Ghazouani peacefully elected as president of Mauritania in place of Abdel Aziz – no change. Economy doing well.
The Senate in Washington and the Court of Appeal in London find fault with current policy on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Ex-President Mursi of Egypt dies in court. Calls for an independent investigation. Government attempts to control media reaction ham-fisted.
Palestinians, whether official or business, will not attend the Bahrain workshop. Seven Arab states will nevertheless take part; so will some international organisations. The event will not be a resounding success but an embarrassing flop may have been narrowly avoided.
Sudan – killing of demonstrators stalls negotiations between military and protesters. Ethiopian mediation knocked off course.
Syria – fighting continues, mainly in and around Idlib between the Syrian army and jihadis. International complications.
Two tankers attacked and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman. Pompeo again accuses Iran.
Stockholm peace process for Hudaida continues, but so does escalation of the war with Houthi attacks on Saudi territory. Two more tankers hit. Since our posting of 13 May the war in Yemen has continued unabated, not only between the Houthis and the Saudi led coalition forces; Al Qaeda and IS remain active, though largely against each other. Pro-coalition statements routinely describe the Houthis as “Iran backed“, but independent commentators argue that while there is certainly Iranian involvement the Houthi/Iranian relationship is pragmatic and limited. The war has increased …
US shuttle diplomacy has achieved agreement on talks to take place between Lebanon and Israel on the maritime border.
Since the beginning of the year, the development of relations between Iraq and Turkey has gained real momentum. The focus is on trade, water and the reconstruction of Iraq.