January 9 to 13, 2012

–         Turkey warns against a « civil war » in Syria ( La Turquie met en garde contre une « guerre civile » en Syrie) – Le Monde – 09/01/2012

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday 9 January, against a »civil war, a race war, a religion and communities war. » « This must stop, » Erdogan said at a televised news conference. « Turkey must play a role. A civil war that would occur would put us in trouble … and would pose a threat, » he said. President Bashar al-Assad said Tuesday that he will speek on « domestic and regional matters » said the official news agency SANA.

–        Who Stands Against Change in Morocco? – Dar Alhayat – 12/01/2012

By choosing Abdelilah Benkirane as Prime Minister, the Moroccan people, and not anyone else, would have exercised its sovereign right through the ballot boxes in all freedom and transparency. And if it is to be recorded that this is the first time in which the Prime Minister bears full responsibility for recommending his government cabinet team, despite the different kinds of pressure he is exposed to in order to withdraw the name of this or that minister, the mere fact that he is seeking advice in an issue like this one means that Morocco has not yet overcome its government-making mentality.

–      Saleh immunity: Yemenis protest against ‘legalization of crime’ – Middle East Online – 12/01/2012

Thousands of Yemenis demonstrated on Thursday in several cities voicing their rejection of a Gulf Arab deal to grant President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution, witnesses said. Protesters want those accused of killing demonstrators to be brought to justice. The parliament is yet to convene to ratify the law. In November, Saleh signed the deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) aimed at ending the political crisis in the impoverished country. Under the deal, he handed authority to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, and the opposition formed a national unity government.

–        Israeli, Palestinian delegates to meet for third round of direct talks – Haaretz – 13/01/2012

Israelis and Palestinians will hold their third round of face-to-face meetings this year on Saturday in what diplomats hope might lead to the resumption of full peace talks, sources on each side said on Friday. The exploratory discussions began on January 3 and followed a long break in negotiations after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended talks 15 months ago over Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

–        Arab League chief fears Syria civil war – Financial Times – 13/01/2012

Syria risks slipping into civil war, the Arab world’s top diplomat warned on Friday, in a further sign of faltering political efforts to end the bloodshed of the ten-month uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Nabil Elaraby, secretary-general of the inter-governmental Arab League, said he had received troubling reports from the league’s much-criticised monitoring mission in Syria, after a week in which continued violence has made a mockery of a regional peace plan.