Middle East and North Africa News

Hezbollah's Roll of the Dice in Southern Lebanon

Aug 02, 2013
The European Union designated the "military" wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, inviting strong reaction from Hezbolla describing it as a "legal cover for Israel to attack" Lebanon. The party is using the decision to intimidate UNIFIL forces in South Lebanon through the use of its local elected officials and the population.

The New Mideast Talks: Much Risk, Little Hope, but Still We Must Try

Jul 30, 2013
As the latest round of talks begin, Aaron David Miller outlines the three core challenges to achieving an agreement. And while the odds against success are long, “Still, Mr. Kerry has put down a bet worth making.”

Egypt’s Sissi is Not Moving Toward Democracy

Jul 29, 2013
"U.S. officials must make clear to the Egyptian military and its supporters, as well as to Islamists, that Washington will choose its friends, and that they do not include regimes that curb popular participation at the polls in favor of street mobilization," writes Marina and David Ottaway in The Washington Post.

John Kerry’s Challenge: Restarting the Middle East Peace Process

Jul 26, 2013
Stalled efforts to reach an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians are once again front and center. Secretary of State Kerry has committed himself to finding a way forward on a dispute that has become one of the world’s immovable objects. Is there any reason to believe that this time can be different? Aaron Miller, a veteran of Middle East negotiations, provides context.

Mixed Set of Expectations for Iran’s New President

Jul 26, 2013
When Hassan Rouhani takes office as Iran’s newly elected president on August 3, the expectations of those who elected him and expect him to pursue a moderate course will be high, but many remain skeptical about the prospects for real change. Leading Iran expert Shaul Bakhash provides context on expectations for the new president.

Five Things to Watch for in the Peace Process

Jul 22, 2013
There's a great deal we don't know (yet) about John Kerry's efforts to resume negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. So how are we to know if this process is on the right track and won't become just another woulda/shoulda/coulda enterprise? In this article from ForeignPolicy.com, Aaron David Miller lists five things to look for on the U.S. side.

Women on Qatar Emir’s Abdication

Jul 19, 2013
The Emir of Qatar abdicated in favor his 33-year-old-son on June 25, 2013. Six female leaders from four Arab countries — Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan and Syria — were asked how the power transfer to Tamim bin Hamad al Thani could impact the region.

You Thought the Brotherhood Was Bad?

Jul 17, 2013
In one of the many bizarre twists of Egypt's recent political convulsion, hardline Salafi parties look poised to replace the Muslim Brotherhood as the most important Islamist players in the political process. It's a situation ripe with irony, writes Senior Scholar Marina Ottaway.

Why Does Washington Still Think it Can Control What Happens in Egypt?

Jul 12, 2013
The primary reason for Egypt's current travails has much more to do with the choices Egyptians have made and the circumstances those choices have created than the policies of the Obama administration, let alone any sins of omission and commission, writes Aaron David Miller in Foreign Policy.

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