Executive Director Stephen McInerney Quoted in The Hill

On December 7, 2017, POMED Executive Director Stephen McInerney was quoted by Rebecca Kheel in an article for The Hill entitled, “Trump pressures Saudi Arabia on Yemen blockade.”

Stephen McInerney, executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy, said Trump’s affinity for the Saudis appears to be more specifically about Mohammed bin Salman, who became crown prince in June after replacing his cousin.

In addition to supporting Salman’s policies in Yemen, McInerney said, the Trump administration did not act after Salman launched an anti-corruption campaign that has been described as a purge and effort to shore up his power. McInerney also cited the administration’s lack of action in the drama surrounding Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who returned home this week after speculation he was being held hostage by the Saudis after abruptly announcing his resignation during a trip there, as well as mixed messages on the ongoing stand off between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“A lot of his ideas in the region, including in Yemen, have failed, but he has very much enjoyed support in the White House,” McInerney said of Salman. “I think Trump likely overestimates the influence that Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi regime have in the region. … Mohammed bin Salman’s latest big move was to have a decisive blow against the Houthis with Ali Abdullah Saleh withdrawing support and that failed in spectacular fashion.”

Read the full article here.