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While there is a broad range of Arabic and Persian language media outlets reporting stories from and about the Middle East, there is currently no affordable and reliable means for English speakers to gain access to this content. As a result, many English speaking businesspersons, students, journalists and others who have an interest in the affairs of the region are largely unaware of what the Middle East media is covering and how they are covering these stories.

Mideastwire.com aims to close this gap by offering a daily menu of translations covering some of the key political, cultural, economic and opinion pieces appearing in the media of the 22 Arab countries, Iran and the Arab Diaspora. Through this effort, we hope to address at least one element of a global disconnect that continues to threaten a wide spectrum of socio-political and economic relationships, both here in the region and beyond.

TODAY’S DAILY BRIEFING
17-Nov-2017
Iraq
Politics
“[Kurdistan Democratic] Party officials: We will not return to Kirkuk as long as it is occupied”  (Website, Middle East)
Military and Defense
On November 15, KDP.info, the official website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, carried the following report from Erbil: “A number of KDP leaders announced they will not return to Kirkuk from a weak position, indicating that the more the Party was strong, the more the Kurds’ rights were protected, which was the reason behind the constant hostility shown by the enemies. In statements to the official website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, member of the KDP command Nuri Hamma said: “We are not willing to send our cadres and institutions back to Kirkuk and the Kurdish regions occupied by Popular Mobilization until the end of the occupation.” For his part, Deputy Head of the KDP leadership council in Kirkuk and Garmian Diyari Hussein said: “Kirkuk is currently occupied, and we in the KDP will not return to the city that was stripped of its Kurdish characteristics… (Read More)
Israel
Politics
“In his first interview to an Arab paper, Israeli chief of staff talks to Elaph…”  (Elaph, United Kingdom)   
Arab Diplomacy - Media - Military and Defense
On November 16, the Saudi-owned Elaph news website carried the first interview ever given by Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot to an Arab newspaper, by its correspondent in Tel Aviv Majdi al-Halabi: “… The following is the content of the interview that took place inside the office of General Gadi Eizenkot at the General Staff headquarters, in which he said he was pleased with the opportunity to speak about Israel on the military and political levels in the Arab media. In the interview, the Israeli chief of staff indicated that the State of Israel was now at its military best, saying: “We have evolved a lot. Our army, intelligence, Air Force and infantry are in their best state, with everyone’s knowledge. And we are earning appreciation from the moderate states in the region.” In regard to the challenges, he said that in the past, the threat came from regular armies, such as the Syrian army among others… (Read More)
Lebanon
Politics
“Saudi Arabia planning to remove Aoun”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)   
Arab Diplomacy - USA EU
On November 17, Ibrahim al-Amin wrote the following report in Al-Akhbar daily: “…The Israeli enemy used to include a mediator in all the stages of the operation when conducting major prisoners’ swap deals. In many cases, the enemy insisted that the Lebanese prisoners are moved to a mediator country like Germany before returning to Beirut. It is fair to say that the hidden cooperation between the enemy and the Al-Saud family has included this aspect. Indeed, just like the enemy, Al-Riyadh insisted that Paris, the center of the mediation between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon over prisoner, Sa’d al-Hariri, should serve as the latter’s passageway to his country… (Read More)
Middle East
Politics
“Why did the Israeli Chief of Military Staff detonate the bomb of military/intelligence cooperation with KSA against Iran now…?”  (Website, Middle East)   
Arab Diplomacy - Democracy and Party Politics - Military and Defense
On November 16, Abdul Bari Atwan wrote the following piece: “Surprises are proceeding and shocks are mounting. The winds of war are blowing on the region as if the wars in Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Iraq (partially) are not enough. Following the shock of placing Sheikh Sa’d al-Hariri under house arrest, stripping him of his “sheikhdom” and forcing him to read a resignation speech from Al-Riyadh on the Al-Arabiya Channel, there goes the London-based, royal Saudi Elaph electronic newspaper, conducting an interview with the Israeli Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the chief of the Israeli army military staff, who stressed that his government is willing to swap intelligence information with Saudi Arabia to confront Tehran… (Read More)
Palestine
Opinion
“The Resistance’s weapons are the weapons of the people and these are the legitimate weapons”  (Filastin al-An, Palestine)
Democracy and Party Politics - Media - Military and Defense
On November 16, the pro-Hamas Filastin al-An daily carried the following piece by Moustafa al-Sawwaf: “There’s an ongoing, unprecedented state of incitement against the weapons of the Resistance by linking the improvement of the situation at the Gaza territory to the security and the unification of weapons. In this context, statements were released from the top of the pyramid all the way to the base at the level of the Al-Hamadallah cabinet. All these statements are playing a single tune and on a single string, in harmony with the Occupation because this is the only side that wishes to get rid of the Resistance in fear that it might wipe out its violating entity… (Read More)
Politics
“A call from Cairo to the Islamic Jihad: we want a no response pledge”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)   
Arab Diplomacy - Democracy and Party Politics - Military and Defense - Peace Process
