CROSSROADS ARABIA: If the rate continues as it is going, Saudi Arabia could be a net importer of oil in 17 years’ time. That’s plausible, based on the figures, but unlikely…
DAVID ROBERTS: The Saudi authorities have been actively promoting a union of Gulf states but with little success. There’s a clear reason why.
FRANCIS MATTHEW: It’s likely to succeed if it focuses on ways to make the existing GCC work better, rather than offer any new political structure.
JAMES DORSEY: According to the ITUC “workers are dying in Qatar as they build World Cup stadiums, suffering large scale exploitation every day.
DAVID ROBERTS: There will be fine talk and likely a positive joint statement will be issued but no firm action will be agreed.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: Qatar is to allow the formation of trade unions. In addition, it will end the current system of sponsorship for foreign workers.
ROB L. WAGNER: They played a leading role in the early stages of the Arab Spring. But have women seen concrete benefits yet?
DAVID ROBERTS: if Qatar’s role is tempered by lack of Saudi support, the region will be without a state willing to push the boundaries of regional politics.
LULUA ASAAD, CGNEWS: Here’s a shocking statistic – 60% of Saudi women with a Phd are unemployed. What’s to be done?
JAMES M. DORSEY: Campaigning is under way for the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation. The position is never far from controversy.
ROB L. WAGNER: As tensions increase all parties are beginning to make calculations regarding the effect of a possible conflict in the Arabian Gulf.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Powerful forces are at work in both Egypt and Yemen to mould the emerging political landscape to benefit these particular players.
ABUBAKR AL-SHAMAHI, CGNEWS: The incoming government in Yemen have a very long ‘to do’ list. What, though, should be their immediate priorities?
JAMES M. DORSEY: Military court sentences goalkeeper, plus two other sportsmen, despite pledge by the King to move trials to civilian courts.
JUAN COLE: Events are moving quickly in the region, and here are some notable developments with implications for democracy in the Middle East.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: It’s a very rich country but faces a serious unemployment problem. Why so and what to do?
DAVID ROBERTS: The Wall Street Journal has published a very curious piece indeed on the relationship between Iran and Bahrain. It’s long on allegation but very short on proof.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Their reluctance to be proactive rather than reactive has so far shielded the GCC from the revolt. The question is for how long, and what’s the price?