Mashreq–Worldwide Relations


Britain Turns Its Back on BDS

The organization dedicated to isolating and delegitimizing Israel by way of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) has so far not reacted officially to the announcement that Britain’s Prince William is to visit Israel this summer. Since he will also be visiting Jordan and what are described in the announcement as “the Palestinian occupied territories”, and since both Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, have welcomed the news, hard-line BDS supporters do not have much of a leg to stand on. Moreover Prince William probably ranks considerably higher in the public popularity stakes than Roger Waters, Lorde…
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Pakistan Struggles to Get a Grip on Militancy and Ultra-Conservatism

Seventy years after its birth, Pakistan is struggling to get a grip on Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism and its militant offshoots that were aided and abetted by successive governments as well as Saudi Arabia and at times the United States. The stakes for Pakistan are high as it confronts mounting international pressure that includes China, its closest ally, to crackdown on militancy.


Impact of Conflicts on Long-Term Stability in Asia

  A host of conflicts, stretching across the Asian landmass from the Middle East to Southeast Asia and northwest China, are likely to spark violence, complicate economic development, and dash hopes for sustainable stability.


Russia – The Dominant Influence on Syria’s Future

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is a man who thrives on seizing the initiative.  Let him spot a chance to gain a diplomatic advantage, and he will not hesitate to act.  Aware that the Geneva-based talks on settling the Syrian conflict were faltering, and realizing that no other player was on the field, he jumped forward to chance his arm at brokering a Russian-led peace deal.


A New Cold War?

The struggle for dominance between Saudi Arabia and Iran – one the leader of the Sunni Muslim world, the other of the Shi’ite – is being conducted up and down the Middle East.  In Syria and Yemen, the conflict has descended into open conflict.  In Iraq it is largely a struggle for political superiority.  Elsewhere the two countries are competing by proxy, providing varying degrees of support to opposing sides in disputes in Bahrain, Qatar, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.


Did They or Didn’t They? The Battle for Control of Brussels’ Grand Mosque

It’s hard to prove beyond doubt a direct causal link between militancy and Saudi-inspired ultra-conservative forms of Sunni Muslim Islam. That hasn’t stopped Belgium’s parliament from attempting to wrest control from Saudi Arabia of Brussel’s downtown Grand Mosque after three years in which Belgians played a prominent role in Islamic State attacks in the Belgian capital as well as Paris.


Rohingya Plight Feeds Muslim Assertiveness

The plight of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority is becoming the Muslim world’s latest rallying call emulating the emotional appeal of the Palestinians in the second half of the 20th century.

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