The United States is negotiating behind the scenes with Saudi Arabia, pressuring the country to keep selling its oil in dollars. Washington is concerned that Riyadh may price its crude in other currencies, particularly China’s renminbi. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s top three oil producers. Since the 1970s, Riyadh has agreed to sell its crude in dollars, helping maintain the greenback’s hegemonic status as the global reserve currency. The Wall Street Journal reported that the US is working on a diplomatic deal in which Saudi Arabia would agree to normalize relations with Israel’s apartheid regime.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, June 8. He was the second top US official to visit the kingdom in less than a month, after National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. His visit was widely seen as a desperate attempt by the Joe Biden administration to hold on to its “closest ally” in the West Asian region. Before Blinken started his tour, he had stated that normalization of Saudi-Israel relations was one of the top priorities of his government. However, reports indicate that Blinken not only failed to get any assurance from the Saudis on that front, but had to concede some crucial ground on significant regional issues.
Heavy shelling in Sudanese capital Khartoum and its sister-cities of Khartoum Bahri (North) and Omdurman continued on the morning of Monday, May 22, hours before a seven-day ceasefire was scheduled to begin at 9:45 p.m local time. The “Agreement on a Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements” was signed on May 20 by the envoys of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF)—former allies and partners-in-coup who have been fighting each other since April 15. By then, the death toll of civilians caught in the crossfire had climbed to 850, while nearly 4,000 others were injured, said the Sudanese Doctors Union (SDU), stressing that these figures do not include casualties among fighters.
West Asia is a region that is currently experiencing a great deal of geopolitical activity. Recent diplomatic efforts, initiated by Russia and overseen by China, secured a long-elusive Iranian and Saudi Arabian rapprochement, while Syria’s return to the Arab League has been welcomed with great fanfare. The diplomatic flurry signals a shift away from the Imperial “Divide and Rule” tactics that have been used for decades to create national, tribal, and sectarian rifts throughout this strategic region. The proxy war in Syria, backed by the Empire and its terror outfits – including the occupation of resource-rich territories and mass theft of Syrian oil – continues to rage on despite Damascus having gained the upper hand.
A newly-released court filing raises grave questions about the relationship between Alec Station, a CIA unit set up to track Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his associates, and two 9/11 hijackers leading up to the attacks, which was subject to a coverup at the highest levels of the FBI. Obtained by SpyTalk, the filing is a 21-page declaration by Don Canestraro, a lead investigator for the Office of Military Commissions, the legal body overseeing the cases of 9/11 defendants. It summarizes classified government discovery disclosures, and private interviews he conducted with anonymous high-ranking CIA and FBI officials. Many agents who spoke to Canestraro headed up Operation Encore, the Bureau’s aborted, long-running probe into Saudi government connections to the 9/11 attack.
While the world continues to come to grips with the reality — and consequences — of the Chinese-brokered rapprochement between Saudi Araba and Iran, another diplomatic coup is unfolding in the Middle East. This one is orchestrated by the Russians. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan flew to Damascus last week, where he met Syrian President Bashar Assad. This visit followed that of Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad earlier this month to Riyadh. The two countries severed diplomatic relations in 2012 at the beginning of a Syrian civil conflict that saw Saudi Arabia throwing its money behind anti-regime fighters seeking to remove Assad from power.
In the same Russia Today interview, Assad declared his refusal to meet with Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan without the withdraw of Turkish military forces from the lands it occupies in Syria.These two statements clearly underline Damascus’ policy approach to “reconciliations” taking place across West Asia. Assad’s change in stance towards Saudi Arabia came only after Riyadh completely withdrew its military presence from Syria. Notably, rapprochement efforts took a big leap forward two days ago when the Saudis, for the first time since the Syrian war’s onset, received Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Riyadh.
