Change is on the way in the Arab world, with Egypt the latest focal point. Here I review recent events and their implications for world oil markets.
Source: Google maps.
I begin with a timeline, if not to connect the dots, at least to collect the dots in a single list.
Caretaker premier Saad Hariri on Thursday accused Iran of meddling in Lebanon's affairs and taking Arab societies "hostage," sparking a harsh rebuke from Tehran's ally, Hezbollah."Lebanon and a number of Arab countries ... are suffering politically, economically and in terms of security from blatant Iranian interference in the Arab world," Hariri said at a business conference in Beirut.Saudi-backed Hariri, whose government collapsed on January 12 when Hezbollah and its allies withdrew from the cabinet, also warned Iran was "gradually taking Arab societies hostage."
Key Arab allies of the United States agreed Thursday to “do their share” to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), promising to take action to stop the flow of fighters and funding to the insurgents and possibly to join military action.
NATO member Turkey refused to join its Arab neighbours in their public pledge, however, signalling the struggle the West faces in trying to get front-line nations to set aside political feuds and work together against a common enemy.
Lebanon's Saudi-backed ruling camp on Tuesday lashed out at Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after the cleric brushed aside a UN probe into the murder of former premier Rafiq Hariri."It seems that Ayatollah Khamenei's remarks aim to undermine calm in Lebanon and across the Arab world," MP Ammar Houry of Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Future Movement told AFP.
The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra returned to the Arab world for the first time in 42 years with a concert in Abu Dhabi.Under the baton of British conductor Sir Simon Rattle it performed classics by Joseph Haydn, Johannes Brahms, Alban Berg and contemporary composer Brett Dean at the Tuesday evening concert at the opulent Emirates Palace hotel.The last time the orchestra performed in an Arab country was at the 1968 Baalbek International Festival in Lebanon, where it was conducted by Herbert von Karajan.It also played in Tehran in 1975.