Middle East

Khashoggi’s Murder Heralds a New Era of Impunity

The ugly geopolitics in the wake of the Saudi journalist’s death point to a world in which impunity reigns The head of the United Nations delivered a dark and, it turns out, prophetic warning several weeks ago. Uri Friedman The Atlantic As power diffuses from the United States, the world is devolving into chaos. “Impunity and unpredictability” are becoming “the name of the game,” António Guterres told me. At the time, the UN secretary-general had the kaleidoscopic and catastrophic Syrian war top ... Read More »

Late night text messages reveal Indonesia’s anger over Jerusalem embassy announcement

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s late-night flurry of angry text messages to Australian counterpart Marise Payne was the first direct contact between the two over the Morrison government’s… David Wroe The Canberra Times Extraordinary exchanges in a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday morning have also revealed the government decided to announce its review of Australia’s stances on Jerusalem and the Iran nuclear deal without consulting a… Foreign Minister Marise Payne acknowledged under questioning from Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong ... Read More »

Not one government official was consulted about Australia’s major Israel foreign policy shift

Just after lunchtime on Monday last week, the head of Australia’s Foreign Affairs Department, Frances Adamson, took a call about the government’s planned Jerusalem announcement. David Wroe WAtoday Public servants, even the most seasoned, aren’t unimpeachable, but they are the government’s bedrock for advice on major and complex issues. So it must have been a surprise for the nation’s most senior diplomat that the call from Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s office wasn’t so much asking for her input as letting ... Read More »

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia’s uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria’s upcoming… ICG This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace. Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short Libya has seen… Watch List 2018… Read More »

Beyond Short-Term Solutions in the Middle East and North Africa

The United States and Europe should pursue a strategy of long-term civil society development in the MENA. They should also seek stability and an end to conflicts in the short term. Richard LeBaron The National Interest In the final months of 2018, seven years after historic change swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), countries in the region still face significant political, economic and security challenges. In most countries that underwent a transition, the situation is worse than before: ... Read More »

Trump, Saudi Arabia and à la carte Human Rights

Saudi Arabian Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and then killed. It has been widely reported that Khashoggi was cut to pieces in the embassy whilst still alive. Turkish secret recordings of the murder are said to confirm this. Vasilis Giavris * Khashoggi was a dissident who was critical of the Saudi Royal family. He relocated to the United States in June 2017, where he obtained permanent residency and began ... Read More »

‘Not the work of a great mind’: Gorbachev slams Trump’s nuclear pact withdrawal

Moscow: US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia has drawn sharp criticism from one of the men who signed it — Mikhail Gorbachev, who called the… New York Times The Age In announcing that he would withdraw from the treaty, Trump cited Russian violations of the pact, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed in Washington in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and… Gorbachev, who is now 87 years old, cast Trump’s decision as a ... Read More »

Jamal Khashoggi: murder in the consulate

After days of denial, Saudi Arabia has now said that the writer Jamal Khashoggi died in a ‘fist fight’ at its Istanbul consulate. Martin Chulov pieces together events surrounding this death and the investigation, and links to Riyadh’s controversial crown prince The Guardian The Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul is a homely looking place, much smaller than it seems, nestled into a quiet suburban street, and painted pastel yellow. Were it not for a giant steel door and a green flag ... Read More »

Dissidents living abroad apprehensive about visiting Turkish consulates

Turkish dissidents living abroad are hesitant to visit Turkish embassies and consulates, fearing confiscation of their passports or refusal of their requests, the Ahval news website reported on Thursday. TM “Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance after entering the Saudi consulate in İstanbul on Oct. 2 brought to mind the problems Turkish citizens have been facing in their country’s consulates around the world,” the report said. Many Turkish dissidents hesitated to cast a ballot in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary ... Read More »

U.S.-Turkey Relations in a Time of Turmoil

The strong personalities of Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have contributed to fractious relations between Washington and Ankara. John S. Van Oudenaren The National Interest President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “control over the state apparatus is so complete now, he probably decides what kind of toilet paper gets bought in the universities” quipped Henri Barkey, an adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Chair in… This ... Read More »

How Turkey and Saudi Arabia became frenemies – and why the Khashoggi case could change that

The Oct. 2 disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country’s consulate in Istanbul has put a spotlight on the deteriorating relations between Turkey and the Persian Gulf kingdom. Nader Habibi The Conversation Articles based on anonymous accounts from Turkish officials report that Turkey has video and audio proof that Saudi Arabian agents detained, murdered and dismembered Khashoggi, a sharp critic of his government who lived in Washington, D.C. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the stakes even ... Read More »

Why Won’t Turkey Release the Khashoggi Tapes?

If Turkish officials really have the grisly recordings, they must share them—and soon. Graeme Wood The Atlantic The soundtrack to Jamal Khashoggi’s beating, vivisection, and murder lasts just seven minutes, according to Turkish officials who spoke anonymously to several outlets yesterday. By the end of the recording, the screams have subsided, and Khashoggi is dead, although his alleged killer—a Saudi doctor named Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy—must have continued sawing away at his limbs for some time after. (It takes about two ... Read More »

Turkey: Enabling Mass Illegal Migration into Greece

Greece is currently facing a serious surge in undocumented migrant arrivals in the Evros region, an entry point for migrants illegally trying to enter the country from Turkey. Arrivals have roughly doubled since 2017, and… Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute The influx from places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Bangladesh and African countries into Turkey reportedly has been on the rise in recent months, with 1.5 million people from Muslim countries… This has sparked fears in Athens that they could ... Read More »

Turkey will continue drilling off Cyprus, says Turkish FM

Turkey will continue with drilling for gas off the Cyprus coast in the Eastern Mediterranean in order to ensure the “fair sharing of resources,” pro-government CNN Türk quoted Foreign Minister Mevlüt… Tiny Url Ahval Çavuşoğlu’s statement arrives amid an ongoing standoff over hydrocarbons rights in the eastern Mediterranean. “Turkey will not allow unilateral activities. We need to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots with actual steps,” Cavusoglu told a university conference on law and politics in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We ... Read More »

Russia’s grand strategy: how Putin is using Syria conflict to turn Turkey into Moscow’s proxy

Turkey, Russia and Iran have actively involved themselves in the Syrian conflict, each with their own divergent interests. Mustafa Demir The Conversation Moscow and Tehran have put their support behind the regime of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, hoping it retains its influence over the strategic Syrian region. Meanwhile, since the very beginning of the crisis in 2011, Turkey has been obsessed with removing Assad. So far, the three countries have managed to accommodate their various aims. And the meetings ... Read More »

The Eastern Mediterranean ‘may face a serious crisis’

On 29 October, on the day of the Republic Day of of Turkey, Ankara will take a step towards its fully fledged participation in the energy game that is underway in the Eastern Mediterranean. Nefeli Tzanetakou This move, according to the former head of the National Intelligence Service of the Republic of Cyprus, Andreas Pentaras, will mark the beginning of a period of absolute diplomatic instability in the region in question. As Sputnik has reported, it has not yet been clarified the exact ... Read More »