Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 22nd October 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last November Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, travelled to Riyadh for an interview with the heir to the Saudi throne – an interview that has since proved memorable for all the wrong reasons. Under a headline announcing "Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at...
  • 15th October 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The disappearance and suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is the latest in a long line of reasons for questioning Britain's relationship with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies.  It's a relationship that has never been viewed with...
  • 7th August 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia launched an extraordinary campaign against Canada yesterday. Besides expelling the Canadian ambassador, it announced a trade freeze and a suspension of flights to Toronto and said thousands of Saudis currently studying in Canada will be transferred to other countries. In a more...
  • 3rd August 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia blamed rebels for two reported airstrikes on the Yemeni city of Hodeidah yesterday. More than 20 people died when the strikes hit a fish market and the entrance to a hospital, according to witnesses and medical staff. Colonel Turki al-Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led...
  • 24th July 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Largely unnoticed by the British public, the Emir of Qatar has arrived in London for a visit which includes talks with prime minister Theresa May. Visits by Gulf potentates don't generally arouse much interest in Britain and the Emir's arrival is no exception – though it hasn't escaped the...
  • 12th July 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In a move that appears to license war crimes, the Saudi king has issued a pardon for "all military men" involved in the Yemen conflict.  An announcement by the government news agency on Tuesday said the pardon would apply to "military and disciplinary penalties, in regard of some...
  • 13th June 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In Yemen, the long-expected military assault on the port city of Hodeidah began this morning. Hodeida is currently held by the Houthis who control much of northern Yemen. According to local reports it is being attacked from the south by the Amaliqa ("Giants") Brigades – a surviving section...
  • 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...

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