Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #Gulf

Most recents (24)

Actions and policies of ousted ex-PM #ImranKhan and his #PTIGovernment have led to arrests, denial of jobs, travel bans, and deportations of Pakistanis from #Turkey #UAE #France #SaudiArabia #China. All in just three years. The latest is Saudi crackdown on pro-Khan Pakistanis. /1
In April, ex-PM #ImranKhan's incitement was responsible for Pakistanis getting radicalized in two countries: #Turkey+#SaudiArabia. 🇹🇷 arrested 27 pro-Khan Pakistanis on Apr 12. 🇸🇦 has repeatedly arrested Khan sympathizers in 2019+2020+2021 & 2022. /2

arab.news/jqckz
In 2020, PM #ImranKhan's followers launched online campaign against #Arab-#Israel peace agreement #AbrahamAccords, radicalizing young Pakistanis in the #Gulf who protested on streets in #UAE & #SaudiArabia, leading to loss of jobs, expulsions, visa bans/3

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#Iran-backed #Houthi militia is now involved in at least two attacks resulting in injuries+death of #Pakistan citizens in #KSA+#UAE. In May 2021, Houthis targeted #Jeddah within hours of the arrival of PM #ImranKhan+First Lady [see: ] /1
Apart from killing a #Pakistan citizen, the #Houthi attack on @AdnocGroup facility targets an energy partner of six largest Pakistani oil & gas companies [See ]

[ADNOC statement ]
/2
#Pakistan has so far avoided directly criticizing #Iran-backed proxies in the region in order to avoid altercations with #Tehran and its feared #IRGC/QF paramilitaries. But now #Houthis increasingly pose a direct threat to Pak interests in the #Gulf. /3

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#Iran-backed #Houthi attack in #AbuDhabi comes days after #UAE NSA met Iranian NSA in #Tehran. Meeting appeared cordial in pictures [see ].

Earlier, Iran issued inflammatory statements on UAE-#Israel bilateral exchanges [see ]
The #AbuDhabi attack would mark an escalation in the activities of #Iran-backed militias around the #Gulf region. The first days of the year have seen an escalation in #Iraq against the Iraqi government and #US outposts. [See &
A #Pakistan citizen killed in alleged #Houthi attack on #UAE. If confirmed, this will not be the first time that actions of #Iran-backed militia resulted in Pakistani casualties. Iranian malign activity directly impacts vital Pakistani interests in #Gulf.

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Today, as we celebrate 50 glorious years of this country, I have a little story to share of my family... about my great grandfather who set out an adventure 130 years ago that ended in a land that would one day take on the identity of the #UAE #UAE50
The year was 1880 and he was one of several from the #Bhatia community of #Thatha #Sindh, now #Pakistan, who had heard stories of the waters of the #Gulf a perfect breeding ground for a pearl industry to thrive #UAENationalDay #UAE50
Through stories shared by my late grandmother, my father paint a picture of a tough, brutal landscape that broke spirits in those early years. The scarcity of drinking water, food, coupled with the soaring temperatures taught them tough life lessons. #UAENationalDay #UAE50
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The failed assassination attempt vs #IraqiPM #Kadhimi calls for several observations:
• 1st contextual element: Recent Iraqi elections were clear setback for #Iran (w/out really strengthening the PM’s own constituency; while strengthening #Muqtada_Sadr, a volatile actor).
(1)
(2)
• This has triggered 2 opposite effects:
- need for #Iran & #PMF to reassert control & preeminence on #Iraqi scene (by use of violence among other means).
- (vs) temptation by rivals (mainly #Gulf) to (over?)read setback as a net advantage in their favor.
(3)
• 2nd contextual element:
- Stalling of #Saudi/#Iran talks (#Yemen setback?), w clear #Gulf stiffening (#Lebanon?) as bargaining posture.
- soon new round of Iran/#US talks, w Vienna process becoming in final decisive phase.
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A thread on imagining impacts of the #Metaverse on “my” world. How will the job of a #geopolitics analyst be different? How will this new platform change international relations in general and the #Gulf in particular? Feel free to add your take, it’s simply thinking out loud.
1/
First, meetings & events. #Zoom events are here to stay, alongside in-person ones. But a digital event on #Metaverse could be so much better and closer to a real-life experience, enhanced by instant access to resources 2/
Then, outputs. Will it make sense to write papers when you can produce an interactive output combining texts, recordings, images/videos in the form of a meta-research on #geopolitics on #Metaverse? 3/
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#SaudiArabia expels #Lebanon ambassador. #GCC states expected to follow suit. Decision could impact Lebanese labor; comes after 🇱🇧 govt minister supports #Houthi militia in #Yemen. But this step reflects #Gulf frustration at #Iran-backed #Hezbollah militia's chokehold over 🇱🇧. /1
#Saudi decision to throw out #Lebanon ambassador is not a sudden move but also caps years of #Iran/#IRGC using #Lebanon produce/fruit export trucks to smuggle narcotics into the #Gulf. /2

