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14 août 2015 5 14 /08 /août /2015 16:30
Les Etats-Unis vont accélérer leurs ventes d'armes aux pays du Golfe

"Nous sommes tombés d'accord pour accélérer certaines ventes d'armes qui sont nécessaires et qui ont pris trop de temps par le passé", a déclaré John Kerry lors d'une conférence de presse au Qatar.

 

04/08/2015 Par latribune.fr

 

Les États-Unis vont "accélérer" leurs ventes d'armes aux pays arabes du Golfe, a annoncé lundi le secrétaire d'État John Kerry, les monarchies s'inquiétant des ambitions régionales de leur rival iranien chiite et de l'accord sur le nucléaire.

 

Déjà très présents militairement, les États-Unis vont "accélérer" leurs ventes d'armes aux pays arabes du Golfe, a annoncé lundi le secrétaire d'État John Kerry, les monarchies sunnites s'inquiétant des ambitions régionales de leur rival iranien chiite et de l'accord sur le nucléaire. "Nous sommes tombés d'accord pour accélérer certaines ventes d'armes qui sont nécessaires et qui ont pris trop de temps par le passé", a déclaré John Kerry lors d'une conférence de presse au Qatar.

John Kerry était à Doha pour rassurer ses homologues des monarchies du Golfe sur les bienfaits de l'accord international sur le nucléaire iranien pour la sécurité de la région. Il a participé à une réunion exceptionnelle des ministres des Affaires étrangères des pays membres du Conseil de coopération du Golfe (CCG) : Arabie saoudite, Bahreïn, Émirats arabes unis, Koweït, Oman, Qatar. "Nous sommes tombés d'accord pour engager des formations très particulières (...) pour échanger et partager des renseignements", a poursuivi le chef de la diplomatie américaine.

 

Missiles balistiques

Il a également évoqué une poursuite des discussions entre les États-Unis et leurs alliés du Golfe, engagées à Camp David en mai, sur l'intégration des systèmes de missiles balistiques des pays de la région, ainsi que "l'augmentation du nombre d'exercices" militaires conjoints. "Ce sont quelques exemples de la manière dont nous pensons que la sécurité de la région peut être renforcée et la coopération améliorée", a plaidé John Kerry au côté du ministre des Affaires étrangères du Qatar, Khaled al-Attiya.

Ce dernier, parlant au nom de son pays, a assuré que l'accord sur le nucléaire iranien était "la meilleure option parmi d'autres". Les monarchies du Golfe, conduites par l'Arabie saoudite, ont accueilli avec prudence l'accord historique conclu le 14 juillet à Vienne entre l'Iran et les grandes puissances du groupe 5+1 (États-Unis, Chine, Russie, France, Royaume-Uni, Allemagne), sous l'égide de l'Union européenne.

D'une durée de dix ans, le compromis doit garantir que Téhéran ne se dotera pas de la bombe atomique en échange d'une levée progressive et conditionnelle des sanctions internationales qui étouffent son économie. Mais les puissances sunnites redoutent que leur rival chiite ne cherche dorénavant à élargir encore son influence dans le monde arabe et à s'imposer comme la puissance régionale.

 

- "un bon accord" -

Un diplomate américain s'est félicité que le chef de la diplomatie saoudienne, Adel al-Jubeir, ait "exprimé publiquement la satisfaction du gouvernement saoudien devant un bon accord". Mais le même Adel al-Jubeir avait dénoncé la semaine dernière des "déclarations agressives" émanant de responsables iraniens, après que Téhéran a accusé Bahreïn, allié de Ryad, d'exacerber les tensions en portant des accusations infondées contre Téhéran. Dimanche au Caire, John Kerry avait déjà assuré que le règlement avec l'Iran renforcerait la sécurité des pays arabes, inquiets des ambitions de Téhéran. Des propos quelque peu contradictoires avec la volonté des États-Unis d'accélérer les ventes d'armes dans les pays du Golfe.

Au même moment, dans une déclaration télévisée, le président iranien Hassan Rohani affirmait que l'accord nucléaire allait créer un "nouveau climat" régional afin de régler des conflits armés comme au Yémen et en Syrie. Poids lourd du Golfe, l'Arabie saoudite dirige une coalition arabe qui mène depuis fin mars au Yémen des frappes aériennes contre les rebelles chiites Houthis, afin d'empêcher cette rébellion soutenue par l'Iran de s'emparer de tout le pays. En Syrie, l'Iran est le principal allié régional du régime du président Bachar al-Assad, alors que l'Arabie saoudite soutient l'opposition.

 

La Syrie évoquée

John Kerry a rencontré à Doha ses homologues russe et saoudien, Sergueï Lavrov et Adel al-Jubeir, pour parler essentiellement du conflit syrien. A l'issue de cette réunion tripartie inédite, Sergueï Lavrov a dénoncé comme "contre-productives" les mesures supplémentaires annoncées par Washington pour défendre ses alliés combattant en Syrie. John Kerry s'est envolé en soirée pour Singapour.

