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Jul 30, 2015

Arab-led bloc: First aim is to restore Yemeni government in Aden, Sanaa later

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Saudi led-coalition fighting to reinstate Yemen’s exiled government aims first to set it up in the mostly recaptured port city of Aden and then return it to Sanaa if possible via peace talks with Houthi foes, a coalition spokesman said on Thursday.

But if the Iranian-allied Houthis did not eventually agree to quit Sanaa, the government would have the right to “get them out” by force, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said in an interview.

Jul 30, 2015

First aim is to restore Yemeni government in Aden, Sanaa later – Arab-led bloc

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Saudi led-coalition fighting to reinstate Yemen’s exiled government aims first to set it up in the mostly recaptured port city of Aden and then return it to Sanaa if possible via peace talks with Houthi foes, a coalition spokesman said on Thursday.

But if the Iranian-allied Houthis did not eventually agree to quit Sanaa, the government would have the right to “get them out” by force, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said in an interview.

Jul 29, 2015

Gulf Arab power UAE chides EU over opening to Iran

DUBAI (Reuters) – Gulf Arab power the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday criticized the European Union for seeking Iranian cooperation in stabilizing the region, saying that an “aggressive” Tehran was helping to polarize the countries there,

A senior UAE official said that EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who visited Iran this week, failed to understand Iran’s aims and her praise for the commitment shown by its negotiators in nuclear talks appeared misplaced.

Jul 25, 2015

Bahrain says foils arms smuggling bid, recalls Iran envoy

ABU DHABU/DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain said on Saturday it had foiled an arms smuggling plot by two Bahrainis with ties to Iran and announced the recall of the Gulf island kingdom’s ambassador to Tehran for consultations after what it said were repeated hostile Iranian statements.

Bahrain made the announcements on the eve of a tour of some Arab states by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif aimed at calming tensions following a historic nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. He is due to visit Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq on Sunday.

Jul 1, 2015

Islamic State weaves web of support in Gulf Arab states

KUWAIT/DUBAI (Reuters) – When a Saudi Arabian man flew to Kuwait in the early hours of Friday to carry out the country’s worst militant attack, a bomb vest, Kuwaiti-style Arab robes, a place to prepare, and a car and driver to take him to his target were all lined up for him.

The vest had been ferried across from Saudi Arabia a few days before in a complex operation suggesting Islamic State now commands a capable network of militants, propagandists and sympathizers on the Arabian peninsula, a security source said.Among those Fahd Suliman Abdul-Muhsen al-Qabaa contacted when his overnight flight via Bahrain landed, one had a family tie to Islamic State and another links to al Qaeda attacks in Kuwait a decade earlier, a security source and Kuwaiti media have reported.

Jul 1, 2015

Insight – Islamic State weaves web of support in Gulf Arab states

KUWAIT/DUBAI (Reuters) – When a Saudi Arabian man flew to Kuwait in the early hours of Friday to carry out the country’s worst militant attack, a bomb vest, Kuwaiti-style Arab robes, a place to prepare, and a car and driver to take him to his target were all lined up for him.

The vest had been ferried across from Saudi Arabia a few days before in a complex operation suggesting Islamic State now commands a capable network of militants, propagandists and sympathisers on the Arabian peninsula, a security source said.Among those Fahd Suliman Abdul-Muhsen al-Qabaa contacted when his overnight flight via Bahrain landed, one had a family tie to Islamic State and another links to al Qaeda attacks in Kuwait a decade earlier, a security source and Kuwaiti media have reported.

May 12, 2015

Camp David summit to show Obama Gulf’s generational shift

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – The new generation of Gulf Arab leaders meeting U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday appear more assertive than their fathers, want a range of alliances instead of dependence on Washington, and may be readier to say ‘no’ to their main ally.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, 79, caused a stir this week when he said he would send his two heirs to the United States for the summit instead, raising fears about Gulf anger over U.S. policy and reluctance to bless its plans for an Iran nuclear deal.

May 11, 2015

King’s absence from U.S. summit shows Saudi displeasure over Iran push

DUBAI/RIYADH (Reuters) – The Saudi king’s absence from a regional summit to be hosted by President Barack Obama shows how Gulf states, displeased by what they see as U.S. indifference to Iranian meddling in the Arab world, may hesitate to bless any nuclear deal with Tehran.

Analysts and diplomats in the Middle East described King Salman’s decision to skip the meeting at Camp David this week as a snub, despite denials from U.S. officials and some Saudi insiders.

Apr 2, 2015

Aden showdown tests Saudi project to tame Yemen

DUBAI (Reuters) – A week of bombing by a Saudi-led coalition has failed to force Yemen’s Houthis to the negotiating table or rupture their alliance with a powerful ex-president, and the defiant militia could now claim the second city of Aden as its next prize.

The fall of the southern port would be more than a symbolic blow to Riyadh: It would complicate Saudi efforts to persuade Yemeni tribal and army units to turn on the Iranian-allied Houthis.

Apr 2, 2015

Insight – Aden showdown tests Saudi project to tame Yemen

DUBAI (Reuters) – A week of bombing by a Saudi-led coalition has failed to force Yemen’s Houthis to the negotiating table or rupture their alliance with a powerful ex-president, and the defiant militia could now claim the second city of Aden as its next prize.

The fall of the southern port would be more than a symbolic blow to Riyadh: It would complicate Saudi efforts to persuade Yemeni tribal and army units to turn on the Iranian-allied Houthis.