Saudi Arabia intends to build an oil pipeline project in the province of Al Mahrah to secure an alternative route to the Iranian-controlled Strait of Hormuz for exporting its oil. In the meantime, the kingdom is stirring up discord, and trying to draw Oman into the fray, to advance its energy agenda.
The global media has seized control of the Saudi narrative, away from reform, technology, and NEOM to focus on human rights and civil liberties in the kingdom. Can Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) regain control of the talking points, or will sensational stories about Saudi citizens continue to dominate the headlines?
India now has the highest oil and natural gas consumption in the world and will for the foreseeable future. With exorbitant and ever-increasing energy demands, India is under pressure to diversify its energy supply.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have financed terrorism under the guise of charity and money transfers. Meanwhile, in just the last year, the two Gulf nations combined have spent more than $50 million on public relations firms to sanitize and polish their image in the U.S.
One of the oldest members of OPEC, Qatar, decided to withdraw from the oil cartel effective January 1, 2019. While several other countries have left OPEC before, Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern country to do so. Although its decision to depart will not disrupt the oil syndicate, there are key implications both for this small Arab nation and for OPEC.
Saudi Arabia has spent millions of dollars on public relations campaigns to enhance its image and promote its national interests on Capitol Hill. Recent global events, however, may temporarily deter Saudi Arabia’s powerful lobby in Washington and undermine Riyadh’s ability to achieve its long-term political goals in the Middle East—and beyond.
The changing climate portends more extreme weather events that are likely to hurt global food supplies and raise prices. While the rich countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are currently food secure due to their strong buying power, they are too vulnerable to supply fluctuations because of near total food import dependency, growing population rates, and declining freshwater and rainfall to be able to boost domestic food production.
Despite scant evidence against him, the United Arab Emirates has issued Matthew Hedges a life sentence, claiming that he is not an academic researcher, but a spy. Now, the Emirates’ international reputation is at risk.
Despite sanctions in place against Iran for many years, the United Arab Emirates’ trade with and exports to Iran has grown, making UAE the biggest back door for breaching Western-imposed sanctions. Will anything change now with the latest rounds of sanctions re-imposed on Iran?
The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi caused global outrage and put the Saudi crown in a difficult diplomatic position vis-à-vis the international community. But the Arab and Muslim world have remained silent. Will this change with the outcome of the Khashoggi investigation? And what impact will it have on the kingdom’s reputation as the Custodian of the Muslim world’s holiest sites?
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