6 Updates
Bahrain key if Saudi-Iran lock is to be opened (Comment: Special to IANS)
Photo Credit: FAYEZ NURELDINE, Getty Images

Bahrain key if Saudi-Iran lock is to be opened (Comment: Special to IANS)

Aug 2 2013, 4:38am CDT | by IANS

President Mohammad Morsi has barely been ousted and, lo and behold, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is already on track. It was important that Morsi vacated the scene for the process to be salvaged because the Muslim Brotherhood had firm links with Hamas with whom talks were unthinkable. So the losers along with the Brothers in Egypt are all the Brotherhood enthusiasts in the region - Qatar, Turkey, Hamas, Tunisia. This reverses key political trends in the region. The Saudis emerge on top here, facilitating John Kerry's diplomacy on Palestine.

President Mohammad Morsi has barely been ousted and, lo and behold, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is already on track. It was important that Morsi vacated the scene for the process to be...

Filed under: news

YouTube Videos

 
 
 

51 weeks ago

Bahrain key if Saudi-Iran lock is to be opened (Comment: Special to IANS)

Aug 2 2013, 4:38am CDT | by IANS

President Mohammad Morsi has barely been ousted and, lo and behold, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is already on track. It was important that Morsi vacated the scene for the process to be salvaged because the Muslim Brotherhood had firm links with Hamas with whom talks were unthinkable. So the losers along with the Brothers in Egypt are all the Brotherhood enthusiasts in the region - Qatar, Turkey, Hamas, Tunisia. This reverses key political trends in the region. The Saudis emerge on top here, facilitating John Kerry's diplomacy on Palestine.

President Mohammad Morsi has barely been ousted and, lo and behold, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is already on track. It was important that Morsi vacated the scene for the process to be salvaged because the Muslim Brotherhood had firm links with Hamas with whom talks were unthinkable. So the losers along with the Brothers in Egypt are all the Brotherhood enthusiasts in the region - Qatar, Turkey, Hamas, Tunisia. This reverses key political trends in the region. The Saudis emerge on top here, facilitating John Kerry's diplomacy on Palestine.

European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, obtained from Gen. Abdul Fattah el Sissi the permission to meet Morsi who is confined in a secret location. This "reasonableness" on the part of the army chief "humanizes" him just enough for the US to abide by the financial commitments to Egypt which underpin the country's 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Little wonder, Israelis have been imploring Washington not to declare Morsi's ouster a coup. Under US law, Gen. Sissi would forfeit American largesse if he is seen to be a "coup leader".

There are some obvious expectations the present regime in Cairo has of Riyadh. One expectation, the Saudis have already fulfilled - financial, along which almost automatically comes political support. Saudis will also be expected to leverage their influence on the Salafists or the al Noor party so that the post Morsi structure is not destabilized by extremism.

Meanwhile, the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran Aug 4 will provide a contrast to Arab scene. Britain's ex-foreign secretary Jack Straw and ex-EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will attend the ceremonies. This will be signal enough to others who will doubtless follow.

There is enough good sense in Riyadh to realize that sectarian conflict is no substitute for strategy towards Tehran. Competition between Riyadh and Tehran is inevitable. Equally, continued open hostility is unsustainable.

The key to a Riyadh-Tehran rapprochement is Bahrain. A 37-km causeway links Saudi Arabia's oil bearing, Shia-dominated eastern province to this small kingdom, which is also home to the US Fifth Fleet. Neither the Saudis nor the Americans will abandon their key interests. This much is clear.

Before the Arab Spring created an emergency situation, Saudi King Abdullah had handled the eastern province with great sensitivity. In less tense moments he will realize the obvious: it is inhuman that the staunchly Sunni regime in Bahrain should treat 80 percent of the population, all Shias, as the "opposition". This majority population has faced repression for demanding human rights since the Arab Spring first stirred. Two years ago, the US had taken an initiative to broker an agreement between the two sides.

For over 200 years, the Khalifa family have been emirs of Bahrain. A decade ago, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa declared himself king. Kingship has a built in dynastic possibility: a crown prince, in this case Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa. There is also room for reform. Bahrain can easily become a constitutional monarchy, should circumstances so demand.

With royal courts come court intrigues. The King's uncle, Khalifa Ibn Salman al Khalifa, has been Prime Minister from the day the king ascended the throne. It is universally acknowledged in Bahrain that not only is he the most powerful man in the kingdom but also the most corrupt. I heard this from all sides in Bahrain.

When the Arab Spring first swept through Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, people came out on the streets in almost every West Asian capital. In no instance was the state structure exposed as being more tilted against its own people. As demonstrations invited brutal crackdown by the armed police, mostly Pakistani conscripts, Bahrain's friends began to see the structure as untenable.

Americans took a welcome initiative. US envoy Jeffery Feltman sketched a compromise agreement between Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa and a moderate Shia leader, Sheikh Ali Salman. Sheikh Salman was in tears when I met him. "The prime minister has killed all chances of peace."

Before the agreement could even be discussed, which would give the Shias reasonable representation in the state structure, the prime minister mobilized the support of the then hard line interior security apparatus in Riyadh. Saudi tanks and GCC armoured personnel carriers rolled down the Saudi-Bahrain causeway. That was the knee jerk response two years ago. The Saudis are much wiser now that the Spring has turned to Autumn. Should not the Feltman initiative be picked up now that both the Americans and the Saudis may be looking to open the Iranian lock of which Bahrain is the key?

