Middle East

Iraqi Kurdistan faces many obstacles to independence referendum

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BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced May 24 that it had formally informed the United Nations Security Council of its intention to hold a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan through the… Omar Sattar AlMonitor The KRG is working on three levels to have this referendum held by the end of this year and make the… While the first level consists of solving the internal crises plaguing the… Iraqi Kurdistan faces… Read More »

Gaza on the Brink

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When the fear is gone. If you ask Palestinians in either Gaza or the West Bank who’s responsible for their suffering, most would probably say Israel. But what would they say if they were safely overseas and… Evelyn Gordon Commentary That’s not a question reporters, diplomats, or nongovernmental organizations usually bother asking. We now have an answer to it, at least with regard to Palestinians who… Gaza on the… Read More »

Tillerson Present as Exxon Signed Major Deal with Saudi Arabia During Trump Visit

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During his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, President Donald Trump announced an array of economic agreements between the U.S. and… Steve Horn CounterPunch While the $350 billion, 10-year arms deal garnered most headlines, a lesser-noticed agreement was also signed between ExxonMobil and… In addition, ExxonMobil’s press release for the agreement mentions that Darren Woods, the company’s CEO, was in the room for the… Tillerson Present as… Read More »

90 people were murdered by Isis in Kabul yesterday. Where is the minute’s silence for them?

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How many Muslims do Isis need to kill for us to realise that perhaps Islam isn’t the problem? Thaslima Begum Independent It was the holy month of Ramadan. After a long day of fasting, she had begged her mother to take her to the popular Al-Faqma ice-cream parlour situated in Baghdad’s bustling Karrada district on Tuesday. But what had started as a joyful family night out – ended in sudden tragedy. The call to prayer was replaced by a… 90 ... Read More »

Russia: West to blame for chaos, terror in Greater Middle East

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The Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Western states, which pursued regime change policies and funded militants, are to blame for the chaos and terror attacks in the Greater Middle… DONi News Agency Sergei Lavrov made the remarks during a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh… Combating terrorism topped the meeting’s agenda, with the two… Russia: West to… Read More »

The Powerful Anti-Terrorism Ad That’s The Hit of Ramadan

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The month of Ramadan is a time of peak TV consumption in the Arab world, and in turn, peak TV ad budgets. So the Kuwaiti telecom company Zain decided to make to the most of the holy season with a powerful three-minute musical spot urging Arabs to reject suicide… Kuwaiti Telecom Company Zain Speaks Out Against Terrorism The ad begins with a man making a bomb in a… The Powerful Anti… Read More »

Hezbollah associate pleads guilty to money laundering conspiracy in US

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JEDDAH: A Lebanese man, accused of trying to use his ties to Hezbollah as part of a scheme to launder drug money, pleaded guilty on Friday in a Brooklyn, New York, federal court to a… SIRAJ WAHAB Arab News US prosecutors said Joseph Asmar, 43, of Beirut, entered his plea at a hearing before US District Judge Eric… Asmar was arrested in Paris in October 2015, and was extradited to the US 14… Hezbollah associate pleads… Read More »

Religious scholars issue unanimous fatwa declaring suicide attacks Haram

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ISLAMABAD: Religious scholars from all schools of thought on Saturday issued a fatwa (religious decree) that declared suicide attacks, armed… TheNews The fatwa carrying signatures of 31 noted scholars was released at a seminar “’Reconstruction of Pakistani society in the light of ‘Mithaq-e-Madina’ (Charter of… The event was organised by the Islamic Research Institute of the International… Religious scholars issue… Read More »

Qatar launches hacking probe as fake news row spreads across Gulf

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani 1a AFP

UAE and Saudi ban Qatari media after Qatar emir quoted in fake story defending Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran… MEE and agencies  Qatar said it has launched an inquiry into an unprecedented security breach, alleging “shameful” hackers posted a fake story quoting Qatar’s leader that sparked tension with Gulf… Publication of the fake story, which hit Qatar’s official news agency website and Twitter account late on Tuesday, led to ripples of… Qatar launches hacking… Read More »

Reince Priebus Sweating Secret Comey Memos, White House Sources Say

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White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is nervous about what could be in store for him if the former FBI director reveals more details of his secret memos. Betsy Woodruff Lachlan Markay Asawin Suebsaeng Daily Beast President Donald Trump isn’t the only one in the White House who could be caught in a compromising position by James Comey’s secret memos. The president’s chief of staff is worried he could be soon in the crosshairs, as well… Reince Priebus Sweating… Read More »

Turkey’s Varied Tactics of US Lobbying

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Exclusive: Turkey has built one of the premier foreign lobbies in Washington by paying powerful politicians, spreading around money to arms manufacturers, and… By Jonathan Marshall (This is the fifth in a series on foreign lobbying) ConsortiumNews  For all the furor over retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, which got him fired after just 24 days on the job as President Trump’s first national security adviser, his… A federal grand jury has subpoenaed all records of that work as ... Read More »

Iran’s Rouhani denounces US’ Middle East ignorance

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Iran’s president fires back at Trump’s funding ‘terrorists’ accusation, saying Americans don’t know the region. Source: Reuters news agency Al Jazeera Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without Tehran’s help, responding to criticism from US President Donald Trump who… Trump called for a US alliance with Muslim countries aimed at… Iran’s Rouhani denounces… Read More »

What does ‘reunification’ really mean?

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Introduction Among the many reports to emerge from the House of Commons in recent years, one of the most remarkable is Bad Language: The Use and Abuse of Official Language (hereafter ‘Bad Language’).  This was completed in Westminster in 2009 by the cross-party House of Commons Select Committee on Public Administration. Klearchos A. Kyriakides * Published by Agora Dialogue on 22 May 2017 Bad Language railed against any use of language which ‘can prevent people from understanding the implications of policies’. ... Read More »

CoE Lefkosia Summit: Cyprus and Russia at Centre Stage of European Politics

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On the 19th of May, the Republic of Cyprus successfully completed its six-month term at the helm of the Committee of Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe. ISF Foreign Ministers, Deputy Foreign Ministers and Permanent Representatives from the rest 46 member states plus observers from the USA, Canada, The Holy See, Mexico, Japan and Israel flocked to the Cypriot capital to pay their respect to the island republic and hand over the chairmanship of the Committee to the Czechs. ... Read More »

As Trump Alights in Israel, Palestinians are Descending into Darkness

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President Trump plans a 22-23 May visit to Israel and Palestine in pursuit of the “ultimate deal”. Nathan Thrall ICG But behind the scenes, rising tensions between Palestinian factions may be drawing Gaza and Israel closer to a new war. President Donald Trump makes a 26-hour visit to Israel on 22 May to discuss the “ultimate deal” — a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians — with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in… As Trump Alights… Read More »

Flynn, Turkey, Trump: Turkey Has Infiltrated Highest Levels of U.S. Government, Kurdish Leader Reports

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Reports that President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was paid $500,000 to lobby for Turkey underscores the scale of Ankara’s influence at the highest echelons of power, according to… Callum Paton  NewsWeek Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, which provides political direction to the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, says the… “[The Turkish government] is paying a… Flynn, Turkey, Trump… Read More »