#Kuwait media tycoon @Ahmadaljaralah says #Lebanon minister's statement is admission of #Iran military interference in #Yemen; calls #Hezbollah chief Nasrallah "Hassan Ammonia" (reference to #Beirut port warehouse explosion) /3

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It’s out! 🎊
My new @ecfr paper on how #Europe can ride the #climate momentum in the #Gulf deploying its #GreenDeal to meet #NetZero & #geopolitical objectives in the region ➡️ bit.ly/2XOK8bG
Read b4 #COP26 #COP26Glasgow
Few take-aways 1/ Image
Good that #SaudiArabia & #UAE have pledged #NetZero but #GCC total domestic emissions are only 2.4% of world’s. The #EU needs to focus on the emissions they export, mostly to #China, I argue how: bit.ly/2XOK8bG 2/
As shown by the #SaudiGreenInitiative & #MiddleEastGreenInitiative + #UAE willingness to host #COP 28, the #GCC leaders now see a political value in embracing the #climate agenda. This paper described what each #GCC country is actually *doing* about it: bit.ly/2XOK8bG 3/
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Interesting coincidence that #US @DeputySecState Wendy Sherman is in #Pakistan two days after her #Iran counterpart Deputy FM Ali Bagheri was here. DepSecState @wendyrsherman played a key role in the original #JCPOA negotiations. /1 ImageImage
#Iran Deputy FM visit in the same week is coincidental. @DeputySecState Wendy Sherman's visit is focused on #Afghanistan, and the "important and longstanding #US-#Pakistan relationship," in her words. Here's @StateDeptSpox statement on the meeting with NSA @YusufMoeed. /2 Image
DepSecState Sherman's visit comes at the intersection of several issues: topping the list is #Afghanistan, but also jitters in #India at the renewed #USPakistan engagement, and the regional security situation [#Gulf+South Asia+#China]. /3
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The #Middle_East after Kabul’s fall; how reshaped?

“The #US withdrawal from #Afghanistan and the #Taliban's new leadership has brought about a multitude of surprising alliances.” haaretz.com/middle-east-ne…
“Without #Qatar’s mediation and involvement, the #US withdrawal would likely have been much more violent and bloody.
Years ago, Qatar was “chosen” by the #Taliban to be the liaison between them and the United States.”
#Qatar became a key state in the #US’ relat w the Islamist group,& arranged the meeting bet @CIA chief #William_Burns & #Taliban. Qatar is now running negos w Taliban over safeguarding Kabul’s airport, which will enable Taliban to start rebuild #Afghanistan & forge int’l ties.”
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#EU Foreign Ministers meet today for #Gymnich. They will discuss #Afghanistan. But then they will discuss the #Gulf. This is a rare occurrence - EU Ministers have discussed #JCPOA often but very rarely regional geopolitics between the #GCC, #Iraq & #Iran. They do now because… ⬇️
…because of the #Baghdad_summit last week and #France’s involvement in it. Most in #EU that #Iraq can be the hub for regional diplomacy in the #Gulf, building on talks btwn #SaudiArabia & #Iran. Reality is that with no progress on #Yemen these talks are shallow but ⬇️
…but I welcome choice to discuss #Gulf geopolitics at a #EU level. Hope there is some realism in acknowledging this is a security matter, not a diplomatic misunderstanding. #US retrenchment will inevitably lead to more #Russia & #China in the Gulf. It is already happening. So ⬇️
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Enough people who know about #Afghanistan are weighing in on the tragic/frightening scenes in #Kabul that there's no need for me to add my 2 cents. I do know something about the #MiddleEast so here are some thoughts about the ripples of the #Taliban victory across the region.1/13
No regional government is thrilled with both the humbling of US power AND the rise of a violent radical Sunni extremist govt in #Kabul allied with al-Qaeda. Some may welcome the former but none want the latter. 2/13
Some, especially in #Turkey and #Qatar, will position themselves as #Taliban-whisperers, offering to tame/interpret/represent #Kabul's new leaders to the outside world. Their real influence is likely to be minimal. Caveat emptor. 3/13
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Reports on #Iran-#SaudiArabia intelligence contact in #Iraq.

