Home > News > News in Brief: 16 January 2009

News in Brief: 16 January 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

U.S.-United Arab Emirates sign nuclear deal. The United States signed an agreement Thursday on civil nuclear cooperation with the United Arab Emirates — the first such pact with a Middle Eastern country. Under the “1-2-3 deal,” similar to one the United States signed last year with India, Washington would share nuclear technology, expertise and fuel. In exchange, the UAE commits to abide by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. The deal is part of a major UAE investment in nuclear energy. It has already signed deals to build several nuclear power plants. (CNN)

Old battles, new contenders in the Gulf. As the Arab divide over support for Palestine exposes the inherent frailties of the Arab League, a remarkable power struggle has erupted between traditionally dominant Saudi Arabia and new player Qatar over who will take command of the crisis. With its booming economy, forward-thinking leader and Arab nationalist stance, Doha is emerging as a powerful challenger to Riyadh’s supremacy in the Gulf. (Asia Times)

Emergency talks held on Gaza crisis. Diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the war on Gaza have intensified with meetings being held in Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt. (Al Jazeera)

The War in Gaza: A view from the Arab street. The round of international diplomacy that has just concluded has left this part of the Arab world incredulous, extremely angry and polarised. The demonstrations in Syria this weekend were marked by use of extreme slogans seldom heard in public, and images of Osama bin Laden were paraded at protests in Jordan. The feel is of strategic tremors that hint at some fundamental shifting of the plates of Muslim opinion. (Conflicts Forum)

Turkish PM Erdogan: Bar Israel from UN over Gaza offensive. Turkey’s prime minister on Friday said Israel should be barred from the United Nations while it ignores the body’s calls to stop fighting in Gaza. “How is such a country, which does not implement resolutions of the UN Security Council, allowed to enter through the gates of the UN (headquarters)?” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. (Haaretz)

Ahmadinejad and Meshal make surprise appearance at Gaza summit in Qatar. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and top Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal have made a surprise appearance at an emergency summit of Arab leaders in the Qatari capital, aiming to show their weight in diplomatic efforts surrounding the Gaza crisis. U.S. allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia are boycotting the Doha summit, fearing that Hamas and its allies Syria and Iran will use it as a platform for a hard-line position and hurt Egypt’s efforts to mediate a Hamas-Israel cease-fire. (Haaretz)

Palestine’s Bleak Future and Syria’s Disappointment in Obama. [Arafat’s adviser] Hassan Balawi believes that the Palestinians have failed in their efforts to develop a successful strategy for a two state solution. Israel will be successful in pushing responsibility for Gaza onto Egypt and the remains of the West Bank onto Jordan. Both Egypt and Jordan are desperately trying to avoid this possibility because Gaza will be a heavy burden on Egypt economically and politically. Mubarak fears acquiring an organism run by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Jordanian monarch fears getting sucked back into the West Bank, which will import disorder into his small kingdom. (Syria Comment)

Taiwan, Korea and China Exports Tank. (Japan in Focus)

Inquiry Into Interrogations Unlikely. President-elect Barack Obama has privately signaled to top U.S. intelligence officials that he has no plans to launch a legal inquiry into the CIA’s past use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques, agency director Michael V. Hayden said yesterday. (Washington Post)

Thousands cheer Ethiopia pull-out. Tens of thousands of Somalis gather at a stadium in Mogadishu to celebrate the withdrawal of Ethiopians from the city. (BBC)

Scores arrested in Pakistan raids. Pakistan says its security forces have shut down training camps and detained dozens of people in sweeping crackdown following November’s deadly attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai. (Al Jazeera)

Russia plans navy bases in Libya, Syria and Yemen: report. Russia has decided to establish naval bases in Libya, Syria and Yemen within a few years, the Itar-Tass news agency reported on Friday. (Gulf News)

Armenia’s New Year Resolution: Closer Ties with Iran. Plans for ambitious joint infrastructure projects between Armenia and Iran may prove a key first test of President-Elect Barack Obama’s policy intentions toward Tehran and Armenia’s own economic muscle amidst the global economic crisis. Analysts note that international reactions to the projects could prove a bane or blessing. (EurasiaNet)

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