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
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

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.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.