February 15 to 19, 2010

– Ankara is expanding its role in the Middle East (Ankara étend son rôle au Proche-Orient)  (18/02/2010) – Le Figaro

Turkey takes a new turn in its diplomatic relations with countries in the region. It arises as a mediator in conflicts, in particular through the Palestinian cause. The image of Ankara has changed again; moreover, its goal is the regional leadership. The Arab countries have a new approach of Turkey: it promotes an image of democracy in the region and put itself as promoter of peace that could launch a new dynamic.

– Sources: Algeria govt wants Orascom Telecom to leave (17/02/2010) –Almasryalyoum.net

After tensions between Algeria and Egypt due to sporting events in 2009, new information comes burdening relations between both countries. Indeed, the Algerian government demands that the Egyptian company, Orascom Telecom, leave Algerian market. The only official reasons that led to that decision provided from a weak explanation. OT does not have the choice. However, the firmness of Algiers does not help to restore a link between the two friendly countries.

– Europe, a casualty of diplomacy tensions between Switzerland and Libya(L’Europe, victime collatérale de la guérilla diplomatique entre la Suisse et la Libye), (17/02/2010) – Le Monde

On February 14, Libya has decided to change its policy on visas. Now, the issuance of visas to nationals of the Schengen area has been suspended. This is a decision taken by the Libyan authorities to counter the policy of Switzerland – which is to reduce visas issued to clans Gaddafi.
These decisions have a direct impact on other European countries and on trade between the EU and Libya. Moreover, it questions the relationship between these two regions.

– Saudi Princess who stand up for women (16/02/2010) – Le Figaro

Reform women’s status
The situation of women in Saudi Arabia may be described as retrograde. Schooling is regulated, a strict dress code is imposed, identity of the men accompanying them is verified, and civil rights almost do not exist.
Today the daughter of King Abdullah wants to move the Saudi society. The cause of women is close to her heart. However, this is a sensitive issue in this country where  traditions and religious norms are very presents.

– Thousands mark Hariri’s killing (15/02/2010) – Kuwaittimes.net

On 14 February, Lebanon commemorated the death of Rafik Hariri, former Prime Minister. Five years after he was assassinated, the international law court did not identify yet the responsible of the car bombing.  March 14, a Lebanese political coalition created following R. Hariri’s death, includes political figures of the country. This group had demanded the withdrawal of Syrian troops. This reminds us that the situation in the region remains uncertain: peace is not yet sustainable, or complete. In addition, March 14 is fighting today for the establishment of diplomatic relations with Syria and an agreement on the demarcation of the border between the two countries. In December 2009, Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri’ son and Prime Minister, visited Syria to begin a process of reconciliation. However, some thought that it was kind of a loss of power from March 14. However the Prime Minister said that fear of Lebanon is no more focused on Syria. Today it is Israel which represents a threat. Peace in the region was unfortunately not fully established. Moreover, for Lebanon, it is not reassuring to see Israeli military aircraft entering its airspace.