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MIDDLE EAST DAILY BULLETIN
17 MAY 2016
NO: 2162
1.
IRAQ, .................................................................................................................................... 5
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Jim Sillars: Holyrood should pass war crimes law so Tony Blair can be tried for Iraq war ..........5
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Trump slams Blair for Iraq War 'disaster' and says Britain's leaders should stand up to US .......5
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A Political Reunion in Iraqi Kurdistan ...........................................................................................5
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Pope Francis: Model of democracy being exported to Iraq and Libya is too western .................5
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Iraqi students in IS-held areas demand government recognition................................................6
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ISIS Is Getting America Stuck in Iraq Again ...................................................................................6
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No new developments to reactivate Iraqi Kurdistan parliament: speaker ..................................6
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Iraq Oil Surge Seen Losing Steam Just as Markets Need More Crude .........................................7
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Sudden turn in crude oil surprises Goldman Sachs ......................................................................7
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Ancient Assyrian site demolished by ISIS militants in Iraq's Mosul .............................................7
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Islamic State ‘caliphate’ is fast shrinking, with Iraqi territory almost halved, says Pentagon .....7
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Iraq Launches Western Operation against Islamic State .............................................................8
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Cheney aide who helped spread bogus info on Iraq will be prime GOP witness at hearing on
Iran 8
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How T. Boone Pickens would get America out of the Middle East ..............................................8
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Iraqi army moves to retake Anbar town ......................................................................................9
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Factory bomb attacks kill 14 .........................................................................................................9
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NSA operations in Bosnia, Iraq listed in new trove of Snowden documents released online .....9
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Iraq Resumes Work at Gas Plant 2 Days after IS Attack ............................................................ 10
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At least 29 killed as IS launches attacks on Iraqi capital Baghdad ............................................ 10
2. SYRIA ...................................................................................................................................10
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Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Says Military Solution in Syria an ‘Illusion’ ................................ 10
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Syria Talks: World Powers Seek Progress In Vienna, But Assad’s Fate Remains In Limbo ........ 10
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Islamic State losing control over Iraq, Syria: Pentagon ............................................................. 11
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IS lost 45% of territory in Iraq, up to 20% in Syria: Pentagon ................................................... 11
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China will continue to make constructive efforts towards Syria crisis...................................... 11
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Syria: Means to accomplish reconciliation in Kefarya, al-Fouaa, Madaya and al-Zabadani
discussed ........................................................................................................................................... 12
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ISIS blows up Syria gas field ....................................................................................................... 12
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Al-Qaida, Hard-Line Rebels Seize Alawite Village in Syria ......................................................... 12
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Lavrov: Necessity to stem channels of supporting and financing terrorists in Syria ................ 12
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Thousands of Bodies Killed by ISIS Terrorists Found in Syria Mass Grave: Report ................... 13
3. IRAN ....................................................................................................................................13
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U.S.-Iran: “Breakthrough” or Waning U.S. Power? ................................................................... 13
Iran’s Zarif Says Military Solution in Syria an ‘Illusion’ .............................................................. 13
European Banks’ Conservatism Hindering JCPOA Implementation: Iran Deputy FM ............... 14
Even after nuclear deal, Texas maintains state sanctions on Iran ............................................ 14
Ahead Of PM Narendra Modi's Iran Visit, India to Clear Oil Bills Of Over $6 Billion................. 14
Swedish firm eyes IPO launch in Iran ........................................................................................ 14
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'Details of Iran’s treatment of sailors will shock the nation' ..................................................... 15
Italy Says Iran Ties Time-Tested ................................................................................................ 15
Pakistan, Iran: Economic commission to meet after Ramazan ................................................. 15
S. Korea's April Iran Oil Imports Jump 67% ............................................................................... 16
ISRAEL – PALESTINE..............................................................................................................16
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Bangla leader planned coup with Israel, held ........................................................................... 16
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Israel dismantles EU-funded homes in Jerusalem-area Bedouin neighborhood ...................... 16
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Israel has no interest in multilateral peace talks, urges direct dialogue with Palestinians ...... 16
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Global opposition to Israel good omen: Iran............................................................................. 17
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Takfiri Scourge in Iraq, Syria Linked with Israel: Nasrallah ........................................................ 17
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Syrian, Palestine Liberation forces captures several sites in rural Damascus ........................... 17
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US sentiment shifts regarding Israel-Palestine conflict............................................................. 18
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Haaretz: Kerry to attend foreign ministers’ meeting in advance of France’s Mideast peace
summit............................................................................................................................................... 18
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Egyptians urge boycott of G4S over abuses in Palestine .......................................................... 18
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Hamas: ‘Palestinians will continue to spearhead the liberation of Palestine’ .......................... 18
5. JORDAN and LEBANON.........................................................................................................19
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Hezbollah’s Mustafa Mughniyeh to Replace Badreddine ......................................................... 19
Report: Saudi Army Grant, Presidential Vacuum Focus of Hollande-Hariri Talks ..................... 19
Bassil, Russian Ambassador discuss Vienna meeting on Syria .................................................. 19
Hezbollah chief meets Iran Deputy FM Hossein Amir-Abdollahian .......................................... 20
Lebanon seeks to ease concerns over U.S. law on Hezbollah ................................................... 20
Jordan urged to ease entry restrictions for Gaza Palestinians: HRW ........................................ 20
ADFD technical team visits Jordan to review progress of development projects..................... 20
Project launched to support Jordan’s decentralisation efforts................................................. 21
Jordan takes part in international meeting on Libya ................................................................ 21
Jordan: Ease Travel for Gaza Palestinians ................................................................................. 21
ARABIAN PENINSULA AND THE GULF OF BASRA ....................................................................21
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NHRC Organises Training Course on Human Rights' Promotion and Protection ...................... 21
IMF forum focus on diversification in GCC ................................................................................ 22
Experience of nat'l institutions could be helpful for economy diversification ¬¬ former FM .. 22
Manohar Parrikar’s UAE, Oman visit to focus on ISIS ............................................................... 22
Doha Declaration comes right on time ..................................................................................... 23
Saudi Arabia to participate in Turkish military drills ................................................................. 23
Saudi Arabia’s 41-year secret is out: US Treasuries total $116.8 billion ................................... 23
Saudi Army Grant, Presidential Vacuum Focus of Hollande-Hariri Talks .................................. 23
Iran, UAE using N.K. ships in breach of U.N. bans: report......................................................... 24
The untouchables of Yemen caught in crossfire of war ............................................................ 24
EGYPT ..................................................................................................................................24
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Young Egyptians feel under threat as courts sentence protesters to prison ............................ 24
Egypt aims high on Chinese investment.................................................................................... 25
Journalist covering protests in Egypt jailed for two years ........................................................ 25
Kerry to meet Sisi in Egypt amid crackdown ............................................................................. 25
Cabinet approves draft law regulating media affairs ................................................................ 25
6.
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Interior Ministry committed 95 violations against journalists in 25 April protests .................. 26
Egypt's cabinet passes long-awaited media and press bill ........................................................ 26
'We are ready to meet with all foreign o cials, including Israelis,' says top Egyptian lawmaker26
Maat calls on cabinet to interfere, follow up on ministry performance with NGOs ................ 27
-Egypt: Sisi Urges Unity among State Institutions for Sake of Egypt's Future........................... 27
NORTH AFRICA.....................................................................................................................27
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Presidency Council decides to activate Government of National Accord ................................. 27
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Messahel reaffirms in Vienna Algeria's support to Libyan Presidential Council's efforts to
restore security ................................................................................................................................. 28
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Ceremony in Carthage on celebration of 60th anniversary of Foreign Affairs Ministry ........... 28
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Algeria: Louh Calls On International Community for Greater Cooperation to Fight
Transnational Terrorism .................................................................................................................... 28
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Algeria Signs Oil, Gas Deal as OPEC Member Seeks to Boost Sales .......................................... 28
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Tunisia's democracy should rein in militants ............................................................................ 29
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Tunisia: Caid Essebsi Starts Tuesday Official Visit to Qatar ....................................................... 29
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Jordan, Morocco examine ways to increase trade.................................................................... 29
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Tunisian President Essebsi arrives today................................................................................... 30
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Iran ready to support Algeria's economy diversification process ............................................. 30
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Morocco, China, a Shared Resolve to Upgrade Africa’s Development ..................................... 30
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Algeria orders $40 mln LPG vessel from China -Sonatrach document...................................... 30
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Liquidity crisis, who is responsible? .......................................................................................... 31
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Spain: 30 Moroccans Suspected of Links with ISIS Arrested in 2015 ........................................ 31
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Chinese Company to Open US$ 1.2 Billion Clean Energy Bus Plant in Morocco....................... 31
9. AFGHANISTAN – PAKISTAN ..................................................................................................32
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NATO ministerial meeting to discuss Afghanistan .................................................................... 32
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United opposition's 7 questions jump to 70, post prime ministers NA speech ........................ 32
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Chief Executive Underlines Sino-Afghan Efforts in War on Terror............................................ 32
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Christians, other minorities in Pakistan Punjab battling severe discrimination ....................... 32
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Major rocket attack on Kabul city thwarted, three 122 mm rockets seized ............................. 33
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PM urges new Ehtesab law, consensus ToRs ............................................................................ 33
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Pakistan to host meeting on reviving Afghan Taliban talks ...................................................... 33
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Thousands of Afghan Hazaras join protest in Kabul .................................................................. 33
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Obama admin opposes Congressional move to condition aid to Pak ....................................... 34
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-“Peaceful demonstration people’s legal right”, President Ghani ............................................ 34
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Nuclear competition among China, India, Pakistan could escalate .......................................... 34
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Demonstrations for TUTAP to be organized in Japan, Austria and Australia ............................ 34
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Pakistan to find another source if US refuses F-16s .................................................................. 35
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38 Armed Insurgents Killed In ANA Operations ........................................................................ 35
10. TURKEY AND THE MIDDLE EAST ............................................................................................35
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DAESH targets hit in Syria .......................................................................................................... 35
Turkey urges Libya unity gov't to hold vote of confidence ....................................................... 35
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1. IRAQ,
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Jim Sillars: Holyrood should pass war crimes law so Tony Blair can be tried for Iraq war
JIM Sillars, the former deputy leader of the SNP, has called on the new Holyrood government to bring
forward legislation that would allow Tony Blair to face trial over Britain's involvement in the Iraq war.
He said the former prime minister could be tried in the High Court in Edinburgh if the Scottish
Parliament were to pass a War Crimes Act.
More Details:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14496662.Jim_Sillars__Holyrood_should_pass_war_crimes_l
aw_so_Tony_Blair_can_be_tried_for_Iraq_war/?
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Trump slams Blair for Iraq War 'disaster' and says Britain's leaders should stand up to
US
Donald Trump has slammed Tony Blair for the disaster of the Iraq War and says Britain's leaders
should stand up to US presidents. The billionaire presidential hopeful also spoke about Princess
