What Happened: Turkey accused the United Arab Emirates of bringing chaos to the Middle East through its interventions in Libya and Yemen, allegations which are likely to inflame tensions between the regional rivals. Ankara also accused Egypt of fomenting unrest in Libya by supporting anti-GNA forces.
Why is it important: Ties between Turkey and UAE have been strained by Ankara’s support for Qatar after four Arab countries including the UAE imposed sanctions on Doha in 2017 over its alleged support for Islamist militants. The UAE sees itself as a bulwark against political forms of Islam and views Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party as a supporter of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood which it opposes. The Turkish-UAE rivalry and war of words is set to exacerbate as the war in Libya progresses.
Saudi Aramco profits dive 25 percent after oil price plunge
What Happened: Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco reported a 25 percent fall in first-quarter net profit, below analyst estimates, after it was hurt by a plunge in crude oil prices as the coronavirus slashed demand. Aramco said the results reflected “lower crude oil prices, as well as declining refining and chemicals margins” among other financial pressures.
Why is it important: The kingdom, which relies heavily on oil revenues, has been hit hard by the slump in oil prices, with the government announcing austerity measures including plans to triple Vat in July and cut bonuses and benefits to its citizens next month. The decline in profit is expected to exacerbate pressure on MBS and affect his war in Yemen.