The EU’s efforts to reach an agreement with Egypt suggest an anticipated rise in migration attempts, especially as the deal with Libya has made migration via that country harder. Such an agreement could limit the number of boat departures and will likely increase the number of arrests of migrants and smugglers along Egypt’s coast. But it will not deter African refugees from attempting to reach Europe.
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At the root of the conflict between Iran and its Arab neighbours lies the Shia-Sunni divide, as the patrons of the two Muslim sects, Tehran and Riyadh respectively, are both prepared to promote and support their sectarian beliefs. Conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain can be viewed in this light. Yet it is also the result of an ordinary struggle between two regional powers.
A century on, the importance of the Balfour Declaration and the policies that accompanied it cannot be overstated. British rule of Palestine enabled massive Zionist immigration until the late 1930s. This laid the foundations for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that continues to this day. The interests of Palestinian Arabs were sacrificed for Britain’s own imperial interests.
According to several observers, the plan’s goals, although positive for Saudi Arabia in the long-term, are not compatible with country’s political, social and economic context. “Basically, the regime could collapse by implementing their own plan, but they might also collapse if they don’t,” Kirkegaard explained. “They are in deep structural trouble, and that’s not counting the geopolitical pressure they face over their continued involvement in Syria and Yemen.”
That night, on the president’s orders, the US military launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat airbase in western Syria, from which the planes carrying the chemical weapons originated. It was the first time an American administration had taken military action against the Syrian regime, representing a major escalation of American military involvement in the Middle East in the post-Obama era.
In the first month of the operation, approximately 4,000 civilians were killed and 500,000 residents fled. Civilians have paid with their lives for following official advice to stay in their homes. Yet the prospects for survivors are little better. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in the part of Mosul still controlled by ISIS, where supplies of food, fuel and drinkable water are dwindling and violence is a daily reality.
On 10 April 2017, parliamentary speaker Ali Abdel-Aal referred the deal to the parliament’s legislative and constitutional committee for discussion. Ali’s team has also filed a lawsuit against the parliament. Adly explained that when the Supreme Administrative Court ruled against the deal, the parliament had no further right to decide on it. The next hearing in the case will be in June, 2017.
The constitutional changes, most of which will come into effect after the next elections in 2019, give him vastly expanded powers to appoint ministers, prepare a budget, choose the majority of senior judges and enact certain laws by decree. He will also become the head of the executive, as well as the head of state, while retaining ties to his political party. The role of the prime minister will be scrapped and the new post of vice-president (possibly two or three) will be created. Parliament will effectively lose its right to scrutinize ministers, and Erdoğan could now stay in office until 2029. Many have been quick to liken this new Turkey to a one-man state.