When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

TOPIC: gulf countries

This Happened

This Happened — August 2: Iraq Invades Kuwait

Iraq invaded Kuwait on this day in 1990. This surprise invasion marked the beginning of a major international conflict and set the stage for the Gulf War.

Get This Happened straight to your inbox ✉️ each day! Sign up here.

Watch VideoShow less

Unpacking Erdogan's Charm Offensive In The Gulf (It's Complicated)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent tour of Gulf states is proof that the Turkish president aims to repair his country's diplomatic ties in the region, all the while looking for investment for Ankara's floundering economy. Quite the reversal of fortunes considering that not so long ago Gulf countries faced accusations of sponsoring the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

ISTANBUL — After traditional stops in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently went on an official tour of Arabian Gulf countries, highlighting the importance he pays to the region. The Turkish markets were promptly boosted by news of economical collaboration and investment opportunities.

The goal of Erdogan’s rushed visits to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar is obvious: it's the economy, stupid, no matter how much government pundits try to argue that both sides are looking for multidimensional collaborations. Turkey needs foreign investments, and the sooner, the better.

The easiest doors to knock on are those of the deep-pocketed kingdoms and emirates of the Gulf. Qatar, especially, is an emirate that Turkey has been close to even at its loneliest times, but relations between the two countries have been rather problematic lately. The Gulf countries, in particular, were not so long ago presented by government-friendly media in Turkey as the sponsors of a coup attempt in 2016 against the Turkish president. However, problems date back from even before that, when the coup in Egypt unfolded.

Keep reading...Show less

Trafficking Women: A Travel Agent Scam, From India To Oman

Female travel agents are luring financially weak women from villages to send them to the Gulf nations as domestic workers and caretakers where abuse is the norm.

JALANDHAR — On May 20, when Paramjit Rani* boarded the Muscat-New Delhi-Amritsar flight, it was the most precious moment of her life. She was finally escaping from the clutches of her Arab owners in Muscat, where she was held captive and allegedly forced to perform forced sexual activities.

Paramjit returned to India within two months of her stay in Muscat. She was on a 12-day tourist visa trip. She was working as a caretaker and maid at a hospital in Muscat on a monthly salary of 30,000 rupees ($364). She went to Muscat on March 16 and returned on May 20.

While in most cases, travel agents dupe gullible people, in Paramjit’s case, it was her husband’s maternal aunt who conned her.

Keep reading...Show less

Why Sudan's Conflict Makes The Gulf Monarchies So Nervous

Located on the shore of the Red Sea, rich in natural resources, Sudan is strategically important to the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. Worried about a conflict that is getting bogged down, Arab capitals are mobilizing behind the scenes, with initial "pre-negotiation" talks beginning Saturday in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

DUBAI – The war of the Sudanese generals has both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi worried — and there is no sign that the crisis in Sudan will end soon.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia was hosting the first face-to-face "pre-negotiation talks" between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the port city of Jeddah, across the Red Sea from the Sudan coast.

The African nation is of strategic importance to the Gulf powers, which are ensuring a diplomatic but also economic presence there. That has increased notably since 2017, after the lifting of the decade-long, U.S.-led embargo on the Islamist regime of Omar al-Bashir accused of supporting international terrorism. Since then, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been investing massively in the country, particularly in infrastructure and agriculture.

With its fertile lands, and a rainy season that benefits at least half of the country, Sudan offers agricultural potential for the countries of the neighboring desert peninsula, which have planned to make it "the breadbasket of the Gulf."

Keep reading...Show less
Dani Rubinstein

The Politics Of The Palestinian Wedding Business

TEL AVIV — A whole lot of money is involved in the current Palestinian political struggles, with some suggesting that the ability to bring in the bucks is a non-official competition for the title to be the next president of the Palestinian authority. And no better way to judge that than to measure how notable weddings are being celebrated.

We see, for example, that the current president Mahmoud Abbas marked his 80th birthday by celebrating his eldest grandson's wedding in Qatar.

Watch VideoShow less