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May 28, 2011

Bahrain Sunni says opposition must change leaders

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain’s opposition must change its leadership for the divided Gulf Arab state to move on with political reconciliation after crushing a pro-democracy movement led by majority Shi’ites, a Sunni cleric said on Saturday.

Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Mahmoud said the democracy movement, which began in February when protesters inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt occupied a roundabout in Manama, had been hijacked by Shi’ite opposition leaders with a sectarian agenda who were in contact with Iran’s clerical leadership.

May 25, 2011

Bahrain hopes for normalcy with martial law lifted

MANAMA, May 25 (Reuters) – Bahrain will lift a state of
emergency next week that was imposed when the government
suppressed a democracy protest movement in March with the help
of Saudi and other Gulf Arab forces.

After two months of negative publicity around the world over
its crackdown and a collapse of business and leisure tourism,
Bahrain hopes for a return to normalcy on June 1, following the
end of night curfew in Manama this week.

May 19, 2011

Arabs see Obama speech as late, not enough

DUBAI (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech on uprisings sweeping the Arab world show Washington is struggling to guide democratic movements that took it by surprise, Arab analysts said, threatening U.S. regional allies.

Obama went to Cairo University to address the Muslim world in a landmark speech in 2009 that promised support for democracy that Washington assumed would come thanks to outside pressure on entrenched rulers in countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

May 19, 2011

Analysis: Arabs see Obama speech as late, not enough

DUBAI (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech on uprisings sweeping the Arab world show Washington is struggling to guide democratic movements that took it by surprise, Arab analysts said, threatening U.S. regional allies.

Obama went to Cairo University to address the Muslim world in a landmark speech in 2009 that promised support for democracy that Washington assumed would come thanks to outside pressure on entrenched rulers in countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

May 5, 2011

Bahrain media play role in tension after protests

DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahraini media have played a central role in a crackdown on Shi’ite Muslims following the suppression of pro-democracy protests that threatened the Sunni monarchy’s grip on power, analysts say.

Since the crackdown began in March, the pro-government media have depicted the protesters as violent, driven by Shi’ite sectarian designs to disenfranchise Sunni Muslims and encouraged by Shi’ite power Iran, the bete noire of Gulf Arab rulers.

Apr 27, 2011

Analysis: Gulf Arab rulers tense over Egypt’s policy shifts

DUBAI (Reuters) – At a recent conference in Abu Dhabi, a confidant of the emirate’s crown prince vented his frustration over the downfall of a major ally who Gulf Arab rulers once thought was as entrenched in power as they are.

“How could someone do this to him? He was the spiritual father of the Middle East. He was a wise man who always led the region,” the aide told Reuters. “We didn’t want to see him out this way. Yes, people want democracy but not in this manner. It’s humiliating!”

Apr 25, 2011

Plenty of wiggle room for Saleh as Yemen exit looms

DUBAI (Reuters) – The verbal acceptance of a Gulf Arab handover plan by the government of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh should begin the final countdown on his 33 years in power — but leaves him considerable room for manoeuvre.

Saleh, the ultimate political survivor, is due to resign within 30 days of signing the plan — but he has yet to sign, and opposition leaders, wary of tactical ploys after a near-deal fell through last month, have stopped short of full endorsement.

Apr 24, 2011

Analysis: Plenty of wiggle room for Saleh as Yemen exit looms

DUBAI (Reuters) – The verbal acceptance of a Gulf Arab handover plan by the government of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh should begin the final countdown on his 33 years in power — but leaves him considerable room for maneuver.

Saleh, the ultimate political survivor, is due to resign within 30 days of signing the plan — but he has yet to sign, and opposition leaders, wary of tactical ploys after a near-deal fell through last month, have stopped short of full endorsement.

Apr 14, 2011

Gulf broadcasters find red line in uprisings

DUBAI (Reuters) – Pan-Arab broadcasters who played a key role reporting Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt are helping dynastic rulers police the gates of the Gulf to stop the revolts from spreading on their patch, analysts say.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera, the leading Arabic language network, was pivotal in keeping up momentum during protests that toppled Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, both entrenched rulers who were no friends of Qatar’s ruling Al Thani dynasty.

Apr 14, 2011

Gulf media find their red line in uprisings: Bahrain

DUBAI, April 14 (Reuters) – Pan-Arab broadcasters who played
a key role reporting Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt are
helping dynastic rulers police the gates of the Gulf to stop the
revolts from spreading on their patch, analysts say.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera, the leading Arabic language network,
was pivotal in keeping up momentum during protests that toppled
Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, both entrenched rulers
who were no friends of Qatar’s ruling Al Thani dynasty.

    • 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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