Britain will begin its formal exit process from the European Union on March 29. Signs that the European Union will survive are clear: public opinion is turning finally in its favour. The European economy has resumed creating jobs, and the unemployment rate, although still high, is steadily declining. Yet, what remains of the project is likely to have a different animus
Olivier Da Lage
Editor-in-Chief, Radio France International
A veteran journalist specialising in Middle-Eastern affairs, Olivier started his career as a Bahrain-based freelance correspondent in the Gulf. He thereafter joined Radio France International (RFI) to cover the Middle East. He is now editor-in-chief at RFI. A graduate from Sciences Po Paris, he has written several books and many articles about the Arab Gulf countries. Olivier also teaches at IRIS, a French think tank specialising on strategic issues. He is currently writing a book on India’s foreign policy. Awards: Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
Graduate of Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and Centre de formation des journalistes
West Asia, Gulf
Last modified: March 23, 2017
The French presidential election, which is less than two months away, defies attempts at predicting who the finalists of the two-round tourney will be, what with allegations of corruption being hurled at the contestants and new revelations unfolding on a daily basis.
Prince Salman’s accession to the throne after the death of Saudi King Abdullah on 23 January 2015 has been a game changer, both domestically and in West Asian politics. Within days, he sidelined rivals within the House of Saud, and took on Iran with a confrontational policy. But two years later, the results of his new strategy disappoint
Francois Fillon, a lacklustre conservative, last week emerged as a victorious presidential candidate in Les Republicains’ first round of a primary, a first in the party’s history. Here’s why this outcome is a momentous one.
The French city, bordering the English Channel, is a symbol of the tension between Paris and London and the crisis in Europe as a whole. The dismantling of one refugee outfit here just made an already thorny issue pricklier.
France's state policy of 'laïcité' (secularism) and its military interventions in Islamic countries has made it the prime target of IS in the West. The hardline French response to step up bombing campaigns against jihadis in Syria, Iraq, and Mali will likely continue, but conversely feeds IS strategy, which is to foment anti-Muslim sentiment among the non-Muslim French population.
A month after visiting Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Modi will visit Iran on 22 May. India's careful balancing of relations with competing parties in West Asia has let it remain a friend to all. But to play a role commensurate with its global vision, India must work on becoming more than a friend and instead be an indispensable partner to countries in the region.
The talking points for Prime Minister Modi's upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia will include the obvious: oil, diaspora and economic engagement. What remains to be seen is how both countries differing relations with Iran and Pakistan might affect the dialogue.
With a cessation of hostilities been brokered by Russia and the United States, the conflict in Syria has entered a tense pause. India has had a bystander attitude to the conflict in Syria. However, with the truce expected to be short, does India have the incentive or the option to depart from its current position, and deepen its engagement in Syria?
By executing an influential Shia cleric among 47 other prisoners, Saudi Arabia has increased the possibility of prolonging conflict in West Asia. The country’s actions have stirred up its differences with Iran, thereby diminishing the possibility of finding political solutions to the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.