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13 mai 2015 3 13 /05 /mai /2015 11:30
Terrorisme: Kerry veut de meilleurs accords de sécurité entre les pays du Golfe et les Occidentaux

 

13 mai 2015  Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Antalya (Turquie) - Le secrétaire d'Etat américain, John Kerry, a réclamé mercredi de meilleurs accords de sécurité entre les pays du Conseil de coopération du Golfe (CCG), les Etats-Unis et les Occidentaux pour combattre le terrorisme, à quelques heures d'un sommet avec le CCG à Washington.

 

Je pense que tous les Etats membres (de l'Otan) sont très conscients que définir un meilleur accord de sécurité entre le CCG, d'autres pays amis et les Etats-Unis sera essentiel pour les aider à repousser le terrorisme, a indiqué M. Kerry avant une réunion des chefs de la diplomatie de l'Otan à Antalya (sud-ouest de la Turquie).

 

Ce genre d'accord de sécurité peut aussi aider à combattre certaines activités qui se déroulent dans la région et qui sont perturbantes pour tous ces pays, a ajouté M. Kerry, faisant allusion à la rébellion des Houthis au Yémen qui a déclenché une campagne de frappes meurtrières d'une coalition de pays arabes emmenée par l'Arabie saoudite.

 

Barack Obama doit accueillir mercredi à la Maison Blanche les dirigeants du Golfe avec un message visant à rassurer: les Etats-Unis, engagés dans des négociations avec l'Iran sur son programme nucléaire, restent vigilants face aux activités déstabilisatrices de Téhéran.

 

En l'absence - remarquée - du roi Salmane d'Arabie saoudite, qui a décliné l'invitation à la dernière minute, le président américain devait s'entretenir dans le Bureau ovale avec le prince héritier Mohammed ben Nayef, ainsi qu'avec le fils du roi et ministre de la Défense, le prince Mohammed ben Salmane.

 

Ce sommet débute quelques heures après l'entrée en vigueur au Yémen d'une trêve humanitaire, mardi soir.

 

Washington et les États du Golfe doivent mettre au point un nouvel ensemble de mesures de sécurité au Proche-Orient. Mais l'exécutif américain est resté évasif sur le type de résultats auxquels il espère aboutir à l'issue de ces deux journées.

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28 avril 2015 2 28 /04 /avril /2015 16:30
La diplomatie proactive des pays du Conseil de Coopération du Golfe au Moyen-Orient


22/04/2015  La Lettre de l'IRSEM

 

La lettre de l'IRSEM n°2 - 2015

Dossier stratégique :
La diplomatie proactive des pays du Conseil de Coopéra-tion du Golfe au Moyen-Orient

 

La Lettre de l'IRSEM est notre lettre d'information. Chaque mois, chercheurs résidents et invités y présentent un dossier stratégique, des chroniques et points d'actualité.
Vous trouverez dans cette rubrique les liens vers les numéros de chaque collection annuelle.

Afin de recevoir par mail notre newsletter mensuelle, la Lettre de l'IRSEM, merci de nous préciser :
- vos noms, prénoms, grade, fonction, organisme, et adresse mail, à partir du lien ci-dessous :

 

La lettre de l'IRSEM n°1 - 2015
Dossier stratégique : Risques et défis internationaux

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9 mars 2015 1 09 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
Yemen: A Nation Divided

 

March 8, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The Shia rebels have declare themselves the legitimate rulers of Yemen, but they only control about a third of it. Shia militiamen occupy nearly half the country but in central Yemen the majority Sunnis are resisting with demonstrations and armed violence. The last elected leaders have set up a new capital in the southern port of Aden. There are now frequent attacks against Shia rebels in Baida, Marib, Ibb and Hadramout provinces. The Shia rebels are now trying to obtain aid, investment and diplomatic support from Russia and China, two countries that have long supported Iran. Over 80 percent of the 77 million people living in the Arabian Peninsula are Sunni and they are heavily armed and, at the moment, violently opposed to Shia Iran (the de facto head of Shia Islam). Over 80 percent of all Moslems are Sunni and the most holy shrines for all Moslems are in Saudi Arabia under the control of a very Sunni monarchy. The Yemeni Shia are aware of this which is why so many of them back making a peace deal with the Yemeni Sunnis and accepting as much as they can get. While the Sunni government in Aden is willing to talk, they are also asking for military assistance from the GCC. Many foreign embassies that had left the capital have now reopened in Aden. The U.S. “embassy” for Yemen is now being run out of the American consulate in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea port of Jeddah. Arab and Western nations are mobilizing economic support for the Aden government.

 

All this Shia success comes from the fact that the Shia rebels from the north allied themselves with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh (who is from a small Shia tribe near the capital) who was forced out in 2012 and refused to leave the country. Saleh supported (secretly at first but now openly) the Shia rebels and now he has called on military officers who were close to him (many of the senior ones were) to get their troops to join the Shia. Many of the Sunni troops refused or simply deserted. With many army bases undermanned Shia rebels have, pro-Hadi tribesmen and AQAP have been scrambling to take as many bases (and the weapons and other supplies they hold) as they can before all have new, and more determined, owners. Saleh’s successor (Hadi) proved unable to reassemble the coalition Saleh relied on for decades to run the country. Then again, when the Arab Spring came along in 2011 the Saleh coalition showed its age and crumbled.

