The first official foreign visit of any newly elected president represents a significant symbolic statement. Knowing this, new leaders choose their first visit very carefully, often selecting a country that is either a major strategic ally or an important trade partner. Nonetheless, the Egyptian government’s announcement that President Mohammed Morsi’s first foreign visit will take him to Saudi Arabia came as something of a surprise. Morsi is no doubt aware, based on media reports, that during the bloody protests that led to the end of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s rule, Saudi King Abdullah was urging U.S. President Barack Obama […]

In June, Morocco requested $1 billion in U.S.-funded upgrades to 200 M1A1 Abrams tanks. In an email interview, Yahia H. Zoubir, a professor of international relations and international management and the director of research in geopolitics at Euromed Management in Marseilles, France, discussed U.S.-Morocco defense relations. WPR: What is the historical background of U.S.-Morocco defense relations, and how have they evolved? Yahia H. Zoubir: The United States considers Morocco a friend and ally, with formal relations dating from the 1787 Treaty of Marrakech, the oldest unbroken treaty in U.S. foreign relations. Foreign military assistance to Morocco began immediately after Morocco’s […]

On July 7, for the first time since 1969, Libyans voted to elect a General National Congress as part of efforts to create a new political system after the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi last year. The elections saw 2,639 individual candidates compete for 120 seats in 69 constituencies, with 559 women making up 44 percent of the candidates registered for seats reserved for political parties. Turnout was high, with 2.8 million people — of which 45 percent were women — registering to vote from among the roughly 3.5 million Libyans eligible to do so. The polls, which were the country’s […]

Fears of violence are rising in Libya on the eve of the country’s first free election in more than 50 years. Saturday’s National Assembly elections could determine whether Libya continues to suffer discord along ethnic and regional lines or consolidates its moves toward becoming a new, democratic state. “It is important to keep in mind that in a postconflict election like [this one], the main concern is usually about credibility,” Ayman Ayoub, regional director for Western Asia and North Africa at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, told Trend Lines. “What really matters is that the elections are […]

Arafat’s Body May Be Exhumed for Testing

Yasser Arafat’s body may be exhumed to allow for more testing of the causes of his death, the Palestinian president said Wednesday, after a lab said it found elevated levels of a radioactive isotope in belongings said to have used in his final days. World News Videos by NewsLook

With a number of African conflict zones in the spotlight recently, regional and global policymakers have increasingly turned their attention to the continent’s security landscape. In both long-standing conflict zones, such as Somalia and Central Africa, and emerging hot spots, like Mali and Nigeria, new developments and new actors have changed the features of African security. This World Politics Review special report examines conflict and security in Africa. Below are links to each article in this special report, which subscribers can read in full. Not a subscriber?Try our subscription service free for two weeks. Sahel Algeria Moves to Boost Regional […]

The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies in collaboration with the Institute for Turkish Studies held their third annual conference on Turkey last Wednesday. Several themes emerged at the event that deserve to be highlighted. Turkey has clearly become a country of intense fascination for Washington players. Some 700 people registered to attend the conference, and it is easy to understand why: During the past decade, under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has become a much more prominent global actor backstopped by a dynamic diplomacy and one of the world’s most powerful economies, in a region […]

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