Mashreq–Worldwide Relations

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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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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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