Middle East

Iraqi minister trying to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Mese 2b

Iraq’s foreign minister said he had carried messages between Iran and Saudi Arabia in a continuing attempt to curb a feud involving its two neighbors, Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB reported on… Hurriyet DUBAI – Reuters Relations between the two regional rivals worsened after hundreds of people, many of… Iraqi minister trying… Read More »

Will Cyprus be reunified?

Tr & TC flags 1a Reuters

THE formal split of Cyprus dates to Turkey’s invasion of the island in 1974, which followed a Greece-inspired coup aimed at enosis (union with Greece). The Economist Since then Cyprus has been divided between the Greek-Cypriot republic in the south, a full member of the UN and the… Will Cyprus be… Read More »

What prompted Russia’s shift in stance on Syria opposition?

RUS - Al Monitor

When 2016 was drawing to a close, Moscow surprisingly agreed to divide Syrian warring factions into “good” and “bad” guys and to recognize the idea of the “moderate opposition. Anton Mardasov Al Monitor On Jan. 10, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced the preparation of talks between the Syrian government and the armed opposition in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, on Jan. 23. The rebels are seriously preparing for… What prompted Russia’s shift in… Read More »

Turkey’s Relentless Attack on the Press

Baur 6f

It should come as no surprise that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey would praise Donald Trump for refusing to talk to a CNN reporter at a news… THE EDITORIAL BOARD The New York Times For years, Mr. Erdogan has been crushing independent voices as part of a broader effort to assert authoritarian control. Earlier this month, the… Turkey’s Relentless Attack… Read More »

Athens claims high ground as Erdogan warns troops will stay on Cyprus ‘forever’

Senau 1a

Turkey’s dismissal of the demand for a full withdrawal of its forces from divided Cyprus in the event of a settlement, and its overall attitude at the international summit in Geneva on Thursday, confirmed, Athens claimed on… ekathimerini“We told them clearly. When it comes to… Athens claims high… Read More »

For Israel, energy boom could make friends out of enemies

Dent 1a

ABOARD THE ATWOOD ADVANTAGE — In the ship’s control room, facing four video screens, a driller from Mississippi in dark shades and a black baseball cap with a skull on it held what could be the future of Israel in his… Peter Baker, New York Times The Boston Globe The massive drill he controlled extended down 11,345 feet, more than 2 miles below the… For Israel, energy … Read More »

Is Peace In Israel Possible?

Israel - The Daily Caller

“Israel can either be Jewish or democratic.  It cannot be both,” said Secretary of State John Kerry last month. Elliot Resnick The Daily Caller In fact, it can.  The argument that it cannot is based on the premise that a democratic state must give all residents within its borders the right to vote. But that plainly is… Is Peace In Israel… Read More »

Israel diplomat forced to resign after AJ investigation

Echa 1a

Shai Masot, a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in the UK, was forced to resign, Al Jazeera learns. Al Jazeera An Israeli political officer, who was at the centre of an Al Jazeera investigation, has been forced to resign from Israel’s UK embassy, a senior official in the… Israel diplomat forced… Read More »

Unlike Obama, Trump will be a more reliable ally, Turkish leadership believes

Duri 2b

President Erdoğan implicitly called on the upcoming U.S. administration to be transparent with Turkey, while reiterating Ankara’s willingness to repair ties with the U.S. which soured during the Obama administration particularly over disagreements on the… MEHMET ÇELIK Daily Sabah Ankara has restated its hope to… Unlike Obama, Trump… Read More »

Does Israel Really Have a Corruption Problem?

Israel - NYT

JERUSALEM — Imagine I’m describing a country you’ve never heard of: I tell you that every prime minister of this country in the last 20 years has at some point been under criminal investigation. Shmuel Rosner The New York Times Defense ministers were investigated and put on trial for corruption. Other top government officials… Does Israel Really… Read More »

Syria rebels deny deal with government on water supply

Beta 1a

The damage to water infrastructure supplying Damascus has left some 5.5 million people without water. Al Jazeera Syrian rebels have rejected a provincial governor’s claim that a deal has been reached for government forces to enter a rebel-held area near Damascus and… Syria rebels deny… Read More »

Total’s Cyprus Block 11 could rival Egypt’s Zohr discovery, IHS Markit says

World Oil 1a logo

HOUSTON — Driven by the success of Eni’s major Zohr field gas discovery offshore Egypt in 2015, companies are rethinking the Eastern Mediterranean region’s gas potential, according to new analysis from IHS Markit. Total’s announcement that… World Oil “The Zohr gas discovery in… Total’s Cyprus Block… Read More »

How their enemies get by with killing Iraqi journalists

Journalists and security forces take cover from a mortar shell of clashes during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, November 30, 2016  REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani - RTSU1LY

BAGHDAD — Abdul Qader al-Qaisi has become Iraq’s first slain journalist in 2017. Mustafa Saadoun Al Monitor He was kidnapped Jan. 1, and security forces found his body Jan. 5, dumped on the road between Kirkuk and Baghdad. Abdul Qader al-Qaisi was a… How their enemies get… Read More »

Return to Aleppo: A squandered legacy

TOPSHOT - A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area.
After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war.

 / AFP / George OURFALIAN        (Photo credit should read GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images)

This is the second in a series of stories from Al-Monitor correspondent Fehim Tastekin, who is traveling in Syria. Fehim Taştekin Al Monitor ALEPPO, Syria — When I finally arrived in Aleppo from Damascus, accompanied by Damascus-based Turkish journalist Hediye Levent, I discovered the Meridien Hotel we’d wanted to stay at was totally booked because of a… Return to Aleppo… Read More »

Security and Guarantees: a concise explanation

Nurk 1a

As talks on the security and guarantees issue get underway in Geneva between President Nicos Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the UN, and the three guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey, and… Nicolaos Prakas SigmaLive WHAT IS THE TREATY OF GUARANTEE? The guarantees issue has been a… Security and Guarantees: a… Read More »

Total’s Offshore Cyprus Block 11 Could Rival Egypt’s Zohr Natural Gas Discovery; Increasing Investment and Competition in Region, IHS Markit Says

Cy EEZ 2b 3rd bid LLLL

Total to drill one of E&P industry’s most critical wells in 2017, as interest grows in region IHS Driven by the success of Eni’s major Zohr Field gas discovery offshore Egypt in 2015, companies are rethinking the Eastern Mediterranean region’s gas potential, according to… Total’s Offshore Cyprus… Read More »