city:abu dhabi

  • Affaire Khashoggi : le mentor de MBS en visite à Paris - Challenges
    https://www.challenges.fr/monde/moyen-orient/affaire-khashoggi-le-mentor-de-mbs-en-visite-a-paris_627261

    Le mentor de Mohammed ben Salmane (MBS) débarque à Paris. Le prince héritier d’Abu Dhabi, Mohammed ben Zayed (MBZ), très influent auprès du sulfureux dauphin saoudien empêtré dans la sordide affaire Khashoggi, participera mercredi 21 novembre au Louvre à une cérémonie célébrant les 100 ans de son père. Selon nos informations, il déjeunera dans la foulée avec Emmanuel Macron et dînera le soir avec Édouard Philippe.

    La venue en France de l’homme fort du richissime émirat d’Abu Dhabi intervient alors que Paris va ordonner dans les heures qui viennent une interdiction de territoire visant plusieurs ressortissants saoudiens impliqués dans le meurtre du journaliste saoudien Jamal Khashoggi. La France va ainsi imiter l’Allemagne qui a décidé lundi de bannir de son territoire 18 saoudiens liés à cet assassinat tragique. « La décision politique est prise, nous travaillons en ce moment avec les services de renseignement pour identifier le nombre de personnes qui seront visées par cette interdiction de territoire. Cela va être annoncé très vite » précise une source gouvernementale.

    #Abu_Dhabi #MBZ


  • UAE. The Other Murderous Gulf - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    https://carnegieendowment.org/2018/10/30/other-murderous-gulf-pub-77606

    Since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi hit squad in early October, Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and patron of Saudi Arabia’s own crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), has resembled the cat that swallowed the canary. The disastrous regional adventurism and ruthless despotism of his protégé has averted Washington’s gaze from the UAE’s own responsibility for the carnage that is roiling the region. But the UAE should not be given a get out jail free card. If the White House refuses to hold the Emirates accountable for undermining U.S. interests, Congress should use its constitutional power to step into the leadership void.

    Richard Sokolsky

    Richard Sokolsky is a nonresident senior fellow in Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program. His work focuses on U.S. policy toward Russia in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.
    Throughout Yemen’s three-and-a-half-year civil war, the Emiratis have been as brutal and reckless as the Saudis. While Saudi aircraft slaughter innocent civilians at wedding halls, funerals, homes, markets, schools, and ports, UAE boots on the ground have also contributed to the humanitarian disaster. The UAE-led military offensive in and around the port city of Hodeidah has been a catastrophe: over 400,000 Yemenis have been displaced since June and the fighting has considerably worsened the country’s already alarming food crisis and famine. Human rights organizations have reported on secret UAE-administered detention facilities where torture, beatings, electric shocks, and killings have occurred. The UAE royal family has paid retired U.S. Special Forces soldiers to track down and assassinate Yemeni political figures that it believes are in league with the wider Muslim Brotherhood movement. In Aden, the UAE has organized, supplied, and paid militias to foment fractious proxy violence. Yemenis who once saw the Emirati intervention as an heroic act to defend their nation’s sovereignty from a ruthless Iran-supported militia are now depicting it as an occupation, if not colonization.

    The UAE is part of the coalition of “Saudi-led” Arab countries (along with Bahrain and Egypt) that imposed a blockade against Qatar in May 2017. These nations were attempting to, among other things, end Qatar’s “terrorism,” cut its ties to Iran, get it to stop meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, and force it to pursue a less independent foreign policy. The UAE has taken an even more hardline stance against the Qataris than the Saudis, in part because it is more fanatical than Riyadh about eradicating any trace of Muslim Brotherhood influence in Qatar and the region more broadly. The boycott, which has divided America’s partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council, has been a disaster for both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, affording both Iran and Turkey opportunities to expand their influence in Doha. Nor has it worked out well for Washington, which hoped to forge a united Gulf front to contain Iranian influence. But for the UAE, the Saudis have been a useful surrogate for outsized regional ambitions; the Emiratis’ relationship with the Kingdom has allowed them to punch well above their weight. That’s not a good thing.


  • Netanyahou à Oman. Opération normalisation d’Israël dans le Golfe | Courrier international
    https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/netanyahou-oman-operation-normalisation-disrael-dans-le-golfe

    Le sultan d’Oman, Qabous ben Saïd, sert la main du Premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Netanyahou, en visite surprise dans le sultanat, le 26 octobre 2018. Photo : Omani Royal Palace / AFP

    La présence du Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou à Mascate a pris de court de nombreux observateurs. Pourtant, les pas vers une normalisation des relations se multiplient dans tous les pays du Golfe.

    #IsraelOman #catastrophe_arabe

    • Le ministre israélien des sports aux Émirats arabes unis se joindra à l’équipe d’Abu Dhabi pour un tournoi de judo
      26 octobre 2018
      http://www.fr.awdnews.com/index/le-ministre-israelien-des-sports-aux-emirats-arabes-unis-se-joindra-a-le

      Le ministre israélien de la Culture et des Sports Miri Regev s’est rendu aux Emirats Arabes Unis (EAU) pour accompagner l’équipe de judo israélienne au Grand Chelem d’Abu Dhabi 2018 alors que les pays arabes de la région réchauffent considérablement leurs relations avec le régime de Tel Aviv après des rapports de contacts secrets.

      Mme Regev est arrivée à Abu Dhabi vendredi matin, et elle doit participer à la cérémonie d’ouverture de l’événement international qui se tiendra demain à Zayed Sports City, la capitale émiratie, a rapporté une agence de presse palestinienne de langue arabe, Ma’an.

