The removal of 11 top ministers in the Riyadh government last week by the young crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, is a geopolitical upheaval, the implications are serious. Domestically, the kingdom is seeking to liberalise its conservative society and move away from oil-dependency – evident from the expected listing of its crown jewel Aramco. For India, which imports oil largely from West Asia, instability could cause a spike in prices, leaving less for its ambitious reforms. Globally, there is now space for new alignments – in the Great Power plays, in the Shia-Sunni rivalry, and in the war on terrorism.
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The Kurdish issue is far more complex and sophisticated than the simplistic nationalist rhetoric, made fashionable by Europeans-- and which all actors in the game feel compelled to employ and have us believe
Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disqualification from contesting the May 2017 presidential election has reduced the number of aspirants to six. The winner may well be a contender for the post of next Supreme Leader too
Referendums are a way of mobilising society and bringing in exceptional change. Turkey’s third constitutional referendum in the last 10 years, being held on Sunday, April 16, is the greatest of them in many respects as it puts the country on uncharted waters, having it move from one unbalanced system to another
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
The West Asian monarchies are being forced to ‘look East’ due to a range of factors: the rise of the Islamic State, their need to boost falling oil revenues and doubts about the United States continuing to remain a guarantor of regional stability. Quite coterminously, India is looking towards the Gulf for energy security besides fulfilling other geostrategic goals: this is an ‘East’ and ‘West’ where the ‘twain will meet
The choice of the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be the chief guest at India’s 2017 Republic Day celebrations is an indication of the enhanced attention that the Indian government is according the Gulf countries. Many trade interests ally India to the UAE, but a deeper engagement is called for even as instability grows in the region
The Russians have concluded that the Afghan Taliban offer a better shield against the Islamic State than the old Northern Alliance. A negotiated settlement in Afghanistan could be achieved if Washington and New Delhi join Moscow, Beijing, Islamabad and Tehran in a joint effort.
Aleppo is back under the control of the Syrian government, the Russian ambassador to Ankara is assassinated for his country’s role in Syria, and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wants to cooperate with Russia to fight ISIS in Syria. These momentous events in modern history compel an assessment of the geopolitics surrounding Syria.
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.