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Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Al-Akhbar describes UAE-Saudi conflict playing out in Yemen

Yes, it is from the Anti-KSA monarchy daily Al-Akhbar, but nevertheless an important piece about intra-GCC conflicts: UAE vs. Saudi Arabia, with the emphasis on the anti-Wahhabi aspect of the conflict. Translated today by our Mideastwire.com (for a free trial, email info@mideastwire.com).

On February 21, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report: “The UAE views the southern and eastern governorates of Yemen as a new arena to enhance its religious, anti-Wahhabi methods… The competing between the “Gulf brothers” is not limited to the military authority, the economic weight and the political status. The competing exceeds all that to touch on the religious and spiritual leadership of the Muslims…

“This is how the situation currently looks like between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The history of the hostility between the two countries dates back to 1971, the year that saw the unification of the princedoms at the western coast of the Gulf. Back then, the Al-Nahyan family was worried since the Al-Saud family had crossed their eastern borders and were threatening the oil rich princedom of Abu Dhabi. Since that time, the UAE has been trying to demolish the self-proclaimed Saudi leadership of the Islamic world…

“This strategy started to escalate following the September 11 events in light of the anger against Al-Riyadh felt at the level of the western public opinion. The UAE saw this as an excellent opportunity to pull the rug from under its neighbor’s feet and to enhance its own presence under the slogan of “moderation” and “confronting extremism…” The UAE worked on attracting sheikhs and scholars known for their “moderation” and their affiliation to Al-Azhar. The polarization reached a pinnacle in July 2014 upon the establishment of the “Muslim Council of Elders” in Abu Dhabi under Al-Azhar’s Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayeb…

“The UAE is working today in South Yemen based on this same strategy… The available pieces of information indicate that Abu Dhabi’s agents are enticing the southern sheikhs to travel to Al-Azhar by securing all the necessary financial, physical, and logistical facilitations to them with the aim of restricting the Saudi-affiliated circles and preventing their ability to act on the religious call level…

“Moreover, sources from Aden indicate that the Sufi centers in the city and the areas around it have started to regain their activities under an Emirati support knowing that their role had gone dim in the past phase… The sources added that, in addition to the direct financial support, the UAE is rehabilitating the Sufi centers and fixing the damages that occurred there as a result of the battles in addition to supplying their clinics with necessary medical equipment and drugs. In Hadhramaut as well, Abu Dhabi is working on enhancing the Sufis’ presence and authority…

“In conclusion, it appears that Abu Dhabi is proceeding in enhancing its anti-Saudi Arabia religious methods and trying to book itself a front seat in the train of the new U.S. President, Donald Trump, who is brandishing the slogan of “fighting the Islamic extremism…” This is pushing Al-Riyadh to take some preventive measures, the last of which was reflected at the Aden Airport where – by hiding behind the decisions of the ousted President, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi – the Kingdom expressed an unprecedented insistence on scaling down the Emirati force…”

http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/272905

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

February 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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