      #IsraelEAU
      “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

      Palestine Alqadi
      ‏ @ALQadiPAL - 07:43 - 28 oct. 2018
      https://twitter.com/ALQadiPAL/status/1056496579992059905

      ويستمر مسلسل التطبيع بعد قطر وعمان

      وزيرة الثقافة والرياضة الصهيونية ميري ريجيف في لحظة امتنان مع رئيس الجودو الإماراتي،

      الوزيرة عملت كمتحدثة باسم جيش الاحتلال، تكره العرب ، لإحظوا ، اين يركز نظره خجلا

      ليش يا عرب ليش تطعنو القدس بظهرها ؟

    • La visite d’une ministre israélienne aux Émirats interroge sur les relations d’Israël avec le Golfe
      Nadda Osman - 30 octobre 2018
      https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/la-visite-d-une-ministre-isra-lienne-aux-mirats-interroge-sur-les-rel

      En moins d’une semaine, trois hauts responsables israéliens, dont le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou, se sont rendus en visite officielle dans le Golfe

      La visite officielle de la ministre israélienne Miri Regev aux Émirats arabes unis ce week-end a suscité des réactions mitigées sur les réseaux sociaux. Les internautes se demandaient si cela marquait le début du réchauffement des relations entre Israël et les EAU.

      Regev, la ministre israélienne de la Culture et des Sports, a assisté dimanche au grand tournoi de judo à Abou Dabi, où l’un des athlètes israéliens a remporté l’or. Cet événement a particulièrement attiré l’attention car c’était la première fois que l’hymne national israélien, Hatikvah, était joué aux Émirats.

      Regev a ensuite tweeté : « Nous avons fait l’histoire. Le peuple d’Israël vit ! »

      Bien que les Israéliens aient déjà assisté à des événements sportifs dans le Golfe auparavant, leur participation était souvent subordonnée à l’absence de symboles nationaux.

      L’année dernière, la Fédération internationale de judo a toutefois menacé d’annuler le grand chelem d’Abou Dabi si les athlètes israéliens ne bénéficiaient pas des mêmes droits que les autres concurrents.
      (...)
      La visite de la ministre est survenue quelques jours seulement après le voyage surprise du Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou à Oman pour rencontrer le sultan Qaboos, marquant la première visite d’un dirigeant israélien dans ce pays du Golfe depuis 1996.
      (...)
      La rencontre de Mascate portait plus sur le désir d’Oman de jouer un rôle dans la région que sur la conclusion d’un accord de paix entre Israéliens et Palestiniens, a déclaré à MEE une source diplomatique occidentale.

      « Oman tente de jouer un rôle régional entre les divers parties et axes de la région et considère Israël comme un acteur important concernant diverses questions régionales », a déclaré le diplomate.

      Ce mardi, un troisième haut responsable israélien s’est rendu dans un pays du Golfe. Le ministre israélien des Communications, Ayoub Kara, participe en ce moment à la Conférence de plénipotentiaires de l’Union internationale des télécommunications à Dubaï, où il a appelé à la « paix et la stabilité » dans la région.

      #Golfe


  • It’s even allowed to hate Israel

    If cabinet Minister Erdan, scourge of left-wing dissidents, visited Sweden, he certainly did not love the liberalism and equality there, yet Swedish airport officials wouldn’t have asked him about it

    Gideon Levy
    Oct 07, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-it-s-even-allowed-to-hate-israel-1.6532475

    News flash for the minister in charge of combating hatred, Gilad Erdan: One is allowed to hate Israel. Sometimes one must even hate its policies. A democratic country doesn’t ask new arrivals whether they love it. It’s none of their business. The gates of democracy are open to everyone, as long as they don’t endanger its security. That is the test.
    Erdan may also have visited a country whose policies he despised; he certainly did not love the liberalism and equality in Sweden, or Germany’s willingness to take in asylum-seekers – and nobody asked him what he thought. His colleague, Culture Minister Miri Regev, a sworn Arab-hater, intends to fly to Abu Dhabi soon. Will they deport her because of her hatred? If only. Maybe that way Erdan would learn.
    >>Ex-Shin Bet chief on questioning of foreigners at Israel’s borders: Shin Bet becoming a problem
    The world that Gilad McCarthy is building for us now, together with the Shin Bet security service that has long been in charge of this, is motivated by the darkness of a different worldview. Erdan described it well on Friday.
    “Everyone understands,” he wrote, “that these are hypocritical organizations uninterested in human rights. They will never act to help the citizens of Syria or Iran. It’s not human rights that motivate them, but hatred of Israel.” Erdan tried to excuse banning the entry to Israel of the student Lara Alqasem and in so doing revealed his worldview once again.
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    “Everyone understands,” Erdan? Well, almost everyone. Even the minister of strategic affairs can’t yet speak for everyone in Israel. Maybe he will be able to do so soon.
    Meanwhile, there are also some people who don’t understand. Not everyone here has been brainwashed by the propagandistic lies. The “hypocritical organizations” are more interested in human rights than anything else. They are people of conscience. Some are veterans of long-standing work against the Vietnam War and apartheid in South Africa, some are young people who should be a source of pride. At a time when most Israelis their age are not interested in anything that doesn’t involve them directly, they are fighting for something. They are certainly immeasurably more moral than any settler in the territories.


  • Oman’s Port Strategy – LobeLog
    https://lobelog.com/omans-port-strategy

    Within the Arabian Peninsula, Duqm and Salalah have much potential to further shape geopolitical relations amid strategic shifts in the regional balance of power. Any major investments by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Duqm (and other Omani projects) should be watched closely for their effect on intra-Gulf politics. Some analysts contend that both countries are attempting to restrict the Sultanate’s geopolitical maneuverability as Muscat and Tehran try to maintain cooperative relations. As Riyadh and Abu Dhabi may use their petro-dollars to influence Oman’s future position in an increasingly polarized Gulf, they could use investments in Omani infrastructure projects as another way to gain leverage. Likewise, Oman’s trade infrastructure proved highly useful to Qatar last year when Doha needed alternatives to Jebel Ali as a logistics hub linking the emirate to the global economy.

