If Syria eventually agrees to relinquish its stockpile of chemical arms under the 1993 international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), what of the six other countries that have either shown reluctance or refused to join the treaty?
It was the Egyptian state’s brutal restrictions on worker freedoms that transformed Kareem El-Beheiry from a disengaged lay worker into a tenacious labour activist.
Against the backdrop of widespread sectarian violence in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria - and rising xenophobia and Islamophobia in Western Europe and the United States - the United Nations hosted its second high-level forum on the "culture of peace".
It is Anna Betanova's second visit to Egypt and very different from the last time. The 26-year-old accountant from St Petersburg, Russia, is in Hurghada, the prominent resort destination on the Red Sea coast, some 400 km southeast of the capital Cairo. "The beaches are almost empty," she told IPS, "and we spend most of the day watching TV."
Almost 1,000 Egyptians have died, according to official count, since Aug. 14 when Egypt's armed forces began cracking down on Muslim Brotherhood-led protests against the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. That number well exceeds the 846 people officials say died during the 18 days of protests that ended Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule in January 2011.
With the sun inching closer to the horizon on Friday afternoon in the Mohandiseen neighbourhood of Cairo, the call to prayer from Mostafa Mahmood mosque goes out over a street empty of all but a few soldiers lingering beside their tanks.
The ongoing crackdown on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi has prompted some analysts to warn of the apparent resurgence of the Mubarak-era police state.
As the administration of President Barack Obama continues wrestling with how to react to the military coup in Egypt and its bloody aftermath, officials and independent analysts are increasingly worried about the crisis's effect on U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia.
Egyptian military leader General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said ousting the country’s first elected president was necessary “to preserve democracy” and resolve the political deadlock that had dangerously polarised the country. But six weeks after the coup he led, the notion that toppling Islamist president Mohamed Morsi would restore stability to Egypt has proven false.
Churches across Egypt are being attacked heavily following the brutal killing last week of supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
Dina Gamal, whose 10-year-old son was born blind, says it is not him but Egyptian society that lives in the dark.
The violence in Cairo came amidst firm indications that Muslim Brotherhood members hit back after a brutal crackdown this week that left many hundreds dead. And the winds of retaliation have blowing in from the Sinai peninsula, the desert to the east.
The United States, which has refused to cut off its hefty 1.3 billion dollars in annual military aid to Egypt, continues to argue that depriving arms to the 438,500-strong security forces will only "destabilise" the crisis-ridden country.
The recently restarted talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are the only peaceful political activity amidst ongoing violence in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Arab world.
As Egypt's political crisis escalates, supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi accuse the local media – both state-run and private – of ignoring pro-Morsi demonstrations and covering up massive rights abuses.