Egypt has reappeared again as a leading actor in the Middle East. After the fall of Mubarak, the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ouster, the country has chosen its new ‘strongman’. Following the elections of al-Sisi, Egypt is back to pursuing a pro-active policy not only internally, but also in the neighbourhood.
The restoration of the strategic axis with Saudi Arabia and the struggle against radical Islam are the two pillars of this new political phase.
However, there are critical elements, too, from further deterioration of the political and civil liberties indexes, to the emergence of jihadist groups in the Sinai, to the enduring economic and financial difficulties. As a result of these changes, Europe and Italy should calibrate a new policy aimed at safeguarding their interests,especially from the points of view of security, stability and the fight against terrorism, also promoting more inclusive practices by the Cairo government vis-à-vis the opposition (including the Muslim Brotherhood) and developing policies which can help Egypt to respond to future challenges in terms of economic growth, poverty alleviation, demographic pressure and the creation of employment opportunities.
A Peace Support Operation (PSO) in Libya is a last resort measure. Once decided and after several preconditions are met, the scope of the mission should remain rather limited. Such a PSO deployed to the greater Tripoli area in order to stabilize the situation in and around the capital and to help the new government to get on its feet could make a significant difference anyway and would be a viable option.
Today, Wednesday 25 June, Libyans go to the polls for the second time since Gaddafi’s fall in 2011. The atmosphere surrounding the polls is not one of enthusiasm and participation. Libya is slowly but steadily slipping into a period of protracted violence, if not a full blown civil war. Elections were seen by many as a panacea but they may turn out to be a missed opportunity if no meaningful reconciliation is started and if a low turnout affects legitimacy.
The political developments in Libya are heavily influenced by numerous armed groups. As this will remain unchanged after the upcoming elections it is useful to assess their capabilities, political affiliation, alliances and future intentions.
Three years after the Libyan uprising in 2011, and a few days after the elections for the Constitutional Assembly, the country is preparing for the “Friends of Libya Conference” in Rome on March 6, designed to provide support on security, justice and the rule of law in the country. The conference, a follow-up to one a year ago in Paris, arrives against a background of continuing insecurity. The European Union and its individual members are trying to support Libyan transition, but, till now, they have had little impact on stabilization.
In the early days of the Arab uprisings, Turkey was seen as the “winner.” Yet after more than two years Turkey has lost most of its lucrative economic relations with the region, begun to experience crisis in its relations with several regional countries, and more significantly so far has failed to achieve its foreign policy goals. How has this happened? Why has Turkey faced significant challenges to its foreign policy in the Middle East after the Arab uprisings?
Sectarian tendencies and antagonisms grew into levels unknown before in the modern Middle East. They were exacerbated by conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and Lebanon, and by the social and political uprisings following the “Arab spring”.
Where is the Muslim Brotherhood going?
In an admirable show of determination, the Egyptian youth through the rebel movement, "Tamarod," mobilized tens of millions of Egyptians to restore their freedom and preserve their national character.