With budget deficits on the rise, the Middle East and North Africa’s oil importing countries must reform their fuel subsidy programs, which benefit the rich more than the poor and waste fiscal resources.
The private sector has become the main driver of growth in the Middle East and North Africa, but more consistent and equitable regulations are needed to transform the region into a diversified, high-performance economy.
The ongoing IAEA investigations in Iran and Syria and Israel’s nuclear capability are among the top issues on the agenda for the June IAEA Board of Governors meeting.
The current stalemate of the IAEA's investigation of undeclared nuclear activities in Syria is the responsibility of the Syrian government, which buried the remains of its covert nuclear reactor in 2008 and now seeks to bury the IAEA investigation.
By classifying safeguards non-compliance as violations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the upcoming Review Conference will make it much harder to ignore future violations.
This volume examines the Arab world’s major political actors, assesses the weaknesses of secular parties, and evaluates how incumbent regimes have maintained their grip on power in spite of reform-oriented claims.
Syria is the common denominator linking the toughest challenges for the United States: reining in Iran’s nuclear ambitions and solving the Arab–Israeli conflict. Syria’s support for Hizbollah and Hamas and its ties to Tehran give Damascus significant regional influence—and the only thing that would moderate Syrian positions is a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
Greater U.S. openness to Syria has brought forth surprising candor from Syrian officials on the state of the economy, the need for reforms, and the effect of U.S. sanctions.
Major upcoming elections in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and, perhaps, Palestine, could alter the balances of power in these countries. Because each is at the heart of various arenas of conflict in the Middle East, 2009 could witness a series of political jolts in region.
For the EU to be an effective player in the Middle East, it should seek an efficient division of labor with the United States and pursue greater political engagement in the Palestinian territories, Syria, and Lebanon.