MEP Anders Vistisen

29-year-old Anders Primdahl Vistisen, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Denmark, serves as vice chair of the EP’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. He is also active in the body’s Special Committee on Terrorism, and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs.

In his interview with Majalla, Vistisen discussed concerns about radicalization among Europe’s Muslim communities and the potential for new European-Arab partnerships to help address the problem. He explored the factors that have led European policy elites to call for swift normalization of relations with Iran, and the difficulty of fomenting a change in attitude. …


Polisario placard

An Arab League slugfest over Qatar, a shvitzing frenzy in Israel over GCC ties, and Polisario fears of a mass exodus from the Saharan camps. To subscribe to this daily roundup, click here.

Acrimony at the Arab League over Qatar: Tensions escalated at the summit in Cairo as Doha FM called Iran an “honorable state” and dubbed rival regimes’ media “dogs.” Saudi Arabia and the UAE reiterated that their list of 13 demands remained the basis for negotiation over resolving the conflict. Kuwait’s deputy FM, sworn to media the intra-GCC feud, hit back at the Qatari praise for Iran: “Despite…


Qatari FM asks UN human rights body for help

Qatar makes human rights arguments at the UN, American rabbi steps up pressure on Doha, and Morocco’s opposition prince slams Tunisian democracy. To subscribe to this daily roundup, click here.

Qatari FM takes his country’s case to the UN Human Rights Commission… He argued that blocking Qatari citizens from traveling or transiting through their territories is a rights violation. His repeated insistence that Qatar does not intone or incite terrorism came on the heels of another rerun of Al-Jazeera’s hagiographic documentary on Izz al-Din al-Qassam.

… while Rabbi Shmuley Boteach follows up with an op-ed blasting the country. The article…


Maduro walks the red carpet in Algiers

Venezuelan ruler heads to Algiers, Moroccan opposition prince booted from Tunisia, and a Saudi crackdown on Islamist clerics. To subscribe to this daily Mideast roundup, click here.

Rocked by protests and newly sanctioned by the U.S. Government, Venezuelan president Maduro arrives in Algeria. The sanctions barred U.S. banks from the country and isolated the national oil company. Algerian FM says enhancing oil trade will be discussed. The trip should be understood in the context of the following recent statement by Maduro: “[Let’s] start selling oil, gas and all other products that Venezuela sells with new currencies, including the Chinese yuan…


Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

A fuzzy encounter between the U.S. Navy and Iran, an intra-Jewish spat over relations with Qatar, and scrappy decisions in Algiers. To subscribe to this daily roundup, click here.

Iran claims it confronted a U.S. Navy vessel and the U.S. issues a denial. Reuters cites Tasnim News Agency as saying an “Iranian military vessel confronted an American warship in the Gulf and warned it to stay away from a damaged Iranian fishing boat.” U.S. Naval Central Command acknowledged it heard a small boat’s distress call 75 miles away but “at no time was there any direct contact between the U.S…


Saudi Aramco

A delay in Saudi economic reforms, a shift in Saudi discourse, and an axis of neutrality in North Africa. To subscribe to this daily roundup, click here.

Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” undergoes a revision. “An internal document seen by the Financial Times labels the amended plan NTP 2.0 and adds: ’The timeline of the NTP will continue to 2020, but the plan requires implementation of objectives for 2025 and 2030.’ Importantly, the kingdom’s most closely watched reform effort, the partial privatisation of state oil monopoly Saudi Aramco, sits outside the NPT. …


Angela Merkel

Gulf states receive an offer of French mediation and present an offer of “normalization.” A German outlet signals a parting of the ways with Washington on Iran. To describe to this daily roundup by Joseph Braude, click here.

French foreign ministry wades into the intra-GCC dispute: Paris announced the appointment of Bertrand Besancenot, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as special envoy to media the dispute between Qatar on the one hand and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt on the other. Reuters notes that France has close ties with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates while also being…


Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue, Alexandria, Egypt

A Qatari port to bypass Gulf sanctions, a massive war exercise in Israel’s north, and Israeli and Egyptian government spending on Jewish diaspora institutions. To subscribe to this daily roundup, click here.

A new Qatari port inaugurated Tuesday aims to circumvent sanctions on the country by its GCC neighbors. “Closure of the Saudi border with Qatar and disruption to shipping routes via the UAE slashed Qatar’s imports by over a third from year-earlier levels in June and July,” Reuters reports. “Institutions in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have begun pulling money out of Qatari banks, threatening their balance sheets…


Assad declares victory

A grim verdict on the war on Syria, a thumbs down for Putin Syria policy by Russians, and problems ahead for Iraq post-ISIS. To subscribe to this daily roundup, click here.

Assad has “won the war militarily,” says former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford in the Los Angeles Times. “And I can’t see any prospect of the Syrian opposition being able to compel him to make dramatic concessions in a peace negotiation.”

But Russians do not support President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Syria, according to a poll summarized in Newsweek. “The latest Levada poll shows that around a…

Joseph Braude

Joseph Braude is an author, broadcaster, and Middle East specialist.

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