 

The northern Shia have been fighting for years to get back the autonomy they enjoyed for generations. When Saleh was in power, he fought this autonomy movement. Now that Saleh is out of power, he backs his fellow Shia to get, many believe, Saleh back in power. There are still many Yemenis who have a grudge against the government formed after the civil war that ended, sort of, in 1994. That war was caused by the fact that, when the British left Yemen in 1967, their former colony in Aden became one of two countries called Yemen. The two parts of Yemen finally united in 1990, but a civil war in 1994 was needed to seal the deal. That fix didn't really take, and the north and south kept pulling apart. This comes back to the fact that Yemen has always been a region, not a country. Like most of the rest of the Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa region, the normal form of government, until the last century or so, were wealthier coastal city states, nervously coexisting with interior tribes that got by on herding or farming (or a little of both). This whole "nation" idea is still looked on with some suspicion by many in the region. This is why the most common forms of government are the more familiar ones of antiquity (kingdom, emirate or modern variation in the form of a hereditary dictatorship.)

 

Many southerners feel they got shortchanged by the 1990 unification deal, and were harshly put down in 1994 when they rebelled. The southern separatists were always disunited and unable mount a strong resistance to government control. The government kept the peace by paying off enough southern dissidents to prevent another civil war. The Shia tribes up north have been demanding more autonomy for decades, and the Sunni tribes up there oppose that for obvious reasons. For centuries the Shia tribes of the north were largely autonomous but in the 1960s that officially ended. The reality was that many of the Shia tribesmen continued to act like they still had their traditional violence and the national government ignored that as much as they could. The Shia violence got worse after 2004 and escalated further when most Yemenis joined the Arab Spring movement in 2011 and removed a long-time government headed by a northern Shia. While the north has several entirely Shia tribes, Sunnis and Shia had lived together peacefully throughout Yemen for centuries and usually used the same mosques (some led by Shia clergy, most by Sunnis). That tradition was now being attacked by Yemeni Sunnis who are using violence or threats of violence to drive Shia from mosques throughout the country. This is a widely unpopular move, but the Sunni Islamic radicals are on a Mission From God not a popularity contest. The Sunni radicals also accuse Yemeni Shia of being agents for Iran which was for a long time only true in a few instances. Until recently the Shia tribes renounced any Iranian connection because they were caught between a Sunni majority to the south and a Sunni (and very anti-Iran) Saudi Arabia to the north. Just across the border there are related Shia tribes in Saudi Arabia, who have long since learned to keep quiet and enjoy the slice of Saudi oil wealth they receive from the government. Moreover the Saudi Shia are a smaller fraction of the population and separated, not concentrated as the Yemeni Shia are. In Yemen Shia are about a third of the 24 million population and most of them live in the north.

 

 It is unclear when the military and the Sunni tribes will succeed in resisting and defeating the growing Shia power. This is far from a sure thing since needs a new coalition to run the country because the one that existed until September 2014 ceased to function long before president Hadi was forced out in January 2015. Once the Shia rebels occupied the capital in late 2014 and then a growing number of cities and provinces to the south it was obvious the Shia would have a lot to say about the next government. Now the Shia claim they are the government and Iranians worry that this will turn into another expensive foreign obligation (like Hezbollah and the military aid efforts in Iraq and Syria, not to mention financial aid to Hamas in Gaza and several similar entanglements). All this military foreign aid is unpopular with most Iranians who would rather see the money spent at home. Iran officially has nothing to do with what is going on in Yemen but Arabs know that the “victory” in Yemen is being celebrated in the streets of Iran (at least in conversation) and increasingly in Iranian media as well. This is humiliating for the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab oil states in the Persian Gulf) members and Sunnis in general. Iran has not directly intervened (but is suspected of supplying the Yemen Shia with cash and advice). Now Iran is officially an ally and supporter of the new Shia government. The Sunni hope and the Shia nightmare is military intervention by the Saudis, but that’s not the Saudi style. The Saudis don’t want to see their armed forces tied down in Yemen, not when Iran remains a major, and growing, threat. Then there is the ISIL threat in Syria and Iraq (and, to a lesser extent, inside Saudi Arabia itself). There is no easy way out of this mess for anyone. The customary way these things are settled in Arabia is by making deals. The Yemeni Shia have made it clear that Iran is their friend and expect help from that direction. Most Yemeni Shia don’t want the religious fanaticism of Iran but are willing to accept aid from Iran and work to make Sunni majority Yemen a “friend“ of Iran (much like the Shia minority has done in Lebanon and Syria). The Saudis and GCC are very hostile to this sort of thing but reluctant to go to war over it. That may change now that the Yemeni Shia rebels have officially declared themselves the rulers of Yemen even though they control only the capital and the north (about a third of the country).

