Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 23rd May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    News from Saudi Arabia about the arrests of ten or more rights activists has been viewed with a mixture of shock and surprise in western media. Just a few years ago, though, no one would have been surprised: it was simply the way the Saudi regime behaved. But that was before Mohammed bin...
  • 25th March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Centre for War and Peace Studies was established in Rome last May "to support experts, academics, researchers, diplomats, governments, and civil society activists in their attempts to help countries in conflict, crisis and transition around the world". It sounded like a worthy if over-...
  • 7th March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The roadside signs show a bearded man in Arab head-dress with the words "He is bringing change to Saudi Arabia". Passing drivers, unless they are followers of Middle Eastern politics, may wonder who "he" is, but that doesn't really matter. The adverts seem to have been strategically placed so...
  • 1st March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Donald Trump and Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious "professor" in the Trump-Russia affair, have almost certainly never met but one day last year their paths crossed in the unlikeliest of places: Saudi Arabia. On 21 May the American president was in Riyadh for a summit attended by leaders of more...
  • 12th February 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A British member of parliament was paid £15,000 (almost $21,000) for helping to organise a "Qatar opposition" conference in London, it emerged yesterday. Daniel Kawczynski, a Conservative MP and a strong supporter of Saudi Arabia, declared the money in the register of members' interests...
  • 2nd February 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Russia has so far kept a low profile in the Yemen conflict – in contrast to its role in Syria – but that is now changing. Over the last few months it has been stepping up political and diplomatic contacts and advertising itself as a potential mediator. Given Russia's position in Syria, allied...
  • 30th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The official aim of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen is to restore the "legitimate" government of the internationally-recognised but unconstitutionally-elected President Hadi. That was always something of a fantasy and events during the last couple of months have made it even more...
  • 29th January 2018
    By
    Kristian Ulrichsen
    Fighting broke out in Aden yesterday between southern separatists and forces loyal to Yemen's internationally recognised president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. This was not the first time they have clashed but yesterday's outbreak was the most serious so far. At least 10 people are reported to...
  • 26th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya News channel has been fined £120,000 ($170,000) for "serious" breaches of Britain's broadcasting code. Yesterday's announcement came after Ofcom, which regulates broadcasting in the UK, upheld a complaint of "unjust or unfair treatment and unwarranted...
  • 25th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Taxation has never been a prominent feature of life in the wealthy Gulf states – unlike many other countries. But that is changing. Last year Saudi Arabia introduced a "sin tax", doubling the price of tobacco products and sugary drinks. Then, earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and the UAE went a step...
  • 27th December 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Senior legal figures from Arab and African countries are gathering in Rabat today for the annual Middle East Law Conference. The three-day event is held under the patronage of Morocco's king. Justice ministers, public prosecutors and members of supreme courts from countries in the region...
  • 24th December 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A British organisation linked to the Trump-Russia affair is working with Saudi partners and the Moroccan justice ministry to hold a law conference in Rabat this week. Besides helping to host and publicise the event, the London Centre of International Law and Practice (LCILP) will...

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