AGGREGATOR (archive)

> Syria after President Assad

Published: 25/07/2012

History is accelerating in Syria, but in which direction? The assassination of heads of the security and military apparatus last week was a serious setback for the Syrian regime. It came at a crucial moment, as elements of the Free…

> Brotherhood faces Damascus challenge

Published: 23/07/2012

Last week, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (Al Ikhwan) held its first national conference in 30 years in Istanbul. The meeting brought together leaders and members of the organisation for the first time since its exit from Syria in early

> Morsy to renew the Brotherhood-Saudi relationship

Published: 21/07/2012

President Mohamed Morsy’s visit to Saudi Arabia last week was a success. The fact that the visit even took place is major for the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that suffered under deposed President Hosni Mubarak and had been regarded with…

> The Other Threat to Oil Supplies: Shiite Tensions in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

Published: 19/07/2012

Over the past ten days, armed clashes have erupted between security forces and protestors along Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf coast, the home of its minority Shiite population as well as huge oil fields and associated export infrastructure. The trouble began…

> Ramadan: A time for introspection

Published: 18/07/2012

The month of Ramadan is at hand and with it, Muslims will be entering into one of the finest and most beautiful schools of life. The fasting month is a school of faith, spirituality, awareness, giving, solidarity, justice, dignity and…

> Saudi Arabia’s Shiite escalation

Published: 13/07/2012

The arrest of the Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr in his hometown of Awwamiya in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province on Sunday afternoon, July 8, has been long in the making. In some ways many observers had been wondering why he…

> What Drives the Kremlin’s Syria Policy

Published: 09/07/2012

The Syrian crisis has become the latest test of Russia’s relations with the West. Moscow’s support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and its readiness to aggravate the West in pursuit of that policy has surprised Western politicians and observers, especially in light of the initial “conciliatory” position that Russia took toward…

> Hamas and Jordan: Winds of change

Published: 07/07/2012

The official Jordanian media has described a recent meeting between King Abdullah of Jordan and exiled Hamas leader, Khalid Mesha’al, as if it were a routine exchange of ideas. But neither Petra, Jordan’s news agency, nor Hamas officials could hide…

> Maybe a Brotherhood presidency is not bad news for the military

Published: 05/07/2012

Since Mohamed Morsi was declared the first post-Mubarak president of Egypt, there has been widespread speculation of confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military. Many read the outcome of the presidential election results as one that went against the…

> Egypt – The key battles to come

Published: 27/06/2012

In one week, Egypt held its first genuine presidential elections that – for the first time ever – ushered in a civilian president from outside the state’s security agencies. It also witnessed three interventions by the state apparatus to abort…

> The U.S. and Iran’s Mistaken Path to War

Published: 24/06/2012

There was neither a breakdown nor breakthrough in the Moscow talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1). The P5+1 and Iran negotiated but could not make any headway. No one should…

> Crown prince’s death vexes Saudis

Published: 21/06/2012

Saudi Arabia has lost its second crown prince in less than a year with the death on Saturday of Prince Nayef Bin Abdul-Aziz, the powerful half-brother of King Abdullah. Nayef’s death at the age of 78 forces the kingdom to…

> Hosni Mubarak is in jail – but little has changed for Egypt

Published: 05/06/2012

For the first time in Egypt’s history the pharaoh is behind bars. But the joy was not unalloyed. Some of his most powerful henchmen, the backbone of his police state, were acquitted of killing the protesters and are now

> Iraqi Kurdistan: Death of an Uprising

Published: 03/06/2012

One year after the quashed protests in Iraqi Kurdistan, Al-Akhbar finds a collective depression amongst those involved in the movement, powerless and without cohesive representation while corruption within the government is still rife.

In February 2011, inspired by uprisings in the…

> Due West: Is Russia changing its stance on Syria?

Published: 02/06/2012

Moscow did not protest, but rather joined in signing the UN Security Council statement condemning the massacre of civilians in the Syrian town of Houla. Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov told his British counterpart William Hague that the…

> Lebanon’s Future Hangs On Hezbollah’s Syria Stance

Published: 31/05/2012

The recent clashes in Lebanon have placed the spotlight on the country’s questionable ability to prevent the Syrian crisis from spreading to its territory. Tension is at a peak in the country, with a number of various incidents, unrelated to…

> Egyptians must reject foreign meddling

Published: 29/05/2012

If the Middle East is a complex region, Egypt is quite a complicated country. For more than a year now, the world, and Egyptians in particular, have witnessed a major social upheaval. The masses revolted, ousted Hosni Mubarak and touched…

