Weekly Regional Brief | September 27- October 3, 2022
Mohammed bin Salman Named Saudi Prime Minister
On Tuesday, September 27, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued a royal order appointing Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) as prime minister. Analysts have identified this transition as a formalization of MBS’ role in Saudi political leadership and an elimination of “previous protocol issues of seniority with other heads of government.”
Iraqi Halbusi Resignation Rejected
On Wednesday, September 28, Iraq’s parliament met for the first time in two months to vote to either accept or reject the recent resignation of parliament speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi. It was ultimately decided to reject Halbusi’s resignation. During the vote, however, clashes between Muqtada al-Sadr supporters and security forces broke out in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
Timeline of Iraq’s political crisis featured here.
Kuwaiti Parliamentary Elections
On Thursday, September 29, Kuwait held parliamentary elections; the body was dissolved on August 2. Unofficial results released on Friday identified a voter turnout of roughly 50%, showing that most of the “‘pro-government lawmakers’ lost their districts while the Shi’ite bloc added more seats.”
On Sunday, October 2, Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah accepted the government’s resignation, directing it to “remain in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.”
Israel-Lebanon Maritime Deal
On Saturday, October 1, the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun to deliver the written plan for a maritime border agreement between Lebanon and Israel. This “impending agreement” identifies that the line of buoys “will be the northern limit of Israeli waters for the first five kilometers from the coast, after which the border will follow the southern edge of the disputed area, known as Line 23.”
Israel is expected to formally vote on the plan this Thursday; similarly, Lebanon is expected to review and put forward a timely review of the proposal.
Truce in Yemen Not Extended
On Sunday, October 2, the United Nations announced that Yemen’s warring parties have failed to extend the ceasefire, which was originally entered on April 2 and has been extended twice, on June 2 and August 2. A day prior, Yemen’s Houthis identified the discussion as a ‘dead-end’ and asserted that “that they were continuing to advocate for a full opening of the Sanaa airport, and lifting of the blockade on the key port city of Hodeida.”