After violent weekend in Jerusalem, clashes erupt on Temple Mount

Events in the Middle East have been dominated recently by the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel - and the fact that this has happened can't be a surprise to most people. It's terrible that people are killed, from both sides of the conflict. It's a complete mess, moving back to the Balfour Declaration issued by the British Government in 1...
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Are Iran and Britain going to do a deal?

There's been a lot of talk lately about what Britain owes Iran- GBP 400 million from four decadesago- and that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is merely a pawn in the bargaining between governments. Last week, Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested and detained in Iran in 2016, was sentenced to another year in jail on propaganda charges . Here's an explanat...
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Will vaccinations be a saviour for the Middle East?

How will Dubai fare in the long term? By those who live there, "very well", I'm told. "It's the best place in the world to be in", they say. And it's mostly to do with vaccinations. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have very effectively vaccinated much of the population, so they maintain. But how effective is the vaccination? The GCC co...
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Israel and the terrible accident on Mt Meron

News in the Middle East has been dominated by the disaster in Israel, at which at least 45 people were crushed to death, and 150 more injured. It was a disaster waiting to happen, according to the some reports. Here is an explanation of developments. By Ben Caspit for Al Monitor. April 30, 2021 It was shortly after midnight, the celebration at its ...
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Were the talks between Tunisia and Egypt successful?

Ahmed Abdel-Rahman writes exclusively for LDC about the political objectives and strategic outcomes of the Tunisian president's visit to Egypt. On April 9, Tunisian President Kais Saied began an official visit to Egypt that lasted three days and his first since taking office in October 2019. During the visit, which came within a changing regional a...
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The new geopolitical landscape in the Middle East

Ahmed Abdul-Rahman writes exclusively for LDC about the new geopolitical landscape in the Middle East and how the region might look. In the past year, the Middle East has witnessed a further escalation of conflicts and there continues to be an attempt to change maps by way of power struggles and energy disputes. The year 2021 will likely witness ot...
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Tensions escalate between Israel and Gaza

There has been much speculation about the improved relations between the UAE and Israel. What's the advantage for either party? Now, however, the UAE is siding with the Arabs as conflict within the country between Jews and Arabs escalate. This article describes what is happening. Rina Bassist for Al Monitor April 26, 2021 Israel completely closed o...
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Iran Rattled as Israel Repeatedly Strikes Key Targets

There's been a great deal of talk recently, mainly in the press and other media, about Iran and Israel? Who's attacking what country? How? Is it a clandestine network? Who will win? This article explains some developments. Iran Rattled as Israel Repeatedly Strikes Key Targets Recent attacks suggest that Israel has a clandestine network inside Iran ...
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Covid-19: Should we be worried a fully vaccinated border worker still got the virus?

I am always astounded by the number of people who assume that if they are vaccinated against COVID-19, they will neither get ill nor be able to transmit the virus. Neither of which is true, although the likelihood of becoming ill or transmitting COVID-19 is much reduced. Here is an explanation as to why a person might get COVID-19 and pass it on. T...
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Surprising economic upside seen for Egypt, Morocco and Iran

I've spent a lot of time looking at movies that portray New Zealand as a place to which to move post COVID, which is good, I guess. That in itself might be a plus. But there's also a worry. More often than not there is a partner involved. And they live across the Tasman. Will COVID reignite as the "travel bubble" resumes? Apart from Covid I have be...
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Is a rapprochement between Egypt and Turkey on the cards?

Are there positive signs that there will be an imminent normalization of Egyptian-Turkish relations? Ahmad Abdel-Rahman, who is based in Egypt, looks at whether this is likely. New developments at the level of Turkish-Egyptian relations indicate the possibility of a breakthrough that may lead to a normalization between the two countries. This was r...
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How the Middle East impacts international relations, globally.

In this article Ahmad Abdel-Rahman looks at the impact on global international relations of geopolitical changes in the Middle East .  Countries in the Middle East are  going through structural and crucial transformations that will have a real impact on the pattern and trends of its relations with other countries outside  the re...
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Is this the end of negotiations with Iran?

The cyberattack on Iran's main nuclear facility on Sunday which resulted in a large-scale black out at the Natanz reactor has ramifications not just for Iran but for the whole Middle East. How will Iran react? Will it retaliate? Will Israel, who Iran accuses is behind the attack, admit culpability? Will this attack mean full-scale war in the Middle...
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The Arab Spring turns into a stage for geopolitical strife

This article looks at how the Arab Spring has led to increased divisions among Islamic countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Ahmed Abdul-Rahman in Egypt discusses what has happened. It was called the "Arab Spring". Since the changes that took place in the Arab world at the end of 2010, international public opinion, especially the Western m...
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Lebanon teeters; what are the ramifications for regional geopolitics?

There is no doubt that the participation of Lebanese armed groups in the Syrian conflict reflects sectarian political divisions and threatens to seriously destabilize Lebanon. Ahmed Abdul-Rahman explains. The term "powerless state" adopted by former finance minister Georges Corm perfectly describes the situation in Lebanon. This term actually refle...
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Egypt and the Nile Dam crisis

LDC has been looking closely at the relationship between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. There's been a few articles on this website about it by Ahmad Abdel-Rahman about it. Will a war develop over water? This is another take on recent developments. By Khalid Hassan for Al Monitor Egypt weighs UAE mediation initiative in Nile dam crisis Sudan approved a...
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NZ must help to break UN paralysis on Myanmar

Myanmar, and its appalling human rights, is dominating the news in Asia/Pacific. Over 100 peaceful protesters were fired on and killed by the Myanmar police. How bad is that? Now countries in the Pacific, NZ and Australia among them, must do something about it. I read this on Tuesday. It shows how close NZ is to Myanmar. From stuff.co.nz  (RNZ...
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Geopolitical Conflicts in the Middle East

How do the Arab countries aim to respond to Iran's attempt to have more influence in the Arab region? Ahmad Abdel Rahman, who is based in Egypt, gives his explanation. The Middle East, with the Arab region at its heart, is considered one of the most targeted regions in the world by regional and international powers. This is because of its geopoliti...
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Egypt and the new geopolitical map

Relations between Egypt and Russia are getting closer, moving away from the US. How did this happen and what does it mean for geopolitics in the Middle East? Ahmad Abdel-Rahman, based in Egypt, explain why this might be. The international geopolitical map continues to change ‚Äč and these c hanges are leading to a significant shift in the interests o...
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Iran operating new advanced centrifuges, nuclear watchdog finds

There's so much focus on Iran and what it is likely to do with its nuclear programme. Will it continue and expand it or will it dismantle it . According to an International Atomic Energy Agency report, Iran is now using IR-4 centrifuges to enrich uranium in violation of the nuclear accord. Mar 17, 2021 from Al Monitor  Iran is now enriching ur...
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