Energy and Commodities Correspondent, UAE
Amena's Feed
Jul 21, 2014

Analysis- Arab rifts may complicate search for Gaza truce

DOHA/CAIRO (Reuters) – The push for a Gaza ceasefire risks becoming mired in a regional tussle for influence between conservative Arab states and Islamist-friendly governments, with rival powers competing to take credit for a truce, analysts and some officials say.

The main protagonists are Arab heavyweight Egypt and the tiny Gulf state of Qatar, on opposite sides of a regional standoff over Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, and its ideological patron the Muslim Brotherhood.

Jul 21, 2014

Arab rifts may complicate search for Gaza truce

DOHA/CAIRO (Reuters) – The push for a Gaza ceasefire risks becoming mired in a regional tussle for influence between conservative Arab states and Islamist-friendly governments, with rival powers competing to take credit for a truce, analysts and some officials say.

The main protagonists are Arab heavyweight Egypt and the tiny Gulf state of Qatar, on opposite sides of a regional standoff over Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, and its ideological patron the Muslim Brotherhood.

Jul 20, 2014

U.N., Qatar condemn Gaza killings, call for immediate ceasefire

DOHA (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned as an “atrocious action” the killing of dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Israeli shelling on Sunday and called for an immediate end to almost two weeks of fighting that has cost more than 400 lives.

Ban, in Doha on the first leg of a Middle East tour to try to end the bloodshed, met Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiya before heading for Egypt.

Jul 19, 2014

Qatar to host Gaza ceasefire talks with Abbas and U.N. chief

DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar will host a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday to try to reach a ceasefire agreement with Israel to bring an end to 12 days of warfare, a senior Qatari source told Reuters.

Due to take place in Doha, the meeting will be headed by the Gulf state’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who has been acting as a “channel of communication” between Hamas and the international community, said the senior source familiar with the matter.

Jul 17, 2014

Qatar seeks role as Gaza mediator, Israel wary

DOHA (Reuters) – With Egyptian efforts to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas making little headway after 10 days of warfare, Qatari officials say it is time for the Gulf state to step in, citing its close links to the Palestinian group.

But while U.S. officials say Washington has asked Qatar to try to influence Hamas, whose leader lives in Doha, they emphasize that those links mean Israel is unlikely to accept it as a mediator.

Jul 2, 2014

Defiant Al Jazeera faces conservative backlash after Arab Spring

DOHA, July 2 (Reuters) – Al Jazeera, the Qatari-funded
television station whose reporting of the 2011 Arab Spring
uprisings won it millions of viewers in the Middle East, is
defiant following a backlash by Arab governments that accuse it
of supporting Islamists.

On June 23, three Al Jazeera journalists were sentenced by
an Egyptian court for up to 10 years in jail for aiding a
“terrorist organisation” – a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood
that helped sweep Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011 only to be
ousted itself last year in an army-backed coup.

Jun 23, 2014

Influential cleric calls for Sunni-Shi’ite dialogue in Iraq

DOHA (Reuters) – An influential Sunni Muslim cleric said on Monday that only dialogue could solve Iraq’s crisis, sounding a conciliatory note on the threat posed by Sunni Islamist insurgents that could further polarize the Middle East along sectarian lines.

Fighters from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS) have seized a swathe of northern Iraqi towns, as well as border posts with Syria, in a thrust towards Baghdad, stunning the country’s Shi’ite Muslim-led central government.

Jun 19, 2014

With eye on Iran, Saudi insists Iraq solution is internal

DOHA/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia kept up a drumbeat of opposition to any foreign intervention in Iraq on Thursday in an apparent message to regional rival Iran, which has hinted at possible cooperation with the United States in quelling insurgents menacing Baghdad.

Washington is considering an Iraqi request to launch air strikes on the positions of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebels, and the Iranian president has said his countrymen will not hesitate to defend Shi’ite shrines there if need be. Either scenario would probably dismay Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab governments wary about what they see as meddling by Shi’ite Muslim power Iran in the region and opposed to any armed action that could harm Sunni communities in Iraq.

May 26, 2014

Egyptian vote more one-sided than Mubarak’s days: Ayman Nour

DOHA (Reuters) – An Egyptian liberal politician jailed after he mounted a challenge for the presidency in 2005 said a presidential election that got underway in Egypt on Monday is more one-sided than the one he lost to Hosni Mubarak.

Ayman Nour, a liberal who came a distant second to Mubarak in that election, said the vote which former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win was taking place in a “power monopoly” without any real competition.

May 23, 2014

Egypt’s Brotherhood struggles to regroup in exile

DOHA/DUBAI (Reuters) – Exiled leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood are struggling to regroup, targeted by hostile Arab powers, cut off from senior colleagues imprisoned back home and challenged by angry young followers tempted to seek change by violence.

Gathered over the past 10 months in Qatar, Turkey, Britain and elsewhere, hundreds of activists have set about trying to isolate Egypt’s army-backed government diplomatically for last year’s removal of an elected Brotherhood-backed administration.