 11 Jun 2017 15:03

Singha wrote:Live From Mogadishu‏ @Daudoo 16h16 hours ago


:eek: I thought US BOG in Somalia ended with reprisal against Aidid? Seems like the half-assed policies are back, putting soldiers in the VBIED meatgrinder with no exit strategy and no win objective. At least Les Frogues, when they went into Mali, just shot everything and everyone in sight and came back to a ticker-tape parade and kissing (boys) under L'Arc de Triomphe.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby IndraD » 11 Jun 2017 15:49

America is no longer a force for stability in the Gulf http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/2 ... yinthegulf

good one though chronology of events twisted to suit narrative. Europe, UK, Ru are holding cards close to chest, not picking sides..

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby IndraD » 11 Jun 2017 15:51

exactl what J E Menon said https://twitter.com/ALT_uscis/status/873533675572387842

also we get reminded of what Singha ji told..on IS defeat 'there will be cost for this, regimes will shake, heads will roll, deep state will not take it lying down..'

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Gyan » 11 Jun 2017 17:54

UlanBatori wrote:There is another aspect. Camel-shaking regardless (Gorillas shake trees to impress one another, but there are no trees there..) KSA is not going to invade Qatar without explicit American say-so. There are huge US bases in KSA, and there is a huge US base in Qatar. So Qatar has as much security as Syria's Latakia has. Will US agree? $21B F-15 deal says no. IMO, the Yemen deployment is unravelling: GCC was already at war with Hadi in Aden. Qatar has now withdrawn. KSA is under direct attack from Houthis inside KSA, and I have a feeling that Qatar is about to make a security deal with Iran and hence Putin. Egypt is under direct attack from ISIS so their main concern is Al Jazeera reporting on the progress of that war. Probably same with GCC and KSA - reporting in Arabic on debacles in Aden and KSA can spread panic. Dubai just depends on all its neighbors plus outside world for survival. Did you note that Abu Dhabi, whose Sultan IIRC basically rules Dubai after the 2008 buy-out, has ***NOT**** broken relations with Qatar? WHY? That's pretty in-ur-face to Sultan-e-Riyadh unless there is more here than meets the eye. All the noise may be to impress Sona Bandar?


Frankly every day, poor me is getting more confused. Earlier it was clear:-

ISIS = Saudis, Israelis, Turkey the new Paki whore, with USA behind a wall of denial

Nusra = Qatar, Jordan, Turkey the new whore with USA upfront.

So why Qatar is being labelled with ISIS? Are Saudis unhappy with Qatar policies in regard to MB and want to give Qatar an ISIS name and hang them? But USA? Qatar is their super Munna, practically a CIA self financing front.

What's happening for Gods sake?..

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Falijee » 11 Jun 2017 18:00

Saudis Take Inter- Ummah Tiff To Next Level :D

Qatari nationals barred from entering Holy Mosque in Mecca: reports

According to Aljazeera, Saudi authorities have prevented Qatari nationals from entering the Grand Mosque in Mecca, marking a sharp escalation in the Gulf diplomatic crisis, Doha-based Al Sharq newspaper has reported.Qatar's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) received complaints from Qatari citizens that pilgrims from Qatar were barred from entering the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, the paper said on Saturday.Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, the NHRC head, called the incident a flagrant violation of the right to practice religious rites as permitted by human rights conventions, the paper said.
The NHRC denounced the incident, considering the step a violation of the right to perform religious rituals guaranteed by human rights conventions, Al Sharq added. Does not the Saudi Regime, realize that with this kind of a childish behaviour, they are (temporarily !) driving their Wahabi brethren into the arms of the heretic Shias of Iran !
t should be noted that Saudi authorities do not normally question people entering the Grand Mosque on their ethnicity or sectarian affiliation. Not sure, if the Paki Ahmedis are not persona-non-grata in the Land Of The Two Holy Mosques
The UAE said offenders would be punished with a jail term of up to 15 years, and a $136,000 fine. Bahrain declared it punishable by imprisonment of up to five years.Since the diplomatic row erupted, slogans against and in support of Qatar have been among the top topics discussed on Twitter in Arabic, which is a hugely popular medium of expression in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia.The dispute between Qatar and the Arab countries escalated after a cyberattack on Qatar's state-run news agency.Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting "extremism". Qatar has vehemently denied the charges. In keeping with "Arab emotional behaviour", the Saudis, IMO, are showing signs of paranoia and going too far liking banning Al-Jazeera (Qatari TV ), fining people wearing Qatar Airways T Shirts. This kind of dispute requires all the Ummah Brothers ( under the umbrella of IOC) to sit down and settle this dispute in an peaceful way . If, all countries want ( could be doubtful) , should accept Pak offer of an "Honest Broker" :mrgreen:

