While GCC policymakers have responded swiftly to the threat of COVID-19 domestically, some Gulf states deftly used the crisis to advance their foreign policy objectives with states with which they have had adversarial relationships. Only time will tell whether these new diplomatic opportunities will lay groundwork for concerted regional efforts.
Country signed historic normalisation deal with Israel. Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE) 15 Sept signed bilateral normalisation agreements with Israel at White House ceremony in Washington DC, U.S.; deal paves way for greater cooperation between two Gulf states and Israel in areas of defence, tourism, trade, and cybersecurity. News of agreement was met with some local opposition, with small protests mid-month erupting across country; 17 political and civil society groups 18 Sept signed petition expressing opposition to agreement; hashtag “Bahrainis Against Normalization” 15 Sept became top trending social media topic in country.
It's not the attacks that are surprising. It's that Iran has been able to avoid one for so long. The attacks were a wake-up call for Iran's security apparatus.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Crisis Group President Rob Malley and Board Member Naz Modirzadeh, a Harvard professor of international law and armed conflict, dive deep into the conflicts that rage around the globe, along with Crisis Group field analysts and special guests. This week, they discuss U.S. support for the Yemen war and the absence of the Palestinian issue from the normalisation agreement among Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Ethiopia, Will Davison, also joins them to discuss the challenges facing Ethiopia.
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