Libya’s inability to resolve fundamental political questions feeds into a climate of instability, reflected in some of the most serious episodes of violence in Benghazi and Tripoli since the official declaration of liberation from the Al-Qadhafi regime more than two years ago. In this gloomy environment, a critical question is whether the early November massacre of civilians in Tripoli by militias linked to Misratah, and the confrontation between special forces units and Ansar Al-Sharia in Benghazi later in the month, mark another stage in a downward spiral towards anarchy; it is just possible they could signal a shift in favour of the state.
- 2 December 2013
To mark the tenth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, and to give wider public access to some of our reporting and analysis, GSN has unlocked the archive of its newsletters published in 2003 (accessible at www.gsn-online.com). The invasion was hardly a surprise; US determination to depose Saddam Hussein had been clear for months, but too little thought went into its repercussions. Few of those behind the invasion saw the potential for the turbulence it unleashed. A reading of pre-2003 GSN shows just how inevitable conflict was. ‘Global terrorism’ was high on the agenda as the George W Bush administration came to power.
Issue 942 - 5 March 2013
The mood of crisis in Gulf affairs, with decisions on a war against Iraq perhaps just weeks away, is proving a delicate test for the West’s readiness to promote a democracy and human rights agenda.
Issue 697 - 7 November 2002
Defence ministers of the GCC states, meeting in Kuwait, endorsed an earlier proposal by Oman that the Peninsula Shield joint defence force be increased tenfold to 100,000 men. Currently the Peninsula Shield force, based at Hafr Al-Batin in north-eastern Saudi Arabia, has a strength of about 10,000 men.
Issue 450 - 30 November 1992
Iraq’s financial situation is far from satisfactory. The Gulf states and Saudi Arabia have provided the country with something like $30bn but there are some signs of a growing reluctance to lend any more.
Issue 200 - 28 November 1982
This week’s story on Qatar and Bahrain notes that plans for a causeway linking the two countries remain dead in the water, despite hopes they might be revived before the 2022 soccer World Cup.
Issue 933 - 11 October 2012
Sweden’s defence minister quit last week after outcry at government plans to help Saudi Arabia build a weapons plant. Swedish outrage at the idea of signing military agreements with undemocratic countries is admirable; British and US newspapers have also recently decried massive arms deals to the Gulf. But arguably, the provenance of weapons – while important to the domestic politics of source countries – is only a sideshow.
Issue 921 - 5 April 2012
long- standing political tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad have escalated in recent months, putting the Kurds at the centre of Iraqi politics: issues at stake include the presence on Kurdish soil of fugitive vice president Tariq Al-Hashemi, wanted by Baghdad, and a dispute over oil contracts which shows no signs of resolution.
Issue 919 - 8 March 2012
Embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh has accepted the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2014 of 24 October condemning the country’s violence on all sides and demanded a political transition.
Issue 911 - 28 October 2011
Four senior royals (King Abdullah, interior minister and second deputy premier Nayef, Riyadh governor Prince Salman and Crown Prince Sultan) have long-standing health problems, highlighted by their various absences from Saudi Arabia in the past two years.
Issue 892 - 17 January 2011
Dubai Group, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, has revealed $4bn of debt in addition to the $6bn already declared. The group is now looking to restructure all $10bn, of which the original $6bn is owed to banks and $4bn made up of inter-company loans.
Issue 899 - 29 April 2011
Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa has been seen in several western capitals (including London in May and Washington in June) over the past few months, but has also been travelling at home.
Issue 906 - 5 August 2011
Amendments criticised for undoing all the gains in freedom of expression made under King Abdullah. The Kingdom has amended its Press and Publications Law of November 2000.
Issue 902 - 10 June 2011
Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi’s decision to suspend talks with prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki until demands on reform are met is the biggest threat to Iraq’s political stability since the current government was formed
Issue 902 - 10 June 2011
Emir reappoints prime minister despite opposition, Nigerian kingpin released, Rafsanjani son accused of cheating, Al-Attiyah in line for Arab League job
Issue 898 - 8 April 2011
Ahmed Hamad Al-Gosaibi and Brothers (AHAB) is suing the former chief executive of Bahrain-based The International Banking Corporation (TIBC) for allegedly defrauding the company of $9.2bn
Issue 898 - 8 April 2011
Ruler Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi has issued an emiri decree (23/2010) appointing his son Sheikh Mohammed as crown prince
Issue 891 - 10 December 2010
Foreign minister and premier Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani travelled to Lebanon on 22 November. Heir apparent Sheikh Tamim has been in Singapore for high-level meetings.
Issue 890 - 26 November 2010
King Hamad shows no sign of relaxing a security campaign that seems intended to squeeze opposition outside parliament and depress voter turnout in support of opponents within the constitutional framework, when legislative elections are held on 23 October
Issue 885 - 17 September 2010
Sarko meeting; SEC reshuffle; Swine flu; Yemen crisis, foreign meetings; Term extended
Issue 865 - 20 November 2009
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Juma Al-Maktoum died on 23 March
Issue 850 - 27 March 2009
King Abdullah: Reaching out in the United States, CP Sultan: Meets Orange prince, Bahraini King, Princes: Marriages, travel, Princes Adila: Healthcare
Issue 841 - 21 November 2008
Although the exact number of casualties has not been independently confirmed, sources in Abyei said more than 20 people had been killed in fighting between the Dinka and Misseriya. The south claims the Khartoum government instigated the fighting to put pressure on negotiations and undermine the secession referendum process, which will deliver a massive majority in favour of secession.
Issue 202 - 4 February 2011
Energy officials have warned of power cuts following a breakdown at the 150MW Azito thermal plant. Ministry of Mines and Energy director general of energy Simon Eddy, told business representatives Azito had been out of action since 22 December and was unlikely to be fixed before late April or early May.
Issue 180 - 5 February 2010