The Middle East: Russian views

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Russian views on the IS are largely identical with western views. The Moscow Times of 25 August quotes Ilya Rogachyov, head of the Foreign Ministry’s department on new and arising threats. The Islamic State, a radical militant group terrorizing Iraq and Syria, also poses a threat to Russia. Fighters affiliated with the Islamic State could return home to Russia after having fought alongside the group in Syria. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov warned of such an outcome in December, as did the Federal Security Service …

Turkey

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The WAND aims to cover developments in the Arab world, and therefore looks from time to time at international or regional developments elsewhere which affect it. The elevation from prime minister to president of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the election on 10 August was expected (detailed results are at link.) The new government has not yet been …

Egypt and Turkey

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The military-backed government in Egypt appears to have achieved an adequate level of international recognition and respect, with support including financial support from Arab states (other than Qatar) and visits by world leaders including the foreign ministers of the US and Russia, although its actions are critically watched; for example Reuters reports US concern over a …

Turkey and the Kurds

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On 16 November the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan welcomed the leader of Iraqi Kurdistan Masud Barzani in a ground-breaking visit to the Kurdish heartland of Diyarbakir in south-eastern Turkey. In unprecedented conciliatory language both leaders called for peace between Turks and Kurds. However the ceasefire between Kurdish PKK fighters inside Turkey called by the …

Turkey feels the impact

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Turkey, like Lebanon and Jordan, has felt the direct impact of the Syrian civil war, including occasional exchanges of fire and a massive refugee problem. Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan has sided since the beginning of the crisis with the Sunni rebels and against his ex-ally, President Bashar al-Asad. He was one of the main supporters of American plans …

Kurdistan: stumbling

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Attempts by the Kurds in Turkey and Syria to link up with the success of the semi-independent Kurdish region in northern in Iraq have suffered two possible setbacks. According to the Istanbul-based Hürriyet Daily News of 11 September the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) announced on 10 September that it was halting the pullout of its militants from Turkey, putting the attempt to find a solution to the decades-long Kurdish problem in jeopardy. In a statement carried by the Fırat news agency, which is known to have close links with …