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby UlanBatori » 11 Jun 2017 18:10

Haraam! Haraam! Perhaps **cca should be partitioned into Shia and Sunni with a Green Line dividing those. With UN biss-keeping Fauj from Bakistain in between, wearing boots made of pigskin and holding dogs on a leash to sniff out IEDs.
Talk about confujun. The other din I read that unrest in Eyeran was because of Eyeranian Baluchis - as if they are Sunnis!!!! :?: :?:

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Singha » 11 Jun 2017 20:18

Al shabab has become very active in kenya border tracts recently. I thought socom might be helping the kenyans but wasnt aware which somali warlord is in the JV this time to fight shabab in somalia.

North africa is an area 3x the size of europe and sparsely populated. Libya alone is huge. Not even massive resources of usa can keep a control on all things there.

So fallback is jv with favourable secular warlords and use them as proxies.

There is no clean solution to africas problems or the mutations of AQ. Containment is the only goal.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Atmavik » 11 Jun 2017 20:43

UlanBatori wrote:Haraam! Haraam! Perhaps **cca should be partitioned into Shia and Sunni with a Green Line dividing those. With UN biss-keeping Fauj from Bakistain in between, wearing boots made of pigskin and holding dogs on a leash to sniff out IEDs.
Talk about confujun. The other din I read that unrest in Eyeran was because of Eyeranian Baluchis - as if they are Sunnis!!!! :?: :?:


The Shia region has all the Oil in SA.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby UlanBatori » 11 Jun 2017 22:57

U mean in Eyeran.
Meanwhile, Eyeranians send planes full of food to Qatar.
Right under the noses of the Saudi and US F-15s too. Haraam!

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Atmavik » 12 Jun 2017 07:08

i will be happy if Al-Jazeera is scalled down. there r a lot of pakis and pak-passands working there and pedaling bile against us.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby vinod » 12 Jun 2017 14:45

Atmavik wrote:i will be happy if Al-Jazeera is scalled down. there r a lot of pakis and pak-passands working there and pedaling bile against us.

Who cares? Hardly anyone watches it in India. On international stage, there are not many who give any ear to what they say.. so, let them be there.. doing their thing. If Saudi etc. have a problem so as to create a ruckus, then I would say, that's good.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby chetak » 12 Jun 2017 16:10

vinod wrote:
Atmavik wrote:i will be happy if Al-Jazeera is scalled down. there r a lot of pakis and pak-passands working there and pedaling bile against us.

Who cares? Hardly anyone watches it in India. On international stage, there are not many who give any ear to what they say.. so, let them be there.. doing their thing. If Saudi etc. have a problem so as to create a ruckus, then I would say, that's good.


its a channel of choice for the peacefools in India.

otherwise, khana hazam nahi hota.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby IndraD » 12 Jun 2017 19:05

Egypt will keep administrative control over two Red Sea islands it plans to transfer to Saudi Arabia, according to a government report advising parliament on the terms of the agreement.

The report is the first indication Egypt intends to maintain some control over the uninhabited islands, whose transfer to Saudi Arabia sparked fury among many Egyptians and was declared illegal by an Egyptian court.

Sisi is giving way islands to Saudi in spite of court terming it illegal and national outcry . http://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt ... 920RV?il=0

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Falijee » 12 Jun 2017 20:09

Saudi Qatari :!: Cheque - Book Diplomacy :roll:

Qatar, in regional crisis, hires former US attorney general, John Ashcroft

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby UlanBatori » 13 Jun 2017 07:53

Their goose is cooked. Have you heard of this guy ever winning any case?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby IndraD » 13 Jun 2017 15:21

Qatar will stand up to blockade (call bluff of GCC); no less than nawaz sharif expressed full support to KSA

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/816 ... st-updates
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has “reaffirmed” his country’s comittment to Saudi Arabia.

Speaking after a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Mr Sharif "reaffirmed the strong commitment of the people and the government of Pakistan for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Kingdom".

