Qatar and the legitimate interests of Iran (Al Arabiya)

Qatar did well by putting the record straight and calling things by their names. It officially announced, through its ambassador to Moscow, its true position towards the Iranian occupation of Syria, by considering that Iran has “legitimate” interests in Syria and supporting Tehran’s quest to maintain those interests; and that the “Syrian regime, which oppressed its opponents, is responsible for allowing for international and regional foreign intervention, which should not be blamed on others.”

Salman al-Dosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets @SalmanAldosary.

Betraying the American people: Congress kissing Israel’s ring (Al Arabiya)

Senator Marco Rubio took to Twitter in defense of his sponsored bill in support of Israel. Rubio and others have the right to support Israel as part of their constitutional right to Freedom of Speech. Apparently, Rubio thinks the First Amendment is exclusive to him and those who hold similar views.

Walid Jawad is a former Senior Policy Analyst at U.S. Department of State and a former Washington, DC correspondent. He covered American politics for a number of TV outlets since 1997. Walid holds an undergraduate degree (B.A) in Decision Science and Management Information Systems and a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. You can follow him @walidaj.

Has EU woken up to its security threats? (Al Arabiya)

The European Union sent a message to Iran by imposing the first sanctions since the flawed nuclear deal was signed in 2015.

Hamid Bahrami is a former political prisoner from Iran. Living in Glasgow, Scotland, he is a human right and political activist and works as a freelance journalist as his work cover’s the Middle East affairs. He tweets at @HaBahram and blogs at analyzecom.

A century after the end of World War I, her dominoes continue to tumble (Al Arabiya)

If it were not for World War I (1914-1919), we would not have had the Russian Revolution, the rise of Communism, Fascism, Nazism, the Holocaust, Stalinism, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, colonialism, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, World War II or The Cold War. In addition, the Great War claimed millions of lives who died in the World War itself.

Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst based in Washington DC. He tweets @mr_alshammeri.

The changing geo-strategic scenario in the Middle East (Al Arabiya)

The Middle East has been in the eye of international politics since the end of World War II. The hostility and confrontation of two erstwhile superpowers – the United States of America and the former Soviet Union – cast a dark cloud over the whole region leading to decades of regional divisions and conflicts.

Shehab Al-Makahleh is Director of Geostrategic Media Center, senior media and political analyst in the Middle East, adviser to many international consultancies. He can be reached at: @shehabmakahleh and @Geostrat_ME.

The ‘neo-Ottoman’ invader (Al Arabiya)

Three weeks ago, a ship loaded with weapons was seized at the Libyan port of Khoms. It was coming from Istanbul. The story became evidence of the malicious Turkish role in this devastated country, in connection with Libyan terrorists and their presence in the entire Maghreb.

Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

Were France’s demonstrations barbaric? (Al Arabiya)

Even those who are not fond of Paris cannot comprehend what happened to this charming and captivating city! The demonstrations started as arbitrary and experimental, but soon became a chaotic European disease, reaching as far as destruction and corruption!

Turki Aldakhil is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel.

Has the stock market established a bottom? (Al Arabiya)

The Jan. 4 monster rally in risk assets, which saw major US stock indexes surge by 3 percent to 4 percent and the “risk-free” yield on 10-year US Treasuries rise by 11 basis points, was a stark illustration of the power of a favorable alignment of the trifecta of economic fundamentals, central bank liquidity and technical factors.

Mohamed Aly El-Erian is an Egyptian American businessman. He is chief economic adviser at Allianz, the corporate parent of PIMCO where he served as CEO and co-chief investment officer. His twitter handle is @elerianm.

Whitewashing the greatest mass murderer of our time (Al Arabiya)

And so it begins. The whitewashing and normalization of one of the greatest mass murders of our time has began in earnest. After 600,000 dead and 6 million displaced, nations who previously held the explicit policy of removing Bashar al-Assad and his homicidal regime are now deliberating how to reopen their embassies.

Azeem Ibrahim is Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Policy and Adj Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College. He completed his PhD from the University of Cambridge and served as an International Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a World Fellow at Yale. Over the years he has met and advised numerous world leaders on policy development and was ranked as a Top 100 Global Thinker by the European Social Think Tank in 2010 and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He tweets @AzeemIbrahim.

Is China an asset or liability for the developing world? (Al Arabiya)

This is the second edition of Bridging Divides, a series in which I raise some challenges facing the developing world and open them up for discussion.

Is China an asset or liability for the developing world? Let’s address that question today.

Ehtesham Shahid is Managing Editor at Al Arabiya English. For close to two decades he has worked as editor, correspondent, and business writer for leading publications, news wires and research organizations in India and the Gulf region. He loves to occasionally dabble with teaching and is collecting material for a book on unique tales of rural conflict and transformation from around the world. His twitter handle is @e2sham