    It goes without saying that Iran itself is a key factor in this equation. If tensions in the Strait of Hormuz escalate, Duqm and Salalah would need to prepare for any trade-related ramifications. The Omani government must stay vigilant and aware of any escalations of friction amid increasingly harsh rhetoric from Washington and Tehran that threaten to unleash an armed conflict in or near the strait. Yet the ports’ advantageous geographic locations could help Gulf states continue to sell their oil and gas in the event of such a crisis, as shipments via Duqm and Salalah will not need to travel through the strait. Whereas Saudi Arabia has its Red Sea coast and the UAE has one Emirate (Fujairah) outside the strait, which would enable these two states to continue exporting oil in the event of the strait’s closure, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar are fully dependent on that artery for their hydrocarbon exports. As Amer No’man Ashour, chief analyst and economist at CNBC Arabia, explains:

    We all know that more than 30 per cent of oil shipments pass through the Strait of Hormuz and with this shift via the Port of Fujairah and the Duqm port, the GCC countries will ensure that their oil shipments are safe, and this will decrease the risk and the cost of insurance on ships… Al-Duqm Port is one of the best ever solutions to the oil issue… It is 800 kilometres away from UAE borders. We know that the UAE has had a partial solution via Fujairah with a capacity of 1.1 million barrels per day, but the production of the UAE is almost 3 million barrels per day. Most of Kuwait, Qatari and Saudi oil is produced in the eastern parts of the Gulf area and this new Omani port will be very suitable for exporting oil to the world.

    #oman #grand_jeu


  • The Exclusionary Turn in GCC Politics | ACW
    Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

    http://arabcenterdc.org/policy_analyses/the-exclusionary-turn-in-gcc-politics

    The sudden rupture in diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada has thrown a spotlight on the regional political dynamics that have placed unprecedented and potentially irreversible strains on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Over the past three years the inclusionary vision that had originally created and sustained the GCC as a grouping of six relatively like-minded states has given way to an exclusionary security-centered approach to regional affairs. The GCC always functioned best as a loose collective of monarchies whose ruling families guarded their autonomy and resisted attempts to draw closer on “big ticket” issues that encroached on national sovereignty. This combination of flexibility and consensus saw the GCC states through three major interstate wars in the Gulf––the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988; the war to expel Iraq from Kuwait, 1990-1991; and the invasion of Iraq, 2003––and helped them maintain relative stability in an otherwise conflict-wracked region. However, the emergence of a hyper-hawkish geopolitical axis running from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi has widened existing fractures, created new fault lines, and inflicted potentially long-term damage on what had been the most durable regional organization in the Arab world.


  • Industrie. Manurhin, fleuron français sous pavillon émirati | L’Humanité
    https://www.humanite.fr/industrie-manurhin-fleuron-francais-sous-pavillon-emirati-658874
    Changement de mains

    Le tribunal de commerce de Mulhouse a validé mercredi la reprise de l’entreprise historique d’armement par une société nationale de défense d’Abu Dhabi.


    #Manurhin MR73 G Gendarmerie 3"
    https://encyclopedie-des-armes.com/index.php/armes/pistolets-modernes/483-manurhin-mr73-g-gendarmerie-3q


  • Saudi Arabia Planned to Invade Qatar Last Summer. Rex Tillerson’s Efforts to Stop It May Have Cost Him His Job.
    https://theintercept.com/2018/08/01/rex-tillerson-qatar-saudi-uae

    THIRTEEN HOURS BEFORE Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learned from the presidential Twitter feed that he was being fired, he did something that President Donald Trump had been unwilling to do. Following a phone call with his British counterpart, Tillerson condemned a deadly nerve agent attack in the U.K., saying that he had “full confidence in the U.K.’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had called the attack “reckless, indiscriminate, and irresponsible,” but stopped short of blaming Russia, leading numerous media outlets to speculate that Tillerson was fired for criticizing Russia.

    But in the months that followed his departure, press reports strongly suggested that the countries lobbying hardest for Tillerson’s removal were Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of which were frustrated by Tillerson’s attempts to mediate and end their blockade of Qatar. One report in the New York Times even suggested that the UAE ambassador to Washington knew that Tillerson would be forced out three months before he was fired in March.

    The Intercept has learned of a previously unreported episode that stoked the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s anger at Tillerson and that may have played a key role in his removal. In the summer of 2017, several months before the Gulf allies started pushing for his ouster, Tillerson intervened to stop a secret Saudi-led, UAE-backed plan to invade and essentially conquer Qatar, according to one current member of the U.S. intelligence community and two former State Department officials, all of whom declined to be named, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

    In the days and weeks after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed down their land, sea, and air borders with the country, Tillerson made a series of phone calls urging Saudi officials not to take military action against the country. The flurry of calls in June 2017 has been reported, but State Department and press accounts at the time described them as part of a broad-strokes effort to resolve tensions in the Gulf, not as an attempt by Tillerson to avert a Saudi-led military operation.

    In the calls, Tillerson, who dealt extensively with the Qatari government as the CEO of Exxon Mobil, urged Saudi King Salman, then-Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir not to attack Qatar or otherwise escalate hostilities, the sources told The Intercept. Tillerson also encouraged Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to call his counterparts in Saudi Arabia to explain the dangers of such an invasion. Al Udeid Air Base near Doha, Qatar’s capital city, is the forward headquarters of U.S. Central Command and home to some 10,000 American troops.

    Pressure from Tillerson caused Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the country, to back down, concerned that the invasion would damage Saudi Arabia’s long-term relationship with the U.S. But Tillerson’s intervention enraged Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and effective ruler of that country, according to the U.S. intelligence official and a source close to the Emirati royal family, who declined to be identified, citing concerns about his safety.

    Later that June, Mohammed bin Salman would be named crown prince, leapfrogging over his cousin to become next in line for the throne after his elderly father. His ascension signaled his growing influence over the kingdom’s affairs.

    Qatari intelligence agents working inside Saudi Arabia discovered the plan in the early summer of 2017, according to the U.S. intelligence official. Tillerson acted after the Qatari government notified him and the U.S. embassy in Doha. Several months later, intelligence reporting by the U.S. and U.K. confirmed the existence of the plan.

