POLITICS 12/18/2018 10:42 pm ET The outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the UN gave no details of exactly what was in the long-awaited plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday that an American plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians brings “brings new elements to the discussion, taking advantage of the new world of technology that we live in.” However, during a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East Haley gave no details of exactly what was in the long-awaited, unpublished plan, which has been prepared by U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. “It is much longer. It contains much more thoughtful detail,” Haley told the council of the plan, which she said she has read. “It recognizes that realities on the ground in the Middle East have changed in powerful and important … [Read more...] about Nikki Haley Says U.S. Middle East Peace Plan Will Take ‘Advantage’ Of Technology
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If Oman is an omen, then Arab nations of the Middle East are now on the verge of publicly accepting Israel as a legitimate neighbor — a phenomenal historic breakthrough by any measure. Over the weekend, Oman’s sultan, Qaboos Bin Said, stunned the region by welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara to his palace in Muscat. He went even further and encouraged Israel to publicly report the visit. Omani TV beamed handshakes and smiles across the Arab world. Such public theatrics fly in the face of decades of refusal by many Arab nations to even acknowledge Israel’s existence. Netanyahu said the visit was in line with his policy of “deepening relations with the states of the region.” Critics minimized the event’s significance: Tiny Oman, after all, is neither Sunni nor Shiite, and plays no significant role in regional power politics. But Israel’s minister of culture and sport, Miri Regev, visited another Gulf state just a … [Read more...] about Oman could be a sign of Middle East changes to come
August 07, 2019 04:48 PM DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Nasr, are we on the verge of a new war in the Middle East between the United States and Iran? Nasr: The risk is there, largely because there's no communication between the two sides. There is a lot of room for misinterpretation. Unlike North Korea or China, Iran is a case where President Trump has taken what was a relatively stable situation and has now made it much worse and more dangerous, without either showing a way to success or a Plan B if his plans fail. There is political vulnerability for him, particularly going into an election year. But the case is also going to show exactly how weak and ineffective Europe is. There's already a tremendous amount of damage to Europe. DER SPIEGEL: Why is that? Nasr: The Europeans are showing that they are completely part of the American foreign policy establishment. In fact, in Iran, there is a view now, which has become quite prevalent, that Europe has played a sinister role by keeping … [Read more...] about Middle East Expert Vali Nasr: ‘The U.S. Has To Get a Sense of Iran’s Security Interests’
The attacks on Saudi oil installations have led to speculation that armed drones were involved. Both the United States and the Saudi authorities say this may well have been the case.The offensive use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has grown significantly in recent years, and nowhere more so than in the Middle East.So who has them and who has used them in combat? A new weaponThe first combat use of an armed drone came in October 2001, on the first night of the Afghan War against a Taliban convoy. Armed UAVs were initially the preserve of a few technologically advanced nations, with Israel and the United States very much in the lead. Soon a new provider came onto the scene - China, eager to sell its weaponry around the world. The Chinese have boosted the spread of military drones in the Middle East, selling weaponry to at least half a dozen governments. The civilian UAV market has also become more sophisticated, and the technology has been converted into combat drones. … [Read more...] about Saudi oil attacks: Who’s using drones in the Middle East?
The United States is now bombing ISIS targets in Syria, opening a new front and possibly new dangers in the region. Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN’s top diplomatic troubleshooter for more than two decades, argues that a series of critical American mistakes in the Middle East since 9/11 have brought President Obama, a reluctant warrior, to this point, with no sign that American policymakers have learned from the past. Our UN correspondent, Barbara Crossette, spoke with Brahimi in Paris. The United States, now expanding its war against the formidable, ruthless fighters of the Islamic State, has found Arab nations willing to join the campaign in their own self-interest, but the base on which the coalition is built is not a very solid one. More than two decades of American naïveté or misunderstanding of Arab and other regional societies, astonishingly poor planning and post-conflict miscalculations that undercut claims of success, have left a deep mistrust and lack of confidence … [Read more...] about When Will American Foreign Policymakers Learn From Their Mistakes in the Middle East?