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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 18)

Iran's Hassan Rouhani meets Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Mascat on 12 March 2014. Image from] Iran's Hassan Rouhani meets Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Mascat on 12 March 2014. Image from]

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Monday night of every week.]

Regional and International Relations

Saudi listing of Brotherhood as terrorist group complicates Gulf ties Yara Bayoumy and Sylvia Westall examine the implications of the Saudi move for GCC relations in general, and Saudi-Qatari relations in particular.

How the Middle East has gone cool towards Qatar A news report on people’s views of Qatar in the region following recent attempts to isolate the country.

Qatar defends foreign policy over Gulf rift Qatar’s foreign minister emphasizes that Doha’s policy is based on “openness towards all.”

Qatar crisis ‘may get worse’ A news report on fears among some Gulf states that the crisis with Qatar may be prolonged.

Qatar prepares for sanctions if Brotherhood dispute escalates Simeon Kerr writes on the deterioration of relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the prospect of economic pressures on Qatar.

Unchartered Gulf waters Hussein Haridy argues that recent efforts to isolate Qatar herald the emergence of a new alliance in the region.

Qatari crisis in context Mohamed Al-Said Idris analyzes the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the context of the Saudi-Qatari rift.

What will come of the Saudi-Qatari feud? Nahed Hattar argues that Saudi measures against Qatar will push the latter to retaliate through destabilizing the kingdom internally and undermining the Saudi role in Syria.

Oman’s foreign minister downplays GCC rift Bin Alawi maintains that ties among the Gulf states will be amended with time.

Saudi and Kuwait arrest Brotherhood members The two Gulf states arrest members of the Muslim Brotherhood after Cairo submits an international arrest warrant on them.

Drone deaths rise in Afghanistan and Yemen Ben Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur, announces that civilian deaths caused by drone strikes increased in 2013.

Egypt's Sisi in UAE in first visit to Gulf Egypt’s military chief and presidential favorite visits the Gulf state to attend joint military exercises there.

Contracting the UAE Sherine Abdel-Razek reflects on the implication of the Egyptian army’s decision to contract Arabtec, Dubai’s largest construction firm, to build affordable housing units all over Egypt.

UAE summons Iraq envoy over 'terrorism' claim The United Arab Emirates summons the Iraqi ambassador to protest the Iraqi prime minister's claim that Saudi Arabia supports terrorism.

Saudis slams terrorism charges by Iraqi PM Riyadh asserts that Nouri al-Maliki’s accusations are not founded.

Saudi Arabia loans Pakistan $1.5 billion to shore up economy Mehreen Zahra-Malik writes on the Saudi loan to Pakistan.

Saudi Crown Prince starts official visit to China A news report on the crown prince’s official visit to China.

Iran tries to allay Gulf Arab nuclear fears The Iranian foreign minister emphasizes that Iran’s message to the Gulf states is that of “friendship, fraternity and cooperation.”

Iran’s Rouhani in Oman to boost ties with Gulf ally A news report on the Iranian president’s visit to Oman last week.

Oman, Iran agree to build submarine gas pipeline Muscat signs an agreement with Tehran to build a submarine pipeline to import gas from Iran.

Reports and Opinions

Lunch with the FT: Prince Turki al-Faisal Edward Luce interviews the Saudi prince, the former head of Saudi intelligence for twenty-four years.

The Saudi royal family: Palace coop An article on the power and wealth of the Saudi ruling family.

Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia? Heather Saul reports on the baby names that the Saudi minister of interior banned recently.

Shura Council member rejects ban on baby names A member of the Shura Council denounces the civil authorities’ ban on fifty names.

Saudi’s Lonely, Costly Bid for Sunni-Shiite Equality Robert F. Worth writes on Mikhlif al-Shammari, a Saudi national who has been jailed and declared an infidel for calling upon Sunni Muslims to treat Shiite Muslims as equals.

Saudi activist calls for women’s ministry Maha Al Muneef, a doctor and activist, calls for the establishment of a ministry to look after women and children.

Floods kill 7 in Saudi Arabia A news report on the death toll caused by floods in the Saudi city of Ha’il.

Oman rain death toll rises to 6 The heavy rain in the Gulf state leaves six people dead.

UAE strives to improve respect for human rights The minister of labor says his country continues to improve human rights records and to provide better lifestyles for workers.

Repression in Bahrain

Bomb wounds two policemen in Bahraini Shi'ite village A news report on an explosion in the village of al-Eker last week, which left two soldiers dead.

Bahrain Saddam commemoration stirs controversy Habib Toumi writes on the controversy over the display of a large picture of the former Iraqi president during an international cultural diversity festival hosted by the University of Bahrain.

Bahrain calls for united front against terror The Bahraini interior minister calls for a reorganization of security arrangements among Arab countries in order to enable them to deal with unexpected crises.

Crisis in Yemen

Saudis hardened by wars in Syria, Iraq join al Qaeda in Yemen Rania El Gamal argues that Saudi militants who left Iraq and Syria to fight in Yemen are responsible for the spike in al-Qa‘ida attacks in Yemen.

