The Hedges case is symptomatic of the increasing risks of and restrictions on scholarly research in the Middle East.
Khashoggi – Turkey keeps up the pressure. Saudi Arabia on the back foot. Congress and media want action. US and other governments face a dilemma.
Sudan – old genocide charge unresolved, but conflicts reduced and security improving. US warming up relations.
Erdoğan all but fingers MBS for the murder. Prince Ahmad returns from London. Saudi Arabia losing some of its international grip, e.g. on Yemen.
Syria – Idlib ceasefire holds. Turkey/Russia/Germany/France summit. Political agreement still elusive, many local problems.
Europe’s dilemma in the Middle East – its interests differ from those of the US but it bears some of the cost of US policies decided regardless of its interests, Palestine, Iraq, Iran. Khashoggi may be another example?
Khashoggi – murder evidence accumulates, but Saudi Arabia still in denial. Cautious reaction in the Middle East. Trump ambiguous, but strong reaction from Congress and from international finance.
The State of Palestine has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order the US to remove its embassy from Jerusalem. The case will require the Court first to decide whether Palestine is legally a state.
Syria – military action reduced, some practical normalisation. Idlib quiet but remains a massive unsolved problem.
Khashoggi murdered or renditioned to Saudi Arabia. Will international concern be enough to change policy towards the kingdom? There is now convincing evidence, short of absolute proof, that the prominent Saudi journalist and commentator Jamal Khashoggi (our posting of 3 October) was detained in the Saudi consulate general in Istanbul on 2 October and taken either dead or alive to Saudi Arabia. There is no evidence to support the Saudi claim that he left the building freely. In what follows we assume, like virtually all other commentators, that the Saudi …