The ongoing crises in Syria and Egypt have marginalized the conflict in Mali in the Western media. But the French-led military intervention in that country is facing a complex and challenging transitional period. United Nations Special Envoy for the Sahel Romano Prodi recently warned the international community to “not forget the Sahel, or you will have more Malis if you do.” That is a prospect that European countries — including France — will certainly not relish, yet they lack the political will or the capacity to ensure a favorable outcome. Transatlantic actors now, more than ever, need to rethink their cooperation in the region and strengthen their alliances with local powers.
Saudi Arabia has become one of the most influential Arab states. The billions it earns from oil production help it assert its interests, but there are growing tensions with its neighbors - including Syria.
FOR years, foreign policy discussions have focused on the question of whether Islam is compatible with democracy. But this is becoming passé. In Tunisia and Egypt, Islamists, who were long perceived as opponents of the democratic system, are now promoting and joyfully participating in it. Even the ultra-Orthodox Salafis now have deputies sitting in the Egyptian Parliament, thanks to the ballots that they, until very recently, denounced as heresy.
In September, the U.N. General Assembly will vote on whether to recognize Palestine as an independent and sovereign state with full rights in the United Nations. In many ways, this would appear to be a reasonable and logical step. Whatever the Palestinians once were, they are clearly a nation in the simplest and most important sense — namely, they think of themselves as a nation. Nations are created by historical circumstances, and those circumstances have given rise to a Palestinian nation. Under the principle of the United Nations and the theory of the right to national self-determination, which is the moral foundation of the modern theory of nationalism, a nation has a right to a state, and that state has a place in the family of nations. In this sense, the U.N. vote will be unexceptional.
It is one thing if the Tunisian dictator flees. It is quite another if the regime in Egypt is shaking. The implications of the transformation in Egypt for the entire Middle East and beyond can hardly be overestimated, the participants of the conference panel held on Saturday evening agreed.
Sixty years ago, American politics was embittered by an accusation couched as a question: "Who lost China?" The implied indictment was that America had fumbled away a possession through incompetence or sinister conniving.
Turkey has been following closely the unfolding popular “revolutions” in Tunisia and Egypt. While the Turkish public expressed support towards the masses demanding political liberalization, the Turkish government adopted a cautious approach initially, indicative of some of the contradictions that have been inherent in its policies towards the Middle East for some time.
World leaders have been voicing their concern about the events unfolding in Egypt, and the crisis has been a talking point at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Thousands of anti-government demonstrators were crowing the streets of Egypt’s biggests cities Saturday, repeating demands that President Hosni Mubarak stand down.
Turkey can play a key role in overcoming existing hurdles to the realization of the Nabucco pipeline project, which will augment Europe’s energy security. In return the EU should assist Turkey on its path to EU membership.