Medium and small states in the time of multipolarity

Three developments this week underscore that the growing multipolarity in the world order is inexorably loosening up established alliances that provided underpinnings previously for the United States to preserve its global hegemony through the past century. Given the magnitude of the domestic crisis in the US, it is not going to be able to reverse …

Saudi overtures to Qatar and Turkey bring results

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) welcomes Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Ankara, Turkey, Nov. 26, 2020  A rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Qatar is on cards. An announcement can be expected in a matter of days. Kuwait, which had been mediating between Riyadh and Doha hinted on November 27 that a breakthrough …

Biden casts a spell on Arabia’s shifting sands

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (L), called Turkish President Recep Erdoğan (R) on Nov. 20, 2020 to discuss reset of relations. The controversial meeting between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (commonly known as MbS) in Neom, the mega-city under development on the Red Sea coast, on November 22 drew world …

France challenges Russian peacekeeping in Caucasus

A Russian peacekeeper patrols at checkpoint outside Askeran, Nagorno-Karabakh, November 19, 2020. (AFP Photo) The trilateral agreement on November 10 between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia over Nagorno-Karabakh is leading to a geopolitical struggle in the Caucasus. So long as Armenia and Azerbaijan were ferociously fighting, the great game lurked in the shade.  But no sooner …

Putin creates conditions for ending bloodshed in Caucasus

The trilateral Armenia-Azerbaijan-Russia statement of November 10 on Nagorno-Karabakh is a major development in regional and international security. A daring attempt is afoot to tamp down an ethnic conflict with political overtones by redrawing territorial boundaries. The agreement bears the imprimatur of President Vladimir Putin. Putin’s separate statement attests to it. Broadly, under the deal, Azerbaijan will hold …

Iran has a plan for Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian shelling on Ganja, Azerbaijan, near Iran’s border   Iran has unveiled a regional initiative to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi returned to Tehran in the weekend after a regional tour to Azerbaijan, Russia, Armenia and Turkey to discuss the peace plan. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has since explained Tehran’s thinking.  …