 

And then there’s the oil. Revenue from oil exports in 2014 was $1.67 billion. That’s down from $2.66 billion in 2013.  Falling oil prices and pipeline attacks by angry tribesmen cost Yemen a billion dollars in lost oil income in 2014. Normally Yemen produces 270,000 barrels of oil a day and most of it is exported (accounting, with natural gas, 90 percent of export income). The 320 kilometer long pipeline extends from oil fields in Marib province to the Red Sea export terminal. Such attacks cost the government a billion dollars in lost revenue in 2013. Tribesmen loyal to deposed president Saleh are often blamed. President Hadi caused some bad feeling in Marib when he cut cash payments going to pro-Saleh tribal leaders and instead gave it to those he trusted more. The tribesmen who lost out responded in the traditional way, by attacking the assets of those they saw as responsible; namely the oil fields and pipelines. AQAP has been popular in Marib because the Islamic terrorists will hire local tribesmen and promise a larger share of gas and oil income for the local tribes once AQAP takes control of the country.

 

Marib is where local Sunni tribes have assembled a large force of gunmen to defend or destroy those valuable oil and gas facilities. Worse yet tribal leaders say that if the Shia enter Marib this will mean the shutdown of energy supplies to key power plants that keep the lights on in most of the country. In January tribal leaders called for up to thirty thousand armed tribesmen to gather in Marib to fight the Shia rebels. This buildup was not completed as the Shia rebels quietly agreed to maintain the November peace deal. Back then three of the most powerful tribes in Marib province united and worked out a peace deal with the approaching Shia rebels. In essence the deal guaranteed the safety of Shia in Marib and in return the Shia rebels would not try to enter Marib and take over. The three tribes in Marib are powerful and have a reputation for being determined fighters. The Shia rebels are still nearby but are less likely to advance now that Marib is the assembly point for anti-Shia tribesmen. To further complicate matters tribal leaders in what is locally known as the “Sheba region” (Marib, Baida and Jawf provinces) have apparently united, despite the many feuds and disagreements among them. The Shia are seen as a common threat. Recently the Sunni tribes of Marib closed the border with Baida province, which is largely controlled by Shia rebels.

 

March 1, 2015: For the first time since 1990 a direct flight from Iran landed in Yemen. The transport was carrying medical supplies and arrived in the capital at the same time that Arab countries were moving their embassies south to the port city of Aden, which is not yet under control of the Shia rebels who have been advancing south since 2014. On February 21st the elected president (Hadi) of Yemen fled the capital and, in effect, moved the government to Aden. At the moment the Shia rebels have control of northern Yemen but the Sunni majority, in the form of the armed Sunni tribes, are preventing a Shia advance any farther south. Meanwhile Iran announced that it will now carry out regular (14 flights a week) service between Iran and the Yemeni capital. Iranians have been warned that Sunni Islamic terrorists (ISIL and al Qaeda) are very active in Yemen and will be seeking to kill or kidnap Iranian visitors.

 

March 7, 2015: The Defense Minister of the elected government fled house arrest in the capital and is believed headed for the new capital in Aden. The Defense Minister was arrested by Shia rebels on February 6th when the rebels took complete control of the capital. In Aden the last elected president (Hadi) declared Aden the national capital and that the traditional capital (Sanna) an occupied (by Shia rebels) city. Hadi declared that five of the countries six regions had pledged allegiance to the Aden government and support for armed opposition to the Shia rebels. There are now frequent attacks against Shia rebels in Baida, Marib, Ibb and Hadramout provinces. Shia living in southern Yemen have held pro-Shia demonstrations, which are not interfered with. The anti-Shia demonstrators often face gunfire and sometimes arrest (which the Sunnis call kidnapping, which is what is sometimes turns into because a large payment is demanded for the release of these demonstrators).

In the south (Ibb province) Shia rebels used gunfire to disperse an anti-Shia protest in the provincial capital. There were casualties among the demonstrators and some were arrested by the Shia.

 

March 6, 2015: A second air freight flight from Iran landed at the airport outside Sanna. Both of these transports were said to contain “humanitarian cargo.” Yemeni Shia envoys in Iran asked Iran to set up cultural centers and a museum of Persian art in Yemen.

 

March 5, 2015:  An Iranian diplomat captured by AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) Islamic terrorists in Yemen in 2013 arrived back in Iran. He was freed by Iranian commandos who now operate openly in Sanna. The Yemeni rebels denied that Iranian commandos are in Yemen.

 

March 3, 2015: In the south (Baida province) two AQAP attacks on Shia rebels left three Islamic terrorists and twelve Shia dead. In February the Shia rebels took control of much of Baida province.

 

March 2, 2015: A Saudi diplomat held by AQAP was freed by the unspecified actions of the Saudi intelligence services. Back in August 2012 the captive was to be released after everyone had agreed on a $10 million ransom. But at the last minute al Qaeda leaders changed their mind and demanded $20 million. At that point negotiations stalled. The Saudi diplomat was kidnapped last March. AQAP needed cash to keep its terror campaign going and the Saudis decided to explore other options to get their diplomat back.

 

March 1, 2015: An Iranian commercial flight from Iran landed at the airport outside Sanna. This was the first Iranian aircraft to land in Yemen since 1990.

