Why the Middle East energy market is so complicated

Energy strategist, Mohamad Kharkan, discusses the issues that effect the Middle East energy market. This is the third part of the energy series. One more article will follow. As the war in Syria continues, the mainstream media, which has relentlessly suppressed the Syrian government, continues to forget the fundamental aspect of the war, the energy...
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How the strategic balance of power in the Middle East is shifting

The Old Quarter in Amman, Jordan (Adobe) The Egypt, Jordan, Iraq alliance seeks to deal with shifts in the strategic balance of power in the Middle East, writes Ahmad Abdul-Rahman. The Iraqi capital, Baghdad, witnessed the fourth tripartite summit between the leaders of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan on June 27. This was part of the tripartite cooperation ...
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What does Raisi's appointment to Iran's presidency mean for Iraq?

In this article Ahmad Abdul-Rahman looks at the rise of Ebraham Raisi to the Iranian presidency and Iran's expected role in Iraq. The victory of the conservative candidate in the recent Iranian presidential elections, Ebrahim Raisi, sparked mixed reactions about the nature of the expected Iranian role in Iraq. The two countries have always been clo...
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The Caspian Sea proves rich for regional strategy

In this article, energy strategist, Mohamed Kharkan,  looks at the relationship Iran and Central Asia has to oil. This follows the previous article he penned. There will be more articles to follow. The legal issue of the Caspian Sea had to be resolved so that Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan could exploit its oil and gas resources. Europe r...
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The Middle East's involvement in the Central Asian oil market

In this article Mohammed Al Kharkan, an energy strategist, looks at how oil and gas supplies has shaped the geopolitics of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. This is the first part of four articles on the subject. The former Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan to transport its gas resources from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Chechnya and Russi...
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Tunisia: is it in the forefront of forthcoming developments in the Arab World?

A high level of youth unemployment, mounting government debt, corruption and the impact of COVID- 19 have combined to spur unrest in Tunisia- the birthplace of the Arab Spring in December 2010. Like many countries in the Middle East, economic reforms did not materialize, even though it cast off its authoritarian president, c North Africa and the Mi...
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"Cloud seeding" developments in the UAE

I read this story with interest. Why has it taken so long for a story to be written about "cloud seeding". This has been going on for years in Dubai, UAE. When I first arrived in the city state in September 2005, "cloud seeding", as it was termed, was just starting. I was shocked. Initially. I didn't see any rain for three years, and coming from th...
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Why the Magreb is strategically important

In this article Ahmad Abdul-Rahman looks at why the Maghreb region is strategically important to the rest of the world. The location of the Maghreb is considered to be strategic geographically. The bloc is also similar in terms of the countries' proximity to one another, their topography, culture, language, religion, history and ambition. As well a...
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The World Bank praises Egypt's efforts to achieve comprehensive economic recovery

In this article Ahmed Abdul-Rahman explains how the World Bank has reacted to Egypt's post-pandemic economic recovery. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe economic recession in most countries. Such is the downturn, it has now become the worst economic crisis the world has experienced since the Great Depression of 1929-1933. The recent find...
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Saudi push to launch a new airline and ensure regional dominance

Saudi Arabia is launching an airline, alongside existing airline Saudia, to rival Emirates and Qatar Airways. Will they manage to compete with these airlines? Both have very established routes crossing East to West, which they  dominate. Arguably, Dubai and Doha are now well-known transit points and holiday destinations because of these a...
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Israeli spyware found on cellphones of journalists and politicians

There's a lot of upset among the journalism fraternity that many journalists have been spied on, with Israeli spyware no less. This spying extends to news organisations such as CNN and AP.  The journalists who work there thought they were immune to such intimation. Only people who worked for "less reputable" Middle Eastern organisations were s...
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The Horn of Africa and its strategic importance

In this article, Ahmad Abdul-Rahman explains the geo-strategic importance of the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is of great importance because it is one of the world's main sea-lanes both regionally and internationally. Sea-lanes are one of the most important elements of power because of their strategic and security role in maintaining the secu...
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How the geopolitics of Syria has reshaped the politics of the Middle East

Ahmad Abdul-Rahman explains how the Syrian conflict has drawn in Western powers that have helped to reshape the geopolitics of the Middle East. The Syrian Spring has reached its 10 th year with a terrifying outcome from the conflict, as the number of victims reaches the thousands and the number of refugees has reached millions, according to a repor...
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Ration cards for Lebanon amid a growing economic crisis

Lebanon is a mess, economically and socially. Much of the population (at least 55% according to recent reports) is struggling to survive. The value of the currency continues to fall (the local currency has depreciated by 90%) and the country is suffering from hyper-inflation. The country also has a political system that tries to appease all the par...
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How will the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam pan out?

There's been a lot going on in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the last few weeks. There's been elections in Iran; an increased number of attacks in Iraq by Iran; the replacement of Israel's former prime minister and longest-serving, Benjamin Netanayhu with Naftali Bennett; and trouble between Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt with the pr...
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How geopolitical developments are changing the Middle East

The current changes in international geopolitics makes achieving unity between Egypt and the rest of the Arab countries an inevitable necessity. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman discusses the issues.   When we talk about the importance of a strong Arab and regional order, we are talking about the need to restore the Arab ability to maintain regional and str...
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Biden's strategy for the Middle East

Ahmad Abdul-Rahman looks at Biden's strategy for the Middle East and its geopolitical implications The Biden administration's new strategy in the Middle East is forcing regional powers to reassess their geostrategic interests and act in a way that may put an end to many of the conflicts that have plagued the region. Correcting the mistake When Joe ...
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Israeli foreign minister in UAE on first official visit

In the past, Israel and the UAE have had a tetchy relationship. This is no longer the case. The two countries signed an agreement signaling a rapprochement one year ago. The situation now is a far cry from when I used to try and contact Israel from Dubai. The telephone would ring but no one would answer. I wonder why? Emails would also leave (or so...
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Shocking predictions for the Middle East in 2021

Ahmad Abdul-Rahman highlights the key factors that will impact the Middle East in the coming months, as the effects of covid-19 wreck havoc. Restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus and thus relieve pressures on weak healthcare systems have had an enormous impact on economic growth in the Middle East. In simplified terms, the Worl...
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Iraq and Lebanon suffer from the absence of patriotism and the spread of sectarian divisions

By Ahmad Abdul-Rahman in Egypt Since the American invasion in 2003, Iraq has been destined to follow the footsteps of Lebanon. Like Lebanon, Iraq is governed by geography, different from it in history, and similar to it in the birth of the modern entity after the First World War. Mesopotamia was from the days of Assyria and Babylon to the days of S...
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