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Primoz  Manfreda

Primoz Middle East Issues Blog


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Latest News in the Middle East April 15 - 22 2014

Tuesday April 22, 2014
  • The Guardian: A frail and silent president embodies all that is wrong with Algeria (Nabila Ramdani, April 17)
  • "A frail pensioner in a wheelchair casting a vote was billed as a triumph for Algeria today. Those of us who watched Abdelaziz Bouteflika being pushed towards a temporary polling station at a school in the El Biar district of Algiers certainly felt a sense of occasion. The 77-year-old president is part and parcel of his country's history and - with the sun shining and the views stretching out towards the white-washed kasbah and the Mediterranean beyond - he was cheered by enthusiastic well-wishers."

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Latest News in the Middle East April 1 - 8 2014

Tuesday April 8, 2014
  • Reuters: Smooth Afghan poll raises questions about Taliban strength (John Chalmers & Maria Golovnina, April 7)
  • "A bigger-than-expected turnout in Afghanistan's presidential election and the Taliban's failure to derail the vote have raised questions about the capacity of the insurgents to tip the country back into chaos as foreign troops head home."

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Latest News in the Middle East March 27 - 31 2014

Monday March 31, 2014
  • Reuters: Erdogan targets enemies after poll triumph (HUMEYRA PAMUK AND NICK TATTERSALL, March 31)
  • "Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan looked a step closer to a presidential bid and to gaining the upper hand in a bitter power struggle on Monday, casting strong local election results as a mandate to hunt down enemies within the state "in their lair. His AK Party swept the electoral map in Sunday's polls, retaining control of the two biggest cities Istanbul and Ankara and increasing its share of the national vote as his pugnacious leadership style, beloved by a loyal, conservative voter base, trumped a stream of corruption allegations and security leaks."

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Latest News in the Middle East March 19 - 26 2014

Wednesday March 26, 2014

Arab League

  • BBC: The deep discord bedevilling the Arab world (Gerald Butt, March 25)
  • "The world has learned to expect rhetoric aplenty, but little of substance from Arab summits - and the one scheduled for Kuwait on 25-26 March will be no exception. Indeed, expectations are, if anything, even lower than in the past."

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Latest News in the Middle East March 11 - 18 2014

Tuesday March 18, 2014
  • Reuters: Egyptian militants outwit army in Sinai battlefield (March 16)
  • "In a rare visit to eight villages in Northern Sinai last week, a Reuters reporter saw widespread destruction caused by army operations, but also found evidence that a few hundred militants are successfully playing a cat-and-mouse game with the Arab world's biggest army and are nowhere near defeat. It is increasingly difficult for foreign correspondents to openly enter conflict zones in the Sinai."

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Latest News in the Middle East February 24 - March 2 2014

Monday March 3, 2014


  • BBC: The unpredictability of revolution (Kevin Connolly, March 2)
  • "Three years after the start of the Arab Spring, Egypt's capital city is feeling the impact of the revolution in some surprising ways. At the chaotic height of Egypt's revolution against the brilliantined autocrat Hosni Mubarak, every single member of the uniformed security forces suddenly disappeared from the streets."

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Latest News in the Middle East February 17 - 23 2014

Monday February 24, 2014


  • Reuters: Egypt government resigns, paving way for Sisi to seek presidency (ASMA ALSHARIF AND YASMINE SALEH, February 23)
  • "After the July overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and subsequent crackdown on Islamists and liberals with hundreds killed and thousands jailed, critics say Cairo's military-backed authorities are turning the clock back to the era of autocrat Hosni Mubarak era, when the political elite ruled with an iron fist in alliance with top businessmen."

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Latest News in the Middle East February 10 - 16 2014

Monday February 17, 2014
  • BBC: Sisi in Russia: Moscow's Egyptian gambit(Jonathan Marcus, February 13)
  • "There is undoubted symbolism in Moscow being the first foreign port of call for the Egyptian military chief Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi since he ousted the Islamist administration of President Mohammed Morsi last July. Symbolism and some substance too."

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Latest News in the Middle East January 28 - February 3 2014

Tuesday February 4, 2014
  • Reuters: Insight - Mubarak-era networks return for new military man in Egypt (MAGGIE FICK, January 29)
  • "Analysts say the nature of Egyptian politics means that the influence of local notables over voting habits, especially in rural towns and villages, where most people live, is likely to remain widespread for years to come. With many of Mursi's followers in jail or driven underground, and liberal parties unable to challenge Sisi, there are few forces in a position to overhaul the system."

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Latest News in the Middle East January 20 - 27 2014

Tuesday January 28, 2014
  • BBC: Egypt army backs Sisi as presidential candidate(Orla Guerin, January 27)
  • "Three years after the revolution of 2011 swept away the military strongman, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt could soon by ruled by another. The newly minted Field Marshal, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, has no experience of war but has shown himself to be a skilled political tactician."

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