Helping or hurting Yemen? Nasser Arrabyee argues that UN Security Council Resolution 2140, which aims to facilitate the implementation of the outcomes of the national dialogue, needs to be applied in a politically sensitive manner.

Two Yemeni soldiers killed in Al Houthi attack At least forty people died last week in clashes between the Houthis and Sunni tribesmen in northwestern Yemen.

Yemen army, separatists swap prisoners amid truce A news report on a prisoner exchange between the Yemeni army and southern separatists.

Yemen troops kill southern activist: group Yemeni troops shoot dead a young activist from Aden’s Southern Movement.

Rebels rally in Yemen city demanding government quit Houthi rebels demonstrate in Omran, chanting “down with the corrupt government.”


Cairo extends detention of Al Jazeera staff A criminal court extends the detention of a journalist working for Al Jazeera Arabic, and postpones the trial of the three journalists working for Al Jazeera English. 

Saudi Arabia closes local al Jazeera office over Qatar’s backing for the Muslim Brotherhood Patrick Cockburn reports on the Saudi intention to close the local office of Al Jazeera in the kingdom, following the withdrawal of the Qatari ambassador to Riyadh.


Saudi book fair bans 'blasphemous' Mahmoud Darwish works after protest Alison Flood reports on the removal of the Palestinian poet’s work from the Riyadh International Book Fair because they contain “blasphemous passages.”

Saudis ban books at fair in wide-ranging crackdown Saudi authorities ban hundreds of books at the Riyadh International Book Fair.

Middle East ban for Hollywood’s Noah epic The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Qatar ban the Hollywood film for its depiction of a prophet.

Human Rights

Dispatches: Saudi Arabia Talks Human Rights in Geneva, Represses Rights at Home Adam Coogle analyzes the address delivered by the president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission at the opening of the UN Human Rights Council.

Yemen: Lethal Force Against Southern Protesters Human Rights Watch condemns the death of a young activist affiliated with the Southern Movement.

Torture in Oman, Repression in Saudi Arabia and UAE / Side Event at the United Nations Human Rights Council The Gulf Center for Human Rights, in conjunction with other human rights organizations, issues a report on human rights violations in the three Gulf states.

The GCC Agreement Imposes Further Restrictions on Public Liberties The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its concern over new security agreements among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. 


الدوحة: لا تفاوض على سياستنا الخارجية
Doha asserts that it will not change its foreign policy. 

قطر ليست جزيرة
Rabi' Barakat argues that Qatar, no longer a mere island, is a regional power now. 

مجلس التعاون يصارع الموت بعد الضربة القاضية السعودية
Said al-Shihabi argues that the Gulf Cooperation Council is on its deathbed after the Saudi move to isolate Qatar. 

تُحرج أميركا وتدفع قطر إلى حضن المقاومة: «ضربة المعلم» السعودية
Nahed Hattar argues that Saudi measures against Qatar will push the latter to retaliate through destabilizing the kingdom internally and undermining the Saudi role in Syria. 

السعودية طلبت من قطر إغلاق قناة "الجزيرة"
Saudi Arabia proposed the closure of Al Jazeera network during the recent meeting of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council in its efforts to limit the influence of Qatar. 

خلافات مجلس التعاون الخليجي!
A political cartoon depicting the split among the Gulf Cooperation Council states. 

صحيفة اماراتية: نقل اجتماعات مجلس التعاون الخليجي من قطر إلى السعودية
The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council decide to hold their meetings in Riyadh, rather than Doha, from now on, according an Emirati newspaper. 

وزير خارجية عُمان يعتبر الأزمة الخليجية سحابة عابرة وليست "طلاقا بالثلاث"
Suleiman Haj Ibrahim reports on the Omani foreign minister's statement that the crisis among the Gulf states is temporary and does not constitute a final break. 

"معركة" الرياض ـ الدوحة: ما الذي سيفعله أوباما؟
Ali Shaqir reflects on President Barack Obama's options for dealing with the conflict between Doha and Riyadh. 

تركيا والقرارات السعودية: إحياء خلافات تاريخية؟
Mohammed Nour al-Din examines the impact of the recent Saudi decision—in particular the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and the efforts to isolate Qatar—on Turkey. 

نائب: مساع خليجية لإقناع الأردن بالمشاركة في عزل قطر 'دبلوماسيا' 
A Jordanian member of parliament speaks of efforts of some Gulf states to convince Jordan to take part in the isolation of Qatar "diplomatically." 

الأردن يقاوم إجباره على تبني ‘الأجندة السعودية’ ضد الأخوان المسلمين وتعديلات على برنامج زيارة أوباما إلى الخليج واستمرار  الخلافات في 'الخليجي' 
Bassam al-Badareen analyzes the pressure on Jordan to adopt the "Saudi agenda" against the Muslim Brotherhood, and the ongoing rift among the Gulf states. 

البحرين: أراضي دولة ‘شقيقة’ استخدمت لاستهداف أمننا
Bahrain's minister of interior claimed that a neighboring country, which he refused to name, was used to destabilize his country.  