On November 17, the Al-Akhbar daily carried the following report by Abdul Rahman Nassar: “As part of the actively ongoing Saudi-Israeli arrangements to confront their joint adversaries comes the summoning of Mahmoud Abbas to inform him of Al-Riyadh’s vision regarding the Palestinian cause… Behind the protocol talk on “discussing the regional issues and the bilateral relations, and going over the reconciliation file,” the backstage was busy with the Saudi “vision” of the future of the region and the position of the Palestinian cause there. All what Al-Riyadh’s eye can see in the scene is Tel Aviv. For this reason, everything is marginal when compared to enhancing the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel even if this leads to perpetuating the siege on Gaza, or sabotaging the security situation at the Palestinian camps in Lebanon… (Read More)
Saudi Arabia
Opinion
“The Al-Saud family and the most dangerous agenda for the region”  (Al-Watan Syria, Syria)
Arab Diplomacy - Democracy and Party Politics - Military and Defense
On November 16, the pro-Syrian regime Al-Watan daily carried the following piece by Tahsin al-Halabi: “Each country has elements of relative power and relative weakness. The question is: what are the most important elements that Saudi Arabia uses to influence the country leaders and parties? Assuming that the two most important elements at the level of Saudi Arabia’s ability to influence the others are money and the army, then the obvious conclusion is that the element of armed power has proven its incapacity and weakness to impose a Saudi influence in Yemen, the poorest Arab country and the country that is adjacent to Saudi Arabia… (Read More)
“The Christians in Saudi Arabia!”  (Okaz, Saudi Arabia)
Arab Diplomacy - Democracy and Party Politics - Religion
On November 16, the pro-monarchy Okaz newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Mohammad as-Sa’ed: “I believe that the visit conducted by Head of the Lebanese Church Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros ar-Rahi, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, was the most prominent visit by a Christian cleric to Saudi Arabia, even the first since the Najran Christians’ visit to the Great Prophet. But what is the meaning of this visit, whether for Saudi Arabia or the Christians of the East, who are living on the edge of a deep abyss due to Qatar’s support of Islamist groups, which have killed and displaced the Christians based on identity in Syria, Iraq and Egypt. Christianity is indeed on the brink of extinction, not because of its followers’ beliefs, but because there is a political and sectarian threat that has been directly targeting them, especially in the last ten years, and using them as an excuse to detonate the Arab world and generate infighting… (Read More)
Somalia
Politics
“ISIL targeting the Qatari-Turkish interests under Emirati support”  (Al-Sharq, Qatar)
Democracy and Party Politics - Terrorism
On November 17, the Al-Sharq daily carried the following report: “A prominent official at the Somali intelligence services said that the main target behind the most violent attack in the history of Somalia that occurred this past month consisted of the Turkish military base, which has been recently inaugurated in addition to the Qatari embassy and the Al-Jazeera [headquarters] which are located in a nearby location. Turkish security sources also confirmed the veracity of the Somali official’s statements… (Read More)
Syria
Politics
“SDF spokesman secedes in coordination with Turkish intelligence”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Democracy and Party Politics - Military and Defense
On November 16, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report from Damascus by Hiba Muhammad: “According to Syrian opposition sources, official Spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] Colonel Talal Silo seceded, and arrived to Turkey from Qamishli through areas controlled by the Euphrates Shield factions in Northern Aleppo. This happened in the context of a security operation and following high-level coordination with Turkish intelligence. At this level, a knowledgeable official source said to Al-Quds al-Arabi over the phone on condition of anonymity that Silo’s dissidence was not a spur of the moment event, rather seen after months of coordination with the Turkish intelligence, which employed the Euphrates Shield factions to ensure his safe passage across the opposition-held regions in the North until the Turkish territories… (Read More)
Tunisia
Politics
“Riadh Chaibi to Quds Arabi: Imminent government amendment in Tunisia, Youssef Chahed lost his political credit”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
On November 16, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report from Tunis by its correspondent Hassan Salman: “Riadh Chaibi, the leader of Al-Bina al-Watani [National Construction] Party, expected the imminent announcement of a new governmental reshuffle in Tunisia, indicating that Prime Minister Youssef Chahed “lacked the strong political support and credit needed to seal strong ties with the various influential sides on the Tunisian scene, and the decision to remove him has been taken a while ago...” In exclusive statements to Al-Quds al-Arabi, Chaibi explained: “The decision to remove Chahed has been taken a while ago, and a search is currently underway for another figure to replace him at the head of the government. This is only a matter of time. And it is likely that Chahed will be threatened and pressured into resigning… (Read More)
Yemen
Politics
“Qatar funds Yemeni satellite channels targeting Saudi Arabia”  (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia)   
Democracy and Party Politics - Media
On November 14, the pro-monarchy Al-Watan newspaper carried the following report from Abha by its correspondent Salman Askar: “A Yemeni source revealed that the Qatari government was funding Yemeni satellite channels targeting Saudi Arabia, and that the latter channels had taken it upon themselves to implement Qatar’s plans against the Kingdom based on a Muslim Brotherhood agenda, which Qatar was supervising. And he assured that the MB was Qatar’s main tool to reproduce Al-Khomeini’s project in the region. So, a Yemeni source said that a Yemeni channel – whose name will not be revealed by Al-Watan – started broadcasting from the capital Sanaa in 2011 with major support from the Qatari government, adding that this generous aid was specifically offered by Mozah al-Missned, the wife of former Qatari Prince Hamad Bin Khalifa and the mother of current Prince Tamim Bin Hamad… (Read More)
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