September 15th – 19th

Monday, 15th September 2014

ISIS CRISIS – Thirty countries have pledged to help Iraq fight Islamic State (IS) militants “by all means necessary”. A joint statement by foreign ministers taking part in a major conference in Paris said support would include “appropriate military assistance”. The talks had been called to agree a strategy to combat the group, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria. (BBC)

IRAN – Iran spurned an American request for cooperation in the fight against Islamic State militants, but the United States said the door remains open to a rare opportunity to make common cause with its principal adversary in the Middle East. (The Washington Post)

TURKEY – Turkey refrained from becoming part of a group of countries and international organizations that pledged support to the central government in Baghdad in its fight against the threat of the radical Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during an international conference on Iraq’s peace and security conference in Paris. (ANSAMed)


Tuesday, 16th September 2014

GAZA STRIP – A deal has been agreed by Israeli and Palestinian officials to allow building materials into the Gaza Strip for reconstruction, a top UN official says. Robert Serry, special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, said the Palestinian Authority would play a lead role in the reconstruction effort. (BBC)

UKRAINE – Ukraine’s parliament has approved a historic agreement with the European Union that propels the former Soviet state towards the West and away from the grasp of Russia. After seven years of negotiations and constant domestic turmoil, parliament finally ratified an Association Agreement placing Ukraine on the path to EU membership. (The Telegraph)

EBOLA CRISISPresident Barack Obama called West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak a looming threat to global security and announced a major expansion of the U.S. role in trying to halt its spread, including deployment of 3,000 troops to the region. (Reuters)


Wednesday, 17th September 2014

UKRAINE CRISISUkraine ratified a sweeping agreement with the European Union on Tuesday – an issue at the heart of the Russia-West crisis over its future – and sought to blunt the independence drive of Russian-backed separatists by offering them temporary and limited self-rule. (Reuters)

EGYPTEgypt has summoned EU ambassadors to Cairo to express ”dissatisfaction” after criticism from the Union on the human rights situation in the country. ”We reject the EU position, which represents a negative image while Egypt is fighting terrorism”, said a foreign ministry statement. Criticism ”reflects the European double standard”, said the statement. Yesterday in Geneva the EU expressed concern in particular over reports of ”torture in jail”. Yesterday in Geneva the EU expressed concern in particular over reports of ”torture in jail”. (ANSAMed)

LYBIA – Diplomats have gathered in the Spanish capital Madrid to try and find a solution to the crisis in Libya after clashes in Benghazi left at least nine people dead and 30 wounded. Representatives from Libya’s armed groups are not attending the conference, which opened on Wednesday and is being attended by representative from 16 nations, the UN and the Arab League. (Al Jazeera)


Thursday, 18th September 2014

IRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rohani slammed the US-led coalition against Islamic State jihadists as ”ridiculous” and criticized President Barack Obama’s decision to fight ISIS with air raids. (ANSAMed)

LIBYA – The Libyan Parliament in Tobruk has rejected a list of ministers presented by Premier Abdullah al Thani, official news agency Lana reported on Thursday. The news agency said MPs have given the premier an additional ten days to cut down the number of ministers from 18 to 10. (ANSAMed)

ISIS CRISIS – The U.S. Senate approved President Barack Obama’s plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants on Thursday, a major part of his military campaign to “degrade and destroy” the radical group. (Reuters)


Friday, 19th September 2014

IRAQ – French planes have carried out air strikes on Islamic State (Isis) targets in Iraq. Less than 24 hours after President François Hollande announced he had approved a request from the government in Baghdad for air support, at least two French Rafale planes attacked the insurgents’ positions. (The Guardian)

SPAIN – Catalonia headed for a showdown with the Spanish government over the wealthy industrial region’s plan for a nonbinding referendum on independence. A bill that would enable the Catalan government to hold the vote was slated for approval Friday afternoon by a regional parliament dominated by pro-independence parties. Madrid has called the bill unconstitutional and warned the government not to go through with the planned Nov. 9 referendum. (The Wall Street Journal)

UNITED KINGDOM – Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up the 307-year union between them. (The New York Times)

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