A press release added that "the Kingdom had a very special place in the hearts of Pakistanis and that the Muslim world looked up to the King as the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques"

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Falijee » 13 Jun 2017 17:19

War-Torn Poor Somalia Refuses Saudi Bribe Of $ 80 Million According To This News Report :D

Somalia turns down $80m to cut ties with Qatar

Somali President, Mohammed Abdullah Farmajo, has been offered $80 million in exchange for his agreement to sever diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar, the New Khalij news outlet reported a prominent journalist has revealed.“After two hours of enticement, Farmajo rejected the tempting offer,” journalist Jaber Al-Harimi said.Yesterday, the newspaper Somalia Today quoted unnamed sources saying “there was pressure put on the Somali government by Saudi Arabia to reverse Somalia’s decision to stay neutral in the siege imposed by some Arab governments on the State of Qatar.”
Saudis are well known for their practice of check book diplomacy !
Also arriving yesterday in the Somali capital were a Qatari delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sultan Bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, to hold talks between the Gulf States and officials of the Somali Federal government. According to sources, the Qatari delegation met with the Somali Prime Minister, Hasan Ali Khairi, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are also expected to meet Farmajo.The Qatari delegation praised the non-aligned stance taken by government towards the Gulf countries and encouraged Somali leaders to maintain their stance against the embargo on Qatar at any cost. It is possible that the Qataris may have offered them a "better deal" - who knows :mrgreen:

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Falijee » 13 Jun 2017 17:25

'10,000 Yemeni patients died due to Saudi seige'

Some independent group needs to investigate whether the Head Of "Muslim NATO" , General Raheel Sharif Of Pakistan, or some of the Pakistani mercenaries are somehow directly or indirectly responsible for this inhuman outrage :twisted:

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Karthik S » 13 Jun 2017 17:27

Come on!, 24 hours has passed 24 days ago.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Philip » 13 Jun 2017 19:42

Saudis eating humble pie? The 24 hr. deadline has come and gone.Even the Trump-eter wants a dpl. settlement.Did they read him wrong just like Saddam did the US ambassador's words? The fact however is that the Saudis and co. are doing their best diplomatically to taint Qatar wiht the "T" brush.BoJo has just spoken about Qatar and terror,and he may very well be the next British PM. Right now,the spat is turning into a v.deadly blood feud in typical Arab fashion,daggers out and the camels ready to charge.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/06/13/g ... ck-to-war/
Gulf Crisis: On Fast Track to War
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 4:49
Marwa Osman
21st Century Wire

In less than one week, what began as a simple disagreement in politics turned into a siege that could easily develop into a war. On June 5th of last week, Saudi Arabia and four of its regional allies decided to sever diplomatic, economic, and transportation ties with Qatar and its ruler Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. However, it was May 24th which saw the initial fracture occur in this latest watermark in the long history of the inter-Gulf conflict.

After two and a half years of a coercive accord achieved under what was referred to as the the “reconciliation” that followed the Gulf crisis of the withdrawal of ambassadors in March 2014, the night of May 24 brought the Qatar relations from a “sister” of the GCC coalition to an unprecedented stage of deadlock, triggering a dangerous new wave of instability in the Gulf region.

The situation seemed like some a sort of an unannounced war on Qatar after being labeled “rogue” state by Saudi Arabia. It reopened once shut windows of the past, like old statements attributed to the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad, who once stated that Doha was “a thorn in the side of the Arabs,” and like the threats that followed such a statement from Saudi press saying Qatar will pay the price for “her betrayal.”

Tensions escalated dramatically just after US President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which he believed was a great success, yet the actions by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies to isolate and punish Qatar last week was the first outcome of his Administration’s new “policy” in the Middle East.

The Trump “Festival” is Over

This new episode of the long show of feud between the two Gulf states does not seem to be isolated from the “festival”, as some Qatari newspapers put it, held for President Trump. The new row of hostility that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) pushed against Qatar quickly shifted into what appeared to be an Islamist Arab consensus orchestrated by Riyadh to “fight” Iran under the patronages of Washington and -not so surprisingly – Tel Aviv. However, this fierce Gulf attack on Doha also appears to be the tip of the iceberg of the expected changes in the region after the Trump visit.

The new close ties with KSA and Trump which opened up the way for the current gulf crisis is not a surprise given the $150 billion arms deal effective immediately that was signed in Riyadh as part of a $450 billion arms deal package to be delivered over the course of 10 years. As for that photo of the leaders touching a glowing orb as they opened the “Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology”, I think the internet pretty much speaks for itself; the mass reaction calling out the irony and the brazen hypocrisy which represents the inverse of such a proposed center. As a direct result, Gulf countries threw their weight around in order in an attempt to create a fabricated contrast with Qatar, as President Trump has already clearly shown which side he’s chosen to favor with his constant tweeting.

