President Obama’s speech at the United Nations on Sep. 23 offered a rhetorically eloquent roadmap on how to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
When, all of a sudden, ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) emerged on the scene and in a matter of days occupied large swathes of mainly Sunni-inhabited parts of Iraq and Syria, including Iraq’s second city Mosul and Tikrit, birthplace of Saddam Hussein, and called itself the Islamic State, many people, not least Western politicians and intelligence services, were taken by surprise.
The appointment of Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the new European Union foreign policy chief offers the opportunity for an overhaul of EU foreign and security policy.
‘Mare Nostrum’ – the largest search and rescue immigration operation ever carried out in the Mediterranean Sea – has become an issue of bitter brinkmanship between human rights groups and anti-immigrant lobbies.
At a time when HIV rates have stabilised or declined elsewhere, the epidemic is still advancing in the Arab world, exacerbated by factors such as political unrest, conflict, poverty and lack of awareness due to social taboos.
Is this one of those rare occasions where policy-makers self-critically correct a gigantic blunder? Or is it a cold turnabout guided by pure self-interest?
Which story line sounds the more credible – that linking the rebel movement ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to policies pursued by Iran or that linking the Sunni extremist force to Iran’s adversary Saudi Arabia?
Tens of thousands of Palestinians living in Syria have been uprooted since the violent government crackdown on the uprising and the ensuing battles that ensnared their communities. For around 50,000 of them, Lebanon was their only safe route out but now it seems this door is being closed on them.
As the Palestinian unity government announced June 2 receives a cautious welcome from many world leaders, Russia’s support for the new body is providing the Kremlin with an opportune platform to pursue its foreign policy ambitions and strengthen its domestic ideology.
Unconsciously or not, most mainstream media and foreign correspondents here have been echoing Muslim Brotherhood voices by depicting Egypt's new president, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, as the general who led the July 2013 “military coup” against the “legitimately elected” Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi.
The World Bank has declared the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal project feasible. Designed to “save the Dead Sea”, “desalinate water and/or generate hydroelectricity at affordable prices in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority”, and “build a symbol of peace in the Middle East”, the scheme, green groups warn, is fraught with environmental hazards.
After the cancellation of an international conference to create a nuclear-free Middle East, leading experts have warned that an important opportunity to create stability in the region has been squandered.
The recent visit by Abd al-Halim Murad, head of the Bahraini Salafi al-Asalah movement, to Syria to meet with Syrian rebels is an attempt by him and other Gulf Salafis to hijack the Syrian revolution.
“The quiet before the storm” is how Israeli pundits describe the countdown – not to Israel going solo on Iran’s nuclear and military installations, but to the meeting between due Monday next week between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.