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Another tumultuous night in Saudi Arabian politics

The death of King Abdullah in January 2015 resuscitated a debate about reforms in Saudi Arabia. Many suggested at the time that perhaps the inclusion of younger princes in the leadership of the Kingdom might hasten necessary changes. There were positive comments expressed across the region when the 54-year-old Prince Mohammad Bin Nayef was appointed as Crown Prince in April 2015. As a “young” appointment by Saudi leadership standards, this suggested that the Saudi royal family was indeed moving towards reform. The rise of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, a favourite son of King Salman, first as the Minister of Defence and later in charge of the economic transformation process further confirmed the sense of positivity. In June this year, during […]

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Differences between Saudi, UAE may fracture their alliance

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Chief Commander of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mohammed Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is perceived as the “mentor” of the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. King Salman’s ill health has led to the relegation of most of his responsibility to his son Prince Mohammad. He is by a stretch the most powerful leader in terms of economic and military might in the Middle East. He controls one of the richest entities in the world, Aramco, the state owned energy giant. Bin Salman is also the defence minister and the leader of the coalition currently battling armed insurgency in Yemen. […]

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The real reasons behind the cancellation of Israel – Africa Summit

It is another bad September for Israel in Africa. Sixteen years ago in Durban, Israel suffered a political blow at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances. The conference ended up with a walk out by Israel and the US after the draft declaration equated Zionism to racism. Similarly, the NGO Forum of the conference was equally critical of Israel. The conference was regarded as a serious drawback against the pro-Israeli forces at the conference. On 11 September 2017, the organisers of the first Israeli – Africa Summit which was scheduled to take place in Togo in October announced that the conference had been “postponed indefinitely”. The controversial conference has been very divisive since its announcement, […]

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