Diana and why he feels he is part British.
More Details:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/trump-slams-blair-iraq-war-7986089?
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A Political Reunion in Iraqi Kurdistan
The balance of power in Iraqi Kurdistan may be on the brink of change. On Monday, a leading
member of the Kurdish Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) announced that his party had reached a
preliminary agreement, to be signed on Tuesday, with the Gorran party. According to the deal, the
two will merge in parliament and run on a joint ticket during the next elections. Given the stops and
starts that define Iraqi Kurdish politics, another agreement between parties may seem like more of
the same political jockeying. But the merger stands to make a meaningful impact not only on Iraqi
Kurdistan but also on its relations with Turkey and Iran.
More Details:
http://ekurd.net/a-political-reunion-in-iraqi-kurdistan-2016-05-17?
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Pope Francis: Model of democracy being exported to Iraq and Libya is too western
Pope Francis has criticised western countries for trying to force a model of democracy that is too
western onto countries like Iran and Libya. He pointed out that these countries already had strong
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indigenous political cultures that needed to be integrated with the new system rather than
dismissed.
More Details:
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/pope-francis-model-democracy-being-exported-iraq-libya-too-western1560421?
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Iraqi students in IS-held areas demand government recognition
Two and a half years have passed since the Islamic State group took control of large swathes of
central, eastern and western Iraq. The IS advance and the Iraqi pushback has rocked the country,
forcing thousands to flee their homes with thousands more financially incapable of escaping the war.
For students living through this tense period, years of education have been wasted, despite some
schools remaining open in IS-controlled areas.
More Details:
http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/society/2016/5/17/iraqi-students-in-is-held-areas-demandgovernment-recognition?
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ISIS Is Getting America Stuck in Iraq Again
Around one month ago, I chronicled the exasperating reality of the U.S. military’s relegation to
operational hand-holding in Iraq. Sure enough, as more time passes, the magnitude of the challenges
therein is becoming clearer. Recent events like the (mostly peaceful and brief) occupation of the Iraqi
parliament by followers of prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are illustrative of the political
disarray gripping Baghdad. This disorganization has been an utter albatross in the campaign to clear
the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) from the north and west of the country, particularly their stronghold
of Mosul.
More Details:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/isis-getting-america-stuck-iraq-again-16221
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No new developments to reactivate Iraqi Kurdistan parliament: speaker
Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq said on
Monday there is “nothing new” to reactivate parliament, which was deactivated last October. Sadiq
told NRT he hopes political parties will insist on the organization of institutions inside the Kurdistan
Region as the parties become closer.
More Details:
http://ekurd.net/no-reactivate-kurdistan-parliament-2016-05-17?
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Iraq Oil Surge Seen Losing Steam Just as Markets Need More Crude
Iraq’s oil industry is on a roll. Production has jumped more than 40 percent since mid-2014 and
exports are at near-record levels. It probably won’t last. Plunging government revenue is hampering
the state’s ability to invest, while OPEC’s second-biggest crude producer is reaching the limits of its
capacity to store and export oil, according to analysts at Energy Aspects Ltd. and FGE. Spending on
the country’s biggest fields may shrink to as little as $7 billion this year from about $13 billion in 2015
and $20 billion in 2014, Richard Mallinson of Energy Aspects said Monday.
More Details:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-16/iraq-oil-surge-seen-losing-steam-just-asmarkets-need-more-crude?
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Sudden turn in crude oil surprises Goldman Sachs
The global oil market has flipped to a deficit sooner than Goldman Sachs Group had expected. A
decline in production driven by unexpected supply disruptions, as well as sustained demand, have
resulted in a "sudden halt" to the output surplus, Goldman analysts Damien Courvalin and Jeffrey
Currie wrote in a report dated May 15. Other banks such as Morgan Stanley , Barclays and Bank of
America also noted that supply losses are leading markets to rebalance.
More Details:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/commodities/sudden-turn-in-crude-oil-surprisesgoldman-sachs/articleshow/52301566.cms
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Ancient Assyrian site demolished by ISIS militants in Iraq's Mosul
The so-called Islamic State social media accounts have recently released photos purportedly showing
the destruction of the ancient Assyrian Adad Mashki Gate and a large portion of Nineveh's
fortification wall. The Gate of Mashki was built during the era of the Assyrian King Sennacherib in
705-681 B.C. It is located east of Mosul.
More Details:
http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/05/17/754757/story.html?
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Islamic State ‘caliphate’ is fast shrinking, with Iraqi territory almost halved, says
Pentagon
The Islamic State group is fast losing control over much of its so-called “caliphate”, a Pentagon
spokesman said Monday, including almost half of what it had once held in Iraq. The Defence
Department had previously estimated that IS fighters had lost control of about 40 per cent of the
territory they claimed in Iraq and about 10 per cent of the land they held in Syria.
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More Details:
http://www.scmp.com/news/world/middle-east/article/1946151/islamic-state-caliphate-fastshrinking-iraqi-territory-almost?
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Iraq Launches Western Operation against Islamic State
Iraq's security forces have announced the start of an operation to retake control of Ar-Rutbah, a
town in western Anbar province that links Islamic State-controlled areas there with the Jordanian
and Syrian borders. "You can look on a map and see the significance of that part of Anbar Province,"
U.S. Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook told reporters Monday. "If the Iraqi security forces
were able to secure Rutbah, it would be a significant step forward in the fight against ISIL and a
significant step in terms of being able to cut off that flow from the Jordanian border from west to
east towards Baghdad."
More Details:
http://www.voanews.com/content/iraq-launches-western-operation-against-islamicstate/3333525.html?
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Cheney aide who helped spread bogus info on Iraq will be prime GOP witness at
hearing on Iran
Episode 21,619 of people who shouldn’t be asked to comment on anything about anything ever
again. His name is John Hannah. He’s currently a senior counselor for the right-wing Foundation for
Defense of Democracies. On Tuesday, he’s slated to testify before the House Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform about "White House Narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal."
More Details:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/05/16/1527098/-Cheney-aide-who-helped-spread-bogus-infoon-Iraq-will-be-prime-GOP-witness-at-hearing-onIran?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%2
8Daily+Kos%29
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How T. Boone Pickens would get America out of the Middle East
Oil isn’t the only reason American boots keep leaving imprints in the Arabian dust. But it’s certainly
the biggest one. The United States has fought two wars in Iraq during the last 30 years, and it’s now
embroiled in a low-visibility war with Islamic State terrorists in northern Iraq and Syria. The day may
be coming, however, when the United States can meet its own oil needs with no reliance on the
despots and faux-democrats of the Middle East.
More Details:
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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-t--boone-pickens-would-get-america-out-of-the-middle-east193150383.html?
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Iraqi army moves to retake Anbar town
Iraqi security forces and allied fighters launched an operation on Monday to retake the town of
Rutba from the Daesh group, the military said. Special forces, soldiers, police, border guards and progovernment paramilitaries are involved in the operation to retake the Anbar province town, Iraq’s
Joint Operations Command said in a statement.
More Details:
http://gulftoday.ae/portal/9b4a6343-bafd-46a9-b739-4eb5de7ac601.aspx?
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Factory bomb attacks kill 14
An Islamic State (IS) suicide-bomb attack near the base in Iraq where New Zealand troops are
stationed has killed at least 14 people and wounded 20. The assault on a state-run gas plant near
Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, began when three car bombs exploded at the gate. Six men wearing
explosive belts then rushed in and blew up gas tanks, before security forces regained control of the
plant.
More Details:
http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=354126
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NSA operations in Bosnia, Iraq listed in new trove of Snowden documents released
online
In-house newsletters from the clandestine National Security Agency have been released by an online
news site — part of the mountain of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The Intercept, whose founding editors were the first to publish documents leaked by Snowden,
released on Monday the first batch of nine years’ worth of the newsletters, which offer a behind-thescenes glimpse into the NSA’s work. The newsletters reveal efforts to eavesdrop on a Russian crime
boss, the search in Iraq for possible weapons of mass destruction and help with interrogations at the
U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
More Details:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/17/world/nsa-operations-bosnia-iraq-listed-new-trovesnowden-documents-released-online/?#.VzrVD9SLTMp
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Iraq Resumes Work at Gas Plant 2 Days after IS Attack
Iraq's Oil Ministry has resumed work at a natural gas plant north of Baghdad, two days after a
coordinated dawn assault by Islamic State militants left at least 14 dead. Deputy Minister Hamid
Younis says work at the plant's three production lines returned "to normal levels" on Tuesday in Taji.
The town is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Baghdad.
More Details:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_IRAQ?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
&CTIME=2016-05-17-04-15-58
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At least 29 killed as IS launches attacks on Iraqi capital Baghdad
Islamic State militants have attacked a state-run natural gas plant outside Baghdad, killing at least 14
people, officials said. Police said the assault started at dawn with a suicide car bomber hitting the
main gate of the plant in the town of Taji, about 12 miles north of the Iraqi capital. Then several
suicide bombers and militants broke into the plant and clashed with security forces.
More Details:
http://www.irishnews.com/news/2016/05/16/news/at-least-14-killed-in-is-attack-on-gas-plant520521/?
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Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Says Military Solution in Syria an ‘Illusion’
Zarif made the remarks after arriving in Vienna late on Monday to take part in an upcoming
International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting. "We are going to continue to insist on the need for
a comprehensive ceasefire, of course excluding terrorist groups,” Zarif told the Press TV
correspondent. He stressed that a political solution is the only way to solve the crisis in Syria, which
has been gripped by foreign¬backed militancy since March 2011.
More details:
http://en.alalam.ir/news/1818962?
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Syria Talks: World Powers Seek Progress In Vienna, But Assad’s Fate Remains In Limbo
Prospects of a breakthrough during the latest round of multilateral peace talks in Vienna, aimed at
resolving the protracted conflict in Syria, seem increasingly dim. Tuesday’s meeting of the
International Syria Support Group (ISSG), a 17-nation group participating in the peace process, will be
co-chaired by the United States and Russia — two nations at odds over the role of Syrian President
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Bashar Assad in the talks. A nationwide ceasefire in Syria, brokered by the U.S. and Russia in
February, is currently at the verge of collapsing. The U.S. and rebel groups backed by it accuse Assad
— who has the unflinching support of Russia — of repeatedly breaching the truce by targeting
civilians in rebel-held areas and call for his immediate removal.
More details:
http://www.ibtimes.com/syria-talks-world-powers-seek-progress-vienna-assads-fate-remains-limbo2369952?
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Islamic State losing control over Iraq, Syria: Pentagon
New York, May 17(ANI): The Pentagon has said the Islamic State (IS) is losing control over territory
across Iraq and Syria, including almost half of what it had once held in Iraq. According to the US
Defence Department, it had previously estimated that IS fighters had lost control of about 40 percent
of the territory it formerly claimed in Iraq, and about 10 percent of the land it held in Syria.
More details:
http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail4/story264538/islamic-state-losing-control-over-iraq-syriapentagon.html?
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IS lost 45% of territory in Iraq, up to 20% in Syria: Pentagon
The Islamic State group has continued losing control over territory across Iraq and Syria, a Pentagon
spokesman said, including almost half of what it had once held in Iraq, AFP reports. The Defense
Department had previously estimated that IS fighters had lost control of about 40 percent of the
territory they claimed in Iraq and about 10 percent of the land they held in Syria. Those tallies had
gone up in recent weeks, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.
More details:
http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/212416/?7
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China will continue to make constructive efforts towards Syria crisis
Foreign Minister Wang Yi said before the reopening of the talks that China will continue to make
constructive efforts towards the Syria crisis. Wang was speaking during a joint press conference with
his visiting French counterpart JeanMarc Ayrault in Beijing Monday. He said that China has been
attending International Syria Support Group activities and offering suggestions upon crucial
junctures.
More details:
http://english.cctv.com/2016/05/17/VIDELh3uYcTktpD1wk8wldRF160517.shtml?
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Syria: Means to accomplish reconciliation in Kefarya, al-Fouaa, Madaya and alZabadani discussed
Syrian State Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar discussed on Monday with a
delegation from the locals of Kefarya, al-Fouaa, Madaya and al-Zabadani means of cooperation to
accomplish reconciliations in these areas. Haidar pointed out that this meeting came after a series of
meetings with the reconciliation committees in these areas, describing the reconciliation file as “long
and thorny”.
More details:
http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/05/17/754741/story.html?
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ISIS blows up Syria gas field
Powerful blasts rocked a key gas field in central Syria on Monday, with a monitor saying they were
caused by the Islamic State (ISIS) group blowing up pumping stations. The Shaer gas field -- one of the
biggest in the central province of Homs -- has been the site of fierce fighting between ISIS jihadists
and Syrian government loyalists.
More details:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/212379?#.VzrOvZGLTIU
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Al-Qaida, Hard-Line Rebels Seize Alawite Village in Syria
Al-Qaida fighters and other ultraconservative Sunni insurgents seized a predominantly Alawite village
in central Syria on Thursday, sparking fears of sectarian violence as families from the village were
reported missing by activists. Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said “terrorists” were killing
residents of the village of Zaara, previously controlled by the government. Syrian state media said
insurgents had looted and destroyed homes.
More details:
http://www.syriahr.com/en/2016/05/16/al-qaida-hard-line-rebels-seize-alawite-village-in-syria/?
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Lavrov: Necessity to stem channels of supporting and financing terrorists in Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that his talks with the US Secretary of State John
Kerry touched upon means to stop importing weapons to terrorists in Syria particularly through
Turkish borders. Lavrov added, in a press conference following his talks with Kerry, we discussed the
necessity of stopping channels of supporting and financing terrorists particularly across the SyrianTurkish border, and we do know that each part of agreements needs to use pressure upon all Syrian
opposition groups by members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), pointing out that the
US used influence over those groups and we will see what would happen.
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More details:
http://sana.sy/en/?p=77471
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Thousands of Bodies Killed by ISIS Terrorists Found in Syria Mass Grave: Report
Thousands of bodies have reportedly been found in a mass grave in a northern Syrian town, which
had been under the ISIS Takfiri terror group’s control for about a month. Suluk, which lies less than a
dozen miles away from the Turkish border, fell to ISIS in February. The Kurdish People's Protection
Units drove the terrorists back in March. "We discovered thousands of bodies of innocent victims in
the ravine,” the Kurdish forces’ commander Mohamed Jirkis said, referring to a gorge where the
bodies had been dumped, British paper Daily Express reported on Monday. The victims, who
comprise men, women, and children, had reportedly been tortured before their death.
More details:
http://en.alalam.ir/news/1818998?
3. IRAN

