Mashreq–Worldwide Relations

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US Moves Against Iran Raise Spectre of Wider Regional Conflict

US President Donald J. Trump in a step that could embolden Saudi Arabia to move ahead with plans to destabilize Iran, has instructed White House aides to give him the arguments for withholding certification in October that Iran has complied with its nuclear agreement with world powers.

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Secret Goings-On in the Mediterranean

Hands up if you know anything about IEMed, the Barcelona Process or UfM.  And full marks if you can identify that IEMed stands for the European Institute of the Mediterranean, the Barcelona Process is shorthand for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed), and UfM betokens the Union for the Mediterranean.

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Poverty Impedes Global Sustainable Development

  UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – While nearly 1.1 billion people escaped extreme poverty between 1990 and 2013 because of strong economic growth that benefited the world’s poorest, “the number of people living in extreme poverty remains unacceptably high, with nearly 800 million living on or below US$1.90 per day,” according to a new UN document.

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Trump’s Mid-East Venture

Ambiguities and vacillations surround many aspects of the Trump administration’s policies or lack of them, both domestic and foreign, but one element seems clear.  President Donald Trump appears determined to pursue an Israeli-Palestinian accommodation, within the context of a wider US-led anti-Islamist, anti-Iran, cooperative effort involving “moderate” Middle East states including Israel. The signs that something’s afoot seem to be proliferating

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Moves On The Arab-Israeli Chessboard

Broad goals such as “America First” and “Make America Great Again” set the tone of President Donald Trump’s administration, but viable domestic policy objectives are hard to discern.  The Muslim travel ban, the Mexican wall and the healthcare reforms were challenged from the first, and as yet are not being fully implemented. Whether withdrawing from the Paris climate change treaty yields the US positive results only time will tell.

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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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