#Zarif leaves #Qatar. #Saudi FM lands in #Doha, invites Emir Sheikh Tamim to meet the King in #Riyadh.

#Tehran (& the #US?) appears to try to take the #Gulf on board.

This could isolate #Israel in a revived #JCPOA.
Some in #Vienna appear to want to isolate #Israel. But officials in #Gulf/#GCC face a difficult choice. They have to weigh if a compromise on #JCPOA and weakening Israel's position will resolve the problem of #Iran's malign activities? Or will it be a temporary solution?
The #US is directly engaging #GCC on #JCPOA, while FM #Zarif engages #SaudiArabia through #Qatar and #Iraq.

If the #Gulf comes aboard, #Israel and #Republicans will be effectively sidelined.

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#EXCLUSIVE: Greece’s Foreign Minister @NikosDendias tells Arab News that #Greek #Patriot missiles deal with #SaudiArabia will bolster the Kingdom’s defenses, secure global energy supplies | arab.news/jgmnp
@NikosDendias #INTERVIEW: Greece’s Foreign Minister @NikosDendias tells Arab News #Greek participation in #Saudi development projects is not about money — “this is a project that has a historical component.” | arab.news/jgmnp
@NikosDendias #INTERVIEW: #Greece’s Foreign Minister @NikosDendias tells Arab News that #Turkey “unintentionally” made #EasternMediterranean & #Gulf countries realize they have a common understanding based on international laws | arab.news/jgmnp
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The #IRGC loses a seasoned commander, reports #Iran media. It lost #Soleimani in 2020.
The #IRGC has commanders with impressive experiences: #Soleimani was involved in the #Gulf/#Iraq. #EsmailQaani is touted for his expertise on #Afghanistan+#Pakistan. Hejazi, who died today, was a #Lebanon expert.

☠ Hejazi was also responsible for #IRGC's precision missile program, and oversaw ops in #Syria. In this #thread, contributors in replies suggest possible foul play, and point out confusion over the wording of the cause of death in official announcements.

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#Kuwait's young foreign minister @anmas71 is back in #Pakistan for the first time in 16 yrs (I met him back then). This interesting relationship spans military+strategic issues (#Afghanistan #Iran #Iraq #oil), & a forgotten attempt to save a Pakistani premier from execution. /1
#Kuwait helped #Pakistan withstand international sanctions after the 1998 nuclear tests (with KSA+UAE); was one of top 5 aid givers (with #SaudiArabia #UAE #US #EU) after #Kashmir earthquake 2005. And remains a key oil supplier (along with #KSA). /2

kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails…
Former #Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed (who passed a way in 2020) enjoyed a close relationship with former #Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and landed in #Rawalpindi in May 1977 to show support to embattled #Bhutto just before a military coup toppled him. /3
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#Chabahar port in #Iran, with #India's investment, is a strange story. President #Trump reluctantly excluded it from #US sanctions, and it is the only #Indian-run port #Pakistan signed a sister-city agreement with. Some interesting updates. /1
#Trump was not sympathetic to #India's case on sanctions waivers for #Chabahar & the crude oil imports from #Iran, but he relented on the port only after pressure from #US diplomats, who said even #Pakistan did not object to the #Indian-#Iranian port. /2

indianexpress.com/article/india/…
Iran spent years convincing #China & #Pakistan not to develop #Gwadar, instead reroute the economic corridor #CPEC to #Chabahar citing better security in #Iran compared to #Pakistan & its #Balochistan province. A top Iranian diplomat explains this: /3

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After 10 painful weeks, a compromise was found–covering the shape of the executive and legislature, security arrangements and a timetable for transition. A deal was on the table. The U.N. Security Council was briefed and I was in discussions
1/2 newsweek.com/yemen-diplomac…
with #Saudi officials regarding the venue for a signing ceremony.
1/3
Two days later, with no warning, the airstrikes began. From my hotel window, I watched the ruthless destruction of one of the oldest cities in the world.