Surprise: Qatar Funds Terrorism

This all being evident and clear, the GCC countries seem to be advertizing different reasons for this recent row against Qatar. Saudi, Egyptian and Emirati officials say that at the core of their actions was the belief that for years, Qatar has been fueling the flames of radicalism and extremism, providing financial and moral support to terrorist organizations operating in the Middle East, including most recently the Muslim Brotherhood and al Nusra Front in Syria. Is that true? Well, in truth such a revelation is more than a bit overdue.

For over a decade now, Qatar has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars in support radical extremists. Numerous reports filed over the years link the Gulf country to Al Qaeda affiliates in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Lebanon. Qatar is for instance a main source of funding for the terrorist Nusra Front operating inside Syria. Reports indicate that large amounts of money have been passing since 2011 to intermediaries in Turkey, and this money was in turn used for the purchase of weapons from other countries like the US. The weapons were then transferred to the terrorist groups in Syria.

Nusra Front, which has since changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, began as an offshoot of Al Qaeda and it had been fighting the Syrian Arab Army in the Syrian war in an effort to establish an Islamic caliphate.

Qatar is not Alone

However, and also not surprisingly, Saudi Arabia can easily be accused of the exact same thing but with a larger twist. Saudi Arabia has also lent its lucrative support not only to the Nusra Front, but also to ISIS itself. Most significantly, the entire ideological lineage of the so called “Islamic State” can be traced directly back to Wahhabism, an extremely conservative cult based in Saudi Arabia that justifies violence in the name of a radical ideology – one which Saudi Arabia has been vigorously promoting as part of Islam. Most reports concerning the ISIS ideology leads straight back to the KSA. For decades, Riyadh has created an environment in which extremism can flourish, and that it’s entirely to blame for the rise of jihadi groups as a result of its strong anti-Shia, anti-Assad and anti-Iranian narratives all across the region. It is even the second largest source of foreign fighters for ISIS terrorist group and it shouldn’t be forgotten that 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers involved in 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar: A Gas Giant Aiming for Independence

Now another very important reason and most probably the primary reason for this Gulf feud which has been brewing since 1995 is Qatar’s liquid natural gas reservoir, the largest on the world. In 1995, the father of the current emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, toppled his own pro-Saudi father at the same exact time when the tiny desert peninsula was about to make its first shipment of liquid natural gas. The offshore North Field, which provides virtually all of Qatar’s gas, is shared with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s much hated rival.

According to Bloomberg, the wealth that followed turned the gas giant Qatar into not just the world’s richest nation, with an annual per-capita income of $130,000, but also the world’s largest LNG exporter. The focus on gas set it apart from its oil producing neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council and allowed it to break from the regional domination of Saudi Arabia. As a result of the tiny nation’s growing financial and political independence, its gulf neighbors grew increasingly frustrated and concerned.

Qatar then used it gas wealth to develop foreign policies independent form that of the GCC which came to irritate its Gulf neighbors – like backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and related armed factions opposed by the UAE or Saudi Arabia in Libya and Syria. Gas also paid for a global television network, Al Jazeera, which at various times has embarrassed or angered most Middle Eastern governments.

Qatar’s Off-course Foreign Policy

Qatar is also seen by the Saudi government and its Emirati and Bahraini counterparts as a spoiler of efforts to forge a unified Arab–Muslim position, under the patronage of the US, and now under the Trump administration, against Iran’s so-called (but as yet unproven) “terrorist agenda” in Arab countries. A week before U.S. President Donald Trump visited Riyadh to consolidate the anti-Iran alliance, the Saudi Arabic-language daily newspaper Okaz reported a secret meeting between the Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, who was officially visiting Baghdad at the time, and the Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasim Sulaimani.

The newspaper accused Qatar of exiting “early from the Arab-Islamic consensus” on Iran, adding “its defense of the Iranian terrorist regime shows the secret Doha-Tehran alliance intends to strike at Arab and Islamic solidarity.” However, as odd as it may seem, all of this paranoia occurred while Qatar actually signed the anti-Iran Riyadh Declaration issued after the Arab-Islamic-America summit on May 21, 2017 after Trump’s visit.

Yet Qatar, a country that hosts the largest U.S. air force base in the Middle East (Al-Udeid) as well as US Central Command for the region (CENTCOM), somehow deviated from the Saudi-led GCC military and diplomatic track, but for an entirely different reason. It seems that Qatar’s constant push for a bigger foreign policy and diplomatic profile in the region was meant to reposition it – out of the claws of KSA.

