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TODAY’S DAILY BRIEFING
16-Oct-2017
Iran
Opinion
“Desperate strategy to contain Iran”  (Al-Ghad, Jordan)
Arab Diplomacy - Military and Defense - USA EU
On October 16, the independent Al-Ghad newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Fahed Khitan: “Very few states welcomed Donald Trump’s strategy towards Iran. Indeed, the influential states, including the Security Council member states, announced their insistence on the nuclear deal with Iran, and warned the US Congress against taking steps that would jeopardize the security of America and its allies… And in light of the position of the European countries, Russia and China, Trump had no choice but to launch a fierce campaign against the agreement and Obama’s Administration that signed it, in a step conveying his own administration’s despair… The new strategy presented by the US Administration featured a package of sanctions, whose details are not yet clear, against Iran. However, the lack of international concord over their imposition will limit their impact on Iran’s economy… (Read More)
Iraq
Politics
“Baghdad requests retaking of military airport and oil wells in Kirkuk”  (Al-Mada, Iraq)
Energy - Military and Defense - Unrest
On October 16, the independent Al-Mada newspaper carried the following report from Baghdad by its correspondent Wael Nehme: “Tensions are still prevailing over the outskirts of Kirkuk Governorate, as the city’s south-western part has been the scene of a standoff between the federal and Peshmerga forces for several days. But so far, both sides are still practicing the highest levels of self-restraint, while each of them is assuring it will not initiate a fight. On Friday, the Kurdish forces had vacated a number of positions around Kirkuk without a fight, saying however that they would not withdraw any further. However, the Federal Government is asking that the Peshmerga pulls out to the positions it held prior to ISIL’s emergence in the summer of 2014 and its forces’ deployment in vital institutions, including the governorate’s airports and oil wells… (Read More)
Israel
Opinion
“Israel and the days of the great concern”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)   
Military and Defense - USA EU
On October 16, Ibrahim al-Amin wrote the following piece in the Al-Akhbar daily: “When the Israeli entity was first founded and in the following decades, we the Arabs, placed ourselves in the position of moral responsibility when it comes to denying, asserting, or voicing out a decisive position on the massacres committed by the West against the Jews before and during World War II. No one placed us in that position, a position where we are not concerned in addition to this not being our direct responsibility… (Read More)
Jordan
Politics
“Likud conference on “Jordanian option” leaps to the front again…”  (Website, Middle East)   
Peace Process
On October 16, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily carried the following report: “The largest opposition party in Jordan condemned what it deemed the shady conferences organized by the Israeli Likud to declare the so-called Jordanian opposition government in bracing for announcing the Palestinian State in Jordan. According to Rai al-Youm’s sources, the conference will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, and it will be attended by around twelve figures coming from five continents to Jerusalem… (Read More)
Middle East
Politics
“Western sources: Lebanon must revive self-distancing”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)
Military and Defense - USA EU
On October 16, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Michel Nasr: “Pending the emergence of the regional and Lebanese repercussions of Trump’s latest decisions, the decision of the US President Donald Trump concerning the Iranian nuclear agreement came below the level of many parties’ bets amidst a consensus that this development will certainly create a new reality in the region. The positions of the Gulf countries that welcomed the new American strategy indicate that the winds that will be blowing on the region in the next phase won’t be calm although the main question is: how and where will the Islamic Republic respond?… (Read More)
Palestine
Opinion
“On Blair’s recognition of the world’s mistake towards Hamas”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Peace Process - USA EU
On October 16, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair recognized in a statement carried by The Observer yesterday that he, and the remaining world leaders, made a mistake when they decided to boycott the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) after it won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006. At the time, based on the wishes of George W. Bush’s administration and under pressures from the Israeli government, Blair, who was prime minister, strongly supported the severance of the relations with the elected Palestinian Authority, after Hamas won the elections, unless it recognized Israel, renounced violence, and approved of the Oslo Accords. This historical decision exposed the West’s hypocrisy towards democracy, especially when its results go against the wishes of the American and European leaders… (Read More)
Qatar
Opinion
“Rapid and decisive visit by Kuwaiti Prince to Al-Riyadh…”  (Website, Middle East)   
Arab Diplomacy
On October 15, Abdul Bari Atwan wrote the following piece in the electronic Rai al-Youm daily: “The rapid visit that Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad, the Kuwaiti Prince, is paying to Al-Riyadh on Monday where he will be meeting with the Saudi Monarch, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, could determine the fate of the GCC and its persistence as a regional organization, or its partitioning, at least temporarily, into two or more entities… (Read More)
“Qatar has won, Al-Kawari has won”  (Newspaper, Middle East)
United Nations - USA EU
On October 16, the Qatari-owned Al-Arab newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Abdullah al-Mulla: “The insightful vision that has turned Qatar from a regular state in small geographic area to an influential state worldwide is probably the one that has led men from this country to top international positions. But this is not only owed to the influence of the state, rather to the rich resume, the relations and the competitiveness of the latter figures, which enabled them to win and reach such positions after overcoming the most difficult challenges. In that sense, His Excellency former Culture Minister Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari’s failure to reach UNESCO’s chairmanship represents a moral victory in light of this unjust siege, seeing as how the besieging states clearly tried to support Al-Kawari’s competitors, as conveyed by some of those who attended the voting session… (Read More)
Syria
Politics
“Sources to Quds Arabi: King Salman informed Putin he did not oppose Assad’s stay, provided Iran leaves Syria”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Arab Diplomacy
On October 16, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report from Damascus by its correspondent Kamel Sakr: “Ten days after Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz’s visit to Moscow and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, further leaks are coming out in regard to the Syrian file’s status in that visit, and the new Saudi position towards Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hence, sources close to the Russian embassy in Damascus revealed to Al-Quds al-Arabi part of what went on between King Salman and the Russian leader in Kremlin in regard to Al-Assad, saying that King Salman informed Putin he had no problem with Al-Assad’s stay as Syria’s president for a transitional stage or beyond, but that his problem rather resided in the close relationship between Al-Assad and Tehran, particularly with Guide of the Revolution Ali Khamenei… (Read More)
“From Reqqa to Der az-Zor: The file of the Syrian east heading to its conclusion”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)
Military and Defense
On October 16, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report: “…The file of the Syrian east is living through its last chapters. From Reqqa to the Iraqi borders including Der az-Zor, some developments are expected to take place (within a time frame not exceeding one week) to complete what Reqqa and Al-Mayadeen have seen in the past two days. The Syrian army’s seizing of the city of Al-Mayadeen (in the southern suburbs of Der az-Zor) deserves to be under the spotlight thanks to the importance of this event and because this city, along with the border city of Boukamal, was listed as a priority by the USA… (Read More)
Turkey
Opinion
“What is the real secret behind the problematic Turkish-American relations…?”  (Website, Middle East)
Military and Defense - USA EU
On October 15, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily carried the following report: “We don’t believe that the arrest made by the Turkish authorities of a local employee at the US embassy in Ankara for charges of communicating with officials at the “Service” movement, which is affiliated to Mr. Fethullah Gulen, is the main reason for the deteriorating relations between Ankara and Washington. This is rather the drop that caused the bucket to overflow… (Read More)
Yemen
Politics
“Former Yemeni President Ali Nasir Muhammad talks to Ahram Arabi...”  (Al-Ahram, Egypt)
Military and Defense - Peace Process - United Nations
On October 4, the Egyptian pro-government Al-Ahram al-Arabi weekly carried the following interview with former Yemeni President Ali Nasir Muhammad by its correspondent Ayman Samir… (Read More)
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