Abe embarks on Middle East tour

Abe embarks on Middle East tour

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is on a 5-day tour of the Middle East. He will be the first leader of a major country to visit both Israel and Palestine since the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December. Abe left Tokyo for the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. He told reporters that […]

Syrian army, Islamic State wage fierce battle south of Damascus

Syrian army, Islamic State wage fierce battle south of Damascus

Smoke billows over Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp during fighting on 27 April (AFP) The Syrian army and its allies engaged in a fierce battle on Saturday with Islamic State (IS) group militants in an enclave south of Damascus held by IS. The Syrian government forces have killed 68 IS militants over the last few days, […]

In first, Lebanese expats can vote in country's elections

In first, Lebanese expats can vote in country's elections

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri arrives with Army Commander General Joseph Aoun (L) at the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) headquarters. (photo credit: REUTERS/ALI HASHISHO) Lebanese citizens living abroad began began voting Friday in the country’s elections scheduled for May 6. Over 12,000 Lebanese registered voters in six Middle Eastern countries, […]

Lebanese expats vote in parliament polls for the first time

Lebanese expats vote in parliament polls for the first time

Lebanese expatriates in six Arab countries today began casting ballots for parliamentary elections, according to the Foreign Ministry. It is the first time for Lebanese nationals who live overseas to vote in the country’s parliamentary elections. Citizens in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Egypt this morning began casting ballots at […]

Preventing the next Big War in the Middle East

Preventing the next Big War in the Middle East

Another destructive war between Israel and Hezbollah has been a real possibility since the second Lebanon war in July/August, 2006. Many pundits assert that another war is “inevitable” or that the parties are “on the brink” of a devastating confrontation. Others conflate the Syrian and Lebanese theaters and assume that escalation between Israel and Iran […]

Rafah Crossing opens to allow Gazans in Egypt go home

Rafah Crossing opens to allow Gazans in Egypt go home

Egyptian authorities decided yesterday to open the Rafah Crossing to let Palestinians stuck in Cairo International Airport go back to Gaza, Quds Press reported. Twenty passengers who had been in the airport since the middle of April returned to Gaza. On 14 April the crossing closed after being opened for just three days and some […]

$5m grant to Israel cancelled after Arab student selected

$5m grant to Israel cancelled after Arab student selected

Donors to an Israeli medical excellence programme refused to continue funding it because one of the doctors selected this year to receive the money is Arab, the Times of Israel reported. The Swiss family reportedly froze the $5 million payment to outstanding young physicians, saying it has “no intention” of donating to non-Jewish recipients. The […]

Daesh kills one, injures five in northern Iraq

Daesh kills one, injures five in northern Iraq

One member of a pro-government militia was killed and five others injured in an ambush by Daesh terrorists in northern Iraq, a police source said Tuesday. Kirkuk Police Director Ali Kemal told Anadolu Agency that the terrorists attacked members of the Hashd al-Shabi militia, which are allied with Iraqi forces against Daesh, in Reshad town […]

Why Iran Should Disentangle Itself from Middle East Conflicts

Why Iran Should Disentangle Itself from Middle East Conflicts

by Shireen T. Hunter    Throughout the last seven decades, Iran’s direct or indirect involvement in Middle-East-related issues has been a source of difficulties for its foreign relations and domestic politics. The most consequential of these issues has been the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli dispute. Iran’s approach to this dispute, especially its position regarding […]

Iran bans dealing in cryptocurrencies

Iran bans dealing in cryptocurrencies

The Central Bank of Iran has banned dealing in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. “Cryptocurrencies can be used in criminal activities such as money laundering, support for terrorism and money exchange between lawbreakers” the bank said in a statement reported by the country’s IRNA news agency. According to the bank, the ban applies to all financial and […]

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