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World News
The Saudi-Iranian Meeting in Mecca : Momentary Reconciliation prior to Escalation?
by Yoel Guzansky

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Iranian President Ahmadinejad met in Mecca last week at an emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which decided to suspend Syria’s membership in the organization. This decision is mainly symbolic, but Ahmadinejad's participation at the OIC meeting on Saudi soil at this time was as surprising as was the invitation itself. (Full Story)

Syria. What Underlies Russia's Ongoing Support for Assad?
by Zvi Magen

Although in recent weeks the end of the Assad regime has appeared increasingly imminent, Russia has continued to support the regime consistently and uncompromisingly. Together with support from China, this Russian backing, evident since the start of the uprising in Syria some eighteen months ago, provides life support for the shaky Assad regime. (Full Story)

Jihad in Syria: The Penetration of Radical Islam in the Syrian Conflict
by Jonathan Robinson, Tal First, and Einav Yogev

Recent reports of dozens of Kuwaiti jihadists traveling to fight in the Syrian conflict further highlight the stronger foothold radical Islamic groups are gaining in Syria. Since January 2012, Syria has been transformed into a major battleground of the jihad world, with a number of foreign and Syrian jihadist groups surfacing to participate in the conflict. (Full Story)

Afghanistan. Karzai’s Government: A Corrupt Political Leadership
by Sher Gilead Sher and Orit Perlov

Although for some time Israeli focus has not extended beyond the borders of Iran, a fresh approach to Iran’s eastern neighbor, Afghanistan, could unveil strategic advantages for Israel. (Full Story)

Syria. Removing Assad a necessary step, but insufficient to end bloodshed
by Benedetta Berti, and Cameron S. Brown

Following the recent downing of a Turkish reconnaissance jet by Syrian anti-aircraft, the international community, this time through NATO, is once again debating what course of action should be taken with respect to Syria. In the past weeks, the Syrian crisis has become more intense, violent, and regionalized, in turn raising the level of international interest in finding a way to stop the bloodshed and end the crisis. (Full Story)

Libya’s Elections under Threat
Brussels - With only days to go, Libya’s first national elections of the post-Qadhafi era are imperilled by armed protesters who, driven by a feeling of continued economic and political marginalisation, are threatening to disrupt the vote in the eastern part of the country.  (Full Story)
Convention banning landmines enters into force for Finland
Geneva – Today, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, has entered into force for Finland which is now bound to never, under any circumstances, use, produce or transfer anti-personnel mines and to destroy its existing stockpile of mines within four years. (Full Story)
Egypt. Morsi’s victory signals continued transition
Cairo/Brussels - Celebrated by millions of Egyptians, yesterday's announcement that Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, has won the presidential election undoubtedly marks a milestone in the country’s history.  (Full Story)
Myanmar. Government and parliament face many serious challenges
Jakarta/Brussels - With Myanmar embarked on a remarkable top-down transition from five decades of authoritarian rule and extensive reforms already in place, it is time for the international community to help it address the remaining complex and numerous challenges by ending sanctions and looking to cooperation rather than coercion to promote further change. (Full Story)
China’s New Courtship in South Sudan
Juba/Beijing/Nairobi/Brussels -Following its oil interests and other opportunities to Juba, China is building a new relationship with South Sudan but finds itself drawn into a dangerous dispute that risks bringing the Sudans back to conflict. (Full Story)
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