U.S.-Iran: “Breakthrough” or Waning U.S. Power?
Obama opened lines of communications to Iran, but political pressures in Washington prevent a
more substantive shift in relations. A former Obama administration official has asserted that the
Iranian nuclear deal marks a radical break with past U.S. policy, contradicting the official White
House stance that the agreement is not leading to a new U.S.-Iran relationship.
More Details:
http://www.theglobalist.com/united-states-iran-breakthrough-saudi-arabia/?

Iran’s Zarif Says Military Solution in Syria an ‘Illusion’
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says a military solution to the conflict in Syria is
nothing but an “illusion.” Zarif made the remarks after arriving in Vienna late on Monday to take part
in an upcoming International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting.
More Details:
http://iranfrontpage.com/news/politics/foreign-policies/2016/05/irans-zarif-says-military-solutionin-syria-an-illusion/?
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
European Banks’ Conservatism Hindering JCPOA Implementation: Iran Deputy FM
A senior Iranian official says the “conservatism” of large European banks is hindering the
implementation of Iran’s nuclear agreement. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for European and
American Affairs Majid Takht-e Ravanchi made the remarks at a joint trade meeting between Iranian
and Italian delegates in Tehran on Monday.
More Details:
http://iranfrontpage.com/news/world/europe/2016/05/european-banks-conservatism-hinderingjcpoa-implementation-iran-deputy-fm/?

