For many years, Syria has been a pariah state, shunned by most of the international community. But there are signs that things are changing. Several key countries are starting to rebuild relations with Syria, and its suspension from the Arab League may soon be lifted. So, is Syria really regaining international acceptance?
Middle East & North Africa Archive
An opposition victory in Turkey’s elections on May 14 could open a window of opportunity to build a friendlier relationship between Turkey and its partners in NATO and the EU. Yet when it comes to Ankara’s relationship with the EU, there is another election this May that could prove as decisive: Greece’s elections on May 21.
Tunisian opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi was arrested last week and remains in detention, as part of an ongoing crackdown against critics of President Kais Saied. Ghannouchi’s arrest and Saied’s clampdown on political freedoms have major implications for Tunisia’s domestic affairs as well as its foreign relations.
Sudan has been gripped by violence since fighting broke out just over a week ago between rival military factions vying for control in Khartoum. With the situation deteriorating, the plight of civilians has been in the spotlight, but protective infrastructure is scarce. For Sudanese civilians, the only option has been “self-protection.”
For Tunisia’s population, water shortages are only the latest addition to a broader array of difficulties, including mounting inflation and a collapsing currency. Many Tunisians are now turning against President Kais Saied’s authoritarian power grab, and the sight of dry water taps is fueling further discontent.
More than 300 people have been killed and thousands more wounded in the week since intra-regime fighting among Sudan’s military rulers broke out in Khartoum. In addition to creating a humanitarian crisis in Khartoum, the conflict now risks drawing in regional actors, with potential fallout for neighboring states.
A week of fighting in Sudan between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group, has left more than 300 people dead and thousands more injured. The violence is now spreading to other parts of the country, raising fears of a wider conflict that could destabilize the already delicate Horn of Africa region.
For years, Russia analysts have tried to make sense of President Vladimir Putin’s rule by reaching for comparisons with key moments in Russian history. Yet a more useful approach than looking to Russian history would be to compare the Putin regime with similar regimes over the past 70 years in Egypt, Pakistan and Yemen.
President Joe Biden entered office promising to return the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the JCPOA. But doing so has proven tricky for Biden’s administration, in part because of the complex politics surrounding the deal in both Washington and Tehran, but also because of the tense relations between the two countries, which soured significantly under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.
Bahrain and Qatar announced last week that they will restore diplomatic relations after more than five years of estrangement, marking the final major milestone in the normalization of ties among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to which both belong. But despite the thaw, a lack of trust is likely to persist.
The recent protests that erupted across Israel in opposition to a proposed “judicial reform” put the spotlight on an increasingly prominent issue: the politicization of the judiciary. More and more, democratically elected governments around the world have been dismantling checks and balances to undermine judicial independence.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s gradual emergence from diplomatic isolation has gained further momentum with his country’s reestablishment of official relations with Saudi Arabia. But Syria’s isolation may not be over quite yet, despite the seeming progress Damascus has made in engagement with its regional neighbors.
The U.S. and Europe are poorly positioned compared to China to engage in diplomacy to bridge the Middle East’s security divides. But there is a diplomatic initiative they could pursue that would reassert their relevance and address a key issue that is in desperate need of attention in the region: the threat of climate change.
The Syrian civil war that has decimated the country for more than decade, provoking a regional humanitarian crisis and drawing in actors ranging from the United States to Russia, has been drawing inexorably to a conclusion for years now. President Bashar al-Assad, with the backing of Iran and Russia, has emerged militarily victorious from the conflict, which began after his government violently repressed civilian protests in 2011. But is the crisis in Syria really over?