مستشار الرئيس اليمني لشؤون الدفاع والأمن لـ ‘القدس العربي’: على إيران الكف عن تدخلاتها في دول المنطقة
Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar, a military consultant to the Yemeni president, emphasizes that Iran needs to stop interfering in the affairs of the region. 

مستشار الرئيس اليمني: ما لم تكف جماعة الحوثي عن إشعال الحروب سنوقفها عند حدها
Khalid al-Hamadi writes on a statement made by a consultant to the Yemeni president, that the regime will deal firmly with the Houthis if they persist in their wars. 

تبادل الاسرى بين قوات الجيش والحراك الجنوبي وسط هدنة في اليمن
A news report on a prisoner exchange between the Yemeni army and the southern separatist movement. 

مقتل جنديين يمنيين وستة من الحوثيين قرب صنعاء
A news report on the death of two soldiers and six Houthis during clashes between the two groups near Hamdan in Yemen. 

اليمن: مسيرة جمعة عمران الحوثية المسلحة تمر بسلام وسفراء الدول الراعية للمبادرة الخليجية يوجهون رسائل لتحجيم الجماعات المسلحة
Khalid al-Hamadi reports on a peaceful demonstration by the Houthis in Omran, and on the efforts to contain the increasing power of the group. 

مقتل 3عناصر من القاعدة خلال تفخيخ سيارة بجنوب اليمن
Three members of al-Qai’da die in a car explosion in Yemen. 

السلطات السعودية تلقي القبض على عضو الإخوان المسلمين أكرم الشاعر استجابة لطلب مصر
Saudi authorities arrest a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Akram al-Sha'ir, upon a request made by Cairo.  

 "الإخوان" عن القرار السعودي: ابحثوا عن مصر
Ibrahim Munir, the Secretary General of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, asserts that the organization, which was added to a terrorist list in Saudi Arabia recently, does not have a branch in the kingdom. 

اتفاق مصري خليجي على تتبّع أعضاء «الإخوان» في الدول العربية
Aya al-Gharib analyzes the efforts of Egypt and the Gulf states to target members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Arab countries. 

خيارات أميركا الخاطئة: «الإخوان»... والسعودية
Bilal Nassir criticizes US policies toward Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia. 

’مشعل طلب الرحيل لـ’منع تفاقم الخلافات مع السعودية
Walid Awad reports on the request submitted by Khalid Mashal, the leader of Hamas political bureau, to the Qatari authorities to leave Qatar in order to prevent further deterioration of Saudi-Qatari relations. 

قطر و«الصودا ستريم»: الوجه الآخر لضرب الاقتصاد الفلسطيني؟
Alaa al-Timimi analyzes the implication of Qatar's decision to employ twenty thousand Palestinians from the West Bank for the Palestinian economy. 

روحاني يزور عمان غدا لبحث التعاون الثنائي و’التوتر في الخليج' 
The Iranian president pays a visit to Oman to discuss relations between the two countries.  

علاقات إيران وعُمان: التأسيس لحلف محوري
Ali Hashim examines Iranian-Omani relations and the efforts to build an alliance between the two states. 

السعودية تبرئ نفسها من دعم الإرهاب!
Mohammed Mahmoud Murtada analyzes the Saudi authorities' recent terrorist list, and the kingdom's efforts to absolve itself from supporting terrorism. 

محاولة لفهم موقف السعودية والإمارات
Abd al-Ali Hami al-Din reflects on recent measures taken by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with regard to Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood.

على هامش رغبة الإمارات العربية في استضافة قوات مصرية
Mohammed Abd al-Hakam Diyab examines the Emirati regime's desire to host an Egyptian military base on its soil.  

سفير قطر في لبنان لـ’القدس العربي’: الدوحة لعبت دورا إنسانيا للافراج عن راهبات معلولا ولم تدفع أي مبالغ مالية
The Qatari ambassador to Lebanon speaks on the Qatari role in releasing the nuns in Maaloula in Syria last week. 

قطر تنفي تصريحات سعد الدين إبراهيم بشأن لقائه مع الشيخة موزا
Qatar denies a statement made by the Egyptian author and activist, Saad al-Din Ibrahim, regarding his meeting with Sheikha Mozah, mother of the Qatari emir, during his visit to the Gulf state. 

الإمارات تحتج على اتهامات المالكي للسعودية بالإرهاب… وتتجاهل تهجمه على قطر
The United Arab Emirates summons the Iraqi ambassador to protest the Iraqi prime minister's criticism of Saudi Arabia, but it ignores his attack on Qatar.

قطر وسوريا تتبادلان الإتهامات في مجلس حقوق الإنسان حول العنف في سوريا
Qatar and Syria exchange accusations over the violence in Syria during the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. 

ولي العهد السعودي يدعو المجتمع الدولي للضغط على الأسد لـ'وقف سفك دماء السوريين' 
The Saudi crown prince calls upon the international community to exert pressure on the Syrian regime to stop the bloodshed of the Syrian people. 

 الأحوال المدنية تمنع 50 اسما عن مواليد المملكة
A list of baby names banned from use in Saudi Arabia. 

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