The visit of Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President al-Assad to Lebanon was a rare display of cooperation, but it yielded no real progress on a compromise over the upcoming results of the special tribunal, an issue that threatens to tear Lebanon apart.
Arab countries have made progress since the mid-20th century in a number of basic development goals; however, entrenched authoritarianism has obstructed sustained human development and domestic pressure for reform has been effectively muzzled by incumbent regimes.
As the political stalemate in Iraq continues to drag on, the major parties and politicians continue to attempt to wrangle the greatest amount of power for themselves even as they continue to break constitutionally mandated deadlines.
The recent flotilla incident involving Turkey and Israel marked the culmination of a significant shift in Turkish foreign policy, one in which Turkey emerged as an assertive regional actor.
Lebanon might have escaped another war, but tensions in the country and the region are high and getting higher, and any one of several issues could trigger local or regional conflagrations.
The international community’s understandable admiration for Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and his efforts to rebuild the West Bank obscures a dangerous regression in democracy and human rights.
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.
Turkey is emerging strongly from the Great Recession, but the Euro area crisis, a soaring current account deficit, and domestic political uncertainty threaten the economy.
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 Israeli raid on the flotilla headed for Gaza continues a pattern of diplomatic disasters that are increasingly isolating Israel on the international stage and do not augur well for its future.
Carnegie experts respond to Israel's raid on a flotilla of humanitarian aid ships bound for Gaza, warning that it threatens to destabilize relations between key actors in the region.
As the number of countries with the ambition to play a role in world affairs increases, Washington must decide whether to deal with them as legitimate global players or treat them as meddlers to be dismissed.
The formation of a new Iraqi government may still be months away, not because the issues to be negotiated will take time, but because serious negotiations do not appear to have started yet.
The post-election phase in Iraq appears even more difficult than anticipated, postponing improvements in Iraq’s long-term security and economic development.
Currently, no single party in Iraq has enough seats to form a new government. Any new government would need votes of confidence from multiple coalitions and ethnic groups. Even the leaders of the two coalitions with the largest number of seats may not have the support needed to become prime minister.
Three weeks after the election, the Iraqi High Election Commission announced the final vote count and the apportionment of seats among the lists. The announcement ends the suspense but opens a period of intense negotiating among parties which could be marred by violence.
The economic outlook for the Gulf Cooperation Council remains encouraging, but the crisis has revealed financial sector vulnerabilities that need to be addressed in order to limit future disruptions of economic growth.
Confronted with structural weaknesses, external shocks, and the Ahmadinejad administration's gross mismanagement of the economy, Iran is facing its bleakest economic prospects in nearly two decades.
The formal process that leads from the elections to the formation of a new government in Iraq is extremely complicated and bound to take time, even without taking into consideration the difficulty of forming viable political alliances.
Iraq’s election campaign is marked by the usual mixture of unrealistic promises, verbal attacks against competitors, and attempts by parties to appropriate symbols that do not properly belong to any one faction, as well as, more worryingly, the certainty voiced by all alliances that the elections will be marred by fraud.