Monthly Archives: September 2011

International community steps up pressure on Syria

After seven months of protests in Syria, the international community has  stepped up economic pressure, and some of Syria’s traditional allies have  turned into critics. Yet President Bashar Assad presses on with a relentless and bloody crackdown, and his government seems to be operating on its own  timeline when it comes to the uprisings that have already toppled several Arab  regimes. The events in Syria suggest it’s time for a reassessment of the Arab  spring, according to Vali Nasr, a former U.S. government adviser and Middle  East scholar at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. “In light of what is  happening in Syria, we have to realize that the path to democracy … Continue reading

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Implications for the Palestine bid for UN membership

By C Jacobs and L Barkan On September 23, 2011, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud ‘Abbas submitted Palestine’s application for full UN membership. The PA maintains that it had no choice but to make this move, in light of the impasse in the negotiations with Israel, the latter’s refusal to halt the settlements, and the Americans’ failure to propose an alternative plan for advancing the negotiations. The UN Security Council (UNSC) deliberations could take weeks, and some Palestinians have voiced a concern that the US might drag its feet and delay the vote on this issue. In any case, the US is expected to veto the application’s approval by the … Continue reading

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Rasmussen calls for closer ties with China

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) hopes to see a strengthened dialogue and closer ties with China and other international powers. “I would very much like to see a strengthened dialogue between China and NATO,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Xinhua News Agency in an exclusive interview in Brussels at the headquarters of the trans-Atlantic alliance. “China has the largest population in the world and the second-largest economy. China is playing a still stronger role on the international scene, so I think we have a common interest in helping each other to ensure peace and stability in the world,” Rasmussen said. He described as “historic” China’s attendance, along … Continue reading

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