    The plan, which was largely devised by the Saudi and UAE crown princes and was likely some weeks away from being implemented, involved Saudi ground troops crossing the land border into Qatar, and, with military support from the UAE, advancing roughly 70 miles toward Doha. Circumventing the U.S. air base, Saudi forces would then seize the capital.


  • Pétrole : en suspendant ses exportations, Ryad mise sur une intervention internationale - Libération
    http://www.liberation.fr/futurs/2018/07/26/petrole-en-suspendant-ses-exportations-ryad-mise-sur-une-intervention-int

    En suspendant les exportations de brut par le détroit stratégique de Bab el-Mandeb après une attaque de rebelles yéménites, l’Arabie saoudite espère susciter une intervention internationale dans le conflit oublié du Yémen, estiment des analystes.

    La décision du premier exportateur mondial de pétrole est tombée mercredi à la suite d’une attaque qui a visé en mer Rouge deux supertankers transportant 4 millions de barils, selon Ryad, et un bâtiment de guerre saoudien, selon les rebelles Houthis.

    on aurait donc 2 VLCC et un navire militaire


  • Attaque au drone contre l’aéroport d’Abou Dhabi, disent les Houthis (titre de la dépêche Reuters, commentaire suivant)

    ایرنا - فرودگاه ابوظبی هدف پهپادهای یمن قرار گرفت
    http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82982715

    فرودگاه ابوظبی هدف پهپادهای یمن قرار گرفت
    دوحه – ایرنا – فرودگاه بین المللی ابوظبی پایتخت امارات، هدف حمله هواپیماهای بدون سرنشین یمن (پهپاد) قرار گرفت.

    به گزارش عصر پنجشنبه ایرنا ، خبرگزاری یمن ( سبا) با اعلام این مطلب افزود : هواپیماهای بدون سرنشین صماد 3 این عملیات را بر عهده داشتند.
    این خبرگزاری به جزییات بیشتری در خصوص این حمله اشاره نکرد.
    حمله به فرودگاه ابوظبی یک روز بعد از هدف قرار گرفتن یک ناو جنگی عربستان با نام ’ الدمام’ در دریای سرخ انجام می شود.
    ’شرف لقمان’ سخنگوی رسمی نیروهای مسلح یمن پیشتر اعلام کرد : شرکتها و سرمایه گذاران خارجی منافع خود را از امارات خارج کنند چرا که مورد تهدید پهپادهای ما قرار خواهند داشت و موشکهای بالستیک یمن نیز به زودی به آنجا خواهد رسید.
    وی تاکید کرد ساحل غربی به باتلاقی برای متجاوزان تبدیل شده است که توانایی خارج شدن از آن را ندارند.
    اما فرودگاه ابوظبی در صفحه توئیتری خود از وقوع یک حادثه در این فرودگاه خبر داد و اعلام کرد که اوضاع را از نزدیک زیر نظر دارد و مردم را از آخرین اخبار آگاه خواهد کرد.
    در این توئیت ادعا شده است که حادثه مربوط به یک خودروی حمل بار در ساختمان شماره یک فرودگاه بوده است.
    شبد**1508*9122



  • The Gulf Impasse’s One Year Anniversary & the Changing Regional Dynamics – Gulf International Forum

    Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Ph.D., Fellow for the Middle East, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

    http://gulfif.com/the-gulf-impasse

    A year has passed since the Qatar News Agency was hacked and implanted with ‘fake news’. Ten days later this hacking was followed by the diplomatic and economic embargo of Qatar by four regional states – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt. The element of surprise strategy applied by the Quartet was intended to shock the Qatari government into acceding to their demands. Now, one year later this approach is misplaced as Qatar proved more resilient than anticipated. Rather than isolating Qatar regionally and internationally, the crisis has widened the cracks in the Gulf into a chasm and has generated unintended consequences that risk inflicting generational damage on its political and social fabric. As with the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990, the blockade of Qatar is an era-rupturing event that will reverberate through the regional politics and international relations of the Gulf for years to come.

    Evolving Threat Perceptions
    The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was formed in 1981 largely in response to regional security threats triggered by the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War in 1980. The six states that came together in Abu Dhabi to form the GCC often differed in their foreign policy outlook. The five smallest Gulf States shared varying degrees of wariness toward Saudi Arabia, reflecting in part a history of border disputes. For example, Kuwait was put under Saudi blockade in the 1920s and 1930s, Oman and Abu Dhabi had territorial disputes with Saudi Arabia from the 1950s to the 1970s, and as recently as 1992 and 1993 skirmishes occurred on the Saudi-Qatari border. Simmering unease in smaller Gulf capitals at the prospect of Saudi domination of GCC structures hampered attempts to construct collective military and security policies such as the Peninsula Shield Force or a common internal security agreement.

    And yet, throughout the three major wars in the Gulf – the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), the Gulf War (1991), and the war and subsequent US-led occupation of Iraq (2003-11), the GCC remained a bastion of relative stability in a region gripped by conflict and insecurity. During this tumultuous period, all six GCC states retained a common threat perception enabling them to overcome instances of intra-GCC friction, such as Saudi and Emirati attempts to reverse the 1995 succession of Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani or the Emirati walkout from the planned GCC monetary union in 2010 after Riyadh was chosen over Abu Dhabi as the site of the prospective GCC central bank. Indeed, GCC states have always worked best together in the face of external threats that draw together the six ruling families’ common interest in political survival – evidenced by the decision in 2011 to revive and dispatch the Peninsula Shield Force to Bahrain to assist in the restoration of order and the creation of a $10 billion GCC fund to assist Bahrain and Oman in the wake of Arab Spring unrest.


  • Middle Eastern Monarchs Look at the Trumps and See Themselves – Foreign Policy
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/28/middle-eastern-monarchs-look-at-the-trumps-and-see-themselves

    It seems that in the span of not quite two decades, the guy [George Nader] who ran a small, likely not profitable, but influential policy magazine become a conduit between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Donald Trump’s closest inner circle, both after, and — crucially for special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing criminal investigation — before Trump’s election as U.S. president.

