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.

MPs again fail to elect next president of Lebanon
MPs in Lebanon failed again to elect a new president on Thursday for an eighth time, despite the deepening impact of the political deadlock on the country’s economic woes. Lebanon has been without a head of state for a month after president Michel Aoun left office at the end of October with no successor. Parliament is split between supporters of the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and its opponents, neither of whom have a clear majority. Lawmaker Michel Moawad, who is seen as close to the United States, won the support of 37 lawmakers Thursday — well short of the required majority — while 52 spoilt ballots were cast, mainly by pro-Hezbollah lawmakers. Only 111 of parliament’s 128 lawmakers showed up for the vote. By convention, Lebanon’s presidency goes to a Maronite Christian, the premiership is reserved for a Sunni Muslim and the post of parliament speaker goes to a Shiite Muslim. Parliament is expected to convene for a new attempt to elect a president on December 8.
dennis2020 Thu, 12/01/2022 - 14:05 Bomb attack in Jerusalem kills one and injures approximately 15

At least one person has been killed and approximately 15 have been wounded from explosions at a bus stop and a traffic junction in Jerusalem on Wednesday (23 November). Israeli officials have labelled the explosions as an attack with terroristic intent amidst high tensions between Israel and Palestine.

patrickn97 Wed, 11/23/2022 - 11:59

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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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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.
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Putin and Erdogan met in Sochi to consolidate Russia-Turkey relations

Putin and Erdogan met in Sochi to consolidate Russia-Turkey relations

Russian president Vladimir Putin hosted Turkish president Recip Tayip Erdogan in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi on Wednesday (29 September) with both sides keen to consolidate Turkish-Russian relations despite a number of serious differences, especially on Syria. This face-to-face meeting was the first for the two presidents in the past year-and-a-half. Their previous meeting was in March 2020, at the Kremlin.
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Lebanon's cabinet gets Parliamentary approval

Lebanon's cabinet gets Parliamentary approval

After a long session that lasted eight hours on Monday (20 September), the Lebanese parliament gave a vote of confidence to the new Lebanese cabinet led by prime minister Najib Mikati. The session, in which 100 out of 128 members attended, was long and tiring for many yet nothing dramatic disturbed the proceedings. 
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Turkey and EU discuss climate change at "excellent" first high level dialogue

Turkey and EU discuss climate change at "excellent" first high level dialogue

The European Union and Turkey on Thursday (16 September), held their first high level dialogue on climate change. The delegations were led by the European Commission’s executive vice president for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, and Turkish minister of environment and urbanization,  Murut Kurum. They discussed the necessary steps to fight the devastating effects of climate change and to significantly cut emissions by 2050.
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Lebanon finally has a government!

Lebanon finally has a government!

After more than a year of political mistrust and local instability, Lebanon finally has a government with Najib Mikati, a billionaire telecommunications tycoon, as the prime minister. The cabinet was announced by the Lebanese presidency on Twitter after the Friday prayer local time in Beirut. He added that Mikati agreed to make the government official by signing a decree in the presence of the parliament speaker, Nabih Berri at the Baabda presidential palace.