Washington scheduled the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, in the presence of the US president’s advisors, his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, as well as the US Secretary of the Treasury along with 12 Congressmen and representatives from 32 countries from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was announced by US President Donald Trump twice. The first announcement that sent shockwaves across the Arab world and Islamic countries was made in the end of last year, while the second came at the beginning of this year when he specified the exact date scheduled for moving the embassy.
I’ve previously written an article here about Hezbollah that sips at the heart of the Lebanese state. Today, Hezbollah is a blacklisted terrorist group. What can be concluded from this recent Saudi-Emirati-American stance is that there’s no difference this group’s militant wing and its politicians and merchants. It’s on this basis that those funding Hezbollah are being pursued, according to the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center.
I once wrote about protest movements that had erupted in Iraq towards the end of July 2015, which had spread to several governorates including the capital Baghdad. Historically and politically, these were comparable to Al-Wathbah uprising in January in 1948 and to the November 1952 Intifada, which are considered the most important protest movements in Iraq’s modern history as they sought to restore freedoms and national sovereignty and independence.
The manifesto signed by some 300 figures including former French President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Manuel Valls published on 21 April 2018 in the Le Parisien claiming that the Qur’an incites Muslims to violence against Christians, Jews and unbelievers and that it ignites anti-Semitism is another example of the troubled relationship between France and Islam.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Srinagar, the capital of the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on Saturday (May 19) against the backdrop of what is being (incorrectly) referred to as a “ceasefire” by the security forces, announced by the central government in Delhi.
Six Hezbollah leaders are now on the terror lists of six Gulf countries and the US. The background of this issue is also important.
There is no doubt that Barack Obama, with the key help of his secretary of state John Kerry who ran for the presidential elections in 2004, put in all of his efforts to finalize the nuclear agreement with Iran. During the long and tough negotiations, it was clear that the Iranians knew that Obama was keener than they were to reach a deal.
In Pakistan, China is the most active and positive economic force. So much so that continued cooperation between the two countries is supported by virtually all sides of this otherwise deeply divided country.
The current OPEC plus agreement seems to be holding but the withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal has created some uncertainties going forward, with new red lines and slogans from all parties. Sometimes slogans can lead to far reaching consequences.
The recent Iraqi parliamentary elections were not like their antecedents — including the first elections after Saddam’s ouster in 2005. This time, the large blocs formed on sectarian (Shiite-Sunni) and nationalist (Arab-Kurdish) lines dissolved. The newly elected House of Representatives will consist of a larger number of coalitions that will have lesser weight. It’s unlikely that the most important Shiite bloc (the National Iraqi Alliance) will emerge again given its recent dissensions.