> Beyond Bashar, Syria’s rebels are facing far more significant resistance

Published: 26/05/2012

Nothing is more naive than the use of the term “Arab Spring” to describe the insurrections that successively toppled regimes in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen last year. That’s because revolutions are judged by their outcome. Although the toppled regimes…

> Egypt’s revolution won’t end with the presidential election

Published: 23/05/2012

The apartment blocks on my street in downtown Cairo have accommodated many cycles of Egypt’s political tumult in the past 18 months. A stone’s throw from Tahrir Square, they have been enveloped in teargas, pockmarked by Molotov cocktails, pressed into…

> US eyes Egypt’s presidential elections

Published: 22/05/2012

Due to Egypt’s strategic position in the Middle East and because of the possible impact of domestic circumstances in Egypt on the stability of the region and on US interests, the US takes a close interest in political developments in…

> Time for NATO to face new realities

Published: 20/05/2012

As Chicago prepares for the first North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) leaders’ summit ever to be held on US soil, many will reflect on the organisation’s strength, durability, and the way in which it has adapted to a changing world.…

> Don’t blame Syria – Lebanon’s leaders are fuelling the fighting in Tripoli

Published: 19/05/2012

The ongoing fighting in the northern city of Tripoli between Sunni and Alawite militias is among the worst witnessed by Lebanon for several years. And, in a nod to their shared past and intertwined present, whenever security in Lebanon is…

> What an Israeli attack on Iran will mean for the Muslims

Published: 18/05/2012

Iran’s nuclear program, which could have the capacity to produce weapons-grade nuclear material sooner rather than later, remains a principal focus of international attention, despite a vast international policy crisis vis-a-vis the Middle East, due to the developments engendered…

> Is Israel flirting with Iranian terrorists?

Published: 17/05/2012

Israel’s image as a victim of terror is taken for granted by most Americans. Thus, the NBC report from February 9 of this year was all the more stunning. Obama administration officials leaked to NBC that Israel had teamed up…

> Kofi Annan’s Syrian peace plan has been blown out of the water

Published: 15/05/2012

The two suicide car bombs in Damascus on 10 May were an alarming development. Before last December suicide bombs were unheard of in Syria. Now there have been 10 such attacks, becoming increasingly deadly – 55 died in the latest…

> Reshuffling Israel’s deck of cards

Published: 13/05/2012

Israel’s largest opposition party has joined the Prime Minister’s coalition rather than go to elections, and has done so at a bargain-basement price. The move is not exactly standard political MO for oppositions, but not entirely inexplicable either.

Today, Israel…

> Arab-China relationship has slipped to lowest level

Published: 12/05/2012

An epochal year in contemporary Arab history, 2011 might just as well go down in history as a turning point in Arab-Chinese relationship.

For the past 60 years, China has been considered a reliable friend and a solid supporter of…

> Algeria: Elections without democracy

Published: 10/05/2012

 The elections in Algeria neither test “democracy” nor the Arab Spring.

This round of parliamentary elections is no more than a measure of the oddity of politics after Algeria’s own aborted “Arab Spring” of the early 1990s and the subsequent…

> Is Iran just an excuse for Israel’s new unity government?

Published: 09/05/2012

Is Iran just an excuse? That is the main security question floating over the surprise decision to establish a national unity government and forego early elections. Just last week, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to move up elections, he…

> Egypt’s polls could alter landscape

Published: 06/05/2012

Egypt’s presidential election, due to be held — if things go according to plan — in three weeks time, could turn out to be another watershed development in the history of the Middle East. Just like its revolution last year,…

> Lebanese Stability, between Feltman and Rahimi

Published: 05/05/2012

The Iranians and the Americans are engaged in a process of pressuring the ruling authorities in Lebanon, which emerged after the collapse 17 months ago of the Saudi-Syrian (S-S) agreement. These pressures are expected to continue, and grow, as the…

> Gulf disunion

Published: 03/05/2012

The leaders of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait) will meet in May to discuss creating a closer federal unit among the states. The idea of closer integration…

> A turning point for the Sudans

Published: 01/05/2012

Despite the withdrawal of the South Sudanese army from the contested, oil-rich region of Heglig, which it controlled for 10 days, no sign of peace is in the horizon.

