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Allegations that three Qataris were ‘tortured’ by UAE officials will put the UK at the centre of an inter-Arab squabble

The Metropolitan Police in London will in a few hours’ time find themselves involved in the Gulf crisis when UK lawyers for three prominent Qataris submit their evidence of alleged torture and illegal imprisonment for which they blame up to 10 senior officials of the United Arab Emirates – including a cabinet minister and a high-ranking security adviser.

Human Rights lawyer Rodney Dixon QC will hand the Met details of alleged beatings, torture and illegal imprisonment of the three Qataris, one of them close to the head of Qatar’s own State Security Service, under the terms of the 1988 Criminal Justice Act – which allows British police to investigate and arrest foreign nationals entering the UK if they are suspected of war crimes, torture or hostage-taking anywhere in the world.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/metropolitan-police-torture-illegal-imprisonment-united-arab-emirates-qatar-saudi-arabia-a7941506.html

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Posted by on September 12, 2017 in Europe, Middle East

 

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If you’re wondering why Saudi Arabia and Israel have united against Al-Jazeera, here’s the answer

When Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel has both the Saudis and the Israelis demanding its closure, it must be doing something right. To bring Saudi head-choppers and Israeli occupiers into alliance is, after all, something of an achievement.

But don’t get too romantic about this. When the wealthiest Saudis fall ill, they have been known to fly into Tel Aviv on their private jets for treatment in Israel’s finest hospitals. And when Saudi and Israeli fighter-bombers take to the air, you can be sure they’re going to bomb Shiites – in Yemen or Syria respectively – rather than Sunnis.

And when King Salman – or rather Saudi Arabia’s whizz-kid Crown Prince Mohammad – points the finger at Iran as the greatest threat to Gulf security, you can be sure that Bibi Netanyahu will be doing exactly and precisely the same thing, replacing “Gulf security”, of course, with “Israeli security”. But it’s an odd business when the Saudis set the pace of media suppression only to be supported by that beacon of freedom, democracy, human rights and liberty known in song and legend as Israel, or the State of Israel or, as Bibi and his cabinet chums would have it, the Jewish State of Israel.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/al-jazeera-saudi-arabia-israel-policy-terrorism-isis-iran-prince-mohamed-netanyahu-a7885851.html

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Middle East

 

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July 3: The end of one revolution and the start of another 

It is no coincidence that the deadline Qatar was given to comply with Saudi Arabia’s 13 demands fell on 3 July, the fourth anniversary of the military coup in Egypt that ousted the country’s first democratically elected president.

The link between the two days was made explicit by propagandists for the Saudi and Emirati regimes. On 2 July, Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the former police chief of Dubai, tweeted: “On 3 July Morsi was ousted. On 3 July Qatar will be ousted. Is it a coincidence?”

The week before, Abdulrahman al-Rasheed, the former general manager of the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, wrote of Qatar: “It is threatening and warning that the confrontation will be similar to what happened at the “Safwan tent” but we fear for Doha as it may be like the ‘Rabaa Square!'”

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/3-july-319275252

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2017 in Middle East

 

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The Qatar crisis has nothing to do with Al Jazeera and everything to do with the war in Syria 

[The Qatar crisis has nothing to do with Al Jazeera and everything to do with the war in Syria | The Independent] is good,have a look at it! http://www.independent.co.uk/Voices/qatar-crisis-saudi-arabia-al-jazeera-syrin-war-real-reason-a7826711.html

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Trouble in the Gulf: the view from Tehran

Throughout the Gulf region people are talking about the rift between Saudi Arabia (and its allies) and Qatar and the unexpected appointment on 21 June of Muhammad Bin Salman (known as ‘MBS’) as Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince. The unprecedented attempt to marginalise a fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member has shocked many in the region, and there are fears that the promotion of MBS may further exacerbate the tension.For months it has been obvious that King Salman was grooming his favourite son as his successor, but few imagined that happening quite so soon.At the core of the Qatar furore lies the longstanding rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Throughout the commotion, Iranian politicians have largely kept quiet and advised both parties to settle their issues through negotiation. But if they were concerned about the inter-Arab squabbling, the promotion of MBS has sent an altogether more powerful message to the Iranians, as he is behind the war on Yemen, and seen either as a ‘reformer’ or as ‘reckless’.