There are other contributing factors. On the diplomatic front, Doha had successfully mediated a series of conflicts all throughout the past 10 years. It broke the political impasse in Lebanon by persuading the Sunni-led Lebanese government and the opposition at that time, Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, to sign the May 2008 Doha Agreement; it mediated the conflict between the Yemeni government and Ansarullah in February 2008 (though it failed subsequently to find a permanent solution to the conflict); and in February 2010 it facilitated a ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese government and the opposition Justice and Equality Movement. After the spark of the so called Arab Spring in 2011, Qatar directly participated in the NATO-led intervention to illegally oust the Gaddafi government in Libya. Undoubtedly, it wanted to achieve a similar goal in Syria by trying to topple President Bashar Assad’s government, but did not succeed due to a number of reasons, not least of all the direct support of Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah for the current government in Syria.

Hence, Qatar presented itself as a leading Arab state for politically transforming the Arab world with one objective: to project its influence and strengthen Qatari national security and foreign policy autonomy in the Gulf region, a neighborhood dominated by the giant Saudi Arabia.

Qatar simply wants to break free from the GCC umbrella and it wants an independent foreign policy free from any Saudi influence. This move has proved this past week to harness the backing of both Russia and Iran.

Regional and International Support for Qatar

However, to the surprise of many regional and international powers, Iran has sent five planes of vegetables to Qatar days after Gulf countries cut off air and other transport links to the emirate. Three ships loaded with 350 tons of fruit and vegetables were also set to leave an Iranian port for Qatar. This happened while Iran ironically urged Qatar and neighboring Gulf countries to engage in dialogue to resolve their dispute.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey met with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Moscow late last week and expressed Russia’s readiness “to try to do everything in its power” to help resolve the crisis and fight “terrorism”.

Russia, which urged talks to resolve the confrontation, seems to be trying to maintain a delicate balance as it has close ties with Qatar and is cooperating with Saudi Arabia to stabilize oil markets and resolve the war in Syria, where it’s also working closely with Iran.

The confluence of recent events suggests that a US-Saudi-Tel Aviv effort is underway to isolate Iran, and that means the danger for a wider war in the region has never been more imminent.


Thus in the face of repeatedly failed mediations to ease the tension between the Gulf countries, it appears that Qatar is launching a retaliatory counter-initiative aimed first at knowing the opinion of a number of regional capitals like Tehran, Moscow and also Ankara, should things escalate for the worse, and secondly to explore the possibility of multilateral diplomatic relations with other potential international allies – all evidenced by that fact of Qatari diplomats making consecutive trips to their counterpart diplomats in the surrounding regional countries and inquiring about their positions, in the event of Saudi Arabia decides to temp fate by venturing into a Gulf explosion.

Marwa Osman. PhD Candidate located in Beirut, Lebanon. University Lecturer at the Lebanese International University and Maaref University. Political writer/commentator on Middle East issues with many international and regional media outlets.

READ MORE IRAN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Iran Files
Last edited by Philip on 13 Jun 2017 19:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby ldev » 13 Jun 2017 19:42

How the Saudi-Qatar Rivalry, Now Combusting, Reshaped the Middle East

The crisis convulsing the Persian Gulf, entangling the United States and now threatening to pull in Turkey and Iran, can be traced to a dilemma facing a man who had just deposed his own father.

When Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the crown prince of Qatar, took power in a bloodless coup in 1995, he seized a barely independent nation about the size of Connecticut, with one-seventh its population. It had been dominated since independence in 1971 by its far larger and more powerful neighbor, Saudi Arabia.

He believed Qatar could find security only by transforming itself from Saudi appendage to rival. But how?

The audacious plan he put in motion set off something of a regional cold war, in time remaking not just the politics of the oil-rich Persian Gulf, but also those of the entire Middle East, culminating in last week’s crisis.


Part of that outreach to get out from under the Saudi domination was an opening to India.

Then, in the 1990s, technological and economic developments created a global market for liquefied natural gas, which can be loaded onto ships, bypassing pipelines that would run through Saudi territory. Qatar controls some of the world’s largest gas reserves, so its economy expanded from $8.1 billion in 1995 to an astonishing $210 billion in 2014.

Sheikh Hamad and his foreign minister jetted from one Arab capital to another, offering their services as mediators and generous donors
.


