Jordan survives

Jordan survives Reports of John Kerry’s brief visit to Jordan during his latest Middle East tour concentrate mainly on his meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and his visit to a Syrian refugee camp.

Israel unsettled

Israel unsettled Recent political developments, above all the possibility of a thaw in US/Iranian relations and more generally a feeling of loss of control in Washington, have disconcerted Israeli opinion.

Lebanon: refugee burden grows

Lebanon: refugee burden grows An International Support Group for Lebanon was inaugurated in New York on 25 September, chaired by the UN Secretary-General and including Lebanon, US, UK, France, Russia, China, the EU, the Arab League, the World Bank and various UN agencies. A summary of the first meeting is at link.

Palestine: talking

Palestine: talking Very little information has been available about direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian delegations which have been meeting continuously since 29 July.

Israel and Saudi Arabia: unlikely partners

Israel and Saudi Arabia: unlikely partners The stagnant and relatively predictable Middle East scene of recent years has been rudely disturbed, following the Arab Spring, by the election of an Iranian president who appears to seek a more conciliatory policy towards both the Arab world and the wider world, the unpredictability of post-Mubarak Egypt, the …

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Israel: a villa in the jungle

Israel: a villa in the jungle In an article in the Guardian of 20 August  the Israeli journalist Aluf Benn describes the normality of life in Israel contrasting with a deadly crackdown on protests in Egypt, civil war in Syria, car bombs in Lebanon, a refugee crisis in Jordan and sectarian war in Iraq.

Palestine: talks to begin

Palestine: talks to begin Following initial meetings in Washington last month what Reuters calls “the real discussions” start today 14 August “with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni facing Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel.

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