EPC | 15 Jun 2020
The initiative to solve the Libyan crisis, which was announced by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on 6 June 2020 in the presence of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), and Chancellor Aguila Saleh, Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, comes in a context that is characterized by events of increased momentum, whether in terms of the field developments of the conflict or the international interaction with the developments, which is considered the highest in momentum since the Berlin Conference that was held in January 2020. The Cairo Declaration does not put forward a new proposition compared to the propositions in circulation or the ones internationally supported with regard to the peaceful settlement of the conflict. It can be said that the importance of the Declaration lies in what it reflects in terms of the Egyptian interaction with the current new balances in the Libyan arena.
The present paper seeks to review those new balances from Cairo’s perspective, explore the features of the Egyptian response to those shifts based on what has been revealed by the Cairo Declaration, review the determinants and considerations governing the positions of international actors, and touch upon the most prominent scenarios of the peaceful settlement or military escalation based on this Declaration.
EPC | 27 May 2020
Mustafa al-Kadhimi managed to form the new Iraqi government after a seven-month political crisis that broke out after the outbreak of the protests against the government of Adel Abdul-Mahdi who resigned under street pressure. Al-Kadhimi faces a number of difficult political, economic and security challenges and, most importantly, managing the crisis of US-Iranian tension in the country. So, will the Kadhimi government succeed in facing those challenges?
EPC | 19 May 2020
Europe has become the global epicentre of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic since the end of April 2020. Despite the accelerating increase in infections and deaths in February and March in Italy, which was the first and most affected European country by the virus, and even the country with the then highest number of infections globally, the response of the European Union (EU) was extremely slow. At first, EU institutions seemed unaware of the size of the danger threatening its member states. The initial response of the EU was described as awkward, which brought it under severe criticism by the most affected countries such as Italy and Spain. French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the collapse of the EU as a political project if it does not take serious steps to support the economies of the afflicted countries.
Mohamad Kawas | 29 Apr 2020
The years following the referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) have revealed that the “European club” is capable, despite the painful Brexit blow, of showing resilience and adeptly facing the British precedent. They have also shed light on imminent questions within the UK regarding the future, unity, stability and nature of the country that the UK aspires to be. The cornonavirus epidemic has raised the challenge to severe levels that have shaken the UK’s reputation in terms of its claim about being capable of resistance alone, without Europe, to fulfil aspirations that its EU membership had prevented.
Ahmad Askar | 06 Apr 2020
Somalia is on tenterhooks following the approval by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of a new elections law, based on the principle of “one person, one vote”. Views among the country’s political forces vary, with the law already having faced a wave of criticism and calls for its reconsideration on the grounds that it is not suited to the current political, economic, and security conditions. The government and the political opposition in Somalia are highly polarized at a time when the country is preparing to hold its first direct elections at the end of 2020. Such polarization has led to further speculation about the future of the elections and of the president’s regime in the coming period.
EPC | 28 Mar 2020
Following the elapse on 19 March 2020 of the statutory period given to the political blocs to nominate a prime minister and Iraq’s entry into a stage of constitutional vacuum, President Barham Saleh designated former Najaf governor and member of the Nasr Alliance Adnan al-Zurfi to form the provisional government. This was soon strongly rejected by some parties close to Teheran, in spite of their previous participation in the consultations of the seven-member committee in which the main parliamentary blocs were represented. This raises questions about the possible failure of the prime minister-designate to obtain Parliament’s confidence, similar to the previous designate Mohammed Allawi.
This paper sheds light on the behind-the-scenes circumstances of the designation of al-Zurfi, the positions of political blocs vis-à-vis his designation, and the chances of success of his designation.
EPC | 12 Mar 2020
At its last meeting in February, Iran was placed on the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), thus becoming the second country, after North Korea, to be placed on that list. The placement of Iran on the list came after several stages of deferral of the respective decision and granting Iran a grace period to enact laws that ensure financial transparency, combating terrorism and anti-money laundering, after the Iranian government failed to enact those laws due to the objection of the hard-line current which prevented the adoption of the bills at the Expediency Discernment Council of the System.
EPC | 09 Mar 2020
Iraq's several-month long political stalemate is now back to square one after Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi withdrew his candidacy for the post on March 1st. Soon after the announcement, Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi threatened a "voluntary absence" if no alternative to his government is found. Meanwhile, political blocs remain at loggerheads over a candidate who can fill the political vacuum and calm an angry street.