Even after nuclear deal, Texas maintains state sanctions on Iran
Despite last year’s Iran nuclear deal and the removal of most US sanctions on the rogue nation, the
state of Texas has not only refused to end its own state sanctions on Iran, its decided to strengthen
them. Texas Governor Greg Abbott rejected on Monday a recent request by President Barack Obama
to “review” its sanctions against the Iranian regime, according to a report by The Algemeiner. Obama
stressed that as part of last year’s nuclear deal, the US has promised to remove economic sanctions
against Iran.
More Details:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/212383?#.Vzq8EtSLRkp

Ahead Of PM Narendra Modi's Iran Visit, India to Clear Oil Bills Of Over $6 Billion
Just weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Iran, India has accelerated a plan for how to
pay nearly 6.5 billion dollars it owes to Teheran for crude oil imports. India is one of the biggest
customers of Iranian crude, and is set to import at least 400,000 barrels per day from Iran in the year
from April 1, but it has built up a backlog of payments for three years when Iran was under sanctions
over its nuclear programme.
More Details:
http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-1407016?

Swedish firm eyes IPO launch in Iran
A Swedish firm is looking to launch the first initial public offering to raise capital for investments in
Iran since international sanctions on Tehran were lifted. But the precautions it takes to demonstrate
that its dealings are legitimate show that the undertaking, even on this small scale, is timeconsuming and costly.
More Details:
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http://www.tradearabia.com/news/BANK_306996.html?

'Details of Iran’s treatment of sailors will shock the nation'
Rep. Randy Forbes says the classified details behind Iran’s treatment of the sailors it captured in
January will surprise many Americans. The classified details behind Iran’s treatment of several
American sailors who were captured by the country in January are likely to shock the nation, Rep.
Randy Forbes, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon
on Monday.
More Details:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/212380?#.Vzq-MtSLRko

Italy Says Iran Ties Time-Tested
The first edition of the Iran-Italy Summit was held in Tehran on Monday with a large delegation of
Italian business leaders conferring with their Iranian counterparts on ways to foster closer ties
between Italy and the Middle East's second largest economy. Naming Iran as the gateway between
the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, Vincenzo Amendola, Italy's deputy foreign minister
told the meeting that "Italy has never left Iran and will never give up on it." He underscored the timetested relationship between the two countries that goes back 200 years.
More Details:
http://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/41686/italy-says-iran-ties-timetested?

Pakistan, Iran: Economic commission to meet after Ramazan
In a bid to enhance bilateral relations, Iranian Consul General Mohammad Hussain Bani Asadi has
said the annual meeting of the Pak-Iran Joint Economic Commission will be held in Tehran
immediately after Ramazan in which tariff issues would be resolved. Speaking to businessmen at the
Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Monday, Asadi said after Iranian President
Hasan Rouhani’s visit to Pakistan, he was optimistic that bilateral trade would increase up to $5
billion.
More Details:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/1104529/pakistan-iran-economic-commission-to-meet-after-ramazan/?
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
S. Korea's April Iran Oil Imports Jump 67%
South Korea's imports of Iranian crude oil jumped 67% in April from the same month a year earlier,
soaring after international sanctions were lifted on Iran's nuclear program. Seoul brought in 863,557
tons of Iranian crude oil last month, or 210,996 barrels per day, compared with 516,918 tons a year
ago, the data showed, Reuters reported.
More Details:
http://financialtribune.com/articles/energy/41664/s-koreas-april-iran-oil-imports-jump-67?
4. ISRAEL – PALESTINE

Bangla leader planned coup with Israel, held
A senior Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader has been arrested in Bangladesh over his alleged
involvement in a plot to oust the Awami League government in collusion with Israel following his
meeting in India with a top Israeli politician, police said on Monday. Aslam Chowdhury, a joint
secretary general of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and a leading businessman of
Chittagong, was arrested here last night after a travel ban was enforced on him.
More Details:
http://gulftoday.ae/portal/b4c75a80-6596-4199-9d71-d80cd1e032ea.aspx?

Israel dismantles EU-funded homes in Jerusalem-area Bedouin neighborhood
Some 90 Palestinian Bedouins, the majority of them children, were left homeless on Monday when
Israeli forces disassembled EU-donated mobile homes without giving prior notice in the Jabal al-Baba
neighborhood in the outskirts of the village of al-Eizariya east of Jerusalem. Atallah Mazaraa, a
representative of Jabal al-Baba, told Ma’an that Israeli forces began dismantling eight mobile homes
after Israeli forces and Israeli Civil Administration officers stormed the area at 5 a.m., evacuating the
families living inside them.
More Details:
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=771530

Israel has no interest in multilateral peace talks, urges direct dialogue with Palestinians
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has poured cold water on the French peace initiative, saying
that foreign power involvement would give Palestine an "escape hatch" to avoid recognizing Israel.
The PM insists only direct talks will work. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault met Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, aiming to convince Israel to revive the Palestinian –
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Israeli peace talks, which collapsed two years ago, after Tel Aviv refused to budge on Palestinian
preconditions.
More Details:
https://www.rt.com/news/343139-israel-france-palestine-talks/?

Global opposition to Israel good omen: Iran
Iran has welcomed the growing wave of international opposition to the Israeli regime’s continued
illegal settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories. “The Islamic Republic of Iran…
sees the intensification of global opposition to this (Israeli) regime’s illegal and inhuman actions
including settler outpost construction as a good omen and calls for international action for putting an
end to the conspiracies” of Israel against the Palestinian nation, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a
Monday statement marking Nakba Day, which marks the 1948 mass expulsion of Palestinians from
their homes.
More Details:
http://www.iran-daily.com/News/151511.html?catid=3&title=Global-opposition-to-Israel-goodomen--Iran

Takfiri Scourge in Iraq, Syria Linked with Israel: Nasrallah
Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement Seyed Hassan Nasrallah
attributed the attempts by Takfiri groups at upsetting the situation in Iraq and Syria to the policies of
the Zionist regime of Israel. The Takfiri attempts to create chaos in Iraq and Syria are linked with the
Zionist regime’s policies and objectives, Nasrallah said at a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign
Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian, held in Beirut on Sunday.
More Details:
http://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2016/05/16/1076523/takfiri-scourge-in-iraq-syria-linkedwith-israel-nasrallah?

