Tag Archives: bahrain

Observations of an expat: Shifting Arabian sands

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The recent establishment of diplomatic relations and business ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates raises a host of questions, hopes, problems, issues and consequences.

Is it good or bad?  In the constant shifting sands of the Middle East where tribal loyalties overlap with religious and ethnic rivalries it is probably best to say that it is a bit of both, and the need for a supreme balancing act will continue to be the order of the day.

The UAE has at least partially opened the diplomatic floodgates and other Arab countries are expected to soon follow. It is reckoned that the next Arab country to establish links with Israeli will be the Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was among the first to congratulate both Israel and the UAE on their bold move. The reason? Sunni king Al Khalifa is terrified of Iran. The Persians have long claimed the island as part of their territory, and 60 percent of the population is Shia.

Next on the likely list is Oman. The late Sultan Qaboos regularly acted as a mediator between Arab and Israeli interests. In 2018 he hosted a visit to Muscat by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Omanis have been praised for their regional diplomacy, not only between Israel and the Arab world, but also between Iran and Arabia.

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8 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Iran’s actions on US airbases “unacceptable”
  • Johnson’s hard negotiation deadline is unrealistic
  • Farron: Child refugees vote reveals Tory MPs’ true colours
  • Johnson’s govt must stand up to use of death penalty abroad
  • UK Govt must not abandon Iran Nuclear Treaty

Iran’s actions on US airbases “unacceptable”

Responding to Iran’s missile strikes on US airbases in Iraq, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Iran’s actions against US airbases last night were unacceptable and should be unequivocally condemned.

It is vital Boris Johnson does all he can to ensure dialogue and a de-escalation of this intensifying situation.

The Prime Minister must also take every step

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Bahrain’s Day of Reckoning August 14, 2013

BCHRAugust 14 has been designated by the youth of Bahrain as Tamarrud Day, the day of rebellion. They see the 42 years that have elapsed since the country gained its independence as a history of violent repression, littered with false promises of reform, the latest example of which is the so-called national dialogue.

After several months that process has achieved zero results though from the regime’s point of view it distracts attention from the continued imprisonment of the ‘Bahrain 13’, political leaders and human rights activists imprisoned for thoughtcrime.

Those men were tried …

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Eric Avebury writes… Bernie Ecclestone, F1 and Britain’s shameful friendship with Bahrain

ecclestone bahrainBernie Ecclestone is an appropriate person to be the public face of Formula 1, a ‘sport’ which is fast becoming known as the event of choice for autocrats who wish to launder their international reputation, as evidenced by the appearance of races in Bahrain and Dubai in recent years.

Ecclestone famously praised Thatcher, Hitler and Saddam a few years ago, saying that he preferred strong leaders, that Hitler was a man who was ‘able to get things done’, and yet paradoxically, that politics ‘is not for me’.

Equally bizarre, he …

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Bahrain – time for Britain to take a lead

On November 5, thirty-one Bahrainis were deprived of their citizenship arbitrarily, without notice and without judicial process, contrary to customary international law. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to a nationality and no-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality. The victims can appeal these decision, but there is no point. The king has absolute power to grant or rescind citizenship, and the courts wouldn’t dream of overturning his decisions.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

The weekend debate: Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bahrain

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

Two questions for you to ponder:

  • Should the Formula 1 Grand Prix go ahead?
  • Do you think the drivers should take personal responsibility for their decisions on whether to drive or not, or is that a decision for someone else and they should do whatever is decided?

Over to you…

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments
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