“Global Power Struggles Signal An End to An Era of Diplomacy.” So ran a page one headline for the New York Times April 11 print edition, marking Joe Biden’s ceremonial Ireland visit to to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Accords. The commemoration served as an “unspoken reminder that such diplomatic breakthroughs remain a thing of the past,” bemoaned reporter Peter Baker. Certainly, he is correct if one confines one’s view to the record of the US and its vassal states on the Ukraine crisis. Sec. of State Blinken has made it abundantly clear that the US wants nothing to do with negotiations to end the US proxy war in Ukraine.
A delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Yemen’s capital Sana’a alongside Omani negotiators with the aim of reaching a resolution to the protracted war in Yemen. This marks a major turning point in a conflict that began more than eight years ago and has been characterized as a stalemate between Yemen’s Houthis and a coalition of anti-Houthi forces backed and led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This arguably unexpected turn of events — surprising given Saudi Arabia’s years-long war against a group they characterize as “Iran-allied rebels” — is the result of talks that began in early 2022 between the Saudi Arabian government and Yemen’s government in Sana’a, led by Ansar Allah — also known as the Houthis.
The shock oil production cuts from May outlined by the OPEC+ on Sunday essentially means that eight key OPEC countries decided to join hands with Russia to reduce oil production, signaling that OPEC and OPEC+ are now back in control of the oil market. No single oil producing country is acting as the Pied Piper here. The great beauty about it is that Saudi Arabia and seven other major OPEC countries have unexpectedly decided to support Russia’s efforts and unilaterally reduce production. While the eight OPEC countries are talking about a reduction of one million b/d from May to the end of the year, Russia will extend for the same period its voluntary adjustment that already started in March, by 500,000 barrels.
Thanks to China's and Russia's mediation peace is breaking out in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates has begun withdrawing its forces from #Yemen. The Saudi-Emirati-Yemenite agreement will be announced soon. The Middle East is solving its conflicts without the #US negative impact. Peace will also come to Syria. The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia will soon visit Damascus. He will invite Syria to rejoin the Arab League. An Arab League summit will be held next month in Saudi Arabia and the Syrian president Bashar al Assad is expected to be there.
The government of Saudi Arabia decided to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as a dialogue partner on Wednesday, March 29, making it the third Arab country to do so after Egypt and Qatar. The decision to join the SCO was taken in a cabinet meeting headed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA). Saudi Arabia’s dialogue partner status can be converted into full membership of the group in the future. The SCO was established in 2001 with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as members. It is the successor of the Shanghai Five group. Later, India and Pakistan also became full members of the the political and strategic grouping, and Iran is set to join by the end of this year.
Thousands took to the streets across major Yemeni cities including Sanaa, Sa’ada, and Taiz on Sunday, March 26, to mark the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Saudi-led aggression in the country. The protesters reiterated their demand for an end to the aggression and the lifting of the blockade on the country. The leaders of the Houthi movement have called these essential conditions for peace. The National Day of Resilience and Steadfastness, as March 26 is celebrated by the Yemenis, symbolizes their resolve amid the large-scale destruction caused by the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes and blockade.
In a surprising development last weekend, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore normal relations, reopen embassies in each other’s country, and reactivate security and trade agreements that have lain dormant. The agreement has the potential to shake up both regional and global politics, but could also mean a lot less than it initially seems. It must be emphasized that this agreement, while certainly important, is not a cure-all for the Iranian-Saudi rivalry that has had such devastating effects across the region. That competition will still exist, as it existed before Saudi Arabia cut off relations with Iran in 2016 in the wake of protests that attacked Saudi missions in Iran after Saudi Arabia executed Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shi’ite cleric and vocal critic of the Saudi government.
Over the last month we have seen astonishing geopolitical developments. In February China publicly lambasted U.S. hegemony, launched a global security initiative and offered a peace plan for Ukraine. On March 10 China mediated an agreement which restored relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. On March 15 Moscow rolled out the red carpet for the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Yesterday al-Assad and his wife Asma arrived in the UAE for talks with Sheikh Mohammed Also yesterday Iran and Iraq signed a security cooperation agreement that will stop the CIA sponsored Kurdish activities against Iran.