Syrian, Palestine Liberation forces captures several sites in rural Damascus
The Syrian Arab Army’s Special Forces – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Palestine
Liberation Army (PLA) – imposed full control over Medicinal Factory inside the strategic town of Khan
Al-Sheih this morning after a violent battle with Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group). In addition
to capturing the Medicinal Factory, the Syrian Armed Forces also seized the Al-Kassarat area of Khan
Al-Sheih after expelling Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) from this part of the West
Ghouta (collection of farms in rural Damascus).
More Details:
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http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/05/17/754758/story.html?

US sentiment shifts regarding Israel-Palestine conflict
This week’s dual commemoration of the May 1948 Palestinian Nakba – the catastrophe of expulsion,
exile, and occupation – and Israel’s Independence Day sees important signs of change in the balance
of political power in this enduring national struggle. Public sentiments and incremental political
advances around the world may be creating a global context that is more fair to both sides in the
conflict, thus reducing the modern legacy in favour of the Zionist movement and the state of Israel.
More Details:
http://mg.co.za/article/2016-05-16-sentiment-shifts-in-israel-palestine-conflict?

Haaretz: Kerry to attend foreign ministers’ meeting in advance of France’s Mideast
peace summit
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has reportedly told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas that he intends to attend the preliminary foreign ministers’ meeting that France is convening
in advance of a French-sponsored Middle East peace conference. The report of Kerry’s plans came in
comments to Haaretz by Palestine Liberation Organization’s Saeb Erekat.
More Details:
http://english.pnn.ps/2016/05/16/haaretz-kerry-to-attend-foreign-ministers-meeting-in-advance-offrances-mideast-peace-summit/

Egyptians urge boycott of G4S over abuses in Palestine
Activists in Egypt are calling on companies and agencies in the country to end contracts with G4S, the
multinational private security and incarceration firm that profits from Israeli military occupation in
Palestine. BDS Egypt launched the campaign on 14 May at a conference in Cairo that also marked
Nakba Day, the annual commemoration of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias.
More Details:
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/egyptians-urge-boycott-g4s-over-abusespalestine?

Hamas: ‘Palestinians will continue to spearhead the liberation of Palestine’
Hamas yesterday reiterated that it does not recognise the Israeli occupation of Palestine, pledging
not to concede any centimetre of its land to the Zionist project, Quds Press reported. In a statement
released to mark the 68th anniversary of the Nakba, Hamas said: “On the same day, 68 years ago, the
Palestinians were involved in the battle of defending their land and their holy sites.”
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More Details:
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20160516-hamas-palestinians-will-continue-to-spearhead-theliberation-of-palestine/?
5. JORDAN and LEBANON

Hezbollah’s Mustafa Mughniyeh to Replace Badreddine
The so-called Lebanese Hezbollah group has appointed Mustafa Mughniyeh as military commander
following the murder of his uncle Mustafa Badreddine in mysterious circumstances near Damascus
airport, well-informed Lebanese sources said. The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Mughniyeh is
the son of Badreddine’s sister who was married to Hezbollah’s previous military chief Imad
Mughniyeh.
More Details:
http://english.aawsat.com/2016/05/article55350943/hezbollahs-mustafa-mughniyeh-replacebadreddine

Report: Saudi Army Grant, Presidential Vacuum Focus of Hollande-Hariri Talks
Talks between al-Mustaqbal Movement chief MP Saad Hariri and the French President Francois
Hollande are said to focus on the vacuum at Lebanon's top state post, and the Saudi grant to supply
the army with French weapons, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.
More Details:
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/209429-report-saudi-army-grant-presidential-vacuum-focusof-hollande-hariri-talks

Bassil, Russian Ambassador discuss Vienna meeting on Syria
Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil, met on Monday with Russian Ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander
Zasypkin, over the ongoing preparations for the imminent meeting of the International Syria Support
Group (ISSG), to be held in Vienna, to discuss latest developments in the war-torn country.
More Details:
http://nna-leb.gov.lb/en/show-news/62118/Bassil-Russian-Ambassador-discuss-Vienna-meeting-onSyria
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
Hezbollah chief meets Iran Deputy FM Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein AmirAbdollahian, according to a Sunday report by al-Mayadeen TV a pro- Hezbollah network. The meeting
which took place at undisclosed location comes 3 days after the reported death in Syria of the
Hezbollah’s top military chief Mustafa Badreddine.
More Details:
http://yalibnan.com/2016/05/16/hezbollah-chief-meets-iran-deputy-fm-hossein-amir-abdollahian/

Lebanon seeks to ease concerns over U.S. law on Hezbollah
The Lebanese prime minister sought to ease concerns about a new U.S. law targeting Hezbollah's
finances in comments published on Monday, after the group attacked the central bank for agreeing
to measures it depicts as part of a war against it.
More Details:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-economy-hezbollah-financing-idUSKCN0Y71SM

Jordan urged to ease entry restrictions for Gaza Palestinians: HRW
Human Rights Watch has called on the Jordanian government to lift the restrictions imposed based
on issuing “non-objection papers” to Palestinians from Gaza who travel through the country.
Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of HRW sent a letter to the Jordanian Prime Minister, which
read: “Since August, residents of Gaza have found it increasingly difficult to obtain permission to
transit via Jordan in order to travel abroad. I respectfully request that you look into the matter and
take steps to facilitate such transit.”
More Details:
http://www.albawaba.com/news/jordan-urged-ease-entry-restrictions-gaza-palestinians-hrw841270

ADFD technical team visits Jordan to review progress of development projects
A technical delegation from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has visited the Kingdom of
Jordan to review the progress of development projects financed by the AED4.6 billion (US$1.25
billion) grant allocated by the UAE government to support development projects in Jordan.
More Details:
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international-aid/1395295531262.html
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
Project launched to support Jordan’s decentralisation efforts
Jordan is moving ahead with reform despite regional crises, especially the Syrian refugee crisis, in
addition to challenges of poverty and unemployment, Planning and International Cooperation
Minister Imad Fakhoury said Monday.
More Details:
http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/project-launched-support-jordan%E2%80%99sdecentralisation-efforts#sthash.gVKQtDLU.dpuf

Jordan takes part in international meeting on Libya
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Judeh, on Monday, took part in a
special international conference on Libya co-chaired by the United States and Italy.
More Details:
http://www.petra.gov.jo/Public_News/Nws_NewsDetails.aspx?lang=2&site_id=1&NewsID=253711&
CatID=13

Jordan: Ease Travel for Gaza Palestinians
Jordan should facilitate travel for Palestinians seeking to travel from Gaza to third countries, Human
Rights Watch said in a letter released today to Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour. A recent apparent
tightening of criteria for transit has blocked access to professional and educational opportunities
abroad, including for Gaza’s young people struggling with the effects of an Israeli-imposed closure.
More Details:
https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/05/16/jordan-ease-travel-gaza-palestinians
6. ARABIAN PENINSULA AND THE GULF OF BASRA

NHRC Organises Training Course on Human Rights' Promotion and Protection
Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), together with Bahrain National Institution for
Human Rights (BNIHR), organised a three-day training course on promotion and protection of human
rights, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.Qatar's Ambassador to Bahrain, Sheikh Jassim bin
Mohammed bin Saud Al-Thani attended the inauguration of the training course.
More details:
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/wn/newsworld.php?id=1246288
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
IMF forum focus on diversification in GCC
The IMF Middle East Center for Economics and Finance (CEF), jointly with the Arab Fund for
Economic and Social Development (AFESD), held a symposium that discussed the path to economic
diversification in Kuwait and other GCC countries. The symposium on “The Path to Economic
Diversification in Kuwait and other GCC Countries” was hosted yesterday (May 16) at the Arab Fund’s
Headquarters. The panel discussion was moderated by the CEF’s director Dr Oussama Kanaan, and
included Professor Ha-Joon Chang of Cambridge University, author of seminal work on the role of the
state in economic development, and Dr Reda Cherif and Dr Fuad Hasanov, the leading IMF
economists in the field of economic diversification.
More details:
http://www.tradearabia.com/news/BANK_307011.html?