 

February 28, 2015: In Yemen the Shia rebels in control of the capital and most of the north signed an agreement with Iran to enable, for the first time, commercial air traffic between the two countries.  At the same time the Shia rebels withdrew from UN sponsored talks over the future of Yemen until a location for the talks outside Yemen could be found and agreed on. In the south (Lahj province) Shia rebels fired on an army convoy and wounded nine soldiers. This was believed another attempt to kidnap some soldiers to hold as hostages in an effort to get the army to turn over a nearby army base to Shia control. Elsewhere in the south (Shabwa province) three Islamic terrorists were killed by missiles from an American UAV. This is the fifth such attack in February. These attacks have left at least a fifteen Islamic terrorists and at least one civilian (a 12 year old boy travelling with one of the Islamic terrorists) dead.

 

February 27, 2015: In the south (Lahj province) AQAP ambushed an army truck at night and killed four soldiers.

 

February 26, 2015: The Shia rebel leader openly blamed Saudi Arabia for all the chaos in Yemen. The Saudis have been involved but not nearly as much as Yemeni Sunnis (and Arabian Sunnis in general) would prefer. The Saudis are slow to act but when they do move it is usually with great impact and resolve (as with their current efforts to keep the world oil price low to hurt Iran and Russia).

 

February 25, 2015: In the south (Lahj province) AQAP gunmen shot dead an intelligence colonel. Later in the day two AQAP men were shot dead in a separate incident. 

Shia rebels took control of an army base in the capital and a coast guard base on the Red Sea coast. Soldiers resisted at the army based but surrendered after six hours of fighting and at least ten dead. There was less fighting and no casualties at the coast guard base.

The UN declared that it backed the elected government of president of Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi was the only legitimate national government in Yemen. The Shia rebels ignored this.

 

February 24, 2015: In Sanna Shia rebels began arresting many Sunni politicians, especially those associated with the last elected government. The arrests are also the result of many Sunni politicians to join a new Shia controlled “unity government.” Meanwhile there are several anti-Shia demonstrations in Sanna each week. Elsewhere in Sanna a French female employee of the World Bank was kidnapped. Western government have been warning their citizens to stay out of Yemen in general and Sanna in particular.

 

February 23, 2015: In the south president Hadi held a meeting with the governors of most provinces.

Egypt closed its embassy in Sanna. Elsewhere in the city a bomb exploded outside a military facility that had been taken over by the Shia rebels.

 

February 21, 2015: President Hadi fled house arrest in Sanna and made his way to the southern port city of Aden.

 

February 18, 2015: In the south (Hadramout province) Sunni tribesmen attacked a convoy supplying an army base near an oil field, sparking a battle that left eight soldiers and a number of attackers dead. In nearby Baida province a bomb killed one Shia rebel and wounded three others. Further south in Aden gunmen killed an army intelligence officer.

 

February 17, 2015: Three Russian ground attack jet aircraft were delivered to the Shia controlled port of Al Hudaydah. These were bought from Belarus.

In Sanna Shia rebel leaders fired one of their top commanders for failing to settle a long-standing dispute he had with other senior leaders. This is the result of growing disputes within the Shia rebel leadership over whether to seek gaining control of the entire country or negotiating a compromise with the Sunni majority.

In the south (Hadramout province) two gunmen shot dead a police colonel.

 

February 16, 2015: In Yemen the Shia rebels officially claimed to be the only legitimate government of the country. This new Shia Yemeni president was not elected but the Yemeni rebels control the capital and most of the north so they can get away with this. The rebels say they will eventually take the largest city in the country, the port of Aden in the south. That will require defeating a larger number of very angry and heavily armed Sunni tribesmen and some of the armed forces.

In the south (Lahj province) AQAP gunmen shot dead two soldiers. Further south in Aden soldiers and tribal gunmen loyal to president Hadi seized control of government buildings and began setting up checkpoints. There was some fighting with soldiers working for an officer who had pledged loyalty to the Shia rebels.

Japan shut down its embassy in Sanna.

 

February 15, 2015: The UN demanded that the Shia rebels return control of the capital and the government to the elected officials. The Shia ignored this, pointing out that Hadi won an election in which he was the only candidate and that most Shia boycotted.

 

February 14, 2015: In the south (Baida province) fighting between Shia rebels and Sunni tribesmen left at least 26 dead.

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25 mars 2014 2 25 /03 /mars /2014 17:30
Terrorisme: la Libye soutient les efforts de la Ligue arabe

 

DUBAI, 25 mars - RIA Novosti

 

La Libye soutient l'élaboration par la Ligue arabe d'une stratégie commune de lutte contre le terrorisme, a déclaré mardi le ministre libyen des Affaires étrangères Mohamed Abdelaziz dans une interview au journal Asharq Al-Awsat (Proche-Orient).

"Nous appuyons l'idée d'élaborer un plan panarabe de lutte contre le terrorisme. Il faut combattre le terrorisme à tous les niveaux - non seulement dans le domaine de la sécurité, mais aussi de la mentalité des gens, de l'idéologie, du règlement des problèmes sociaux", a noté M.Abdelaziz.

