Weekly brief: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Catalans are in the spotlight

In this weekly brief we will talk again about a terroristic attack, political crisis in Lebanon and about very speedy law enforcement in Saudi Arabia.

A Taxi driver and a part-time terrorist


What shall be considered a part-time job: driving a taxi or dedicating yourself fully to the terrorist ideology? During the last Halloween in New York city nobody was amused by the fact that a young Uzbek man killed 8 people and injured 11. Among the victims were tourists. People of New York still took the streets and held Halloween events. This Uzbek man was afterwards captured and declared that he acted on behalf of Islamic State (“IS”). “Just another attack”- you would think, but there is a clear pattern. Uzbekistan – is nowadays suffering a big influence from the IS and many people join the terroristic organization from this country. In the course of past year Uzbek recruits performed the following acts of violence: On the New Year`s eve Party in Istanbul (Turkey) 39 people were killed, later in April in St.Petersburg(Russia) 14 people did not survive the explosion in the train, 4 people died in Stockholm after a truck hit pedestrians in Stockholm (Sweden).

Law enforcement in Saudi Arabia borders with (inter)national politics

A couple of days ago the “anti-corruption committee” has been established in Saudi Arabia. One day later around 38 former current, and deputy ministers, have been arrested on accusations of corruption. This is by far the most efficient and productive governmental committee ever established. It took them just a day to carry out all invastigations and deliver the reports. As a result of this speedy work, three current ministers were removed: Economy and Planning, National Guard Minister and Naval Forces commander. Dozens of businessmen were arrested. Among them – Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns 95% of Kingdom Holding, which holds stakes in global companies such as Citigroup, Twitter, Apple and News Corp.

The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman within past months has already implemented major changes in the country, however the amicable relations with the United States still seem to remain the same. However, these changes constitute a part of a bigger picture- regional politics.

FILE PHOTO - Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri presides a cabinet meeting at the governmental palace in Beirut

The neighbouring  Yemeni rebels fired a rocket, which nearly reached the capital of Saudi Arabia. The US president – Donald Trump- blamed Iran for this. Right after the removals and arrests in Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri informed about his resignation. There was no surprise that his candidacy was mainly supported by the Saudi politicians. Saad Hariri said that his life is under danger. He blamed Iran for this.

These events happened after the Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week met with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. During this visit there were several alarming US statements, which now can deserve more attention. Interestingly enough currently Donald Trump is conducting his visits in the Asian region and it is expected that in the course of the upcoming week he will meet Vladimir Putin.

In the meantime, Lebanon enters into a new deep political crisis and the stock markets are expected to be shaken this week due to the latest developments in the Region.

Carles Puigdemont surrendered

The Spanish court found that Carles Puigdemont and his four associates (which are currently in the Belgian Capital) committed acts of rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and the breach of trust. Mr. Puigdemont on Sunday afternoon surrendered and agreed to return to Spain unless the fair trial is guaranteed. On Monday the Belgian authorities will decide whether they will (or not) extradite the above mentioned Catalan politicians. One of the arguments not to extradite would be that the extradition may breach the human rights of the politicians. Under the agreed EU list of 32 offences you will not find “Seduction” and “Rebellion”, but would this (and the fair trial notion) be a basis for non-extradition of the wanted Catalan politicians?


Photos: Vox.com and REUTERS(Mohamed Azakir)

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