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Analysis

Water Disputes/Middle East – Water disputes will compound instability in the Middle East (The Strategist)

writes: The Middle East is one of the driest regions in the world. The scarcity of water has often been touted as a source of national and interstate disputes in the area. Some scholars have predicted for some time the possibility of deadly national altercations and regional clashes over the distribution of water resources in parts of the region. Although no full-blown war has erupted so far, two current episodes illustrate this point: public protests in the Iranian province of Khuzestan and the growing discord between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over water dispensation from the Nile River. With climate change causing more droughts, the potential for conflict over water cannot be underestimated.

go to The Strategist: Water disputes will compound instability in the Middle East  | The Strategist (aspistrategist.org.au)

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Israel/GCC Countries/Middle East – The emergence of GCC-Israel relations in a changing Middle East (Brookings)

Omar H. Rahman writes: The development of open, friendly relations between Israel and some Gulf Arab states has emerged as a significant new dynamic of the 21st century Middle East.

go to Brookings: The emergence of GCC-Israel relations in a changing Middle East (brookings.edu)

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(Middle East/North Africa) Decoupling economic growth from emissions in the Middle East and North Africa (Brookings)

Martin Philipp Heger and Lukas Vashold write for Brookings: Economic growth plays a critical role in raising living standards and enabling human progress. However, economic growth needs to decouple from negative environmental consequences, as these, in turn, degrade the very foundations of human development. One example of a negative environmental consequence is airborne emissions that lead to climate change and air pollution. To meet any emissions reduction target, the minimum requirement is that economic growth decouples from emissions growth. Hence, at best, emissions would be reduced from year to year, at a steady pace, even if the economy grows—a process called absolute decoupling. At second-best, the growth rate of the economy would outpace the growth rate of emissions—a process called relative decoupling.

go to Brookings: Decoupling economic growth from emissions in the Middle East and North Africa (brookings.edu)

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(China/USA/Middle East) Chinese academic: Can China challenge the US’s standing in the Middle East? (Think China)

Fan Hongda writes for Think China: Although China has made inroads into the Middle East as a major investor and economic partner, some are suspicious of its intentions in being all things to all countries in this fractious region. Thus, even if there is much hype about its ability to take over the US’s role in the region, China should remember that it still lacks the power and wherewithal to exert a major influence.

go to Think China website: Chinese academic: Can China challenge the US’s standing in the Middle East?, Politics News – ThinkChina

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(Middle East) Managing a New Middle-East Order (Project-Syndicate)

SHLOMO BEN-AMI writes for Project-Syndicate: Ongoing shifts in alliances in the region are being driven partly by Iran’s growing influence. But the real story is in the eastern Mediterranean, where the development of major gas reserves could lead to deep cooperation or breed further conflict.

go to Project-Syndicate website: Managing a New Middle-East Order by Shlomo Ben-Ami – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

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(China/Middle East) Chinese FM’s 2nd visit to Mideast in half a year highlights significance of China-Middle East ties

Fan Anqi and Chen Qingqing writes for Global Times: After concluding a weeklong visit to some Central Asian countries, shedding light on regional stability, especially China’s approach on the political settlement of the Afghan issue, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Syria on Saturday and is scheduled to visit Egypt as well as Algeria this week, underscoring China’s independent foreign policy, again striking a sharp contrast from the West, while also unleashing a positive message to the Middle East in countering the negative influence of the US

go to Global Times website: Chinese FM’s 2nd visit to Mideast in half a year highlights significance of China-Middle East ties – Global Times

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

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Analysis

TechInnovation/Middle East – Smart cities to the hyperloop: This region is investing in a tech-led transport revolution (Damian Radcliffe, ZD Net)

The Middle East has already been the birthplace of a number of tech-led transport unicorns. Waze, a traffic and navigation app co-created in Israel, was acquired by Google in 2013 for over $1.1 billion. More recently, Uber purchased Careem, a regional ride-hailing app, for $3.1 billion.

Smart cities to the hyperloop: This region is investing in a tech-led transport revolution | ZDNet

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Climate Action Diplomacy/Middle East – New era of climate action diplomacy in the Middle East (Neeshad Shafi, WEF)

  • The United Arab Emirates recently hosted the Regional Dialogue for Climate Action Summit.
  • Leaders from MENA, the US and the UK, committed to key climate issues such as reducing emissions and investing in a new energy economy.
  • Regional collaboration is key to tackling climate change and enabling sustainable development.

A new era of climate action diplomacy in the Middle East | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

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USA/Middle East – US carries out air raids on Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq (Al Jazeera)

The United States said on Sunday it carried out a round of air raids against Iran-backed armed groups in Iraq and Syria, in response to drone attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq, with the militias threatening to retaliate.

In a statement, the US military said it targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq. It did not say whether it believed anyone was killed or injured, but the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least five fighters were killed and several others wounded.

US carries out air raids on Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq | Military News | Al Jazeera

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