Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Showing posts for "Arab League"

This Week: Egypt’s Likely New President, Arab League Paralysis, and Turkish-Syrian Fighting

by Robert M. Danin
Egypt's defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seen during a news conference in Cairo (Courtesy Reuters). Egypt's defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seen during a news conference in Cairo (Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Egypt. Field Marshal and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi yesterday resigned from the military and announced his candidacy for president. Ibrahim Munir, a member of the political bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared in response to the announcement that al-Sisi is “a man who has killed daily since the coup” and that “there can be no stability or security under the shadow of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the presidency.” The move comes just days before nominations are scheduled to begin on Sunday. Thus far only one other candidate, Hamdeen Sabbahi who came in third in the 2012 presidential election, has declared his intention to enter the race. Read more »

This Week: Syria’s Machinations, Egypt’s Presidency, and Iran’s Bravado

by Robert M. Danin
Syria's UN ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (R) talks with Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin before members of the United Nations Security Council take part in a vote on a resolution eradicating Syria's chemical arsenal during a Security Council meeting during the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York September 27, 2013 (Bedford/Courtesy Reuters). Syria's UN ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (R) talks with Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin before members of the United Nations Security Council take part in a vote on a resolution eradicating Syria's chemical arsenal during a Security Council meeting during the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York September 27, 2013 (Bedford/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Syria. Russia today presented a draft resolution on Syrian humanitarian aid access that includes a condemnation of “terrorism” to the UN Security Council. Yesterday, Russian deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov rejected a proposed resolution on humanitarian aid access drafted by Australia, Jordan, and Luxembourg that demanded “all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, immediately end the sieges of the Old City of Homs.” Read more »

This Week: Syria’s Negotiations, Egypt’s Entrenchment, and Iran’s Inspections

by Robert M. Danin
U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi addresses a news conference at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva January 27, 2014 (Balibouse/Courtesy Reuters). U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi addresses a news conference at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva January 27, 2014 (Balibouse/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Syria. The first ever talks between the Syrian opposition and the Assad regime continue in Switzerland, with the Syrian government hinting yesterday it may be willing to accede to the 2012 Geneva I communique as a road map for the future. However, the Damascus government and the Syrian opposition fundamentally disagree over how to implement the document and its call for a political transition in Syria. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Lebanon, Iran, Syria, and Israel-Palestine

by Robert M. Danin
Lebanese former minister Tammam Salam attends a meeting for pro-WMarch 14 political coalition in Beirut April 4, 2013 (Azakir/Courtesy Reuters). Lebanese former minister Tammam Salam attends a meeting for pro-WMarch 14 political coalition in Beirut April 4, 2013 (Azakir/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Lebanon. Tamam Salam, a Lebanese member of Parliament and former minister of culture, has emerged as the consensus candidate to become Lebanon’s next prime minister. Lebanese president Michael Sleiman began two days of consultation today to nominate the successor to Najib Mikati, who resigned on March 22. Salam has already been endorsed by the Western-leaning March 14 coalition and Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the Druze bloc. Read more »

Middle East Matters’ Ten Most Significant Developments of 2012

by Robert M. Danin
A protester covers his face as he stands in front of tear gas during clashes with riot police along a road that leads to the U.S. embassy, near Tahrir Square in Cairo on September 15, 2012 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). A protester covers his face as he stands in front of tear gas during clashes with riot police along a road that leads to the U.S. embassy, near Tahrir Square in Cairo on September 15, 2012 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Here it is: the second annual Middle East Matters year-end roundup listing the ten most significant Middle East developments of 2012. Since this blog focuses on the interplay between U.S. policy and the region, the items selected were those deemed most noteworthy from an admittedly American foreign policy perspective. This was a tumultuous year in the region, and many items on this list could have been deemed the single most significant. So in roughly chronological order are MEM’s top ten for 2012: Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Significant Developments in Syria, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt

by Robert M. Danin
A crowd gathers in front of damaged buildings after a car bomb exploded in Damascus hours after the ceasefire went into place on October 26, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters). A crowd gathers in front of damaged buildings after a car bomb exploded in Damascus hours after the ceasefire went into place on October 26, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Syria. A deadly car bomb exploded in Damascus today just hours after the Eid holiday ceasefire, brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi between Syria’s regime and the Free Syrian Army, took effect. Over sixty people have been killed throughout Syria today despite the ceasefire. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Brahimi’s Cease-Fire, Libyan Fighting, Egyptian Constitution Struggles, and More Iran Sanctions

by Robert M. Danin
UN-Arab League peace envoying a news conferenc for Syria Brahimi speaks dure in Beirut on October 17, 2012 (Shaaban/Courtesy Reuters). UN-Arab League peace envoying a news conferenc for Syria Brahimi speaks dure in Beirut on October 17, 2012 (Shaaban/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Syria. Iran and Turkey today endorsed UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s call for a cease-fire during the Eid al-Adha holiday that begins October 26. Brahimi proposed the cease-fire on Monday amidst ongoing violence throughout the country, and is scheduled to be in Damascus on Saturday. The Syrian regime has said it is ready to discuss the plan. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Iran Tensions Mount as Syria’s Regional Isolation Increases

by Robert M. Danin
Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh reacts as he addresses a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the United Nations headquarters (Herwig Prammer/Courtesy Reuters). Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh reacts as he addresses a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the United Nations headquarters (Herwig Prammer/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency briefed members with a series of satellite images yesterday further suggesting nuclear sanitation at Iran’s Parchin site. One diplomat called the imagery “pretty compelling.” The closed door briefing follows the agency’s release last week of a confidential report suggesting “extensive activities” at Parchin since February. Read more »

Egypt’s Election Turmoil, Saudi Succession Challenges, Failed Iranian Nuclear Talks, and Syria’s Deadly Stalemate

by Robert M. Danin
Protesters chant slogans against the military council at Tahrir Square in Cairo on June 20, 2012 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters). Protesters chant slogans against the military council at Tahrir Square in Cairo on June 20, 2012 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. Egyptian election officials announced yesterday that they were postponing the announcement of the country’s presidential runoff, plunging the country into further uncertainty. Official results of the presidential election will not be released until Sunday, purportedly to evaluate allegations of electoral abuse and voter fraud. The election commission had been expected to confirm a winner today, and, based on a public vote count, to have named Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Syria’s Cease-fire, Iran’s Negotiations, and Egypt’s New Presidential Candidate

by Robert M. Danin
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Significant Middle East Developments

Syria. An uneasy UN-brokered ceasefire went into effect at dawn in Syria this morning. Activists report relative quiet throughout the country though Syrian forces have not returned to barracks. UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said in a statement this morning that he was encouraged that “the cessation of hostilities appears to be holding.” Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi welcomed the development and urged Annan to send observers to Syria to monitor the ceasefire. Read more »