Dialogue with Assad would be a shame for Turkey, MHP leader says

Dialogue with Assad would be a shame for Turkey, MHP leader says26/12/2018 (Hurriyet – Turkey): Turkey under no circumstances should establish dialogue with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, the main political supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government, has said, stressing that the main objective of Turkish foreign policy should be to save Syria from the Assad regime. “I am not in favor of Turkey establishing dialogue with the Assad regime; under no circumstances should this take place. It would be a shame and loss for Turkey if it were to abandon its achievements in the fight against terror to the hands of the Assad regime,” Bahçeli told journalists in Ankara at an end-of-year assessment meeting on Dec. 26. The MHP has been the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) main political ally since 2016, calling their cooperation the “People’s Alliance.” The two parties allied in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary polls and will continue to work together in the upcoming local elections in March 2019…



Tripoli residents have mixed expectations for Palermo meeting on Libya crisis

11/11/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE): Tripoli residents have expressed mixed expectations regarding an international conference on the Libyan crisis set to be hosted by the Italian government this week. Political analyst, Sami El-Atrash, said he did not expect a new way forward for Libya would emerge after the meeting, which he described as a political rather than a practical exercise. The conference, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in the Italian city of Palermo, is aimed at bringing together all parties involved in the Libyan conflict in order to reach a political solution to a crisis that has plagued the country for years. Rome announced that regional and international players linked to Libya would be represented, such as Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, as well as the US, France and the European Union…



Egypt denounces Israel’s Jewish state law

FM21/07/2018 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egypt has announced that it rejects a newly passed Israeli law that defines Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” and states that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country. In a statement released on Saturday, the Egyptian foreign ministry said that the new Jewish state law, which was passed by the Israeli Knesset on Thursday, solidifies the concept of occupation and apartheid. The law also defines the establishment of Jewish communities as being in the national interest and downgrades Arabic from an official language to one with special status. The Egyptian foreign ministry said that the new law undermines the chances of achieving peace in the Middle East or reaching a fair solution in the Palestinian issue…



Egypt new PM Madbouly settles on new cabinet; list to be presented to President Sisi Monday

Sisi, Madbouly10/06/2018 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Sources close to Egypt’s newly appointed Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told Al-Ahram Daily that the new PM has concluded most of his consultations and meetings with candidates for ministerial posts in the new cabinet, and has communicated with the ministers from former PM Sherif Ismail’s cabinet who will continue to serve in their positions. Madbouly is expected to present the final list of ministers for approval by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Monday before the ministers take their constitutional oath ahead of Eid, the sources said. The new cabinet will include a record of eight women serving as the ministers of investment, planning, health, environment, social solidarity, immigration, tourism, and culture, according to the sources…



Europe, China, Russia discussing new deal for Iran

20/05/2018 (Arab News – KSA): BERLIN: Diplomats from Europe, China and Russia are discussing a new accord to offer Iran financial aid to curb its ballistic missile development and meddling in the region, in the hope of salvaging its 2015 nuclear deal, a German newspaper reported on Sunday. The officials will meet in Vienna in the coming week under the leadership of senior European Union diplomat Helga Schmid to discuss next steps after the May 8 decision by US President Donald Trump to pull out of a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper said, citing senior EU sources. Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China would participate in the meeting, but the United States would not, it said..



Turkey is at a turning point with new presidential system: Erdoğan

Turkey is at a turning point with new presidential system: Erdoğan29/04/2018 (Hurriyet – Turkey): Turkey is at a “turning point” with the adoption of an executive presidential system, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 29.  “This milestone will be a point for Turkey’s breakthrough,” Erdoğan said in an address to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members at a provincial meeting. In the same speech he praised the Turkish military’s “determined” operations in the ongoing offensive in the northwestern Syrian district of Afrin and in parts of northern Iraq. “We are continuing our fight in [northern Iraq’s] Gabar, Cudi, Tendurek, Qandil and Bestler Creek [areas]. Currently, the number of terrorists neutralized in Afrin [northwestern Syria] has reached 4,500, while over 300 terrorists have been neutralized in northern Iraq,” Erdoğan said…



Post-election process

Lasheen Ibrahim07/04/2018 (Ahram Online – Egypt): The National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced on Monday that incumbent President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has won a second term with 97 per cent of the vote. The declaration of Al-Sisi’s landslide victory begs two immediate questions: when will the president be sworn in for his second term, and will his re-election be followed by a change of government? Parliamentary Spokesperson Salah Hassaballah told reporters he expects Al-Sisi to take his new oath of office before parliament in early June. “Given Egypt’s 2014 presidential election was officially announced on 3 June the current term of the incumbent president officially expires on 2 June 2018. We can therefore expect President Al-Sisi to be sworn in on that date, or immediately before,” notes Salah Fawzi, a professor of constitutional law at Mansoura University and member of the government’s Legislative Reform Committee. “There will be coordination between the elected president and parliament on the exact day.”…



No one can design region’s future without Turkey: PM

No one can design region’s future without Turkey: PM  24/03/2018 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday said no one can design the region’s future without Turkey. “Stop at the west of Euphrates, don’t cross to its east. There is no such thing. There is no east or west for terror, it’s our main target until we completely get rid of it. We will do whatever is necessary. No one can design the region’s future without Turkey,” Yildirim said while addressing at the Hasan Kalyoncu University in the southern Gaziantep province. He said Turkish military have been conducting “successfully” the land and the air operations and that it will eliminate threats to its border security, territorial integrity, and security of life and property. “Wherever there is a terror threat, it is a target for us,” the prime minister added. Later, Yildirim also spoke at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Youth Branch provincial congress of Gaziantep and said the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq is “essential” for Turkey…



Iran rejects any change to nuclear deal

17/03/2018 (Daily Star – Lebanon): TEHRAN: Iran will not accept any changes to the nuclear deal, a senior official insisted Saturday, after the United States said it was seeking a “supplemental” accord with European powers. “We will not accept any changes, any interpretation or new measure aimed at limiting” the 2015 deal between Iran and major powers, said Ali Shamkhani in remarks carried by ISNA news agency. Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, also warned European countries “against the temptation of playing at the same game as the Americans”. “The ballistic programme of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has a defensive nature, will steadfastly continue,” said Shamkhani, who is a close ally of supreme leader Ali Khamenei…



Saudi prince ends three-day visit after visiting Egypt’s top religious, cultural institutions

10/03/2018 (Daily News – Egypt): Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ended his first official visit to Egypt, after visiting the country’s top religious and cultural institutions, attending bilateral meetings with high-ranking officials, and signing several cooperation agreements. On his last day in Cairo, the Saudi crown prince inaugurated on Tuesday, with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the renovation Egypt’s highest religious institution, Al-Azhar Mosque, in the presence of its Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb. The renovation process was carried out using a grant from the late king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and was supported by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, his brother, heir, and incumbent. The process took more than three years, aimed at transforming and modernising the mosque…