Syria VS Turkey

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Yesterday NATO approved the deployment of Patriot anti-missile batteries along the border of Turkey. The decision came after concerns and fears Syria would use chemical weapons against bordering Turkey.

Intelligence gathered by NATO suggested Damascus was thinking of using ballistic missiles armed with chemical warheads. Continue reading

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The Arab Spring, Part Ten…

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the arab sprong part ten easternaffairsAs everybody knows, classical methods of democratization as soft powers (conditionality, incentives, and economic sanctions) were never used in this area. According to the author, the widespread idea that the exportation of democratic values is the only way to fight Arab authoritarian regimes, is less convincing than the one of the auto-democratization; although according to some sceptics who are experts in the plotting theory, the American administration, Israel and their secret services (who are the real inciters of the Arab spring) are reconfiguring the MENA region. Continue reading

Risk of Oil Price Hike from Continued Unrest

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Protest in Egypt

Continuing instability and outbreaks of violence across Egypt and Syria mark more than a temporary concern for oil production and supply.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Cairo for day six of their demand for President Mursi to withdraw his law that gives him disproportionate powers in Egypt. Continue reading

The Arab Spring, Part Nine….

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Further European Reactions…

The Moroccan expert Abd al-Raḥīm al-Maṣlūḥī, proposes another essay (in the Arabic language with an English translation) in which he commences to ask if Europe, who is defined as a “lessons giver”, is still careless about the issue of political reform in the countries on the southern bank of the Mediterranean. Al-Maṣlūḥī delves into a series of questions about the European Union’s means; he wonders if they are able to achieve the projections of the post-authoritarian agenda in the Arabic world and if Europe will succeed to gain a role in the management of that agenda.  Continue reading

The Middle East and Obama’s Re-Election

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On the 6th of November, Obama won his famous second term in office. And the world reckoned and revelled. And celebrated. Well at least most of it.

But what does the Middle East think of Obama’s re-election? For one we know that Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the two countries the US is staunch allies with, have largely not reacted especially positively to his re-election. Elaph, the daily newspaper in Saudi Arabia, wrote: “The US has chosen the more experienced president, who seems more rational than his rival Mitt Romney, who seemed to fantasize about rekindling the dream of an American empire…What is important to us as Arabs is Middle Eastern foreign policy. In this regard, there will be nothing new under the sun, we already have much experience with Obama and he has nothing new to offer us,” wrote a Palestinian correspondent. Continue reading

The Arab Spring – Part Eight

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The European Reaction as Seen by the Arabs

The Moroccan expert Abd al-Raḥīm al-Maṣlūḥī, proposes another essay to discuss in which he commences to ask if Europe, which is defined as a “lessons giver”, is still careless about the issue of political reform in the countries on the southern bank of the Mediterranean. Al-Maṣlūḥī delves into a series of questions about the European Union’s intentions; he wonders if they are able to achieve the projections of the post-authoritarian agenda in the Arabic world and if Europe will succeed to gain a role in the management of that agenda. Continue reading

France and the Middle East

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Where Does it End?

The unrest that can be seen to have originated in the Middle East, most notably this year, has evidently been felt in many other far away corners of the globe. The consequences of the various uprisings which took place across the Middle East, which all came to be labelled as the Arab Spring, are still very much being felt today. Radicalised terrorists with strong ties to the Middle East have quite noticeably been causing unrest in many other nations. Although the Arab Spring will go down in history as a series of incidents with no particular group or figurehead to hold entirely responsible, it goes without saying that the rest of the world watched in anticipation, choosing sides and exchanging heated opinions in relation to blame. Continue reading

The Arab Spring, Part Eight…

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When the Egyptian economist, Samīr Amīn, talks of armed Libyan uprisings, he claims that the aim of the American, European and Japanese armed forces’ intervention was neither for the “protection of civilians”, neither “democracy”, but the control of oil and the purchase of a huge military post in the country.

Furthermore, when he writes in the Arabic language, Amīn cites an expression of Mao, who claims that capitalism had nothing to offer the people of the three continents (Asia, Africa and Latin America) and that the south represents the cyclonic zone – that is the zone where the uprisings took place. Talking about this, the author claims that the “Arab uprising” isn’t the only example, but it is the latest expression of an instability which is typical of this “cyclonic area”. Continue reading

The Insubordinate Gazprom?

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Gazprom, one of the largest companies in the world, delivers gas to 25 European countries, apart from Spain and Portugal, on long term 20-25 year contracts. The Russian owned company supplies a colossal percentage of Bulgaria’s gas (97%), 89% to Hungary and 86% to Poland. The European Union as a whole buys about 25% of its gas from the Russian government. Continue reading

Once Allies, Now Foes

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Turkey will put on trial four senior Israeli military commanders in what the Israeli government believes to be a “show trial” and a parade of “political theatre”. The commanders will be dealt with in absentia while the Istanbul court prosecutor seeks 18,000-year sentences for each of the men.

The trial cae two years after Israeli commandos dropped in on a Turkish aid boat in international waters killing nine Turkish activists on board the vessel.

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