sectarianism is a symptom of the problem, not the underlying problem itself. Many of the region’s conflicts are more about ethnic identity and nationalism, but Arab dictators use sectarianism to bolster their positions.
US/Polish conference in Warsaw shifts focus from Iran to a wider agenda. “A new era” (Mike Pence) – not
Algeria – Bouteflika chosen by FLN to stand for a fifth term as president. Much political action, but the result not in much doubt.
Morocco withdraws ambassadors from Saudi Arabia and UAE “for consultations”.
Iraq – still no government but a budget agreed. Clumsy statement by Trump on Iran.
Israel has ended the Temporary International Presence in Hebron. Such restraining influence as it was able to exercise has now been lost.
Sudan – mainly non-violent protests continue almost daily. Government hot and cold. Major peace agreement for CAR initialled in Khartoum.
Pope Francis gets the red carpet in Abu Dhabi. A successful visit, and a modest boost for peace in Yemen.
Lebanon – Hariri forms a government, the usual coalition tilted slightly more than before towards Hizbullah. US murmurings.
Eight years after the Arab Spring and overthrow of Mubarak human rights abuses in Egypt by most measures worse than before. Macron dares to criticise.