(A senior commentator on political and diplomatic affairs, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on saeed.naqvi@hotmail.com)

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
6

3 days ago

Obama Banned From Visiting Chechnya

Jul 26 2014 4:01pm CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

MOSCOW (AP) — Although Russia has not responded to U.S. sanctions by putting a travel ban on President Barack Obama, there's one part of the country he's blocked from: Chechnya. The president of the small Russian republic that was the scene of two devastating separatist wars in the past 20 years on Saturday said he was placing Obama on a list of people banned from visiting. Also on the list are European Union figures Jose Manuel Barroso, Herbert V ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
5

1 week ago

EU Leaders Fail to Agree Top Jobs in Brussels

Jul 17 2014 1:28pm CDT | Source: Big Government

Leaders of the 28 member states of the European Union failed in the early hours of this morning to agree how to share out the remaining three top jobs in Brussels, after tensions over the appointment of a new EU foreign policy chief made agreement impossible. The European Council meeting ended in deadlock after member states from Eastern Europe insisted no decision could be taken on a replacement for Catherine Ashton as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Secu ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
4

1 week ago

Euro Parliament Threatens to Veto Male Commissioners

Jul 16 2014 5:09am CDT | Source: Big Government

After wrenching the power to select the next president of the European Commission away from the leaders of the member states, the European Parliament is now moving to take control of the selection of individual commissioners away from national governments. Martin Schulz, the German socialist president of the parliament, warned national leaders on Tuesday that unless they nominate what he calls "enough" women as commissioners, the parliament will reject the entire incoming co ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
3

2 weeks ago

Iran Nuclear Talks Falter With Kerry In Vienna

Jul 13 2014 7:33pm CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

VIENNA (AP) — Joint efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and three other Western foreign ministers failed Sunday to advance faltering nuclear talks with Iran, with the target date for a deal only a week away. "There has been no breakthrough today," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague after meetings with Kerry and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Iran. The trip gave Kerry a chance to ease an espionage dispute with Germ ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
2

6 weeks ago

IDF Works to Dismantle Hamas Infrastructure on the West Bank in 5th Day Since Israeli Teens Kidnapped

Jun 17 2014 2:37pm CDT | Source: Big Government

First, some facts on the ground. Then, a brief Talmudic discussion of how civilized peoples are supposed to deal with someone who is “coming to kill you.” Here’s what Israel just did: Last night, the IDF went door to door in cities in the West Bank and confiscated a huge cache of weapons. Photos and a video show what they found in Nablus/Shechem, a city that has an ancient Jewish Biblical-era history. It is now a city ready for battle. Here’s what members of the local Palestinian comm ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Australia issues arrest warrant against two terrorists
Sydney, July 30 (IANS) Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday against two alleged terrorists in Australia who boasted of beheading "infidels" in Iraq and posted gruesome images of severed heads on Twitter.
 
 
Drinking water shortage to hit world by 2040
London, July 30 (IANS) If we continue doing what we are doing today to meet our energy demands, there will not be enough water in the world to quench the thirst of the world population by 2040, says a study.
 
 
Kerry visit a start, Modi visit to US pivotal (Comment: Special to IANS)
John Kerry visits India Wednesday as a raft of crises consume American diplomacy. By contrast, US-India relations are at a moment of opportunity, but the US Secretary of State faces challenges in New Delhi that are significant in their own way.
 
 
20 killed in Israeli shelling of Gaza shelter
Gaza, July 30 (IANS) At least 20 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured Wednesday when Israeli artillery hit a school used as a shelter by displaced people in Jabaliya town of Gaza Strip, medics said.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

James Garner died of heart attack
Los Angeles, July 30 (IANS) Legendary Hollywood actor James Garner, who died earlier this month, passed away following a heart attack, his death certificate has revealed. Known for his roles in movies like "The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Australia issues arrest warrant against two terrorists
Sydney, July 30 (IANS) Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday against two alleged terrorists in Australia who boasted of beheading "infidels" in Iraq and posted gruesome images of severed heads on Twitter. The...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Katy Perry parties with new beau in Las Vegas
Los Angeles, July 30 (IANS) Singer Katy Perry was spotted having a gala time with her rumoured new boyfriend and disc jockey Diplo in Las Vegas after the duo rekindled their romance last month. The "Dark Horse"...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Drinking water shortage to hit world by 2040
London, July 30 (IANS) If we continue doing what we are doing today to meet our energy demands, there will not be enough water in the world to quench the thirst of the world population by 2040, says a study. The study...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Kerry visit a start, Modi visit to US pivotal (Comment: Special to IANS)
John Kerry visits India Wednesday as a raft of crises consume American diplomacy. By contrast, US-India relations are at a moment of opportunity, but the US Secretary of State faces challenges in New Delhi that are...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Rita Ora kept forgetting Fifty Shades of Grey lines
Rita Ora kept forgetting her lines whilst filming her scenes in 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' The 23-year-old singer - who landed the role of Mia Grey in the erotic drama - had someone feeding her script to her through an...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Our Milky Way much smaller than previously thought
London, July 30 (IANS) The Milky Way, the galaxy that contains our solar system, is way smaller than astronomers previously thought, says a study. It is approximately half the weight of a neighbouring galaxy - known...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Be aware of calories from soft drinks during meals
London, July 30 (IANS) Did you ever count calories from the soft drink you usually order along with the dinner? Now is the time to factor those in. New research indicates that meals that include a calorific drink are...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Apple Drops Their Appeal of Samsung Verdict
After the ruling in Apple’s favor by a jury in the patent infringement case with Samsung, the company was seeking a permanent injunction on a number of Samsung’s devices. The goal was to ban sale of Samsung products...
Read more on Apple Balla