Le 25e sommet de la Ligue arabe s'ouvre mardi au Koweït sur fond de désaccords au sein du Conseil de coopération du Golfe (CCG). L'Arabie saoudite, Bahreïn et les Emirats arabes unis ont récemment accusé le Qatar de soutenir le terrorisme et les organisations extrémistes et d'essayer d'exporter les idées terroristes dans les pays du Golfe. Les trois pays ont rappelé leurs ambassadeurs de Doha. L'Egypte accuse aussi le Qatar de soutenir les extrémistes.

Doha accorde une aide financière au mouvement des Frères musulmans interdit dans de nombreux pays arabes. Les représentants des Frères musulmans ont été au pouvoir en Egypte entre la révolution de 2011 et la destitution du président islamiste Mohamed Morsi par l'armée en juillet 2013. L'Egypte a proclamé les Frères musulmans organisation terroriste. Les dirigeants et certains membres du mouvement y ont été arrêtés et accusés de terrorisme, de meurtres et de corruption.

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25 mars 2014 2 25 /03 /mars /2014 08:30
Offshore Security Drives Gulf Naval Procurements

The Al-Shamik corvette, which serves in the Royal Navy of Oman, is based on British offshore patrol vessels.

 

Mar. 24, 2014 - By AWAD MUSTAFA – Defense News
 

DUBAI — Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are increasing security around their offshore oil infrastructure, due to an array of threats from sea-based dangers.

According to Michele Cosentino, a former Italian Navy commodore, GCC members have chosen different approaches to carry out their maritime strategies, especially protecting oil facilities and commercial shipping.

Cosentino, in an article he authored for the 2013 Offshore Patrol Vessels conference in Abu Dhabi, wrote that the newly re-established Iraqi Navy’s primary focus also is on its offshore infrastructure.

“All GCC navies have benefited both directly and indirectly by the increasing presence of US military forces in the region during the past years, but they have correctly considered the implications of a dramatic drawdown of these forces under the Obama administration in the aftermath of the US disengagement from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Cosentino wrote.

According to the Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market Report 2013-2023, the United States will lead global spending on naval assets.

The report stated that an increase in coalition missions — such as international peacekeeping missions, offshore operations and disaster relief operations — has created a need for interoperable weapon systems that adhere to NATO standards.

“An increase in out-of-area operations has also created a need for participating nations to acquire interoperability with key coalition partners” the report read.

Despite GCC navies being capable of protecting their offshore assets and borders, they continue to face an evolving threat from state and non-state actors, argues Matthew Hedges, from the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.

“Incidents, such as the killing of Indian seamen in Jebel Ali, highlight the seriousness of the situation the region is in,” he said, alluding to the 2012 killing of an Indian fisherman after his vessel rapidly approached the US replenishment oiler Rappahannock off the United Arab Emirates coast.

“As the states of the GCC are host to foreign militaries, they will always attract delinquents and extremists opposed to their presence, and will have to continue to protect these assets and allies where possible,” he said.

Furthermore, Hedges said that both sea and air assets in the region are in use to counter threats to naval trade, and are often used in combination to counter these threats.

“Constant surveillance assets are used in the region, and a number are made within the UAE,” he said.

There are two major types of challenges and threats facing the GCC and Iraqi navies, according to Cosentino.

“The first is located in the Arabian Gulf and stems from Iran’s attitude toward a regional hegemony, while the second is linked to the disruption of maritime trade caused by piracy and other illicit trafficking taking place around the Horn of Africa and off Yemeni and Omani coasts,” he wrote. “In both cases, challenges and threats have a clear maritime focus, and facing them requires the availability of a range of capabilities that can be easily expressed by light surface combatants and offshore patrol vessels [OPVs].”

GCC navies have therefore chosen different paths to face such challenges and threats in accordance with their ability to manage a range of naval assets.

“GCC navies can be grouped into two groups, the first including naval forces able to field and manage OPVs, corvettes and frigates like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iraq; and the second comprising smaller naval forces equipped mostly with coastal patrol boats like Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen,” he wrote.

The UAE has employed the upper hand of the OPV/corvette range to enhance its capabilities, Cosentino wrote.

“The flagship of the UAE Navy is the corvette Abu Dhabi, a vessel of about 1,500 tons of displacement which was built in Italy according to the design of the Comandanti-class OPVs, of which six units are in service in the Italian Navy.

“Abu Dhabi maintains the general layout of an OPV, but she has been equipped with a range of weapons and sensors that confirms how an OPV design can be easily adapted to the user requirements.”

The Royal Navy of Oman has chosen a similar approach, he added.

“The Karheef program was initially related to the construction of three Al-Shamik-class OPVs that are designed and built in the UK, but they were recently reclassified as corvettes,” he wrote. “Although their hull is based on a British-derived OPV, the Al-Shamiks displace 2,550 tons, have stealthy features and are equipped with anti-ship and anti-air missiles, other than a 76mm main gun.”

The Iraqi Navy has chosen a traditional approach.