Experience of nat'l institutions could be helpful for economy diversification ¬¬ former
FM
Kuwait has successful institutions across the globe with experience that could be of a great use for
diversifying the state income resources, said Monday former foreign minister Sheikh Mohammad
Sabah Al¬Salem Al¬Sabah. Kuwait can benefit from the experiments of Kuwait Petroleum
Corporation (KPC) and Kuwait Investment Authority to diversify income, Sheikh Mohammad said
during a symposium jointly held by the IMF Middle East Center for Economics and Finance (CEF) and
the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) on "The Path to Economic
Diversification in Kuwait and other GCC Countries".
More details:
http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2502854&Language=en

Manohar Parrikar’s UAE, Oman visit to focus on ISIS
Manohar Parrikar will become the first-ever Indian defence minister to visit the United Arab Emirates
(UAE) on May 18, which in itself is quite surprising given the huge presence of Indians in the UAE. His
visit has the ostensible aim to substantially further ties in defence and security, especially relating to
the rise of ISIS. “The rise of ISIS and Shia-Sunni turmoil in the region has set in new thinking in the
Arab world and they are looking towards India. The need to capitalise this opportunity and seek
even greater cooperation in combating fundamentalist elements is what the defence minister’s visit
will seek to achieve,” an MoD official told this newspaper.
More details:
http://www.asianage.com/india/manohar-parrikar-s-uae-oman-visit-focus-isis-998?
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
Doha Declaration comes right on time
The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum has approved of the Doha Declaration at its seventh
ministerial meeting held in Doha, Qatar. In the declaration, Arab countries voiced their support for
China's stance on the South China Sea issue, saying that they appreciate China's efforts to resolve
territorial and maritime disputes with neighboring countries through dialogue and negotiation. Arab
leaders also agreed that the signatories of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea should have
the right to choose their own approach to resolving the situation.
More details:
http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/2016-05/17/content_38469343.htm?

Saudi Arabia to participate in Turkish military drills
Saudi Arabia sent units from its ground and naval forces to the Turkish cities of Ankara and Izmir to
take part in a month long military exercise. The commander of the exercise, Colonel Ali Bin
Mohammed Al-Shahri, said the drill, dubbed EFES 2016, is a multinational field exercise that will be
held under Turkish leadership, and is considered one of the largest military exercises in the world in
terms of the number of troops that will be involved.
More details:
http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/05/17/754760/story.html?

Saudi Arabia’s 41-year secret is out: US Treasuries total $116.8 billion
After the US government’s first-ever release quantifying Saudi Arabia’s Treasuries holdings, a
question echoed through Wall Street: That’s it? The kingdom held $116.8 billion of Treasuries as of
March, according to data that the Treasury Department released Monday in response to a Freedomof-Information Act request submitted by Bloomberg News. It’s the first time the US disclosed a
breakdown for the world’s biggest oil exporter, after lumping it in with a group of other oil producers
since 1974.
More details
http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/saudi-arabias-41-year-secret-is-out-us-treasuriestotal-1168-billion?

Saudi Army Grant, Presidential Vacuum Focus of Hollande-Hariri Talks
Talks between al-Mustaqbal Movement chief MP Saad Hariri and the French President Francois
Hollande are said to focus on the vacuum at Lebanon's top state post, and the Saudi grant to supply
the army with French weapons, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday. “The meeting will be
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bilateral this time. It has a particular importance because the French President is keen to accomplish
a breakthrough through his style of diplomacy,” sources close to Hariri told the daily.
More details:
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/209429-report-saudi-army-grant-presidential-vacuum-focusof-hollande-hariri-talks?

Iran, UAE using N.K. ships in breach of U.N. bans: report
Some private companies of Iran, the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries were
found to have been operating North Korean flag vessels in violation of the latest U.N. Security
Council resolution, a news report said Tuesday. At least six ships -- including the Deniz, the Shaima,
the Yekta and the Al Iman -- have been reflagged to the communist country since last year and
making port calls at Iran, Iraq and Somalia in care of Iranian and UAE firms, Japan’s Kyodo News and
the U.S.’ Voice of America reported.
More details:
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160517000857

The untouchables of Yemen caught in crossfire of war
They call themselves the "Muhammasheen," or "the Marginalized," a dark-skinned ethnic group that
for centuries has been consigned to the bottom of Yemen's social scale, faced with discrimination
and racism, shunned by others. They live in shantytowns on the outskirts of cities, are often refused
schooling and work menial jobs like shoe-shining or street cleaning or turn to begging. Other Yemenis
have traditionally called them the "Akhdam," or "servants." In a country where belonging to a tribe is
vital to guaranteeing protection, status and livelihood, their community - which some estimates say
numbers nearly 3 million people - is without a tribe and ignored by the government.
More details:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_YEMEN_THE_UNTOUCHABLES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HO
ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-05-17-02-10-29
7. EGYPT

Young Egyptians feel under threat as courts sentence protesters to prison
It started off as just an ordinary day for Abdel Rahman Zein el Din. The 23-year-old freelance
journalist and philosophy student was on his way to the newspaper where he worked when he was
stopped by a police officer. It was April 25, and nationwide protests were underway against the
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government's decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, a deal perceived by many as
an unlawful sale of Egyptian territory.
More details:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/17/young-egyptians-feel-underthreat-as-courts-sentence-protesters-to-prison/

Egypt aims high on Chinese investment
"Egypt is playing a great role in the interaction between China and the rest of Africa, and we're going
to accelerate the Silk Road initiative and its execution plan as much as we can," said Yasser ElKady,
the Egyptian minister of communications and information technology, on May 16.
More details:
http://www.china.org.cn/world/2016-05/17/content_38469883.htm

Journalist covering protests in Egypt jailed for two years
A criminal court in Cairo sentenced Ali Abdeen, a photographer for the news website El-Fagr, to two
years in jail, according to his outlet. Abdeen, who was sentenced on May 14 alongside 50 others, was
convicted of inciting illegal protests, obstructing traffic, and publishing false news, according to news
reports and the local press freedom group, Journalists Against Torture Observatory.
More details:
https://cpj.org/2016/05/journalist-covering-protests-in-egypt-jailed-for-t.php

Kerry to meet Sisi in Egypt amid crackdown
US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Cairo on Wednesday for talks with President Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi, amid a stark crackdown on political freedoms in Egypt.State Department spokesman Mark
Toner said Kerry would fly to Cairo after talks on the Syrian crisis in Vienna and before heading to
Brussels to meet NATO allies.
More details:
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/kerry-meet-sisi-egypt-1468342183#sthash.djH1QaqC.dpuf

Cabinet approves draft law regulating media affairs
The Cabinet has approved the draft law governing the press and media affairs, said Planning Minister
Ashraf al-Araby Monday. The draft was passed during the Cabinet's Monday session and will now be
submitted to parliament for consideration, he added.
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More details:
http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/cabinet-approves-draft-law-regulating-media-affairs

Interior Ministry committed 95 violations against journalists in 25 April protests
Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO) released a report on Sunday which details 97
violations committed against reporters and photojournalists when covering the 25 April
demonstrations, which protested against the maritime demarcation deal with Saudi Arabia. This is
the first time JATO has monitored such a massive and unprecedented number of violations carried
out against journalists in a single day, since its establishment in November 2013, the report clarified.
More details:
http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2016/05/16/interior-ministry-committed-95-violations-journalists25-april-protests/

Egypt's cabinet passes long-awaited media and press bill
Egypt's cabinet endorsed on Monday a draft bill governing media and press operations, with the
legislation awaiting final approval from parliament, Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Arabi told
reporters. Veteran journalists say the law is much-needed to keep media "chaos" at bay by
guaranteeing oversight and legal accountability while preserving basic rights and freedoms.
More details:
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/216960/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-cabinet-passeslongawaited-media-and-press-.aspx

'We are ready to meet with all foreign o cials, including Israelis,' says top Egyptian
lawmaker
Kamal Amer, chairman of the Egyp an parliament's Defence and Na onal Security Commi ee, told
reporters on Monday that Egyp an-American rela ons have largely improved in recent months,
adding that we are ready to hold mee ngs with all foreign o cials, including Israelis, as long as
these mee ngs serve our interests." We know that these rela ons have su ered a setback since 30
June [when former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted from o ce in an uprising in
2013 , said Amer.
More details:
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/216973/-.aspx
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
Maat calls on cabinet to interfere, follow up on ministry performance with NGOs
Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights organisation released a statement on Sunday
complaining of the Social Solidarity Ministry’s negligence in a request the organisation filed. The
statement called on the cabinet to intervene and follow up with the ministry on the status of its
request. Maat has sent several complaints to the ministry and said that the ministry apparatus is
intentionally delaying and postponing the organisation’s work requests.
More details:
http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2016/05/16/maat-calls-cabinet-interfere-follow-ministryperformance-ngos/

