Mashreq–Worldwide Relations

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Could Putin Out-Trump Trump on Jerusalem?

At the heart of the constitution of the United States lies the principle of the separation of powers.  Conceived as a way to prevent the abuse of power generally, it has been used mainly to stop excessive power accumulating in the hands of the President.  Ex-President Obama is on the record as finding the system “frustrating”.  As for Donald Trump, from the moment he assumed office he has been challenged by the legislature and the judiciary.  He spent his first 100 days seeing some of his main electoral promises being foiled – from repealing the nation’s health care law to…
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German Foreign Minister meet counterpart from Qatar, Berlin, Germany - 09 Jun 2017

Germany And The Qatar Crisis

Within a week of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other governments of Arab/African countries severing/downgrading relations with Qatar, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned that “this dispute could lead to war”, referring to the Sunni governments’ “dramatic” harshness regarding Doha. Germany’s top diplomat stated that he had conferred with officials in Qatar, as well as in Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, with the aim of defusing the beleaguered Middle East’s latest crisis. After Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani traveled to Germany to meet with him on June 9, Gabriel called…
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Crisis in the Gulf: Escalation or Negotiation?

Turkey’s parliament is this week fast tracking the dispatch of up to 3,000 troops to Qatar, home to the country’s military base in the Middle East. Certain to stiffen Qatar’s resolve to resist Saudi and UAE-led pressure to force it to change policies, the Turkish move comes amid hints that the kingdom and its allies may seek to undermine the rule of Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

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Has Trump Set the Peace Ball Rolling?

US President Donald Trump left Israel on Tuesday afternoon, 23 May 2017, after a visit lasting just 28 hours.  In the words of the leader in the Jerusalem Post the next morning, “his major contribution to the peace process so far has been his successful resuscitation of non-cynical discourse on the prospects of peace.  But the truly hard work has barely begun.”

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Can Deal-maker Trump Facilitate Israeli-Palestinian Peace?

US President Donald Trump has one attribute that his greatest friends and most impassioned enemies are agreed on – he is a great deal-maker.  Deal-making has been the key to his business success, which has been considerable.  And way back in the 1980s he co-authored “The Art of the Deal” which reached number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, and stayed there for 13 weeks.

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Trump, China and Middle East Arms Race

Forced to acknowledge that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement it concluded two years ago with the world’s major powers, US President Donald J. Trump appears to be groping for ways to provoke Iran to back out of the deal. If successful, Mr. Trump could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East at a time that a Chinese agreement to build a drone manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia could initiate a similar drone race that threatens to take hostilities in the region to a whole new, more dangerous level.

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Towards a New World Order in Eurasia: The 21st Century’s Great Game

Remarks at conference on Regional Cooperation Initiatives in the Asia-Pacific and the Emergence of New Eurasian Geopolitics, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. One thing last week’s US air strikes in Syria highlight is the fact that the sands are continuously shifting as regional and world powers jockey for position in a future Eurasian world order. The strikes raise questions that go far beyond potential greater US involvement in the Syrian conflict. The answer to those questions will likely impact the role America may play in Eurasia and the Asia Pacific.

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