17/03/2018 (Arab News – KSA by Camelia Entekhabifard*): Since the beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump has surprised the world — and the American people — on many occasions. His executive orders restricting travel to the US, changing key aides and officials in his administration, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, none of this was expected by politicians and ordinary people. Only last year, Trump was threatening “fire and fury” against North Korea if its nuclear program endangered the US, terrifying the world with the prospect of a nuclear war. Now he has agreed to direct negotiations with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. And no sooner had the political establishment recovered from that shock than Trump fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The president has nominated Mike Pompeo, the head of the CIA, as Tillerson’s replacement. For both hard-line Republicans in the US Congress and the so-called “moderate” government of Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, the nomination was quickly interpreted as a death sentence for the 2015 deal curbing Iran’s nuclear program…
*Camelia Entekhabifard is an Iranian-American journalist, political commentator
10/03/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Mashari Althay*): Without dwelling on the political and economic aspect of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s deliberations during his recent trip to Egypt, the United Kingdom and then the United States, let us focus solely on the human and cultural aspects of the tour. In Egypt, the Saudi Crown Prince had a unique meeting with the highest representative of Egyptian Christians and the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District in Cairo. He also met with other Christian figures. The discussions revolved around the situation of Christians and the Copts in Egypt and reaffirmed both parties “common commitment to eradicating extremism and terrorism.”…
*Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.
04/03/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Sawsan Al Shaer*): The Security Council voted for a resolution that prevents Iran from providing the Houthis with weapons, but Russia vetoed this resolution. This implies that Russia opposes the resolution that prevents Iran from supplying Houthis with ballistic missiles that bombard our cities. Leveraging economy for security. The question is how Russia justifies to Gulf countries the veto it exercised against the resolution that prevents Iran from supplying Houthis with weapons. I hope that GCC countries will deal seriously with this Russian decision. It is time to link our economic strength with our security interests, either by suspending our business deals, or by canceling them. What is important is that the international community should know that we will not accept what undermines our security…
*Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist.
24/02/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Fahad Shoqiran* ): The concept of secularism has been linked to the Christian tradition itself, not only on the fundamental ideological plane but even at the academic and intellectual levels.The benefits of secularism. Analyzing secularism has thus not taken into account the development of the concept as seen in several countries in the east and the west. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s,” has often been cited. If it had not been for secularism, massacres and bloodshed would have been rampant across the world. Many intellectuals, including Mohammed Abed al-Jabri, a prominent critic and thinker, made the mistake of equating “secularism” with ‘religion’. This was evident in Jabri’s book ‘The religion, state and application of Shariah.’ Georges Tarabichi criticized Jabri in his book ‘Heresies.’ His criticism is in fact justified as Jabri had proposed “democracy” as an alternative to “secularism.”..
*Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group.
17/02/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Huda al-Husseini*): The war in Syria has not ended. In fact, the phase of ‘post-ISIS wars’ has just started. Syria remains a dangerous link between regional conflicts and the great powers, despite the defeat of ISIS in the east. The recent confrontation between Iran and Israel in Syria is only one of the few possibilities that could fuel the next phase of civil war in Syria. Turkey has opened a direct confrontation with the People’s Protection Units in the northern Kurdish town of Afrin. Turkey, Iran and Russia are also competing with each other in a three-way struggle over Idlib and the downing of the Sukhoi-25 plane on February 3 is a sign of this rivalry. Meanwhile, the US-led coalition is encountering intense challenge from the Russian-Iranian coalition after US warded off a major pro-regime attack in Deir al-Zour on July 7 last year…
*Huda al-Husseini is a writer who focuses on Middle East geopolitics.
10/02/2018 (Al Arabiya News – Turkey by Shehab Al-Makahleh*): The Middle East has undergone major vicissitudes following the “Arab Spring” demonstrations. The Mideast is one of the most important regions in the world and the stability of which is mandatory to peace and stability in the world. Since 2011, the Middle East has entered a state of uncertainty with many conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and other states that are apt to witness internal wars. Nowadays, tension is on the rise between Turkey and Egypt on energy resources in the Mediterranean Sea. Thus, relations between Ankara and Cairo after Egyptian foreign ministry’s statement regarding Turkish rejection of the agreement signed between Cyprus and Egypt in 2013 rings an alarm bell. Egyptian statement reads: “Any attempt to prejudice or undermine Egypt’s sovereign rights in its economic zones in the Middle East is rejected and will be countered.”…
*Shehab Al-Makahleh is Director of Geostrategic Media Center, senior media and political analyst in the Middle East, adviser to many international consultancies.
03/02/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Eyad Abu Shakra*): From now until elections day scheduled for next May, the Lebanese have to endure loud diatribes and vocal misrepresentations on TV channels, while concealing the real intentions. To begin with, an electoral system based on Proportional Representations (PR) is the last thing Lebanon needed, given its tribalism sectarianism and political schizophrenia. This system is alien in a country where religious sectarianism is now institutionalized, and has permeated parliament as well as all positions of government, be the civilian or military. In fact, the Lebanese have never practiced PR, and even those who pushed for its adoption disagree on its operational details, due to their mutual doubts, illusions and distrust of each other…
*Eyad Abu Shakra (also written as Ayad Abou-Chakra) began his media career in 1973 with Annahar newspaper in Lebanon.
27/01/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Mamdouh AlMuhaini*): It’s difficult to understand the fierce and ongoing conflict between Trump and the American media without understanding the secret motives of the two parties. Trump has raised the slogan “America First| and the media has been critical of him as he continued to lament America’s status. However, these are how things look on the outside as the real conflict has nothing to do with all this. Take the book “Fire and Fury,” in which author Michael Wolff attacked the American president, as an example. Apart from the profit made (more than 1 million copies were sold in a week), Wolff wanted to show that the president has mental health issues by citing his embarrassing behavior, careless decisions, provocative tweets and unhealthy eating habits…
*Mamdouh AlMuhaini is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya News Channel’s digital platforms.
21/01/2018 (Arab News – UAE by Fahad Deghaither*): On June 30, 2013, the “New Middle East” project, which was founded and supported by the Obama administration during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, failed and we heard nothing about it. In fact, the project’s collapse began earlier when the Peninsula Shield Forces (1,200 Saudi fighters and 800 Emirati fighters) entered Bahrain in March 2011 to quell disorder from Iran. If there is something to thank Mrs. Clinton for, is because she inadvertently contributed in raising the awareness of the people and revealing the danger of chaos that could threaten the countries of the region if they did not change tactics…
*Fahad Deghaither is a Saudi columnist on geopolitics.