Monday, August 25, 2014

LIBYA – US officials claim the United Arab Emirates and Egypt were behind several air strikes on Islamist militias in Libya last week, in what would be an escalation of a regional power-play between Islamists and opposing governments across the Middle East. (TheGuardian)

SPAINSeveral hundred protesters protested against the policies of the EU, in conjunction with the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and have  been charged by the police. The protesters tried to enter the parade at 11 am in the central Plaza del Obradoiro, during Merkel’s visit to the cathedral of Santiago, but were rejected by the police. (Ansa)

SYRIASyria has said it is ready to cooperate with the international community to tackle Islamic State militants as it continues its civil war with various rebel groups. Foreign minister Walid al-Moallem said that any military action inside the country must be co-ordinated with Damascus, or else an attack would be considered as aggression. (DailyMal)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GAZA STRIP – A long-term ceasefire has been agreed between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The truce, ending seven weeks of fighting that has left more than 2,200 people – mostly Palestinians – dead, was brokered by Egypt and began at 19:00 (16:00 GMT) on Tuesday. (BBC)

SLOVENIA – Miro Cerar is the new Prime Minister of Slovenia. The parliament gave him the vote of confidence, by secret ballot, with 57 votes in favour and 11 against. Support has been ensured not only by Cerar’s party, but also by the two parties that are likely to take part in the new government: the pensioners’ party, DeSUS, and the Social Democrats. (ANSA)

UKRAINE – Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has dissolved parliament and called for early elections in October as his country continues to battle a pro-Russia insurgency in its eastern regions, and Kiev again accused Russia of sending soldiers into its territory. (TheGuardian) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says a “roadmap” will be prepared to end fighting between troops and pro-Russian separatists in the east. He was speaking after holding his first direct talks on the crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belarus. (TheDailyStar)

 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LIBYA – The UN Security Council unanimously decided to bolster sanctions in Libya. The resolution, the first adopted by the UN since March 19 despite rising violence in the country, provides for harsher sanctions against those hindering or jeopardizing the political transition in Libya. (ANSAmed)

ISRAEL – Islamist opposition fighters in Syria, including members of an Al Qaeda affiliate, took control of the Quneitra crossing point on the demarcation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, activists said on Wednesday. (NewYorkTimes)

QATAR – Three Saudi princes including Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal visited Qatar on Wednesday, state media said, amid efforts to repair a rift within the U.S.-allied Gulf Cooperation Council. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassadors to Qatar in March, accusing Doha of failing to abide by an agreement not to interfere in one another’s internal affairs. So far, efforts to resolve the dispute have failed. (Reuters)

 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

SERBIA – Serbian government head for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, has blamed Kosovar authorities in Pristina for delays implementing Brussels agreements on the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. A large part of the document defining the legal basis necessary for the creation of the new Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo has not yet been put in place by Kosovo, Duric was quoted as saying by media in Belgrade. (ANSAmed)

EGYPTEgypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite news channel. (Reuters)

UKRAINE – A top Ukrainian army officer said a “full-scale invasion” of his country was under way Thursday, as a U.S. official said up to 1,000 Russian troops had crossed Ukraine’s southern border to fight alongside pro-Russian rebels. U.S. officials said Russian troops were directly involved in the latest fighting, despite Moscow’s denials. (CNN)

 

Friday, August 29, 2014

SYRIA – US President Barack Obama on Thursday said he has yet to develop a strategy against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. ”We don’t have a strategy yet’, Obama said. He also stressed that Congress would be consulted over options but did not talk of a possible vote on military action. (AlJazeera)

TURKEY – Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu kept key members of Turkey’s economic management team in place and named Ankara’s point man on Europe as foreign minister in a new cabinet on Friday, moves signalling President Tayyip Erdogan’s continued domination. Erdogan, who had dominated politics as prime minister since 2003, was sworn in on Thursday as Turkey’s first popularly-elected president, cementing his position as its most powerful leader of recent times. (Reuters)

PALESTINE – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Hamas of needlessly extending fighting in the Gaza Strip, causing a high death toll. Abbas told Palestine TV in remarks broadcast Friday that “it was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (damaged or destroyed)”. (TheDailyStar)