-Egypt: Sisi Urges Unity among State Institutions for Sake of Egypt's Future
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi called on Thursday for avoiding any disagreement among
State institutions for the sake of Egypt's future. "We are in no need for disagreements because we
share the same goal and interest which is preserving Egypt's security and stability," Sisi said while
opening 32 new development projects.
More details:
http://allafrica.com/stories/201605161060.html
8. NORTH AFRICA

Presidency Council decides to activate Government of National Accord
The Presidency Council, headed by Faiez Serraj, has told the Government of National Accord (GNA) to
start working in Tripoli. Clearly believing that there was no point waiting any further for formal
authorisation from the House of Representatives (HoR) on the basis that it may never happen, it
made the announcement today although it was dated 14 May.There are no changes to the names of
the ministers announced three months ago, although it appears from the statement that the five
ministers of state with special responsibilities, are now regarded as full cabinet members – making a
government of 18 ministers rather than the original 13.
More Details
https://www.libyaherald.com/2016/05/16/presidency-council-decides-to-activate-government-ofnational-accord/
Sayfa 27

Messahel reaffirms in Vienna Algeria's support to Libyan Presidential Council's efforts
to restore security
Messahel reiterated Algeria's position at the ministerial conference on Libya, which is co-chaired by
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, said the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs in a communiqué. In this regard, Messahel underlined the need for the international
community to support these efforts to help the new authorities to address the political, economic
and security challenges facing the country."
More Details
http://www.aps.dz/en/algeria/12648-messahel-reaffirms-in-vienna-algeria-s-support-to-libyanpresidential-council-s-efforts-to-restore-security

Ceremony in Carthage on celebration of 60th anniversary of Foreign Affairs Ministry
A ceremony was organised, on Monday evening in the Carthage palace on the celebration of the 60th
anniversary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Taking the floor on this occasion, diplomat and former
Foreign Minister Ahmed Ounaies invited his former counterparts, former Foreign Ministers to share
their diplomatic experiences and write their memories to enrich the references and the Tunisian
foreign policy.
More Details
http://www.tap.info.tn/en/index.php/politics2/35845-ceremony-in-carthage-on-celebration-of-60thanniversary-of-foreign-affairs-ministry

Algeria: Louh Calls On International Community for Greater Cooperation to Fight
Transnational Terrorism
Minister of Justice Tayeb Louh called on Tuesday, in Algiers, the international community for "greater
cooperation" to fight the transnational terrorism, "combat its causes" and "dry up its financing
sources. "Speaking on the occasion of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, Louh called on the
international community for "greater cooperation" to "combat the causes, dry up the financing
sources and deal with the effects of this transnational phenomenon, threatening global peace and
security."
More Details
http://allafrica.com/stories/201605161405.html

Algeria Signs Oil, Gas Deal as OPEC Member Seeks to Boost Sales
Algeria will supply oil and other energy products to Jordan for the first time under a memorandum of
understanding signed on Monday, as the OPEC member seeks to diversify sales after years of
Sayfa 28
stagnating crude production. Algeria’s state-run Sonatrach Group will start shipping liquefied natural
gas and liquefied petroleum gas to Jordan in September, followed by crude oil, Algerian Energy
Minister Salah Khebri said in an interview in Amman. Sonatrach and National Electric Power Co. of
Jordan should reach a final agreement in the next few weeks, he said, without specifying shipment
volumes. Sonatrach will also explore for oil and gas in Jordan.
More Details
http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-O79FWK6JIJUW011FCEFPBHONAFDUV1DFEGB6Q3BA

Tunisia's democracy should rein in militants
Four days after militants shot dead 21 tourists in Tunisia's Bardo museum last year, police rounded
up dozens of people suspected of links with the gunmen. One of the men, a labourer, was arrested in
his Tunis home. The man, who has denied any connection to the militants, said he was taken to a
police detention centre where he was tied to a metal bar and had his head and feet smashed with a
pipe. "I told them everything, I even told them I was guilty, just so they would stop," said the
labourer who is on release from prison and spoke to Reuters last month in the company of his
attorney. "I thought I didn't have any other way out."
More Details
http://khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/tunisias-democracy-should-rein-in-militants

Tunisia: Caid Essebsi Starts Tuesday Official Visit to Qatar
President of the Republic Beji Caid Essebsi will start Tuesday a three-day official visit to the state of
Qatar, at the invitation of Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani. "This visit will give a new impetus
to co-operation and bring about a qualitative leap in bilateral relations," said Spokesperson for the
Presidency of the Republic Moez Sinaoui.
More Details
http://allafrica.com/stories/201605161410.html

Jordan, Morocco examine ways to increase trade
Jordanian and Moroccan businessmen on Monday pledged to step up efforts to increase joint trade
and to eliminate trade barriers. At a meeting that was organised by the Jordan Chamber of
Commerce, Jordanian businessmen and trade officials, and an economic Moroccan delegation that is
currently visiting the Kingdom discussed reviewed means to boost commercial cooperation and
overcome trade- related hurdles.
More Details
Sayfa 29
http://www.jordantimes.com/news/business/jordan-morocco-examine-ways-increase-trade

Tunisian President Essebsi arrives today
President of the Tunisian Republic Beji Caid Essebsi will arrive in Doha today on a three-day official
visit to Qatar. Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Tunisian President will hold talks
on enhancing bilateral cooperation in various fields in addition to a number of issues of mutual
concern.
More Details
http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/news/qatar/382204/tunisian-president-essebsi-arrives-today

Iran ready to support Algeria's economy diversification process
During the second Algerian-Iranian Business Forum, President of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce
Mohsen Jalalpour underlined the huge potentials possessed by the two countries to achieve this
objective, namely in the sectors of industry and mines, agriculture, mechanical industry, housing,
energy, steel industry, transport, pharmaceutical industry and car industry. In this regard, Jalalpour
expressed his country's willingness to help Algeria through visits of experts in order to define
bilateral projects of partnership.
More Details
http://tehrantimes.com/news/402572/Iran-ready-to-support-Algeria-s-economy-diversificationprocess

Morocco, China, a Shared Resolve to Upgrade Africa’s Development
King Mohammed has just paid a visit to China to give a new momentum to Morocco’s relations with
the Asian economic giant. The goal was fulfilled and the two countries launched a strategic
partnership, described as a milestone for the development of bilateral ties, and as a tangible
embodiment of the two countries’ shared will “to build a special, effective, solidarity-based and
multi-dimensional South-South cooperation model.”
More Details
http://medafricatimes.com/9293-morocco-china-a-shared-resolve-to-upgrade-africasdevelopment.html

Algeria orders $40 mln LPG vessel from China -Sonatrach document
A subsidiary of Algerian state energy company Sonatrach has awarded two Chinese firms a $40
million deal to deliver a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier and an option to provide a second
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vessel, according to a Sonatrach document seen by Reuters. Sonatrach's Hyproc Shipping Company
chose Chinese consortium Jiangnan Shipyard and China Shipbuilding Trading Company Ltd for the
provision of a carrier with a capacity of between 11,000 and 13,000 m3, the document said.
More Details
http://www.reuters.com/article/algeria-energy-lpg-idUSL5N18D4V2?rpc=401

Liquidity crisis, who is responsible?
The notion that banks capitals is used to pay deserved money for owners of current accounts like
salaries is untrue; banks only pay money when it enters accounts via transfers from bodies who pay
salaries. Banks depend on deposits, twirling those deposits in the form of other banking services like
borrowing, credentials and others to accomplish revenues
More Details
http://libyaprospect.com/index.php/2016/05/16/liquidity-crisis-who-is-responsible/

Spain: 30 Moroccans Suspected of Links with ISIS Arrested in 2015
The terrorist group ISIS continues to attract supporters from Morocco. Spanish authorities arrested
thirty Moroccans, including 10 women, last year in Spain on charges of advocating for the terrorist
organization and making propaganda on behalf of it, according to a report released by the Spanish
Ministry of the Interior. According to the report, which was developed in collaboration with
associations of victims of terrorism and published by the Spanish media, the thirty Moroccan
nationals who are currently serving their prison sentence in Spain were convicted of terror-related
activities such as participating in the propaganda of the terrorist organization of ISIS on social
networks, or making contacts to recruit potential jihadists from the Spanish soil.
More Details
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2016/05/186721/spain-30-moroccans-suspected-of-links-withisis-arrested-in-2015/

