Middle East

Hezbollah associate pleads guilty to money laundering conspiracy in US

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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 »

Trump campaigned against Muslims, but will preach tolerance in Saudi speech

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Trump, whose dark, guttural demonization of Muslims was a trademark of his nationalist campaign, arrives here Saturday hoping the Arab world will listen to a… Philip Rucker and Abby Phillip The Washington Post Embarking on his first overseas trip as president, Trump plans to do a rhetorical pirouette with a speech Sunday in the birthplace of Islam preaching religious tolerance and inviting Muslims to join the United States in the… Never mind that as a… ... Read More »

Was Erdogan personally involved in his bodyguards’ attacks on protesters in D.C.?

This article has been updated. After he met with President Trump this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Embassy Row in Northwest Washington, where Turkey’s ambassador has a home. Philip Bump The Washington Post At some point while Erdogan was there, a group of people across the street at Sheridan Circle began to loudly protest. That protest ended violently, with pro- and… Was Erdogan personally… Read More »

Iran’s Bipolar Election

Iranian voters have a real choice on 19 May between a president promising engagement with the West or one focused on the… Ali Vaez ICG At the same time, both leading candidates are clerical insiders who support the continuation of Iran’s nuclear deal. Who are the leading candidates in the 19 May election and what should we know about the top two? The May 2017 election is essentially a… Iran’s Bipolar… Read More »

Crimea – Cyprus Self-Determination: Universal Principle for Universal Implementation

Around ninety per cent of the inhabitants of Crimea are Russian-speaking, Russian-cultured and Russian-educated, and it would be strange if they did not vote for accession to a country that welcomes their kinship, empathy and loyalty. Dr. Yiorghos Leventis ISF Moreover, in the March 2014 referendum on self-determination there was not “a single case of bloodshed in the run-up to the plebiscite, the free vote as to whether the population wished to accede to Russia or support the “status of ... Read More »

GCC foreign ministers meet to discuss summits

RIYADH: Foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will meet Wednesday in Riyadh to discuss the GCC-US Summit and Arab-Islamic-US Summit, scheduled for Sunday, which will also be attended by US President Donald Trump. Rashid Hassan Arab News Ahmed Al-Kaabi, spokesman of the… GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani, in a… GCC foreign ministers… Read More »

Russia, Saudi Arabia call to extend oil output deal

The world’s biggest oil producers Russia and Saudi Arabia on Monday called for the extension of an output reduction deal ahead of an OPEC meeting later this month. Daily Sabah with wires “To underscore the determination of oil producers to ensure market stability, predictability and sustainable development, the joint actions of participating producers should be… The statement added that Russian… Russia, Saudi Arabia… Read More »