    Nader’s story is yet another example of the sleaze, greed, and influence-peddling that has come to seem ordinary in Trump-era Washington. But it also offers a view into a more extraordinary and unprecedented problem: a decision by some of America’s closest allies in the Middle East to leverage their financial resources in common cause with a bunch of #ganefs to influence U.S. foreign policy. It is a problem that can be traced back, in ways that haven’t generally been understood, to Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner and his mobile phone.

    #riyalpolitik

    ganef - Wiktionary
    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ganef

    From Yiddish גנבֿ‎ (ganef), from Hebrew גנב‎ (ganáv, “thief”).



  • Sarkozy praises UAE’s leadership model - The National
    https://www.thenational.ae/uae/sarkozy-praises-uae-s-leadership-model-1.709755

    Ecoute Sarkosy dans le texte... écoute vraiment... Pauvre france.

    The axis of power is shifting from West to East as visionary leadership is surpassing democratic governance as key to stability and prosperity, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy told the Abu Dhabi Ideas Weekend forum.

    Mr Sarkozy was the final speaker to address the forum hosted by Tamkeen and The Aspen Institute at New York University Abu Dhabi, touching on themes of globalisation, leadership and Brexit.

    “Where you see a great leader, there is no populism,” said Mr Sarkozy, who was president of France from 2007 to 2012. “Where is the populism in China? Where is the populism here? Where is the populism in Russia? Where is the populism in Saudi Arabia? If the great leadership leaves the table, the populist leaders come and replace him.”

    Modern democracy “destroys” leaderships, he said, noting some of the world’s greatest leaders today come largely from undemocratic governments.

    “How could we have a democracy and at the same time accept leadership?” Mr Sarkozy asked the audience. “How can we have a vision that could look into 10, 15, 20 years and at the same time have an election rhythm in the States, for instance, every four years? The great leaders of the world come from countries that are not great democracies.”

    #Nicolas_Sarkosy #Abu_Dhabi


  • Emails show UAE-linked effort against Tillerson - BBC News
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43281519

    The BBC has obtained leaked emails that show a lobbying effort to get US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sacked for failing to support the United Arab Emirates against regional rival Qatar.
    Major Trump fundraiser and UAE-linked businessman Elliott Broidy met Mr Trump in October 2017 and urged him to sack Mr Tillerson, the emails reveal.
    In other emails, he calls the top US diplomat “a tower of Jello”, “weak” and says he “needs to be slammed”.
    Mr Broidy says Qatar hacked his emails.
    “We have reason to believe this hack was sponsored and carried out by registered and unregistered agents of Qatar seeking to punish Mr Broidy for his strong opposition to state-sponsored terrorism,” a spokesman for the businessman said.
    He said some of the emails “may have been altered” but did not elaborate.
    Saudi Arabia, UAE and a number of Arab countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 over its alleged support for terrorism, a claim which it denies. The unprecedented move was seen as a major split between powerful Gulf countries, who are also close US allies.
    Qatari royal ’held against will’ in UAE
    Nations silent on Tillerson Qatar blockade plea
    The BBC has asked the Qatar embassy in Washington for a response to the accusations.
    Mr Broidy’s defence company Circinus has hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts with the UAE, according to the New York Times newspaper.
    He had recently returned from the UAE when he met Mr Trump at the White House in October.
    What did the emails say?
    According to a memorandum he prepared of the meeting, Mr Broidy urged continued support of US allies the UAE and Saudi Arabia and advised Mr Trump against getting involved in last year’s row with Qatar.
    Mr Broidy called Qatar “a television station with a country” - alluding to broadcaster Al Jazeera - and said it was doing “nothing positive”, according to the emails.
    He said he touted a regional counter-terrorism force being set up by the UAE that his company was involved with, and suggested that the US president “sit down” with Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and a top UAE military commander.
    “I offered that MBZ [the crown prince] is available to come to the US very soon and preferred a quiet meeting in New York or New Jersey. President Trump agreed that a meeting with MBZ was a good idea,” Mr Broidy wrote in an email.
    He also said he advised the president on Mr Tillerson - who was “performing poorly and should be fired at a politically convenient time”.
    Mr Tillerson had criticised the blockade of Qatar and called for it to be eased, in comments that contrasted with Mr Trump’s support for the move.
    Mr Tillerson spent most of the first year in his position embattled and weakened.
    Last autumn, in a rare move for the soft-spoken secretary, the state department held a press conference in which Mr Tillerson pushed back against reports he had called the president “a moron”.
    Who did Mr Broidy email?
    He emailed a detailed account of his meeting with the president to George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman with decades of experience serving as an interlocutor between the Middle East and Washington.
    Sources familiar with the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and possible links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, tell the BBC that Mr Nader has become a person of interest and has been questioned in recent weeks.
    Investigators questioned Mr Nader and other witnesses on whether there were any efforts by the Emiratis to buy political influence by directing money to Mr Trump’s presidential campaign, according to a New York Times report.

    What else was in the leaked emails?
    Mr Broidy also detailed a separate sit-down with Mr Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, according to the emails.
    After Mr Broidy criticised Qatar extensively to Mr Kushner, “Jared’s demeanour was very passive and pleasant but he seemed to not want to engage on this issue,” he wrote to Mr Nader.
    Kushner Companies - owned by the family of Jared Kushner - is reported to have in April 2017 sought financing from Qatar for its flagship property at 666 5th Avenue, New York.
    However, Mr Kushner has maintained that he has had no role in his family’s business since joining the White House last year.
    Has anyone else claimed to have been hacked?
    UAE ambassador to Washington Yousef al-Otaiba - who in diplomatic circles is known as the most effective and influential ambassador in Washington - has himself been a recent victim of email hacking.
    It’s well known in Washington that Mr Otaiba and Mr Kushner have enjoyed close relationship.
    Industry experts looking at both hacks have drawn comparisons between the two, showing reason to suspect links to Qatar.
    “This is rinse and repeat on Otaiba,” a source familiar with the hack told the BBC.
    The UAE has also been known to use similar tactics, and was accused of hacking Qatari government websites prior to the blockade, according to the FBI.


