Chinese manoeuvres further confounding Middle East

I was in Doha, Qatar, for a conference on 13-14 November 2017, which was being held against the backdrop of the continued Saudi Arabia-led blockade of Qatar since June 2017 and the occurrence coincidentally of three other sensational, Saudi-related events on November 4.

The first and most astonishing of the three events was the arrest and incarceration of dozens of Saudi princes, serving ministers, and billionaires in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Riyadh, on charges of corruption, linked to the country’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s reform plans for Saudi Arabia. The second was the resignation of the Lebanese prime minister, announced on TV in Riyadh. The third was the firing of a missile on Riyadh airport by Houthi rebels from Yemen, which Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United States, have been bombing for the last two and a half years: the Saudis took the opportunity to up the ante against Iran even further.

Despite the unprecedented nature of all four events, Doha was preternaturally calm, with the population united in defending their Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, most visibly by painting his face on high rise office buildings and homes. But the consequences of the blockade were visible in the nationalities of the participants at the conference, the 12th in an annual series…

Read more : Gatewayhouse, 23.11.2017