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Middle East

The Presidents Left, the Regimes are Still Here | Marina Ottaway, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The removal of Ben Ali and Mubarak has not “bent the arc of history,” as President Obama poetically but prematurely declared—at least not yet. The fight for meaningful change is far from over. And the United States will again face the difficult choice between the false security that comes from supporting old allies made more palatable by a veneer of ...

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Essential Steps to a Democratic Egypt | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Egypt has been fundamentally changed by the events since Jan. 25, which resulted in the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak on Friday. The challenge now is how to translate the changes flowing from the popular uprising into the concrete procedures and safeguards necessary to underpin a genuine transition to democracy. We must take steps to protect against anarchy and lawlessness, ...

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In sharp reversal, U.S. agrees to rebuke Israel in Security Council | By Colum Lynch, Turtle Bay

The U.S. informed Arab governments Tuesday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal. But the Palestinians rejected the American offer following a meeting late ...

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Making Peace in Afghanistan | Special Report by Minna Jarvenpaa from the United States Institute of Peace

Summary The proposition that a political settlement is needed to end the war in Afghanistan has gained increasing attention in recent months. Channels for preliminary talks with Taliban leaders have been sought and a High Peace Council created. However, despite upbeat military assessments, the insurgency has expanded its reach across the country and continues to enjoy sanctuary in Pakistan. Afghans ...

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Afghans fear return of the warlords as anti-Taliban militias clash | The Guardian

The dramatic build up of a controversial anti-Taliban militia that many Afghans fear could revive the country’s detested warlords has had to be suspended in a key district of Helmand amid outbreaks of fighting between different groups. The local defence programme, which is similar to others that have been heavily promoted by US supreme commander David Petraeus as essential to ...

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Former senior Taliban member visits Britain, Talks likely to fail | Telegraph.co.uk

Nobody batted an eyelid as Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaeef checked into a central London hotel last week: no one remembered the man who appeared on their television screens in the days after 9/11, proclaiming Osama bin Laden’s innocence. His arrival marked the first time a Western government had allowed entry to a former official of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ...

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EU’s Ashton targets Palestinian state by September | AFP

JERUSALEM — EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday said the international community still sought to achieve a peace deal and a Palestinian state by September, despite the region’s political turmoil. Despite the impasse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the resignation of the Palestinian cabinet as well as Saab Erakat, their chief negotiator, Ashton said the goal was still ...

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How the U.S. Should Respond to the New Arab World | William Pfaff via Truthdig

There is, in my opinion, only one prudent American policy: not to interfere, or attempt to control, what now is happening in the Arab states. Inconspicuously withdraw American military forces to the maximum extent possible, and order those remaining to abstain from any political action. Put the Hamas, Hezbollah, terrorism and Iranian nuclear issues in cold storage; allow no government ...

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