A U.N. Security Council resolution provided cover for the horrors that followed. Drafted by the #Saudis, it was rushed
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A foreign policy expert from #Iraq proposes a regional axis made up of #KSA #Egypt #Pakistan #Turkey to balance #Biden policies that apparently mark a return to Obama-era antagonism toward America's traditional allies.

#Israel might be added to this axis. /1
This sparks a long overdue debate on why #America in the last part of #Bush admin and throughout #Obama years pushed its allies under the bus (#Egypt #Pakistan #KSA #Gulf #Turkey) & allowed hostile IRGC-QF militias to circle #Israel. /2
There is no logical answer. And if this theory initially seemed farfetched and conspiratorial, some #Biden admin signals showed it wants to put #America back on the same track of collision with its traditional Mideast allies, including Israel. /3
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#Pakistan-#Egypt FM-level talks.

Issues: #Libya-#Yemen-#Gulf-#Ethiopia-#Gaza-#Kashmir.

Robust military ties but overall weak political exchanges between #Cairo & #Islamabad.

Yet @ImranKhanPTI-@AlsisiOfficial governments have recently been in contact to upgrade cooperation.
#Pakistan & #Egypt revive stalled ties. Pakistani foreign minister meets President Al-Sisi. Agreement to launch high-level political consultations next month. #PakMilitary will participate in drills in Egypt in summer. /2

#Pakistan & #Egypt are often considered two players with imp roles in ensuring #Gulf stability, along regional & intl partners; can help in Mideast peace, in Yemen, in fighting extremism & extremist groups. These are recurring themes in discussions:
/3
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#Turkey, #Pakistan: Inside the Ankara-Islamabad axis. By @jonathan_spyer.

Thoughts:
#Erdogan forced #Pakistan to abandon policy neutrality to condemn #Assad attack that killed #Turkish soldiers.

And asked Islamabad to act against #Iran's #Zeynabioun /1

flip.it/69ylSq
#Turkish & #Pakistani elites+militaries generally are pro-West liberals. This has changed with distinct religious nationalism of #Erdogan+#ImranKhan. Top #Lebanon analyst Hazem Saghieh feels both endangered Muslims in Europe last year. /2
@jonathan_spyer
english.alarabiya.net/en/in-translat…
Are #Erdogan & #ImranKhan forcing a permanent Islamist nationalist tilt in Ankara & Islamabad and reducing their militaries' political roles that helped balance policies?

Two trends to watch. @jonathan_spyer's analysis is an excellent curtain raiser.

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"We welcome #India's emergence as a leading global power and its role as a net security provider in the region."

#US returns to #Obama era's tight embrace of #India. Under #Trump, US tempered tech-related Indian immigration, and twisted India's arm on unfair trade practices.
Resumption of close #US-#India ties under #Biden administration means the #Pakistan-#America relationship will undergo a readjustment. #Afghanistan will anchor ties. But long-term outlook is up in the air, again. /1

#Pakistan failed to deal with #Trump admin which came close to Pakistani position on #Afghanistan; engaged it on #Kashmir. Under PM #ImranKhan govt, Pak showed reticence in engaging the US beyond Afghan peace process. Pak analysts routinely framed #CPEC as part of anti-#US bloc/2
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#Biden administration allows #Houthis to conduct international financial transactions for one month (until Feb. 26). A temporary relief from terror designation, and likely a goodwill gesture toward #Iran./1

#HouthiTerrorismInYemen

Without a political or military settlement, #Houthi takeover of #Yemen will continue to be seen in the region as a first step toward destabilizing #Gulf states, & a threat to energy+economic security, linked to the larger debate on future peace vision vs. extremism in Mideast /2
For all the operational mistakes of the #Yemen govt in exile & its #Gulf backers, #Iran's role in prolonging the war by supporting a proxy is the key. It's not dissimilar to how Tehran prolonged the #Afghanistan civil war in 1990s. /3
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Breaking: Saudi Arabia officially updates its NOTAMs to remove its airspace ban on Qatar, which lasted 3.5 years — a significant moment in the Middle East. #Qatar Image
Latest: Qatar Airways confirm the first commercial flight to overfly Saudi Arabia (for the first time in 3.5 years) will be QR1365 from Doha to Johannesburg, now en-route. #Qatar Image
Qatar A350 bound for South Africa becomes the country’s first commercial airline flight in 3.5 years to cross into Saudi Arabia’s airspace 👇🏽 #Gulf Image
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