  • Arabic press review: How this da Vinci ended up in Abu Dhabi’s Louvre
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/arabic-press-review-yachts-da-vincis-779640225

    Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) traded a 26-room luxury yacht to Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) for a Leonardo da Vinci painting - and the world’s most expensive - which the Saudi crown prince bought in December, Arabi21 reports.

    Sources told Arabi21 that the yacht, named Topaz, was originally owned by the crown prince’s brother Mansour bin Zayed and is worth $450m. According to specialist websites, the famous yacht is 147 metres long, and can sleep 52 people.

    In exchange for Topaz, MbS gave MbZ “Salvator Mundi”, the $450m da Vinci painting which caused an uproar when The New York Times revealed that the Saudi crown prince was the buyer last year.

    #trop_trop_la_classe


  • Behind the extravagant hype of an Israeli-Saudi ’courtship’, Israel is setting the price for Riyadh to go nuclear

    The exaggerated reports and rumours about ever-closer ties are trial balloons: Jerusalem is signalling its reluctant assent to Riyadh obtaining a nuclear deterrent – but at a high price

    Victor Kattan Feb 13, 2018

    The real stumbling block between the two countries isn’t just the Palestinian issue. The elephant in the relationship, which is far less often mentioned, is Saudi Arabia’s pursuit of nuclear power.
    Israel is currently fighting a political battle in Washington to stop the U.S. from letting Riyadh develop its own nuclear energy program that would allow it to enrich uranium that could be used to develop a bomb.
    Israel has good reason to be concerned. According to reports, the Trump administration might be willing to lower certain safeguards that prevent U.S. companies from sharing sensitive nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia for fear that it might be used to develop weapons. This administration might not insist on the same precautions that Obama did in its nuclear cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi, for example, which forfeited its right to enrich uranium or reprocess plutonium.

    Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, at a news conference to mark the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, Iran. Feb. 6, 2018ATTA KENARE/AFP
    In its negotiations with the U.S., Saudi Arabia is not backing down from its demand to enrich uranium under its planned civilian nuclear program – using, ironically, as its rationale, the conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in which Iran has been allowed to enrich uranium. Prince Turki has made it clear, more than once, that should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries would look at all available options to meet the potential threat, including the acquisition of nuclear weapons. 
    The only snag for Saudi Arabia is the U.S. Congress, because this is where Israel has influential friends. Even if a deal is reached between Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration, Congress could either block the deal or add clauses preventing the U.S. from selling Saudi Arabia technology needed to enrich uranium or reprocess plutonium. 
    It is more than possible that through its media campaign, Israel is sending a signal to Riyadh that it understands very well Saudi Arabia’s desire for a nuclear deterrent regarding Iran - but there’s a price to be paid for Israel reducing the level of its direct and indirect opposition in Congress to an independent Saudi nuclear capability.
    What Israel appears to be saying to Saudi Arabia, via a variety of trial balloons, is that if Riyadh wants Israel’s help with obtaining support from Congress, then Israel wants something in return: Jerusalem, overflight rights for Israeli aircraft, direct military cooperation and intelligence exchanges, lucrative business deals for Israeli companies in Saudi Arabia, and so on.
    The publication of stories about Israel’s ever-closer relationship with Saudi Arabia, which are then magnified by media conglomerates in Qatar and Iran, is certainly one way of ensuring that the messages are received loud and clear.
    Saudi Arabia would likely have anticipated that Congress could give them trouble as it has done before. 
    But this time things might be different - and these changes might scupper Israel’s strategy.

    President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington D.C. March 14, 2017Evan Vucci/AP
    A deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia could aid the ailing U.S. nuclear industry and have wider benefits for corporate America. Moreover, the U.S. does not have a monopoly on nuclear technology.
    Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has already visited Moscow and signed agreements with Russia to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030. Saudi Arabia already has nuclear related understandings with China, France, Pakistan, South Korea, and Argentina. One expert has even suggested that Pakistan could assist Saudi Arabia by supplying Riyadh with sensitive equipment, materials, and the expertise that would aid Riyadh with enrichment or processing.
    Riyadh is also expanding research at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy and developing a cadre of nuclear scientists. Saudi Arabia is home to large uranium deposits that could be extracted with the appropriate technology.
    Obviously, Riyadh would prefer Washington’s blessing and support in developing its nuclear energy program within the rules of the global nonproliferation treaty rather than having to develop the program clandestinely with the aid of other states. Israel senses this, and would be willing to help Riyadh, but has set the price high.
    Israel would far prefer a covert alliance with Saudi Arabia to contain Iran over the U.S. allowing Riyadh to develop an independent nuclear deterrent. But Jerusalem is working to prepare for both eventualities. Whether that strategy will work remains to be seen.
    But should the Iran deal blow up on Trump’s watch, and Tehran acquires the capability to develop a weapon, no one should underestimate Riyadh’s resolve for self-preservation.
    Victor Kattan is Senior Research Fellow at the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore and an Associate Fellow at the Faculty of Law. Twitter: @VictorKattan


  • French fear losing control of Louvre in Middle East

    The Times & The Sunday Times
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/french-fear-losing-control-of-louvre-in-middle-east-097n8nvxl

    When the Louvre opened its first outpost in November, President Macron declared that the £3 billion museum in Abu Dhabi would be the repository of “creation, reason, intelligence and fraternity”.

    Less than two months later, the custodians of one of the world’s most famous art collections are accused of losing control of the Louvre of the Sands, as it has been nicknamed, and becoming a tool in the hands of Abu Dhabi’s ruling Al Nahyan family, which also owns Manchester City football club. Far from bringing Renaissance values to the Gulf, the new museum is enveloping the Louvre in Middle Eastern culture, critics have argued. Didier Rykner, founder of La Tribune de l’Art, an art news website, said: “The Louvre has been kidnapped by diplomatic issues in the Middle East. It’s scandalous.”

