Tunisia: who serves the violence?
Opinion By Kristina Kausch After last week’s targeted political assassination of opposition leader Chokri Belaïd in Tunis, the Arab Spring’s so far most successful transition appears to have turned sour. Mr. Belaïd’s death was but the final spark that lit public anger over the long-standing systematic violence against opposition figures and other critics of the...
Reconfiguring Cairo-Tehran Relations?
With the internal domestic unrest in Egypt and the continuously escalating turmoil in Syria, Ahmadinejad’s historical visit to Cairo last Wednesday sparks speculations about conversion in the Cairo-Tehran relations. After decades of compliance to Washington, the peace treaty with Israel and consequentially deteriorating relations with post-Islamic revolution Iran, Egypt’s Muslim Brother president hails Ahmadinejad’s reciprocal visit to Cairo. Amidst volatile regional transformative dynamics, these two regional heavyweight countries embark on an attempt to restore relations, leaving Israel and its western allies irritated and alert.
The Middle East conundrum
Opinions by Ana Echagüe and Barah Mikail The European Union’s (EU) policy towards the Middle East is highly fragmented. Its epicentre is the flagship European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), whose Southern dimension builds on an institutionalised Euro-Mediterranean framework. In contrast, policy towards the rest of the Middle East is less structured, at times divisive and in some...
Supporting transitions in the Arab world
Two years after the uprisings in the Arab world, the future of the region looks highly uncertain. Trends are likely to continue oscillating between democratic advances, polarisation and authoritarian setbacks. At the same time, the uprisings have accelerated a number of power shifts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that are likely to affect the European Union’s (EU) position and influence in the region. Europeans should be ready to understand the region’s new paradigm as it gradually takes shape. During 2013, the challenge will be to translate this understanding into more efficient policy frameworks, building on the EU’s initial response to the Arab uprisings.