Middle East and North Africa

Syria: the view from Lebanon

Tensions in Lebanon, whose political fate has long been intimately tied to Syria, are sharpening rapidly as its neighbour sinks deeper into a sectarian civil war. But a growing number of clashes within Lebanon are now raising fears that a domestic eruption is becoming hard to avoid.  

Europe sticks a warning label on the settlements

With no real case to make, the bullying opponents of the European Union's long-delayed plan to label produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank are crying anti-Semitism, cheapening the term at a particularly inopportune time.  

Syria: the view from Jordan

Amman has gradually escalated its anti-Assad posture, providing wider political and military support in a bid to try and prevent the emergence of a chaotic no man’s land on its border, it continues to seek a political deal to end the conflict.  

Syria: the view from Iran

This essay forms part of an eight-part ECFR series exploring the regional responses, dynamics and ramifications of the Syrian uprising and civil war. These…

Syria: the view from Iraq

The government of Nouri al-Maliki has positioned itself as a firm supporter of Bashar al-Assad, notably out of fear that his defeat would empower similar Sunni opposition forces in Iraq. But Iraq’s Sunni actors and Kurds are using the crisis in Syria to assert their own ambitions.  

Syria: the view from the Gulf states

The Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been key to shaping the Syrian uprising. However, while their desire to dislodge Syria from the Iranian orbit has been central to their efforts, this does not account for the full complexity of their interests.  

The opportunity for peace and security in the Middle East

The opportunity to find a two-state solution to the Palestine/Israel question is in danger of being squandered, and that the world will turn its back on the Israelis and Palestinians  

Do democracies have the guts for diplomacy on Syria?

People used to ask whether democracies had the makeup for war. But when it comes to Syria, it seems that it is diplomacy rather than warfare that is most difficult for Western onlookers to digest.  

Turkey’s people power tide

The eruption of protest in Istanbul and other Turkish cities expresses vigorous opposition to the political direction of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This is a big, even historic, moment in Turkey.