Chinese Company to Open US$ 1.2 Billion Clean Energy Bus Plant in Morocco
As part of King Mohammed VI’s last week official visit to China, and in line with Morocco’s
commitment to beef up its automotive industrial capacity to stay on the leading edge of this industry
in the world, Chinese industrial companies Yangxi and Energy Investment Company, in cooperation
with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, among other partners, signed a cooperation
agreement to open a plant for the manufacturing of new-energy and clean-fuel buses in Morocco.
The total amount of the investment will hover around US$ 1.2 billion.
More Details
Sayfa 31
http://moroccantimes.com/2016/05/19851/china-company-investment-bus-plant-automotivesector-morocco
9. AFGHANISTAN – PAKISTAN

NATO ministerial meeting to discuss Afghanistan
Foreign ministers of NATO member countries and partners are due to meet on Thursday and Friday
at the alliance’s headquarters in the Belgium capital, Brussels.
More Details:
http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2016/05/16/nato-ministerial-meeting-discuss-afghanistan

United opposition's 7 questions jump to 70, post prime ministers NA speech
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Monday said the
opposition will devise its future strategy today (Tuesday) as the prime minister had converted the
seven simple questions of the opposition into 70 questions.
More Details:
https://www.geo.tv/latest/105979-PM-speech-oppositions-questions

Chief Executive Underlines Sino-Afghan Efforts in War on Terror
Extremist groups pose a shared threat to Afghanistan and China, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah
Abdullah has said, calling for concerted efforts to combat terrorism. After his arrival in China on a
three-day visit, Dr. Abdullah told diplomats students of the University of International Relations in
Beijing to focus on terrorism in Afghanistan.
More Details:
http://www.bakhtarnews.com.af/eng/politics/item/22682-chief-executive-underlines-sino-afghanefforts-in-war-on-terror.html

Christians, other minorities in Pakistan Punjab battling severe discrimination
Safeguarding of human rights in Pakistan, or more specifically in its largest Punjab province, is
complex, given the nation's demographic diversity, huge population and a democracy that is an
admixture of both Islamic and secular laws.
More Details:
Sayfa 32
http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail4/story264512/christians-other-minorities-in-pakistan-punjabbattling-severe-discrimination.html

Major rocket attack on Kabul city thwarted, three 122 mm rockets seized
A major rocket attack plot on Kabul city was foiled as the Afghan security personnel seized three 122
mm rockets before the militants manage to fire them on the city. “Resolute Support Mission-trained
Ministry of Interior MOI Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) Corruption Investigation Unit personnel
thwarted a major rocket attack on Kabul on Friday, May 13,” according to a statement by the
alliance.
More Details:
http://www.khaama.com/major-rocket-attack-on-kabul-city-thwarted-three-122-mm-rockets-seized0964

PM urges new Ehtesab law, consensus ToRs
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday asked parliament to consider a comprehensive
and effective system of accountability as per the spirit of the Charter of Democracy. He proposed the
setting up of a joint parliamentary committee to prepare consensual and comprehensive Terms of
Reference (ToRs) to probe the allegations on the Panama Papers issue.
More Details:
http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/120561-PM-urges-new-Ehtesab-law-consensus-ToRs#

Pakistan to host meeting on reviving Afghan Taliban talks
Pakistan will on Wednesday host a new round of four-nation Afghan peace talks aimed at reviving
long-stalled negotiations with the Taliban, a foreign office official said. The group comprising
Afghanistan, the United States, China, and Pakistan has been attempting since January to restart the
nascent peace process.
More Details:
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/05/17/national/pakistan-to-host-meeting-on-revivingafghan-taliban-talks/

Thousands of Afghan Hazaras join protest in Kabul
Thousands of demonstrators from Afghanistan’s Hazara minority marched in protest through Kabul
today, accusing President Ashraf Ghani’s government of cutting them out of a multi-million dollar
power transmission line project.
Sayfa 33
More Details:
http://thehimalayantimes.com/business/thousands-afghan-hazaras-join-protest-kabul/

Obama admin opposes Congressional move to condition aid to Pak
The Obama administration has opposed the Republican-controlled Congress' move to block $450
million in aid to Pakistan for failing to "demonstrate its commitment" and taking action against the
Haqqani network, saying it will "complicate progress" in bilateral ties.
More Details:
http://www.rediff.com/news/report/obama-admin-opposes-congressional-move-to-condition-aidto-pak/20160517.htm?

-“Peaceful demonstration people’s legal right”, President Ghani
The voice of our people is heard because it is the voice of kindness, betterment and feeling of
responsibility. The government is tasked to hear the message of all tribes of the society, take it
serious and praise it. It is our duty to hear any voices raised from feeling of patriotism, equality and
national commitment.
More Details:
http://thekabultimes.gov.af/index.php/newsnational/10702-%E2%80%9Cpeaceful-demonstrationpeople%E2%80%99s-legal-right%E2%80%9D%2C-president-ghani.html

Nuclear competition among China, India, Pakistan could escalate
Small increments of stockpile growth and multiple warhead missiles will ratchet up a triangular
nuclear competition among China, India and Pakistan , a new book has said while warning that there
are no realistic prospects for banning such arsenal.
More Details:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52305371.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&u
tm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Demonstrations for TUTAP to be organized in Japan, Austria and Australia
Separate demonstrations are due to be organized in Japan, Austria and Australia today a day after a
massive demonstration was organized in capital Kabul. Ahmad Behzad, one of the organizers of the
demonstrations, said the demonstrations would be organized near the Embassy of Afghanistan and
the Parliament of Australia.
Sayfa 34
More Details:
http://www.khaama.com/demonstrations-for-tutap-to-be-organized-in-japan-austria-and-australia0967?

Pakistan to find another source if US refuses F-16s
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif yesterday said that Pakistan will look for another source if the US did
not provide the F-16s. He said F-16 jet fighter has been very successful in counter terrorism
operations and hoped that the United States would resolve the issue of supply of F-16 to Pakistan
without further delay.
More Details:
http://nation.com.pk/national/17-May-2016/pakistan-to-find-another-source-if-us-refuses-f-16s

38 Armed Insurgents Killed In ANA Operations
Afghan National Army ANA conducted offensive and aggressive operations in the country killed 38
insurgents, wounded 45 and detained another.
More Details:
http://www.bakhtarnews.com.af/eng/security/item/22675-38-armed-insurgents-killed-in-anaoperations.html?
10.TURKEY AND THE MIDDLE EAST

DAESH targets hit in Syria
Turkish military on Sunday shelled DAESH positions in northern Aleppo while the US-led coalition
conducted air strikes in a joint operation. Military sources say at least 27 DAESH terrorists were killed
during the operation. Five DAESH defence posts and two gun posts were also destroyed near
Turkey's border with Syria.
More Details:
http://www.trtworld.com/mea/daesh-targets-hit-in-syria-107348

Turkey urges Libya unity gov't to hold vote of confidence
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said it is important for Libya's national unity
government to gain a vote of confidence, Turkish diplomatic sources told Anadolu Agency Monday.
Cavusoglu made the remarks during a meeting on Libya under the joint chairmanship of the U.S.
Sayfa 35
Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the Austrian capital
Vienna.
More Details:
http://www.worldbulletin.net/turkey/172778/turkey-urges-libya-unity-govt-to-hold-vote-ofconfidence
*This media summary is prepared by ORSAM Middle East Research Assistant Firuze Yağmur Gökler.
It covers news and commentaries as reported by the national media sources publishing in the Middle
Eastern countries. The views expressed are not those of ORSAM and their inclusion does not imply
factual accuracy.
*Bu bülten ORSAM Ortadoğu Uzman Yardımcısı Firuze Yağmur Gökler tarafından hazırlanmaktadır.
Bülten Ortadoğu ülkelerinin yerel haber kaynaklarından derlenmektedir. Belirtilen görüşler bölge
ülkelerinin haber kaynaklarına ve ismi geçen yazarlara ait olup ORSAM’ın görüşünü
yansıtmamaktadır.
Sayfa 36

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