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Showing posts from June, 2017

Gulf crisis stalemate fuels fears in Muslim Asia

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By James M. Dorsey
Vulnerable Asian states are bracing for possible pressure to back a Saudi-UAE boycott of Qatar as efforts to mediate an end to the almost month-old Gulf crisis seemingly stall and Saudi Arabia and the UAE struggle to rally credible Muslim and international support for their campaign against the recalcitrant Gulf state.
Countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan, two of the most populous Muslim states, as well as India, home to the world’s fourth largest Muslim population, fear that Saudi Arabia could threaten to expel millions of migrant workers and expatriates in a bid to force them to join the boycott of Qatar.
Saudi Arabia has a history of using as leverage migrant workers, whose remittances constitute the backbone of foreign currency liquidity of many supplier countries and whose Gulf jobs reduce pressure on domestic labour markets. In the most dramatic instance, Saudi Arabia expelled some 700,000 Yemenis  in 1990 in retaliation for Yemen’s refusal to wholeheartedl…

Crisis puts future of Saudi reforms and GCC in doubt

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By James M. Dorsey
A three-week-old, Saudi-UAE-led diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar threatens to complicate newly promoted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reform plans and undermine the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Middle East’s most successful regional association. Designed to impose Saudi Arabia and the UAE ‘s will on a recalcitrant Qatar, the boycott suggests that power politics irrespective of cost trump the need for reforms in Prince Mohammed’s world.
The stakes for 31-year old Prince Mohammed and Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al Saud family are high. Failure to deliver sustainable economic and social reforms could undermine the prince’s popularity whose age has allowed him to connect with significant segments of the kingdom’s youth, who account for two thirds of the population, in ways his predecessors could not.
“The isolation of Qatar is but one example of how the politics of the Gulf Arab states are getting in the way of economic diversification and transfor…

“El fútbol es una estrategia de seguridad para Qatar” (JMD in El Pais)

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“El fútbol es una estrategia de seguridad para Qatar” James M. Dorsey, experto en fútbol en Oriente Medio y el norte de África, no cree que las recientes rupturas diplomáticas pongan en riesgo el Mundial de 2022 Otros 3 Conéctate Conéctate

Saudi-UAE demands challenge fundamentals of international relations

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By James M. Dorsey
A list of 13 conditions for lifting the Saudi-UAE led embargo of Qatar handed to the Gulf state this week by Kuwaiti mediators offers a first taste of newly-promoted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s foreign policy approach that if endorsed by the international community would call into question fundamental principles governing international relations.
The demand, that if accepted by Qatar would turn the Gulf state into a Saudi vassal, were unlikely to facilitate a quick resolution of the three-week-old Gulf crisis. In fact, they may complicate a resolution that would allow all parties to claim victory and save face.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have reportedly given Qatar ten days to comply with their demands, according to the list that was reviewed by The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. Gulf states have yet to comment on the list. It was also not clear what steps the two states might take if Qatar rejected the demands.
Qatar has insisted that i…

FIFA’s new rule to fight racism in football (JMD quoted)

FIFA’s new rule to fight racism in football  FIFA See 8 more  Last month the Ghanaian footballer Sulley Muntari left the pitch in disgust. During a match in Italy’s top league he was racially abused by a section of fans. He complained to the referee expecting a sympathetic ear, but instead was shown a yellow card. Fan-to-player racism is commonplace in professional football. Now football’s international governing body FIFA has introduced a new rule it hopes will stop racism on the terraces for good. Different governing bodies have made gestural efforts to kick racism out of the game: the ‘No to Racism’ video, produced by the European football association UEFA and shown during Champions League matches, featured football’s biggest superstars condemning racial abuse. Yet, as the Muntari case and countless others show, these campaigns are yet to succeed. FIFA’s new scheme is currently on trial at the Confederations Cup. During the tournament referees will be able to stop and suspend matche…