Recently in Europe & The Middle East Category

Should Britain Make Syrian Christians a Priority?

George Carey, a former archbishop of Canterbury, opined in a September 5, 2015, article in the The Telegraph of London that:

Britain should make Syrian Christians a priority because they are a particularly vulnerable group. Furthermore, we are a Christian nation with an established Church so Syrian Christians will find no challenge to integration. The churches are already well-prepared and eager to offer support and accommodation to those escaping the conflict.

Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe. This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream society, following their own customs and even their own laws. Isn’t it high-time instead for the oil-rich Gulf States to open their doors to the many Muslims who are fleeing conflict?

Carey added: “Surely if they are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene.”

To read the entire article, see “Lord Carey: Britain has a duty to rescue Syria’s Christians.”

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Mr. Cameron, Syrians Have Suffered Enough

News out of Britain is that Prime Minister David Cameron and his cabinet are contemplating air strikes on Syria as if Syrian civilians have not suffered enough at the hands of all combatants in Syria’s four year-old civil war. The bombings mostly likely won’t have much impact on President Bashar al-Assad or the Islamic State in Iraq in the Levant. See “Britain Leans Toward Participating in Airstrikes on Syria” and “Cameron signals he would drop Syria airstrikes vote if Corbyn is Labour leader.”

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Mediterranean Ghost Ships, Syrian Refugees and Europe

James Denselow, a writer on “Middle East politics and security issues and a research associate” at the London-based Foreign Policy Centre, takes a look at the “Ghost Ships” being abandoned in the Mediterranean Sea, with hundreds of Syrians onboard.

Denselow, writing in the January 4, 2015, edition of Al Jazeera online, said, “The ghost ships represent both a new tactic - using large cargo ships to move people in winter across longer crossing - and a new trend - that of the refugees coming from Syria. Last year some 230,000 people arrived illegally across the Mediterranean into the EU with Italy receiving the lion’s share of 160,000 whilst 3,500 people died trying to make the crossing,” he noted, adding: “The UNHCR explained that in 2014 for the first time, people mainly from Syria "have become a major component in this tragic flow, accounting for almost 50 per cent of the total".

To read more, see “Europe's fear of Syria's ghost boats.”

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Kerry’s ‘Listening Tour’ Gets Underway February 24

On his first trip abroad, which gets underway February 24 and ends on March 6, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry “will travel to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar,” according to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. See “Secretary of State John Kerry's Travel to Europe and the Middle East” for what will be discussed during the visit to each country.

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Is Turkey Disillusioned With Europe?

Daniel Steinvorth, writing from Istanbul, Turkey for the German magazine Der Spiegel, says in an article translated from German and posted November 13, 2009 at the English language Spiegel International Online: “As European opposition to EU membership for Turkey grows, Ankara is looking to forge closer ties to its neighbors.”

“Turkey wants to once again become a leading power in the Middle East -- but its relationship with Israel may suffer as a result,” he asserts.

I highly recommend “Disillusioned with Europe, Turkey Looks East.”

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Will It Be More of the Same for the Palestinians in 2009?

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, writing in the December 18, 2008, edition of Dar Al Hayat opined:

Next year needs to be an important year for the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Unless we make real progress, the prospect of a two-state solution will slowly - or perhaps fast - slip away.  The situation on the ground leaves too many people insecure, in poverty and despair, and is rapidly undermining the political process.  While both sides are tiring of the conflict, they are also tiring, faster, of efforts to resolve it.
If you want to read Mr. Miliband’s entire perspective on the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict, please see “A Comprehensive Approach to the Middle East Peace Process.”

By the way, I don’t think 2009 will be any different than 2008 for the Palestinians. If the United States and Europe really wanted to resolved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they would do so. In fact, they could have done so years ago. All European and American leaders  had to do was impose their will the way they did in Iraq and there is nothing the Israelis and the Palestinians could have done about it except whine.

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