And of the total population of 2.6 million in 2017, Qataris number just about 300,000. The rest are foreign workers who are paid poorly. Qatar has a very high per capita GDP ~$75,000 and at PPP it is about $140,000 per capita. That average includes the 2.3 million poorly paid labourers/foreign workers. The Qatari 300,000 sliver of the population would have a per capita income of ????

The Arab Spring, which saw uprisings across the region in 2011, provided Qatar with an opening.

For all its rising influence, Qatar had never been able to crack Saudi regional dominance. Now, with Saudi-aligned autocrats under threat, it saw opportunity.

It backed antigovernment movements, both secular and Islamist, with Al Jazeera airtime, diplomatic support and, later, money and sometimes weapons, hoping to install friendly new governments. When Islamists showed the most promise, Qatar threw its support behind them.

To Saudi Arabia, the uprisings imperiled both the regional order and, potentially, its own rule; populist Islamist movements had long challenged it at home.

Every time a vacuum opened, both gulf rivals would rush to fill it first. “From 2011 to 2013, they’re in open proxy warfare across the region,” Mr. Lynch said.

In Tunisia, for instance, each supported opposing political parties.

Elsewhere, their rivalry fueled violence. In Libya, each backed armed groups that would later fight a civil war. In Syria, they sought to outbid each other in financing rebels, including extremists.

In Egypt, Qatar backed the Muslim Brotherhood, whose candidate won the country’s first real presidential vote in 2012. The next year, when the Egyptian military took power in a coup, Saudi Arabia and its allies awarded the new rulers a $12 billion aid package.

These interventions, in addition to shaping the Arab Spring, helped realign the region’s geopolitics.


Turkey, for its own reasons, joined Qatar in backing the uprisings, forming the basis of Qatar’s first real alliance.


“In 2013, you have more or less a rout of the Qatari position,” Mr. Lynch said.

Qatar’s Arab Spring allies suffered devastating setbacks. Sheikh Hamad, in poor health, abdicated the throne and was succeeded by a 33-year-old son with less experience. The country’s brief tenure as a regional power ended.

Still, Qatar retained the autonomy and network of connections that had been its original goal...........
........Though Qatar had stepped back, its campaign taught Saudi Arabia a lesson: An uncontrolled Qatar posed a grave threat.


Saudi Arabia, joined by other gulf states and Egypt, finally found its opportunity to reimpose dominance with last week’s blockade.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby KLNMurthy » 13 Jun 2017 20:09

UlanBatori wrote:Haraam! Haraam! Perhaps **cca should be partitioned into Shia and Sunni with a Green Line dividing those. With UN biss-keeping Fauj from Bakistain in between, wearing boots made of pigskin and holding dogs on a leash to sniff out IEDs.
Talk about confujun. The other din I read that unrest in Eyeran was because of Eyeranian Baluchis - as if they are Sunnis!!!! :?: :?:

Seriously, I am hoping for a day when mecca is taken out of Saudi control and turned into an international city like vatican, because, you know, holy. It would clip saudi wings and keep the muslims bickering in the world umra council or whatever.

There's precedent for this. Mecca was supposed to be under hashemites, but brits took it away and gave it to saudi.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Baikul » 13 Jun 2017 21:37

KLNMurthy wrote:................
Seriously, I am hoping for a day when mecca is taken out of Saudi control and turned into an international city like vatican, because, you know, holy. It would clip saudi wings and keep the muslims bickering in the world umra council or whatever..............


Interesting thought but one never knows whether such an entity would turn into a turbocharged version of the Vatican, directing overt and covert crusades against the Kufar (ie being more proactive that current Saudi regime to proselytize globally), or whether it would be more inward looking, ideology driven wars and violence in the Muslim world. The latter would be a preferred outcome for me, but in that region and with those people, you never know what you'd get. The last thing the world needs is a series of crazed Muslim Grand Imams fomenting hysteria and violence among the global faithful.
Last edited by Baikul on 13 Jun 2017 21:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby IndraD » 13 Jun 2017 21:39

signs of crashing Saudi economy http://gulfnews.com/business/money/saud ... -1.2042722
Expats' savings are likely to be impacted by higher expenses as a result of new levy, VAT