    The criticism came after the Abu Dhabi gallery omitted Qatar from a map next to an exhibit. Officials claimed it had been an oversight, but detractors said it was a deliberate slight borne of the diplomatic row between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital.

    h
    Inside the Louvre Abu Dhabi
    “It’s like publishing a map of France and leaving off Brittany,” Mr Rykner said. “No one seriously believes it was a mistake.” The omission showed that the Louvre had little control over the Arab museum to which it has lent its name, he said. His concerns are shared by Jean Lebrun, a historian and radio presenter, who said Mr Macron had fallen into a trap laid by Abu Dhabi’s “ruling clan”. He said: “At the precise moment that it is extending its absolute monarchy, Paris has declared it to be the guarantor of tolerance and progress.”

    Concerns first arose when the Louvre Abu Dhabi said that it was due to exhibit Salvator Mundi, the painting by Leonardo da Vinci which sold for a record $450.3 million in November.

    The buyer was reported to be Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, a Saudi prince who is close to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Prince Bader is thought to have acquired the work for Abu Dhabi, although there has been no official confirmation.

    Alexandre Kazerouni, a researcher at the Institute of Political Studies, Paris, said France was “not informed about this purchase, about which we know nothing of the details. This is a sign that the UAE authorities have politically appropriated the museum.”

    The Arab world’s first universal museum was borne of a treaty between Paris and the UAE in 2007. France lent 300 artworks, including Monet’s La Gare Saint-Lazare, Leonardo’s La Belle Ferronnière and Edouard Manet’s The Fife Player, along with cultural expertise and the Louvre’s brand, for 30 years.

    In return, Abu Dhabi agreed to pay €400 million for the right to use the name, along with other fees that could push the total sum up to €1.3 billion. The treaty says the museum will “work towards a dialogue between the East and the West, with each party respecting the cultural values of the other”.

    Mr Rykner said: “Jean-Luc Martinez [the Louvre’s president] is very afraid of upsetting the authorities in Abu Dhabi, so he lets them do what they like.”

    The Louvre declined to comment.


  • Le Louvre Abu Dhabi raye le Qatar de ses cartes
    http://abonnes.lemonde.fr/arts/article/2018/01/22/le-louvre-abu-dhabi-raye-le-qatar-de-ses-cartes_5245074_1655012.html

    C’est le genre de « détail » qui fait tache. A peine deux mois après l’ouverture en fanfare du Louvre Abu Dhabi, une carte exposée dans le musée des enfants qu’abrite l’institution fait polémique. Et pour cause : une presqu’île a disparu, comme engloutie par la mer. Il s’agit tout bonnement du Qatar, gommé de la péninsule arabique. Un choix étonnant pour un musée qui se veut universel, qui plus est dans une section qui se prétend éducative… Une petite pierre supplémentaire dans l’escalade des tensions entre le Qatar et les Emirats arabes unis, qui, aux côtés de l’Arabie saoudite, ont rompu les liens diplomatiques avec Doha.

    Selon l’accord signé en 2007, le Louvre doit être consulté à toutes les étapes de la conception et de la réalisation du musée, y compris pour les espaces pédagogiques. Pour Alexandre Kazerouni, cet incident est à rapprocher de l’achat par les autorités d’Abou Dhabi du Sal­vator Mundi, le tableau attribué à Leonard de Vinci qui a récemment battu tous les ­records : « La partie française n’était pas informée de cet achat, dont on ne sait toujours rien des dessous. Signe que le pouvoir émirati s’est approprié politiquement le musée. »

    Utiliser la culture pour diffuser des fausses nouvelles ;-)

    #Louvre #Abu_Dhabi #Fake_news


  • Le #Louvre_Abu_Dhabi raye le #Qatar de ses cartes
    http://www.lemonde.fr/arts/article/2018/01/22/le-louvre-abu-dhabi-raye-le-qatar-de-ses-cartes_5245074_1655012.html


    1. La carte géographique présentée au Louvre Abu Dhabi où le Qatar a disparu
    Photo : Simon Henderson

    (note : la photo ci-dessus n’est pas celle retenue par Le Monde qui choisit de représenter une photo extérieure du musée…)

    C’est le genre de « détail » qui fait tache. A peine deux mois après l’ouverture en fanfare du Louvre Abu Dhabi, une carte exposée dans le musée des enfants qu’abrite l’institution fait polémique. Et pour cause : une presqu’île a disparu, comme engloutie par la mer. Il s’agit tout bonnement du Qatar, gommé de la péninsule arabique. Un choix étonnant pour un musée qui se veut universel, qui plus est dans une section qui se prétend éducative… Une petite pierre supplémentaire dans l’escalade des tensions entre le Qatar et les Emirats arabes unis, qui, aux côtés de l’Arabie saoudite, ont rompu les liens diplomatiques avec Doha.

    Le 17 janvier, un article du Washington Institute for Near-East Policy (Winep), un think tank pro-israélien basé à Washington, met le feu aux poudres. Son auteur, Simon Henderson, y signale la suppression du Qatar de la carte accrochée dans l’espace pédagogique du Louvre Abu Dhabi, indiquant qu’une telle ­décision est « probablement incompatible avec l’accord permettant à Abou Dhabi d’utiliser le nom du Louvre ».

    La Tribune de l’Art d’où provient l’image ci-dessus fournit, en comparaison, la carte réelle…


    2. La carte réelle, avec la péninsule du Qatar
    Photo : Wikipedia



  • UAE says Qatar fighter jets intercept flight ; Doha denies it - ABC News
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/uae-claims-qatar-fighter-jet-intercepts-commercial-flight-52351549

    aujourd’hui

    The United Arab Emirates on Monday claimed that Qatari fighter jets intercepted one of its commercial airliners in international airspace on the way to Bahrain, an allegation promptly denied by a Doha official.

    hier
    Qatar says Emirati plane violated airspace, UAE denies
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gulf-qatar-emirates/qatar-says-emirati-plane-violated-airspace-uae-denies-idUSKBN1F035W

    Je précise à ceux qui ne suivent pas l’actualité du monde arabe qu’il ne s’agit pas de foot !

