From the Middle East to the East China Sea, the last week’s events have offered a particularly vivid example of the much-heralded shift in foreign policy priorities under the administration of President Barack Obama.
Saudi Arabia's unyielding opposition to last week's interim nuclear agreement with Iran has triggered speculation about its own projection of military power in the Middle East.
The devil is in the details. This cliché is already being invoked regarding the deal concluded this past weekend between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, along with the European Union’s High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, and some of the other ArabGulf states are deeply sceptical of the Barack Obama administration’s efforts to reach a deal with Iran limiting its nuclear programme and to improve U.S.-Iranian relations generally.
The multi-billion-dollar Middle East arms market - bolstered by hefty purchases by oil-blessed Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Qatar - has always been one of the biggest bonanzas to the U.S. defence industry.
Saudi Arabia’s public anger against the United States masks the kingdom’s growing concern about its diminishing influence in the Persian Gulf and the wider Arab world.
While Monday’s meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah may have helped calm the waters, the latest anxieties and anger expressed by Riyadh toward the United States has reignited debate here about the value of the two countries’ long-standing alliance.
Saudi authorities rounded up more than 4,000 illegal foreign workers at the start of a nationwide crackdown ultimately aimed at creating more jobs for locals, media reported on Tuesday.
When Saudi Arabia permitted women to vote but not drive, a newspaper cartoon last year captured the double standard with dark irony.
New and unexpected strains in Washington’s ties with two of its closest Middle Eastern allies -- Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- have underlined the difficult challenges the administration of President Barack Obama faces in navigating its way in the region’s increasingly treacherous and turbulent waters.
The talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries last week bring to mind Winston Churchill’s 1942 description of World War II: “It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
When Saudi Arabia sought the presidency of the General Assembly in a bid for U.N. glory back in 1991, the oil-rich kingdom was facing Papua New Guinea in a race to head the highest policy-making body in the organisation.
Shortly after President Obama’s startling telephone conversation with Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, a Saudi Arabian journalist wrote that “The phone call between Obama and Rouhani shocked the Gulf states, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and other countries.” No matter which president initiated the call, he wrote, “What is important to know is what stands behind the conversation and how deep the ties are between America and Iran.”
Tarzie Vittachi, a Sri Lankan journalist who in his final years was the bemused occupant of a high United Nations office, once summed up with his characteristic terse wit a central truth about international affairs: “Everything is about something else.”
New international migration figures released by the United Nations Wednesday show that more people than ever are living abroad. Around 232 million of the global population of seven billion are considered international migrants, simply defined as persons living outside their country of birth.