Starting next month, the kingdom is set to start collecting a new monthly fee of 100 riyals (Dh97.93) for every expat dependent, with plans to increase the fee gradually next year until 2020
organisations with higher expat workforce are likely to suffer more from the incremental levy per employee. Expats, at the same time, will not just have to fork out a monthly fee if they have dependents, they’ll have to face higher expenses, with the upcoming VAT and higher fuel and utilities costs eating into their savings.
“Additionally, there would also be tax on dependents of the expat employees. Adding to this, the other indirect levies, such as VAT and higher fuel and utilities charges would further considerably impact the savings of the expats.”
“A back of the envelope estimate is that the savings could decline between 6 per cent and 15 per cent as a consequence. The levies are good for the economy as long as they don’t take away the attractiveness of doing business in the country, especially the private sector which is highly dependent on expat labour.”
Saudi Arabia has considered collecting taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT) and excise tax on tobacco and drinks, to boost its revenues amid weak oil prices. The excise tax took effect on Sunday, causing some of the retail products to cost double.
It is estimated that the expat fees alone will generate 65 billion Saudi riyals for the kingdom by 2020. Abdullah Al-Maghlouth, member of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had earlier warned that the new tax will negatively impact the private sector.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2017 01:00

KLNM, The Saudis are living in a house of cards. A small country like Qatar was able to pull off a subversion campaign quite successfully.

If Qatar hadn't funded Clinton Foundation, they would be running Middle East now.

Just think about it.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby KLNMurthy » 14 Jun 2017 03:35

ramana wrote:KLNM, The Saudis are living in a house of cards. A small country like Qatar was able to pull off a subversion campaign quite successfully.

If Qatar hadn't funded Clinton Foundation, they would be running Middle East now.

Just think about it.

Or if Clinton won as was expected.

Generally, all this has risks for Indian expats there, but there are lot of positives. The "moderate' terrorists are being isolated by the "really holy" terrorists.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Falijee » 14 Jun 2017 05:52

Example Of Arab Incompetency

UAE expels Somali competitor expected to win in the Dubai International Quran in response to Somalia refusing to cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar despite the fact that the competitor hails from Somaliland which accepted cutting off diplomatic relations with Qatar :lol:

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby UlanBatori » 14 Jun 2017 06:35

Dang! Cheapest fare by far for return to Ulan Bator from desh was via Abu Dhabi. :eek:

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Singha » 14 Jun 2017 07:37

that is Etihad airways. equally good planes and service as emirates but airport is not shakinaw.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Singha » 14 Jun 2017 07:40

while per capita income is just GDP/population, one must remember the royal families control most of the GDP and it flows into their coffers to be distributed as they see fit.

one would need a comprehensive survery of the 300,000 qataris to see what is their real income, wages/earnings and std of living.

one indicator would be if Govt salaries were really high vs other states nearby like uae or abu dhabi. arab states create employment & peace by expanding the govt and employing as many locals as they can. or tax breaks are very high vs nearby, or things like medical/edu are totally free vs other states.

else it just means per capita the royal family has more wealth than other arabi satraps.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Singha » 14 Jun 2017 09:55

^^ how many locals were in the middle and top engineering ranks on these oil/gas cos?
I know arab cos have local "managers" who sit in place and do nothing while the asians and goras do all the real work but just wondering if the oil/gas sector also has such job creation schemes.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Philip » 14 Jun 2017 11:44

US bomb-ass-ador leaving Qatar,what gives? has the US given the Soothi Barbarians the green signal?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 88666.html

US Ambassador to Qatar to leave role amid regional crisis
Six neighbouring nations have cut diplomatic ties with the Gulf monarchy

Mythili Sampathkumar New York
Qatar Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah meets with US Defence Secretary James Mattis and US ambassador to Qatar Dana Shell Smith at his residence in Doha on 22 April JONATHAN ERNST/AFP/Getty Images
The US Ambassador to Qatar has announced she is leaving her role amid a tense situation in the region.

Ambassador Dana Shell Smith's tweet - where she says her time at the State Department is ending later this month - comes just a week after several Gulf nations cut diplomatic ties with Qatar over the small monarchy’s alleged financial ties to terrorist groups.

She has been the head diplomat in Doha for the last three years, having been appointed by President Barack Obama.

The US State Department said in an email to The Hill newspaper that Ms Smith’s “assignment as Ambassador comes to an end this month and she will depart Qatar later this month as part of the normal rotation of career diplomats throughout the world”.

“We wish her the best as she moves on from the Department of State.”

Ms Smith has not given an indication whether the ongoing crisis or the Trump administration played any part in the move.
Egypt has long thought Qatar’s support of Islamist groups Muslim Brotherhood was dangerous for their country.

Saudi Arabia also re-ignited tensions over Doha’s alleged support for Iran, which has been at odds with Saudi Arabia. The Maldives, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen joined in coordinated effort to cut ties.