    Je pense qu’on est toujours dans #nuit_torride

    • Deux (?) incidents avec des avions militaires émiratis,

      Recently, Qatar accused Emirati military jets of violating its air space in December and January in two incidents, filing a complaint to the United Nations.

      Celui de décembre est décrit, mais je ne trouve pas trace de celui de janvier. Peut-être s’agit-il du dépôt de plainte ?

    • Mais il y a aussi l’info sur le prince qatari dont MbS a pu, un temps, penser qu’il pouvait l’utiliser comme pion …

      On Sunday night, an exiled Qatari ruling family member once promoted by Saudi Arabia amid its ongoing dispute with Doha appeared in an online video, claiming he’s being held against his will in the United Arab Emirates, an allegation denied by Abu Dhabi.

      The video of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, a little-known ruling family member until the Qatar crisis, also offered new fuel to the stalemated dispute. It also recalled the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri while on a trip Riyadh, a Nov. 4 decision that was widely perceived as Saudi-orchestrated at the time.

      (info bien détaillée dans la légende de la photo dans ton billet)

      Exiled Sheikh Abdullah, once promoted by Saudi Arabia amid its ongoing dispute with Doha, appeared in an online video posted Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, and aired by Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera, claiming he’s being held against his will in the United Arab Emirates, an allegation denied by an Abu Dhabi official.

    • ويوم أمس، انتشر مقطع مصور يظهر آل ثاني وهو يتهم ولي عهد أبو ظبي، محمد بن زايد، باحتجازه، محملاً الأخير المسؤولية عن أي أذى يلحق به. وقال آل ثاني، في التسجيل، «(إنني) كنت ضيفاً عند الشيخ محمد، (إلا أنني) الآن لم أعد في وضع ضيافة وإنما في وضعية احتجاز»، مضيفاً أن الإماراتيين أوعزوا إليه بعدم مغادرة المكان الذي يقيم فيه. وأعرب عن خشيته من أن «يحصل لي مكروه، ويقوموا بإلقاء اللوم على قطر»، مشدداً على أنه «إذا حدث لي شيء، فأهل قطر بريئون منه، والشيخ محمد هو من يتحمل المسؤولية».


    • http://www.webdo.tn/2017/12/22/tunisiennes-interdites-de-voyage-aux-emirats-arabes-unis
      Toutes les ressortissantes tunisiennes se verront refuser l’accès aux Emirats arabes unis même en transit à l’aéroport de Dubai. C ‘est ce qu’a confirmé ce vendredi 22 décembre, le représentant de la compagnie nationale Emirates à Tunis.

      Selon la compagnie aérienne la restriction d’avis de voyage a été émise par le gouvernement des Emirats arabes unis. L’API-Emirats Arabes Unis a informé les compagnies aériennes que les ressortissants tunisiens de sexe féminins seront interdites d’entrée aux Emirats même pour un le transit ou un transfert de et vers les Emirats.

      La seule exception à cette interdiction serait le cas où la femme tunisienne est une résidente aux Emirats ou détiendrait un passeport diplomatique tunisien pour une mission aux Emirats.

      L’API tient les compagnies aériennes pour responsables pour confirmer et valider le VISA Résident ou le Passeport Diplomatique Tunisien.

      Aucun détail ni motif n’a été rendu public pour expliquer cette décision. Le Ministère des Affaires Etrangères n’a pas encore réagi ni donné d’explications.

    • Visa & Passport Information | Emirates United Arab Emirates
      https://www.emirates.com/ae/english/before-you-fly/visa-passport-information/find-visa-requirements-results.aspx?NC=TN&NV=Tunisia&DC=AE&DV=United+Arab+

      Visa & Passport Information
      Destination - United Arab Emirates (AE)

      Passport
      Passport required.
      Document Validity:
      Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the arrival date.

      Passports and other documents accepted for entry issued to passengers who stay less than 3 months must be valid for a minimum of 3 months from the arrival date. This does not apply when entering in Abu Dhabi (AUH).

      Admission and Transit Restrictions:
      Admission refused to passengers with a hand-written passport at Dubai (DXB).
      Admission and transit refused to female nationals of Tunisia.

      This does not apply to passengers with a residence visa issued by United Arab Emirates. Airlines must contact API-UAE ( 00971 800274823 or APIUAECallCenter@manafth.ae ).


  • Has Kushner given Riyadh carte blanche? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2017/11/jared-kushner-saudi-arabia-carte-blanche-destablize-region.amp.html

    WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have found themselves at odds of late with US State Department diplomats and Defense Department leadership, taking provocative actions by blockading Qatar; summoning Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh earlier this month, where he abruptly resigned; and blockading since Nov. 6 major Yemeni ports from desperately needed humanitarian aid shipments in retaliation for a Nov. 4 Houthi missile strike targeting Riyadh’s international airport.

    The State and Defense departments have urged Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to ease their pressure campaigns on Qatar and Lebanon and improve aid access in Yemen to avert catastrophic famine. But Saudi and Emirati officials have suggested to US diplomatic interlocutors that they feel they have at least tacit approval from the White House for their hard-line actions, in particular from President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who Trump has tasked with leading his Middle East peace efforts.

    Kushner has reportedly established a close rapport with UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba, as well as good relations with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with whom Kushner met in Riyadh in late October.

    But growing US bureaucratic dismay at perceived Saudi/Emirati overreach, as well as Kushner’s mounting legal exposure in the Russia investigations, has many veteran US diplomats, policymakers and lobbyists urging regional players to be cautious about basing their foreign policy on any perceived green light, real or not, from the Kushner faction at the White House. They warn the mixed messages could cause Gulf allies to miscalculate and take actions that harm US interests. And they worry US diplomacy has often seemed hesitant, muted and delayed in resolving recent emerging crises in the Middle East, in part because of the perceived divide between the State Department and the Department of Defense on one side and the White House on the other, making US mediation efforts less effective and arguably impeding US national security interests.