Middle East

Government to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but keeps embassy in Tel Aviv

The Australian Government will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but will not immediately move its embassy from Tel Aviv. Jade Macmillan ABC It is understood Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce the decision during a speech in Sydney today. He is also expected to acknowledge the aspirations of Palestinians for a future state with its capital in East Jerusalem. The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network said it was dismayed by the Prime Minister’s plan, which it argued would ... Read More »

Confront Turkey’s ethnic cleansing and stop indulging it

Every April, Turkish diplomats and members of the Congressional Turkey Caucus scramble to avert a resolution recognizing as genocide the World War I-era Ottoman massacres of Armenians. Washington Examiner Turkish officials oppose any resolution holding Turkey responsible both because the Republic of Turkey was not formally declared until 1923 and because they hold that what happened was not deliberate but… Other Turkish historians and politicians hold that the evidence upon which genocide historians rely is exaggerated if not fraudulent. Lost ... Read More »

Syrian refugees remain trapped and marginalised by Lebanon’s power-sharing politics

World leaders gathered in Marrakesh on December 10 to sign a historic agreement safeguarding the rights of migrants. Drew Mikhael The Conversation Despite the withdrawal of some countries, the Global Compact on Migration was approved by 164 countries. It follows the Global Compact on Refugees, approved at the UN in mid-November by all countries, bar one – the United States. Despite the current optimism around the potential good these new global compacts on refugees and migrants will have, the current ... Read More »

‘Help us’: Call for greater assistance to locate 3000 Yazidis taken hostage by IS

More than 3000 Yazidi women and girls taken hostage after IS swept through northern Iraq in 2014 remain missing. By Fares Hassan, Sylva Mezher, Abdallah Kamal Presented by Good Morning Australia 6-9 AM Published: December 10 A councilman in the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar has called for a greater international assistance to locate the more than 3000 Yazidi women and girls still missing and presumed under IS captivity. Khodaida Al-Hamo, a Yazidi member of the Nineveh governorate council which overseas Sinjar, ... Read More »

Palestinians reject compromise options on Australia’s contentious embassy review

The Palestinian representative in Canberra has rejected possible Australian government alternatives to establishing an embassy in Jerusalem, saying Palestinians should not “pay the… David Wroe The Age Cabinet is expected to discuss the embassy location on Tuesday after Mr Morrison vowed to review Australia’s diplomatic stance in October ahead of the crucial Wentworth byelection. Among the options understood to be on the table are the establishment of a smaller office or consulate in west Jerusalem while keeping the embassy in ... Read More »

US official opposes ditching support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen

The United States strongly opposes discontinuing support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s war and will remain engaged in efforts to combat Iranian influence and Islamist militancy in the Arab state, a… ABC Reuters The US administration has come under pressure at home over the nearly four-year-old conflict that has pushed Yemen to the brink of starvation since the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at… The US Senate last month voted to advance a resolution to end military ... Read More »

Syria: is Europe’s influence in the region finished?

The Assad regime has inched closer to winning the Syrian conflict during 2018. Richard Youngs The Conversation With Russian and Iranian support, the regime has reestablished strong and authoritarian rule, at least outside the deescalation zones where its remit is still curtailed. With a new UN envoy to Syria now taking office and the EU confirming it will host another donor conference for the country early in 2019 – designed to mobilise humanitarian aid and other assistance from the international ... Read More »

Yemen: Giving Peace a Chance?

Preliminary peace consultations on Yemen are scheduled to start in Stockholm on 6 December. This is the second attempt in three months to jump-start talks. Crisis Group consultant Peter Salisbury explains why the Sweden talks are so important and what could go wrong. What are the talks in Stockholm expected to achieve? In September, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, failed to bring the parties to the table in Geneva after last-minute wrangling. This time he hopes to have ... Read More »

Turkish historian launches digital archive documenting Armenian genocide

Turkish historian Taner Akçam, a professor of Armenian genocide studies at Clark University in Massachusetts, has launched a digital archive of evidence collected by an Armenian genocide survivor  which documents the… Ahval Akçam, the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, worked with Turkish experts and… Turkey has never officially acknowledged that events leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of… ... Read More »

Six Steps to Make the Most of the U.S. Senate’s Yemen Vote

By an unexpectedly large margin, the U.S. Senate voted on 29 November to move ahead with a bill to end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war. ICG Crisis Group calls on the key actors to seize this opportunity to suspend the fighting and… The U.S. Congress is notoriously reluctant to take tough decisions on matters of war and peace, which makes the Senate’s 29 November vote on the conflict in Yemen all the more remarkable. The Senate voted by a ... Read More »

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law. James R. Holmes FP Sunday’s encounter between Russian and Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, the entryway to the Sea of Azov east of the Crimean peninsula, revived an age-old question in international politics: Can a coastal nation own the sea? International law says no; authoritarian states such as China and Russia say ... Read More »

Pentagon Moves Closer To Cutting Turkey’s Role In The F-35 Program If It Buys S-400 SAMs

Turkey remains steadfast in its plans to purchase the air defense systems as its relations with the United States remain cool Joseph Trevthick TheDRIVE The U.S. government could reportedly reexamine Turkey’s participation in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program if that country goes ahead with its purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia. But even if that particular issue is resolved, there could still be major hurdles in unfreezing deliveries of the jets to the Turkish Air Force. The ... Read More »

Intel: Why the US opposes UN calls for a Yemen cease-fire

CNN reported today that the United States is pulling its support for a Yemen cease-fire resolution at the United Nations after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed frustration over language calling for increased humanitarian aid and… Al-Monitor Why it matters: The report indicates that the Donald Trump administration is contradicting its stated policy goal in Yemen, which was to get the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthis to the… US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has signaled for weeks that the ... Read More »

Even a ‘Diplomat’s Diplomat’ Can’t Solve Syria’s Civil War

The United Nations’ Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is stepping down. Is there any role left for the international community to play in ending Syria’s slaughter? David Kenner The Atlantic BEIRUT—If the only thing you knew about Syria was UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura’s briefing to the Security Council this month, you might assume dramatic events were afoot. There had been an important meeting in Istanbul, he said, while equally vital summits in Astana, Kazakhstan, and of the G-20 countries in ... Read More »

Turkey Wipes Out the Christian Culture of Occupied Cyprus

A sixth-century mosaic of Saint Mark, stolen from a church after Turkey’s military invaded Cyprus in 1974, was recently recovered in a Monaco apartment and returned to Cypriot officials. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute The ancient masterpiece was described by Arthur Brand, the Dutch investigator who located it, as “one of the last and most beautiful examples of art from the early Byzantine era.” Many other cultural Cypriot relics, from churches and other sites, were stolen from Cyprus by Turkish invaders and ... Read More »

Khashoggi murder: Storm clouds gather over Turkish-Saudi ties

Turkey’s determination to go all the way to force Saudi Arabia to come clean over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is pointing to a serious crisis in the making between the two countries. Semih Idiz Al-Monitor This crisis, which could have regional implications for Turkey, seems unavoidable since Ankara’s accusations ultimately target Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, commonly referred to by his initials, MBS. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have no affection for the crown prince, who ... Read More »