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English News

Saudis humiliated by GCC failed summit, Alkhalifa jail Sh Ali Salman


Alwihda Info | Par Bahrain Freedom Movement - 18 Décembre 2016


The 37th GCC summit in Manama held last week was a political failure as the heads of state disagreed among themselves on the core issue championed by the Saudis; the creation of the Gulf Union. It appears that the Gulf allies, mainly UK and USA, rejected the proposal that would have led to certain fragmentation of the fragile alliance of the Gulf sheikdoms. Among them only the Alkjhalifa tribal sheiks expressed enthusiasm for the Saudi proposal, against the people�s rejection of compromising the country�s sovereignty to the Saudi occupiers. The Omanis and Qataris are angry with the Saudi regional policies and could not accept to merge with them. The Qataris in particular are often infuriated by the Saudi and Alkhalifa continuous attempts to humiliate them at international levels. Last week Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Qatari Minister of Youth and Sports said that both are still conspiring against his country. In response to a question about the possibility that Qatar be stripped of the 2022 World Cup because of workers complaining to FIFA about what they say �workers right abuse� in the country the minister said: �This is not possible. FIFA does not exaggerate a small problem. There is of course concrete evidence that the President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Sheikh Salman (Alkhalifa) and the President of Saudi Arabian Football Federation, Ahmad al Harbi were the main organizers of the Scenario against Qatar, lobbying to lead this complaint toward their desired result. If such a thing is going to happen, we have much to say.�
 
The controversy surrounding the negative remarks on Saudi Arabia by UK�s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has continued even after his trip to the country. The remarks infuriated the Saudis and created confusion in London. Despite a statement by Downing Street to put a line under these remarks, his supporters insisted that what he had said were facts and could not be denied or altered. Boris Johnson accused Saudi Arabia of abusing Islam and acting as a puppeteer in proxy wars throughout the Middle East, in remarks that flout a longstanding Foreign Office convention not to criticise the UK�s allies in public. The foreign secretary told a conference in Rome two weeks ago that: �There are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives. That�s one of the biggest political problems in the whole region. And the tragedy for me � and that�s why you have these proxy wars being fought the whole time in that area � is that there is not strong enough leadership in the countries themselves.� The foreign secretary then identified Saudi Arabia and Iran specifically, saying: �That�s why you�ve got the Saudis, Iran, everybody, moving in, and puppeteering and playing proxy wars.� These statements coincided with the controversial visit by the Prime Minister, Teresa May, to Manama where she attended the GCC conference.
 
On Monday 12th December Alkhalifa court of cassation confirmed the nine years prison sentence imposed by Bahrain�s dictator on Sheikh Ali Salman, the Secretary General of AlWefaq , the largest political society. He is accused of spreading hate of the regime, and working to change it. Amnesty International rejected the verdict and called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Ali Salman. On the same day Amnesty International�s Middle East Deputy Director of Campaigns said: �Today�s shocking verdict is another example of Bahrain�s flagrant disregard for the right to freedom of expression. Sheikh Ali Salman is a prisoner of conscience. He has been put behind bars merely for peacefully reaffirming his party�s determination to pursue power in Bahrain, to achieve the reform demands of the 2011 uprising and to hold those responsible for human rights violations to account. Instead of punishing him for peaceful criticism the Bahraini authorities must order his immediate and unconditional release.�
 
The international rating agency, Standard and Poor, has degraded Bahrain�s economy to BB- from BB. It said that the foreign reserves are dwindling and is a cause of concern. The Saudi financial aid will be needed to offset this decline. This explains Alkhalifa servitude to the Saudis.
 
A British thinktank that bills itself as a global authority on military and diplomatic affairs has been accused of jeopardising its independence after leaked documents showed it has secretly received �25m from the Bahraini royal family, which has been criticised for its poor human rights record. Confidential documents show that the country�s repressive rulers donated the sum to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) over the last five years. The documents also reveal that IISS and the Bahraini royals agreed to �take all necessary steps� to keep most of the donations secret. The Bahrain donations make up more than a quarter of IISS�s income.
 
Bahrain Freedom Movement
14 December 2016