Post from April, 2014

FT: Gulf states forge deal to end spat over Doha backing for Brotherhood

Friday, 18. April 2014 18:45

By Simeon Kerr in Dubai

The Gulf states have forged an initial agreement aimed at ending a regional spat over Qatar’s support for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group. […]

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The Riyadh Document: What could it mean?

Friday, 18. April 2014 18:05

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are apparently on their way to resolving their dispute with Qatar over its backing for the Muslim Brotherhood. A foreign ministers’ meeting was convened in Riyadh on Thursday, leading to a statement issued later in the evening. […]

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Qatar’s Emir setting up alternative to Al Jazeera?

Friday, 11. April 2014 19:10

Qatar’s Emir Tamim doesn’t have so much a Brotherhood problem as father issues. That’s the more likely explanation of a new television project that Qatar is involved in, people familiar with the project say. Tamim has set in motion a project to set up a channel, whose name could be Al-Arabi or Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, based out of London. […]

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Former UK diplomats turn business advisers

Wednesday, 9. April 2014 5:14

An article of interest from Issue 944 of Gulf States Newsletter,  April 2013 (note: Cowper-Coles is now with HSBC) regarding the debate over the appointment of the British ambassador in Riyadh to head the British government’s controversial inquiry into the Muslim Brotherhood (author unknown, according to GSN format):

At a 1 March evidence session for the UK Foreign Affairs Committee’s hearing into London’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (GSN 939/1, 934/16), MP for Penrith and the Border Rory Stewart asked former ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir Tom Phillips whether “it is a problem… that such a very large number of our senior diplomats and soldiers go on to take jobs where they are employed by members of the Gulf royal families, or work with businesses with significant interests in the Middle East? Does that get in the way of our being able to achieve objective criticism of these governments?” […]

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ECFR: The campaign to condemn the Brotherhood

Wednesday, 9. April 2014 5:08

The decision of the British government this week to launch an investigation into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood is a major victory for Saudi Arabia, which has been arguing since the 9/11 attacks that it is the Brotherhood’s brand of “political Islam” that is the source of jihadist violence and extremism, not Saudi Wahhabism. Privately, British officials said there had been months of Saudi pressure, complementing Saudi anger over the West’s shift on Iran since November. The UK ambassador to Riyadh no less has been chosen lead the probe. […]

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TIME: In Egypt, It’s Street Art vs. State Soap

Wednesday, 9. April 2014 4:53

Before the street, there was the screen — and the stage. In Syria and Egypt pre-2011, citizens used soap operas, plays and songs to voice political commentary — slipping criticism in between lines and lyrics. Then, the Arab Spring began, collapsing this natural order and impaling the region’s most powerful and traditional motors of media production in Egypt and Syria. […]

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An appearance on BBC Arabic show ‘Xtra’

Wednesday, 9. April 2014 4:38

It was fun to take part in the BBC Arabic radio show Xtra the other week, where we talked about books, Arab world interests, Arabic and the fate of the Arab uprisings. Here’s the link.

 

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Street Art vs. State Soap

Friday, 4. April 2014 19:15

By Andrew Hammond

Flickr/Darla Hueske […]

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Britain’s move on the MB: a Saudi victory

Thursday, 3. April 2014 21:52

The decision of the British government this week to launch an investigation into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood is a major victory for Saudi Arabia, which has been arguing since the 9/11 attacks that it is the Brotherhood’s brand of “political Islam” that is the source of jihadist violence and extremism, not Saudi Wahhabism. “What I think is important about the Muslim Brotherhood is that we understand what this organisation is, what it stands for, what its beliefs are in terms of the path of extremism and violent extremism, what its connections are with other groups, what its presence is here in the United Kingdom,” Cameron said. Privately, officials said there had been months of Saudi pressure, complementing Saudi anger over the West’s shift on Iran since November. […]

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