Region

Turkey and the Levant

Stories under this heading cover Turkey as well as the Levant – a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia, consisting of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine.

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Opinion
Opinion: Israel and Lebanon move towards resolving a long standing dispute on their maritime border

Opinion: Israel and Lebanon move towards resolving a long standing dispute on their maritime border

There are reports that the US may be about to broker a deal between Israel and Lebanon, resolving a long-standing dispute about their maritime border and the exploitation of two large oil and gas fields in the Levantine Basin. Amos Hochstein, the US Senior Advisor for Energy Security, this month mediated indirect talks between the two countries, who technically are still at war with each other, and have no formal diplomatic relations in an attempt to resolve the issue. After his meetings in Lebanon last week, it seemed that a breakthrough had finally been reached, when the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, reportedly presented a unified position on behalf of the government, which offered the prospect for a compromise This new proposal would create an S shaped maritime border, granting Lebanon access to the whole of the Qana field, while leaving Israel the entirety of Karish. In the past, the lack of agreement within the Lebanese government, and its unwillingness to compromise had been the key factors holding back negotiations, and this new approach led Hochstein to strike an optimistic note, saying that Lebanon had taken “a very strong step forward”. The US Energy advisor will now relay the offer to Israel and await a response. Both countries stand to gain from a swift and peaceful resolution to this decade long problem which has prevented them from extracting any value out of the fields. 
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News
The great Saudi-Turkish restart

The great Saudi-Turkish restart

After years of dispute during which relations fell to a historical low, Turkey and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday sealed a restart in their relations during a state visit to Turkey by the Kingdom's Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman. The turquoise carpet was laid out at the presidential palace in Ankara as the Crown prince arrived to be greeted by Turkey's president, Recip Tayip Erdogan. The two men held discussions on bilateral relations and regional and international issues. But this visit was mainly about symbolism. The substance had already been sorted over weeks and months of discussions involving senior officials from the two countries. President Erdogan was himself in Saudi Arabia only a month ago. But the visit of Mohammad bin Salman to Ankara had huge symbolic significance and it marked the final act in a process that saw the two countries draw back from years of animosity, rooted mainly in different perspectives on the future of the Middle East and the broader Islamic world. Both countries see themselves as leaders in the region, as well as a beacon for Muslims worldwide. Prior to visiting Turkey, the Saudi Crown Prince also visited Egypt and Jordan. In a few weeks time he will welcome in Riyadh US President Joe Biden, in a final act that will see the complete rehabilitation of the heir to the Saudi throne who had been caught in international controversy.

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The editorial team at commonspace.eu wish all our readers and subscribers a very happy new year 2022

The editorial team at commonspace.eu wish all our readers and subscribers a very happy new year 2022

We wish health, peace, and prosperity to all our readers and subscribers in Europe and Eurasia, the Caucasus Region, the Middle East and world wide. Happy New Year!
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News
First meeting between Turkish and Armenian special envoys will be held in Moscow

First meeting between Turkish and Armenian special envoys will be held in Moscow

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday (27 December) that the first meeting of Turkish and Armenian special envoys is expected to be held in Moscow to discuss the way forward in the normalization of relations between the two countries Speaking in a televised press conference, the top Turkish diplomat noted that the meeting's location was in accordance with Armenia's request.
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Opinion
Opinion: Armenian-Turkish relations are haunted by a spectre of failure

Opinion: Armenian-Turkish relations are haunted by a spectre of failure

"Armenian-Turkish rapprochement attempts are welcome. Dialogue is better than everlasting antagonism. However, the realistic perception of the situation leads one to inevitably conclude that the process would be very difficult and  will need time", argues Alexander Petrosyan in this op-ed.
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News
The dignified struggle of a Gaza doctor for justice

The dignified struggle of a Gaza doctor for justice

The dignified struggle of a Palestinian doctor from Gaza for justice has inspired many but has not found recourse in the Israeli legal system. Izzeldin Abuelaish was seeking an apology and compensation from the Israeli government after his family members were killed by a tank strike in Gaza in 2009. Abuelaish appeal in Israel’s Supreme Court was rejected on Wednesday (24 November).
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News
Biden and Erdogan discuss South Caucasus

Biden and Erdogan discuss South Caucasus

The presidents of the United States and Turkey met in Rome on Sunday (31 October), on the margins of the G20 summit which took place in the Italian capital over the weekend. The two countries are important allies in NATO, but differences have marred relations in recent years, particularly as Turkey has pursued a more assertive foreign policy.
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News
Fears Lebanon is sliding back to civil war after street violence in Beirut on Thursday

Fears Lebanon is sliding back to civil war after street violence in Beirut on Thursday

Lebanon has a history of decades of sectarian strife between Christians and Muslims, and groups within them. Foreign interference since the 1950's has made Lebanon a battle field for Middle East states and groups to fight proxy wars. The latest incidents raise concerns of a further deterioration of what is already for many Lebanese people a very dire situation.