Maghreb Matters: Tunisia Holds Local Elections, Independents Lead Returns. Economy Continues to Drag – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader May 15, 2018 While there were no clear winners in terms of a majority in the recent local elections in Tunisia, observers noted that, despite a low turnout of less than 34%, holding elections without major unrest represents an important step in moving towards decentralization that will empower local municipalities to make decisions on critical development issues. According to an analysis by Reuters.com, most voters were older, ...

Maghreb News Notes: Iran seeks to expand presence in North Africa; World Bank Group to meet in Marrakech in 2021; Moroccan unemployment down; and EU Report focuses on challenges in relationship with Algeria – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader May 8, 2018 Iran’s agenda in North Africa is coming under heightened scrutiny after senior Iranian officials visited Algiers leading to increased tensions over Western Sahara and the expulsion from Rabat of the Iranian ambassador. According to an article in Al-Arabiya, “The cut in ties between the two countries came after irrefutable evidence came to light proving that shipments of weapons, which included surface-to-air missiles, comprising of ...

Educational and Cultural Exchanges: America’s Best Investment — Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.)

Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.) May 3, 2018 The announcement of Marie Royce, a highly qualified Washington insider, as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Exchange, presents an opportunity to ramp up one of the most cost effective and impactful US foreign policy tools. Today, educational and cultural exchanges in the Middle East and North Africa are often perceived as a sometimes frivolous and wasteful sideshow by some ...

News Notes: CSIS Study Focuses Attention on Migration Issues in the Region; and IMF and Others See Economy Strengthening – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader May 4, 2018 Migration continues to be an issue in North Africa and, of course, with the countries across the Mediterranean. Recent studies look at the consequences of migration and immigration issues from security, political, and humanitarian perspectives, recommending policies for both Africa and Europe. A recent study released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and written by Haim Malka, Deputy Director of the ...

MINURSO – A Resolution With Resolve? – Robert M. Holley

  Robert M. Holley May 2, 2018 After a few last minute grumbles from Russia and a few meaningless word adjustments, the UN Security Council has voted approval of a new mandate for MINURSO, the Western Sahara peacekeeping mission, now into its 27th year of a so far fruitless search to find some compromise political solution to this seemingly endless dispute. Polisario had its hand slapped for its needlessly provocative ...
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