The latest confrontation in Heglig was the worst between Khartoum and…

> Egypt Has a Right to Lash Out at Saudi Arabia

Published: 29/04/2012

Egyptian activists and social networking sites are ablaze with anger toward Saudi Arabia after the jailing of Egyptian human rights lawyer Ahmed el-Gizawi. And they have a right to be. After years of frustration, ill-will, and constant reports of abuse…

> Can We Give the Tunisian Government a Chance?

Published: 27/04/2012

 On 26 March, the government of Tunisia, which is led by the Islamic party Ennahda, officially decided against including sharia, Islamic principles of jurisprudence, in the new constitution. This may be a game-changing move at a time when there…

> Jordan’s King Abdullah has failed to grasp the power of the Arab spring

Published: 24/04/2012

Jordan’s government has proposed a new election law that has dealt a further blow to those hoping for meaningful reform in the Hashemite kingdom. The law, which severely limits the number of seats that opposition parties can hold in parliament,…

> UAE and Iran: Frenemies forever

Published: 22/04/2012

The visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s to the disputed islands located between the UAE and Iran was met with a torrent of condemnation and denunciation by the Gulf States and several other Arab states. The UAE objected officially and…

> Iran, West show signs of thawing

Published: 20/04/2012

Iran and six world powers have concluded their much-awaited meeting in Istanbul with an agreement to hold yet another meeting in the Iraqi capital on May 23. In a marked contrast to their previous encounters though, this round of talks…

> Iran to Annan: We’re With You, but Assad Stays

Published: 19/04/2012

The Iranians warned the UN-Arab League envoy that Syria’s Arab and Western adversaries were out to foil him and that the consequences of failure would be devastating for Syria and the region.

Iran views Kofi Annan’s plan for Syria as…

> Bahrain Grand Prix: Keeping Eyes on the Track

Published: 18/04/2012

The 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix, set for April 20-22, is branded under the slogan “Unif1ed: One Nation in Celebration” in an attempt to portray this sporting event as part of a national reconciliation process. However, the racing event has inescapably…

> Playing for time in Iran and Syria

Published: 16/04/2012

After the last two summits in İstanbul it seems like the international community has come to a shared point in attempts to deal with Iranian nuclear ambitions and the Syrian regime’s agenda to crush resistance.
In both cases, the…

> For Saudi Arabia, Israel is turning from foe to friend

Published: 15/04/2012

Saudi Defense Minister, Prince Salman, was the guest last week of his American counterpart Leon Panetta and, in an unusual step, was also hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama. On the agenda: Iran and the unrest in Bahrain, Saudi…

> What if an independent Kurdish state is declared?

Published: 13/04/2012

United States President Barack Obama’s hosting the head of the Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani, at the White House in Washington is a significant development not only for Iraqi Kurds but for all Kurds. 

The U.S., by hosting…

> Egypt’s Spring Break

Published: 04/04/2012

The Muslim Brotherhood’s nomination of Khairat al-Shater for President of Egypt has raised many eyebrows and confused an already muddled political scene in the Arab world’s most populous country. 

Shocking, but hardly surprising, the decision comes after the group’s repeated…

> Baghdad summit reflects sorry state of Arab politics

Published: 02/04/2012

It was supposed to be a get-to-know-you Arab summit. But few leaders bothered to show up. Never in the long history of the Arab League pageantry have four Arab leaders lost their posts — having been deposed, killed, exiled or…

> It’s hard to be a Friend of Syria

Published: 31/03/2012

It has been a tough week for Turkish diplomats, who are trying to hammer out a result from this weekend’s ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting in Istanbul.

To be frank, it’s not only diplomats; Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gives…

> Turkey eyes Syrian crisis through lens of Kurdish stability

Published: 29/03/2012

Turkey appears to be keeping all options open for intervening in Syria – even arming the opposition. But Ankara’s failure to monitor the development of the Kurdish issue in Syria, and Bashar Al Assad’s struggle for power, have left room…

> Syria as part of Turkish domestic politics

Published: 27/03/2012

Turkey has been engaging in diplomatic traffic with its southern neighbor Syria since the domestic conflict there started last year. For months, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in order to…

> The politics of Nowruz

Published: 25/03/2012

In what has become a Nowruz tradition, Azerbaijan’s president participated in an egg-breaking competition with two popular characters associated with the spring holiday. And this year, as in previous years, Ilham Aliyev got the best of Kosa (Beardless) and Kechal…

> The Salafist equation

Published: 23/03/2012

As we observe political developments in both West and North Africa as well as in the Middle East, it is critical to take full account of the “Salafist equation”, which may well prove to be one of the most significant…

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