“The two major surface vessels of the new Iraqi Navy are the two Al-Basrah-class OPVs, conceived for the surveillance and the protection of the offshore oil infrastructures that are located in the northern part of the Arabian Gulf,” he wrote.

They are 60 meters long, armed with a 30mm light gun and equipped with fast craft for close protection.

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5 mars 2014 3 05 /03 /mars /2014 17:30
Crise sans précédent au sein du club des monarchies du Golfe

 

 

05 mars 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

RYAD - Une crise sans précédent a éclaté au sein du club des monarchies arabes du Golfe, dont trois membres, conduits par l'Arabie saoudite, ont décidé mercredi d'isoler le Qatar, accusé de soutenir activement la mouvance islamiste.

 

L'Arabie, les Emirats arabes unis et Bahreïn ont rappelé leurs ambassadeurs au Qatar, reprochant à Doha ses ingérences dans les affaires de ses voisins, une première dans l'histoire du Conseil de coopération du Golfe (CCG), qui rassemble depuis 1981 six monarchies du Golfe.

 

Doha a aussitôt regretté cette décision et affirmé qu'il n'allait pas retirer ses ambassadeurs des trois pays.

 

Dans un communiqué, le Qatar a évoqué des divergences sur des questions régionales et affirmé sa détermination à respecter ses engagements au sein du CCG, y compris concernant sa stabilité et la sécurité de ses membres.

 

Le retrait des ambassadeurs a été annoncé au lendemain d'une réunion, houleuse selon la presse, des ministres des Affaires étrangères du CCG à Ryad.

 

Les pays du CCG ont tout fait auprès du Qatar pour s'entendre sur une politique unifiée (...) garantissant la non-ingérence de façon directe ou indirecte dans les affaires internes de chacun des pays membres, affirment dans un communiqué commun les trois pays.

 

Ils ont demandé au Qatar de ne soutenir aucune action de nature à menacer la sécurité et la stabilité des Etats membres, citant notamment les campagnes dans les médias, une allusion à Al-Jazeera.

 

Cette chaîne, outil de la diplomatie du Qatar, a toujours exaspéré les pays de la région, et selon les experts, elle s'emploie à soutenir les islamistes, notamment en Egypte.

 

L'Egypte a exacerbé les différends

 

Le communiqué souligne qu'en dépit de l'engagement à respecter ces principes pris par l'émir du Qatar, cheikh Tamim ben Hamad Al-Thani, lors d'un mini-sommet avec l'émir du Koweït et le roi d'Arabie à Ryad en novembre, son pays ne les a pas respectés.

 

Ce mini-sommet, à l'initiative de l'émir du Koweït, cheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, était destiné à surmonter le profond désaccord entre Doha d'une part et Ryad, Abou Dhabi et Manama de l'autre sur la conduite à suivre face au nouveau pouvoir installé par l'armée en Egypte en juillet 2013 après l'éviction du président islamiste Mohamed Morsi.

 

Les trois pays ont perdu tout espoir d'un changement de la politique du Qatar. Ils ont été profondément déçus, a estimé à l'AFP l'analyste émirati Abdelkhaleq Abdallah.

 

L'émir du Qatar n'a pas pu honorer son engagement (...) et il semble que la vieille garde est toujours active et influente au Qatar, a-t-il estimé, évoquant l'entourage de cheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al-Thani, qui avait abdiqué en juin en faveur de son fils, Tamim.

 

Pour Ryad, Abou Dhabi et Manama, il est temps d'exercer des pressions sur le Qatar dans l'espoir que l'isolement de ce pays l'amène à changer sa politique, désormais inacceptable aux plans arabe et régional, a indiqué M. Abdallah.

 

Ce richissime pays gazier, dont la diplomatie a pris une dimension démesurée dans la foulée du Printemps arabe, s'est ainsi rangé ouvertement du côté des Frères musulmans écartés du pouvoir en Egypte, tandis que les trois autres pays ont apporté un soutien massif tant politique que financier au nouveau pouvoir égyptien.

 

Outre ce dossier, le Qatar est soupçonné par ses trois voisins de soutenir les islamistes proches des Frères musulmans dans leurs pays, dont des dizaines ont été condamnés à la prison aux Emirats arabes unis.

 

La justice des Emirats vient de condamner un Qatari à sept ans de prison. Il était poursuivi pour collecte de fonds au profit d'islamistes dans ce pays, accusés de vouloir renverser le régime.

 

La crise, qui couvait depuis plusieurs mois, s'était déjà manifestée en février par le rappel par les Emirats de leur ambassadeur à Doha, pour protester contre des propos de l'influent prédicateur islamiste Youssef al-Qaradaoui, accusant Abou Dhabi d'hostilité envers les Frères musulmans.

 

Au Koweït, président en exercice du CCG, le président du Parlement Marzouk al-Ghanem s'est dit très inquiété par le rappel des ambassadeurs, émettant l'espoir que cette mesure n'affectera pas le sommet arabe prévu fin mars à Koweït.

 

Le CCG comprend, outre l'Arabie saoudite, Bahreïn, les Emirats arabes unis, le Koweït et le Qatar, le sultanat d'Oman, connu pour sa politique réservée.

