Author Archive: Neville Teller

Neville Teller

was born in London and is a graduate of Oxford University. He has been commenting on the Middle East scene for over thirty years. He is Middle East correspondent for the Eurasia Review and his articles also appear regularly in other publications and in his blog “A Mid-East Journal”. His books include “One Man’s Israel” (2008), “One Year in the History of Israel and Palestine” (2011) and “The Search for Détente” (2014). A past chairman of the Society of Authors’ Broadcasting Committee, he is a veteran radio and audio dramatist and abridger. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006 he was awarded the MBE for services to broadcasting and drama.

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Turkey’s Enduring Emergency

An emergency, the Oxford English dictionary informs us, is “a sudden state of danger requiring immediate action”. Turkish citizens have been living in a state of emergency for a year and a half, and on 8 January 2018 deputy prime minister, Bekir Bozdag, announced that the government intended to extend it. This represents the sixth such extension, and Turks might be excused for starting to forget what “normal” life feels like.

Can Russia Broker a Syrian Peace Deal?

Can Russia Broker a Syrian Peace Deal?

There is little doubt that the super-power in the Syrian situation is Russia, and that – despite recent US efforts to bolster the UN’s Geneva peace-seeking initiative – the final settlement, whenever it comes about, will provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with the major political advantages in the region that he is seeking.

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Damming the Nile – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia Battle It out

That Egypt’s economic well-being is dependent on the Nile has been a geopolitical fact of life since ancient times.  Fly over the country, and Egypt’s dependence on the river is starkly illustrated.  Amid vast deserts, the river and its cultivated banks appear as a narrow green ribbon snaking its way to the north, where it widens into a delta before reaching the Mediterranean. The vast majority of Egypt’s 94 million people live adjacent to this fertile belt, along which its main cities from Aswan to Cairo to Alexandria cluster.  The lower Nile valley and the delta together comprise about 3.5…
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Russia – The Dominant Influence on Syria’s Future

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is a man who thrives on seizing the initiative.  Let him spot a chance to gain a diplomatic advantage, and he will not hesitate to act.  Aware that the Geneva-based talks on settling the Syrian conflict were faltering, and realizing that no other player was on the field, he jumped forward to chance his arm at brokering a Russian-led peace deal.

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A New Cold War?

The struggle for dominance between Saudi Arabia and Iran – one the leader of the Sunni Muslim world, the other of the Shi’ite – is being conducted up and down the Middle East.  In Syria and Yemen, the conflict has descended into open conflict.  In Iraq it is largely a struggle for political superiority.  Elsewhere the two countries are competing by proxy, providing varying degrees of support to opposing sides in disputes in Bahrain, Qatar, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Bureau members of a preparatory conference to announce a federal system discuss a "Democratic Federal System for Rojava - Northern Syria" in the Kurdish-controlled town of Rmeilan, Hasaka province

The Other Kurdish Poll

As far as Kurdish affairs are concerned, the world’s attention is currently focused on the independence referendum held on September 25, 2017 by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in north-eastern Iraq and that, despite considerable international pressure, there was a 92 percent vote in favour, on a 72 percent turnout.  Little attention has been paid to the fact that just three days earlier, another historic Kurdish election took place in neighbouring Syria.

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Guterres – The Hope of Justice for Palestinian Refugees

António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres became Secretary-General of the United Nations on January 1, 2017.  Once Portugal’s prime minister, he was UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005.  For ten years he headed the world’s largest humanitarian organization during a period when unprecedented numbers of people fled their homes to seek safety or a better life elsewhere. He used his time in office to achieve fundamental organizational reform, cutting staff and administrative costs, while expanding the organization’s emergency response capacity during the worst displacement crisis since the Second World War.

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The Persecuted Yazidis

            If freedom of religious belief is a fundamental human right, then surely no people is more deserving of universal sympathy and support than the persecuted Yazidis.  With a long history behind them of victimization and oppression under Ottoman rule­ – more than 70 genocidal massacres are on record – in recent years their maltreatment has, if anything, intensified.

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