The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the MENA region's most significant issues and trends. Today, we turn the spotlight on the recent clashes in Tripoli and the attempt by parliament-backed Prime Minister Bashagha to install himself and his cabinet in Libya’s capital.
Il Libano non smette mai di sorprendere. Nei giorni prima delle elezioni parlamentari del 15 maggio, i media internazionali avevano previsto che le elezioni non avrebbero portato grandi cambiamenti.
La successione al vertice degli Emirati Arabi Uniti (EAU) era, nei fatti, già una realtà da quasi dieci anni. Ecco perché la scomparsa a 73 anni di Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, emiro di Abu Dhabi e presidente degli EAU, non avrà ripercussioni sulla politica interna emiratina, né sulla postura internazionale degli Emirati.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed insights on the most significant developments in the MENA region, bringing together unique opinions on the topic and reliable foresight on future scenarios. Today, we focus on Syria, recently back in the spotlight following the sixth edition of the EU-promoted Brussels Conference and Assad’s recent visit to Tehran.
On May 15th, Lebanon's citizens will head to the polls amidst a national economic meltdown, described by the World Bank as one of the three most severe crises seen witnessed since the 1950s. Over this period, the country has faced a financial default, a pandemic, a year-long political paralysis, and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history. The stakes for these elections are high, but the casted ballots are unlikely to have a concrete impact on Lebanon’s political landscape.
Lebanon’s economic and political crisis represents an important issue for European policymakers. Given the central role the country plays in the eastern Mediterranean region, its further destabilisation is likely to spread to the broader Middle East, with significant consequences also for Europe. Over the past twenty years, both the European Union and its member states, with France in the lead, have played a key role in sustaining Lebanon’s fragile economy and supporting the burden posed by the Syrian refugee crisis.
Shireen Abu Akleh, nota giornalista di Al Jazeera, è stata uccisa durante un raid israeliano a Jenin. L’esercito israeliano sotto accusa, i testimoni: “ci hanno sparato addosso”.
As thousands of Lebanese expats queued in long lines under simmering heat to vote for change, many commentators rushed to hail the turnout of expat voting as significant, a week prior to local votes. In reality, and while a small percentage of elected MPs might change from the 2018 Parliament, the traditional political parties will retain their seats, with one potential exception: the Free Patriotic Movement – party of the sitting President Michel Aoun and his U.S. sanctioned son-in-law.
Saudi and Kuwait ambassadors’ return to Beirut in early April marked an initial rapprochement in Gulf-Lebanese ties after a five-month long diplomatic crisis. Last October, Saudi Arabia – followed by Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – had withdrawn its ambassador after the then Information Minister, George Kordahi, criticised Riyadh-led military interventions in Yemen.
Lebanon’s fall from grace has been nothing short of dramatic. Not so long ago, Lebanon was an upper-middle income country with a highly skilled work-force, first-world educational and health institutions, a vibrant and entrepreneurial private sector, a thriving cultural and tourist scene, and a large and engaged diaspora.
The norm since the end of the civil war in Lebanon in 1990 has been for the population to pay two bills for a day’s worth of electricity: one to Électricité du Liban (EDL) — a public utility provider — and the other to the private generator of each neighborhood. Master plans were drafted yet never executed, much like the promised reforms of the electricity sector, which never materialized. Today, Lebanon faces multiple crises and is in free fall. Amidst the meltdown, the energy sector has been the most affected, with hour-long blackouts.