Source: Trouble in the Gulf: the view from Tehran, by Camelia Entekhabifard (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, July 2017)

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in Middle East

 

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By demanding the end of Al Jazeera, Saudi Arabia is trying to turn Qatar into a vassal state

So serious has the Saudi-Qatar crisis now become that the Qatari Foreign Minister is reportedly planning an emergency trip to Washington in the next few days in the hope that the Trump regime can save his emirate. For Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani knows very well that if Qatar submits to the 13 unprecedented – some might say outrageous – demands that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have made, it will cease to exist as a nation state.Al Jazeera television editors, supported by a phalanx of human rights and press freedom groups, have denounced the 10-day warning that the Qatar satellite chain must close – along with Middle East Eye and other affiliates – as a monstrous intrusion into freedom of speech. One television executive compared it to a German demand that Britain closes the BBC. Not so. It is much more like an EU demand that Theresa May close the BBC. And we know what she would say to that.

Source: By demanding the end of Al Jazeera, Saudi Arabia is trying to turn Qatar into a vassal state | The Independent

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Blood on the Tracks of the New Silk Roads

China’s cardinal foreign policy imperative is to refrain from interfering abroad while advancing the proverbial good relations with key political actors – even when they may be at each other’s throats.Still, it’s nothing but gut-wrenching for Beijing to watch the current, unpredictable, Saudi-Qatari standoff. There’s no endgame in sight, as plausible scenarios include even regime change and a seismic geopolitical shift in Southwest Asia – what a Western-centric view calls the Middle East.And blood on the tracks in Southwest Asia cannot but translate into major trouble ahead for the New Silk Roads, now rebranded Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Source: Blood on the Tracks of the New Silk Roads

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2017 in Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America

 

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Why the campaign against Qatar is doomed 

It has been apparent for some time that the war against the Islamic State (IS) group and its forebear al-Qaeda is by no means the only show in town in the Middle East. In fact, for most of the time, the war on terror has been a sideshow.

The attempt to bring Qatar to heel by closing its borders and effectively laying siege to it has shed light on the real forces competing for dominance of the region in the post-Western world in which we live today.

Three regional blocks are vying for control.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/why-campaign-against-qatar-doomed-1663040860

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Did Donald Trump denounce Qatar as a ‘sponsor of terrorism’ due to failed business deals?

What on earth made President Donald Trump identify Qatar – with its longstanding relationship with the US and host to 10,000 American military personnel on the biggest airbase in the Middle East – as a “funder of terrorism”? Did someone misinform him of Qatar’s role in the region? Or was Mr Trump embittered because, as Qatari businessmen are asking themselves, a real estate deal between the future US president and Qatar’s rulers fell through in 2010?

Clayton Swisher, the investigative journalist who broke the Palestine Papers story in 2011 – detailing secret talks between the Israelis, the Palestine Authority and the Bush-era US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice – says that Mr Trump and his daughter Ivanka came to Qatar seven years ago. There, he says, they approached two senior Qatari officials for investment help. One was Hussein Al-Abdullah, executive board member of the Qatar Investment Authority. The other was Sheikh Hamid bin Jassem al-Thani, a member of the royal family who was then prime minister.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-trump-qatar-sponsor-terrorism-business-deals-fail-us-president-gulf-emirate-saudi-arabia-uae-a7788151.html?amp

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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This is the real story behind the economic crisis unfolding in Qatar

The Qatar crisis proves two things: the continued infantilisation of the Arab states, and the total collapse of the Sunni Muslim unity supposedly created by Donald Trump’s preposterous attendance at the Saudi summit two weeks ago.

After promising to fight to the death against Shia Iranian “terror,” Saudi Arabia and its closest chums have now ganged up on one of the wealthiest of their neighbours, Qatar, for being a fountainhead of “terror”. Only Shakespeare’s plays could come close to describing such treachery. Shakespeare’s comedies, of course.

For, truly, there is something vastly fantastical about this charade. Qatar’s citizens have certainly contributed to Isis. But so have Saudi Arabia’s citizens.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/qatar-crisis-economy-diplomatic-links-torn-middle-east-russia-hacking-real-story-robert-fisk-a7778616.html?amp

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Middle East

 

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