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Aug 24, 2011

Qatar hopes for returns after backing Libyan winners

DUBAI/DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar was one of the first countries to back Libyan rebels seeking to overthrow its one-time friend Muammar Gaddafi and with his 42-year-old rule collapsing, the natural gas exporter hopes to reap the political and economic rewards.

The tiny Gulf Arab state, which sought to establish itself as a force independent of regional power Saudi Arabia following a bloodless coup in 1995, stuck its neck out among Arab states to support the rebels and the NATO air operation.

Aug 24, 2011

Analysis: Qatar hopes for returns after backing Libyan winners

DUBAI/DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar was one of the first countries to back Libyan rebels seeking to overthrow its one-time friend Muammar Gaddafi and with his 42-year-old rule collapsing, the natural gas exporter hopes to reap the political and economic rewards.

The tiny Gulf Arab state, which sought to establish itself as a force independent of regional power Saudi Arabia following a bloodless coup in 1995, stuck its neck out among Arab states to support the rebels and the NATO air operation.

Aug 18, 2011

Saleh’s vow to return keeps Yemenis guessing

DUBAI (Reuters) – Burned, wounded and forced into medical exile in Riyadh, Ali Abdullah Saleh had seemed down and out, but a bravura speech by the Yemeni leader suggests he might yet return home to a country convulsed by months of unrest, violence and economic misery.

Saleh, visibly healthier than the gaunt, scarred figure who appeared in a televised speech five weeks ago, vowed in his address on Tuesday to come back, hinting he will track down those behind an attempt to assassinate him in June.

Aug 17, 2011

Analysis: Saleh’s vow to return keeps Yemenis guessing

DUBAI (Reuters) – Burned, wounded and forced into medical exile in Riyadh, Ali Abdullah Saleh had seemed down and out, but a bravura speech by the Yemeni leader suggests he might yet return home to a country convulsed by months of unrest, violence and economic misery.

Saleh, visibly healthier than the gaunt, scarred figure who appeared in a televised speech five weeks ago, vowed in his address Tuesday to come back, hinting he will track down those behind an attempt to assassinate him in June.

Aug 1, 2011

Arabs angry over Syria crackdown but governments silent

DUBAI (Reuters) – Arabs reacted strongly on Monday to the deaths of dozens of Syrians in Hama at the hands of the Syrian army but most Arab governments kept silent, apparently fearing the power of protest movements that have spread throughout the region this year.

“It’s no longer possible to understand the silence of Arab and Islamic states and organisations before the massacres against Syrians,” wrote Saudi columnist Hussein Shobokshi in the Saudi pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

Jul 26, 2011

Analysts believe Iran scientist death was a foreign hit

Jul (Reuters) – Western security agencies were most likely behind the killing of an Iranian scientist in an operation that underlines the myriad complications in the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program, analysts say.

Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university lecturer, was shot dead by gunmen in eastern Tehran Saturday, the third murder of a scientist since 2009. One was killed in a car bomb, the second by a device detonated remotely.

Jul 13, 2011

Tunisia looks to recast ties with West after Ben Ali

TUNIS (Reuters) – - Tunisians are debating what kind of relationship they will have with Europe and the United States after an uprising this year unmasked the police state behind what was once touted in the West as an “economic miracle.” Islamists, leftists and nationalists from the major political parties agree that Tunisia should push for relations on a more equal footing with the West, for better trade arrangements and avoiding debt.

One sign of progress is an offer to Tunisia from the European Union of an enhanced partnership status which only Morocco among Arab countries so far has which is the subject of internal EU discussions.

Jul 13, 2011
via FaithWorld

Tunisian secularists nervous over slow change, concerned about Islamists

Photo

(Protests in Tunis July 7, 2011 after Islamists attacked a cinema to protest a controversial film called "Neither God nor master"/Zoubeir Souissi)

Secularists hope Tunisia’s gradual approach for moving to an open political system from a police state will help box in Islamists but it has created a political and security vacuum that could end up helping them. Tunisians forced out president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali via street protests in December and January, and over 90 political parties have sprung up in the newly freed public space.

Jul 13, 2011

Tunisians nervous over slow democratic transition

TUNIS (Reuters) – Secularists hope Tunisia’s gradual approach for moving to an open political system from a police state will help box in Islamists but it has created a political and security vacuum that could end up helping them.

Tunisians forced out president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali via street protests in December and January, and over 90 political parties have sprung up in the newly freed public space.

Jul 13, 2011

Analysis – Saudi policy on Yemen and Syria seen floundering

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has helped damp down democracy movements sweeping the Arab world but is waiting now to see how events play out in places like Syria and Yemen for fear of overplaying its hand.

After witnessing the sudden collapse of rulers in Egypt and Tunisia this year, the Al Saud family that monopolises power in Saudi Arabia orchestrated Gulf Arab moves to stop the unrest from spreading through the Gulf region.

    • About Andrew

      "I write on Iranian and Gulf Arab politics, based in Dubai. I was previously based in Riyadh, in charge of Reuters Saudi small but growing editorial operation, and before that was based in Egypt. I have also reported for Reuters from Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Israel and the Occupied Territories. I am the author of two books, "Popular Culture in the Arab World" and "What the Arabs Think of America", and read Arabic, Farsi and French."
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