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19 janvier 2014 7 19 /01 /janvier /2014 20:30
UAE Introduces Mandatory Military Service

 

Jan. 19, 2014 By AWAD MUSTAFA – Defense News

 

DUBAI — The UAE became the second nation in the Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday to introduce a mandatory military services for men.

 

The military service will include men between the ages of 18 to 30 for a minimum nine-month period according to UAE vice president and prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.

 

Furthermore, President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan ordered a bill for the establishment of a new national defense and reserve force.

 

Sheikh Mohammed stated on his Twitter account that the new law will require all males who have finished secondary school or are between the ages of 18 to 30 to undergo military training, while females may opt out.

 

“The new law aims to put together a new national defence, in order to protect the homeland and its borders and its resources and gains,” Bin Rashid tweeted.

 

UAE nationals who have finished secondary school will be required to serve nine months, while those without a diploma will serve for two years, the new law stipulates. The National Defense and Reserve Force (NDRF) will be made up of those who have completed their national service and military personnel who have retired from service in the armed forces.

 

“Protecting the nation and preserving its independence and sovereignty is a sacred national duty. The new law will apply to everyone,” the vice president added.

 

The move signifies greater concerns of GCC states in regards to an array of threats, said Matthew Hedges, an analyst at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. “The creation of mandatory service in the UAE armed forces will create a large national force ready to change the balance of war when the situation arises,” he said.

 

“The UAE will join a number of states with national conscription and reservist forces and as experience has shown, it is often the introduction of reservists that can alter the balance of war in a favorable way.”

 

The recent announcement will also help promote virtuous behavior and encourage national pride through shared experiences, Hedges added.

 

“This will further help empower Emiratis to be more competitive in the job market where, through national service, they can be taught skills and educated to a higher level regardless of social background.”

 

The announcement will help foster greater national unity and raise the security awareness of the Emirati population, placing greater responsibility on the UAE population to combat any threat faced to the nation, Hedges said.

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19 décembre 2013 4 19 /12 /décembre /2013 08:30
Obama Issues Directive to Sell Weapons to GCC

 

Dec. 18, 2013 - By ZACHARY FRYER-BIGGS and AWAD MUSTAFA – Defense News

 

Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief, last week accused the Obama administration of working behind Riyadh's back and planning other steps in the Middle East.

 

WASHINGTON AND DUBAI — The White House this week issued a presidential determination to facilitate the sale of weapons to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

 

The move by the Obama administration shows the rapid development in events since Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans this month in Bahrain to sell weapons to the Gulf Cooperation Council as a block, as opposed to selling to individual nations within the council.

 

According to the document issued Monday, the White House wants to confirm the eligibility of the Gulf Cooperation Council to receive defense articles and defense services under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act.

 

“I hereby find that the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to the Gulf Cooperation Council will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace,” the document stated.

 

The move by the White House follows last week’s announcement at the GCC Summit in Kuwait to establish a Joint GCC Military Command.

 

According to a State Department official, the GCC is being designated for future sales, however, congressional approval has yet to be established when deals flow to Congress.

 

On Dec. 7, in Manama, Hagel said the Pentagon “will better integrate with GCC members to enhance missile defense capabilities in the region,” adding “the United States continues to believe that a multilateral approach is the best answer for missile defense.”

 

Officials at the State Department said that over the past several years, the US and the GCC have explored ways to expand multilateral defense cooperation in response to evolving regional security challenges.

 

“The United States and the GCC agree on the strategic imperative to building better multilateral defense ties as a complement to the strong bilateral relationships the US has with gulf partner states,” the State Department added.

 

“The US-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum, US Central Command-led multilateral exercises and the quarterly Air and Air Defense Chiefs Conference are but a few of the examples of our combined efforts to coordinate at the policy and operational levels.”

 

Officials added that the determination is the next step in improving US-GCC defense collaboration as it enables the GCC to acquire defense articles to improve interoperability and enhance critical military capabilities, including items for ballistic-missile defense, maritime security and counter-terrorism.

 

However, the actual provision of defense articles or services to the GCC would be considered on a case-by-case basis, consistent with US law and policy.

 

Various other international organizations are eligible to receive US defense articles and services, such as NATO, the UN, and the AU. “The designation reflects our strong commitment to the GCC and our desire to work with our gulf partners to promote long-term regional security and stability.”

 

Despite the significance of the move, analysts view it as an “appeasement to Saudi Arabia.” Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai, said the recent statements by Saudi officials signified a dissatisfaction with US policy.

 

On Saturday, Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief, said in Monaco that the Obama administration is working behind Riyadh’s back and planning other steps in the Middle East.

 

“The presidential determination shows support for Saudi Arabia’s plan for a unified GCC approach,” he said.

 

“This support comes within a defense and security sphere in which the GCC are more robustly banded than other sectors, such as economic levels, social policies and others,” he added.

 

He said Saudi policy is fixated on protecting monarchies while pursuing Bashar al-Assad’s removal, which “does not necessarily jibe with other GCC states points of view.”

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