Iran then blamed Donald Trump for setting the stage for the diplomatic mess during his recent trip to Riyadh.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked that the six nations in the anti-Qatari effort “ease the blockade against Qatar” and requested that Doha be “responsive” to its neighbors concerns over terror financing.

However, just hours later Mr Trump applauded the coalition and said Qatar was “a funder of terrorism at a very high level” and even raised the possibility that the cutting of ties was due to his urging that Middle East countries more effectively address financing terrorists during his Riyadh trip.

Ms Smith re-tweeted Mr Tillerson’s comments but not the President’s tweets.

Ms Smith also gained attention when she tweeted in the wake of Donald Trump’s sacking of former FBI Director James Comey that it was getting “increasingly difficult” to do the job of a diplomat in “explaining our democracy and institutions”.

She also said when domestic “partisan acrimony [is] so high” the work of the foreign service “can be tough”.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby IndraD » 14 Jun 2017 14:23

Egypt to ease restriction on flights from and to Qatar
Egypt will allow airlines and aircraft that are not registered in Egypt or Qatar to use its airspace to fly to and from Qatar, the civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday. how ever to & fro flights from Qtr to Egypt remain suspended.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2017 19:32

Folks more news and less discussions. For every discussion post please bring one news post.
At least we will maintain signal to noise 50:50.

Right now not good.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Singha » 14 Jun 2017 19:34

my info is much newer and tallies with yours. my college roommate works in qatar as chemical engr. he said the locals are not in the "critical path" ops and anything hard/math oriented is done by the expat engineers. some bideshi oil majors also help out on the geologic analysis part as they have deep analysis and compute capabilities while the aramco types buy their services.

our ONGC i dont know if it uses foreign help, it does have a geologic and math center in dehra dun.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Karthik S » 14 Jun 2017 19:48

I think that part will be done by Geological Survey of India.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby krishna_krishna » 15 Jun 2017 02:34

""When I asked his father, Sheikh Hamad (later uncharitably deposed by Tamim) why he didn’t kick the Americans out of Qatar, he replied: “Because if I did, my Arab brothers would invade me.” Like father, like son, I suppose. God Bless America.""

"But if we look a bit further down the road, it’s not difficult to see what really worries the Saudis. Qatar also maintains quiet links with the Asad regime. It helped secure the release of Syrian Christian nuns in Jabhat al-Nusrah hands and has helped release Lebanese soldiers from IS hands in western Syria. When the nuns emerged from captivity, they thanked both Bashar al-Asad and Qatar.

And there are growing suspicions in the Gulf that Qatar has much larger ambitions: to fund the rebuilding of post-war Syria. Even if Asad remained as president, Syria’s debt to Qatar would place the nation under Qatari economic control.

And this would give tiny Qatar two golden rewards. It would give it a land empire to match its Al Jazeera media empire. And it would extend its largesse to the Syrian territories, which many oil companies would like to use as a pipeline route from the Gulf to Europe via Turkey, or via tankers from the Syrian port of Lattakia.

For Europeans, such a route would reduce the chances of Russian oil blackmail, and make sea-going oil routes less vulnerable if vessels did not have to move through the Gulf of Hormuz.

So rich pickings for Qatar — or for Saudi Arabia, of course, if the assumptions about US power of the two emirs, Hamad and Tamim, prove worthless."

From here , well written by gentelman named Robert Frisk (even though it is a porki link) :

https://www.dawn.com/news/1338733

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby Prem » 15 Jun 2017 02:49

http://saudigazette.com.sa/saudi-arabia ... at-terror/
King Salman, Putin discuss joint efforts to combat terror
Jeddah — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman received on Tuesday a telephone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During the conversation, they reviewed distinguished bilateral relations and ways to enhance these in all fields.They also discussed latest developments in the region and joint cooperation to combat extremism and fight terrorism to achieve security and stability in the region

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

Postby IndraD » 15 Jun 2017 02:57

Qatar will sign a deal to buy as many as 36 F-15 jets from the U.S.
Qatari Defense Minister Khalid Al-Attiyah and his U.S. counterpart, Jim Mattis, completed the $12 billion agreement on Wednesday in Washington, according to the Pentagon.
The sale “will give Qatar a state of the art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar,” the Defense Department said in a statement.
Congress last year approved a sale of as many as 72 F-15s in an agreement valued at as much as $21 billion, providing authorization for the deal completed Wednesday
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/arti ... -continues


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