Speaking of Asia

Qatar peace deal and the lessons for Asia

One takeaway - the use of brute force can backfire in the face of smarts

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani during the Gulf Cooperation Council summit on Jan 5, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

Last week's release from an Indonesian prison of the Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, while the Arab world celebrated the peace deal that lifted the Saudi Arabia-led blockade on Qatar, serves to remind us of the linkages that connect us to the Western part of Asia, otherwise known as the Middle East.

Bashir, 82 years old, is of Yemeni descent and he functioned as spiritual leader to the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) network that orchestrated the Bali bombing of 2002 that killed more than 200 people, including 88 Australians.

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