Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 19 Dec 2018


  • Taliban Holds Talks with US
  • Reforms the Saudi Way
  • Turkey Reveals its true Position in Syria

Taliban Holds Talks with US

The Taliban and US held talks on Monday 17th Dec in Abu Dhabi. Representatives from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were also present. A delegation from the Afghan government was reportedly also in attendance. Ever since former Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar passed away, the organisation has been in transition due to numerous leadership changes and the opening of relations with former enemies, Iran and Russia. The framework for a deal based on reports suggest that the Taliban are being pushed to announce a six-month cease-fire, while the US is being pushed to announce a deadline for withdrawing its troops and forming a new interim government in Kabul that includes the Taliban. After holding the US to a stalemate for 17 years, there is little reason for the Taliban to negotiate, it is the US that is desperate to extricate itself.


Reforms the Saudi Way

Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias launched a three-day festival of music and motorsport on Dec 13 at a concert at an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah. No theatrics were excluded as displays of fireworks and lasers wowed the audience. This was followed up with shows from Arab music star Amr Diab and American pop stars the Black Eyed Peas. The climax of the festival was on Saturday 15th with the Saudi Ad Diriyah Formula E Grand Prix motor race, followed by the headline performances by OneRepublic and the megastar DJ/producer David Guetta. In the land that the Prophet of Islam ﷺ traversed its seems MBS’s reforms extend to everything that the Prophet ﷺ came to eradicate


Turkey Reveals its true Position in Syria

The foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey met for talks on Tuesday Dec 18 in Geneva, where they sought the United Nations’ blessing for the composition of a Syrian constitutional committee that would draft a new charter followed by elections. Staffan de Mistura, U.N. Special Envoy for Syria who steps down at year-end, said at the weekend the constitutional committee could be a starting point for political progress. “It does touch, for instance, on presidential powers, it could and should be touching on how elections are done, on division of power, in other words a big issue,” he said. Turkey has now revealed its true hand, it now openly supports Bashar al-Assad, with flimsy excuses about winning elections. The three nations along with the US have all been in agreement that the regime should remain, despite there operational differences. Now that everyone has succeeded in regaining the whole of Syria for al-Assad and his cronies, discussions have started on the post-Syrian uprising set-up.