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Asia Watch

While it is critical how Mohammed bin Salman — the new Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler as his father Salman has been slowed by age and reported illness — will handle the desert kingdom’s internal issues, the international community will be keeping a keen eye on how he handles Riyadh’s external relations.

 

The fact that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have handed over a list of demands to the Qatari regime should, on the face of it, indicate some progress in the impasse created after they cut ties with Qatar.

 

A list of 13 conditions for lifting the Saudi-UAE led embargo of Qatar handed to the Gulf state this week by Kuwaiti mediators offers a first taste of newly-promoted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s foreign policy approach that if endorsed by the international community would call into question fundamental principles governing international relations.

 

The rapid rise of Mohammed bin Salman, from one among many princes in the al-Saud royal family to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia within a span of two years, is an unprecedented development in the history of the Kingdom.

 

The opposition and media in Pakistan have been crucifying Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for having sat through the US-Arab-Islamic Summit held in Saudi Arabia in the first week of June, without highlighting the grievances of the Pakistani people.

 

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain have moved beyond acceptable limits and Qatar will not forget this blockade soon. A feeling of near permanent hatred has been planted, writes N S Venkataraman for South Asia Monitor

 

The second 21st century Panglong peace conference, which ended after six days of deliberations (May 24-29), was marked by some drama in and outside the conference hall.

 

Saudi Arabia has again resorted to being the bully of the region by cutting off diplomatic ties with Qatar, merely for not streamlining their foreign policy with Saudi’s interests.

 

The unquiet American president recently tweeted that his trip to the Middle East was “already paying off”.

 

Nothing can be more sacrilegious than committing murder on holy ground. Both the Majlis and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini are sacred grounds in Iran.

 


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