Special Correspondent, Middle East
Alistair's Feed
Nov 15, 2012

Analysis: Gaza conflict seen evoking Arab anger, not war

LONDON (Reuters) – Israel’s assault on Gaza sends more sparks flying into a combustible Middle East, but is unlikely to ignite a wider war or destroy the Jewish state’s 1979 peace treaty with Egypt.

A Hamas rocket killed three Israelis north of the Gaza Strip on Thursday and Israeli bombs brought the Palestinian death toll to 13 in a worsening military showdown after Israel assassinated a top Hamas military commander the previous day.

Nov 4, 2012

Morocco’s king keeps strong hand despite reforms

RABAT, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Unlike other Arab leaders
challenged on the streets early last year, King Mohammed VI
swiftly reformed Morocco’s constitution, held an election and
let an Islamist party lead the government.

His response smothered popular ferment, drew plaudits from
the West and seemed to set Morocco on a more democratic course,
but 20 months on it is unclear how much power has changed hands.

Oct 14, 2012

Algeria caught in quandary over Mali crisis

ALGIERS (Reuters) – North African heavyweight Algeria is worried by the chaos in neighboring Mali, where Islamist militants have seized vast tracts of the country, but believes foreign intervention will only make things worse.

Much is at stake for Algeria, Africa’s biggest country and a wealthy oil and gas exporter that shares a 2,000 km (1,250 mile) border with Mali and sees itself as a major regional power.

Jul 20, 2012

Analysis: Syria’s implosion worries neighbors

LONDON (Reuters) – Signs that President Bashar al-Assad is rapidly losing his grip on Syria alarm his regional allies, Iran and Hezbollah, and worry other neighbors fearful of chaos on their doorsteps.

This week’s sustained battles in the capital Damascus and the explosion that killed Assad’s feared brother-in-law and three other men at the core of his fight for survival have focused attention on the possible consequences of his downfall.

Jul 9, 2012

Analysis: Syria crisis shows limits of rising Turkish power

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s bark seems worse than its bite.

Ask the Syrians, who shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22 and got away with it.

Turkish leaders shrilled up their rhetoric. They sent anti-aircraft missiles to the border and repeatedly scrambled F-16 fighters when Syrian helicopters flew too close. Ankara won supportive noises from its NATO allies. But that was it.

Jun 30, 2012

Egypt’s first Islamist president takes oath

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s first Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, was sworn in on Saturday, propelling his Muslim Brotherhood into power after 84 years of struggle, although the military remains determined to call the shots.

Immediately after taking his oath, Mursi said a civilian and constitutional state had been “born today”.

Jun 29, 2012

Egypt’s first Islamist president to be sworn in

CAIRO, June 30 (Reuters) – Egypt’s President-elect Mohamed
Mursi takes his oath on Saturday, a day after the Islamist
leader pre-empted the formal ceremony by swearing himself in
before ecstatic crowds in Tahrir Square and warning off generals
trying to curb his powers.

They have already clipped the prerogatives of the bearded
leader now in the palace once occupied by Hosni Mubarak, who is
serving a life sentence 16 months after Egyptians toppled him.

Jun 29, 2012

Egypt’s first Islamist president to be sworn in

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s President-elect Mohamed Mursi takes his oath on Saturday, a day after the Islamist leader pre-empted the formal ceremony by swearing himself in before ecstatic crowds in Tahrir Square and warning off generals trying to curb his powers.

They have already clipped the prerogatives of the bearded leader now in the palace once occupied by Hosni Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence 16 months after Egyptians toppled him.

Jun 5, 2012

Analysis: Paralyzed world clings to Annan’s failing Syria plan

LONDON (Reuters) – Kofi Annan hints his peace plan for Syria is going nowhere, but divided world powers have yet to agree on other ideas for halting the carnage or coaxing President Bashar al-Assad into talks on his political demise.

Syrian rebels have abandoned any commitment to a ceasefire the U.N.-Arab League envoy declared on April 12. After an initial lull, Assad’s forces never respected the truce despite the watching eyes of a U.N. observer team now 300 strong.

Jun 5, 2012

Paralysed world clings to Annan’s failing Syria plan

LONDON (Reuters) – Kofi Annan hints his peace plan for Syria is going nowhere, but divided world powers have yet to agree on other ideas for halting the carnage or coaxing President Bashar al-Assad into talks on his political demise.

Syrian rebels have abandoned any commitment to a ceasefire the U.N.-Arab League envoy declared on April 12. After an initial lull, Assad’s forces never respected the truce despite the watching eyes of a U.N. observer team now 300 strong.

    • About Alistair

      "I cover the Middle East, with an emphasis on political analysis, region-wide stories and in-depth features. I live in Beirut and have been in my current post since June 2006. Outside my main Middle Eastern beat, I have covered Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan."
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