Churches for Middle East Peace

New Winds are Blowing in Turkey and the Arab World

A look at relationships in flux, protests and elections, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

 Image: People chant slogans and hold posters in protest of Saudi Arabia's actions in Yemen during a protest outside the Saudi Arabian consulate on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

new winds in turkey

Image: People chant slogans and hold posters in protest of Saudi Arabia's actions in Yemen during a protest outside the Saudi Arabian consulate on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

New winds are blowing in Turkey and the Arab world
Middle East Monitor

“New ‘peace-making’ winds are blowing on Arab-Turkish relations and helping to ease the tension in the search for common ground. Flattering messages are being exchanged between Ankara, Cairo, and Riyadh, and similar messages will inevitably follow from other Arab capitals if things go well. It seems that the various parties are exhausted by the rampant and prolonged proxy wars and that we are facing one of the dynamics created by Joe Biden's victory in the US presidential election."

Czech embassey in Jerusalem

Image: Prague opened a Jerusalem branch of its Israel embassy, which is located in Tel Aviv, on Thursday (March 11). (Reuters/File Photo)

Arab Parliament, Jordan condemn opening of Czech Jerusalem office
Arab News

“The Arab Parliament condemned Czech Republic’s opening of an embassy in Jerusalem, saying the decision is against the international law and violates the rights of Palestinians, state news agency Petra reported. Speaker of the Parliament Adel Assomi called on the ‘government and parliament of the Czech Republic to not follow through with this illegal action that runs counter to the international legitimacy.’"

Pocan Carson AFP

Image: Progressive House members Marc Pocan (L) and Andre Carson led the letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken. (AFP)

US lawmakers urge Israel to vaccinate Palestinians as 'occupying entity'
Middle East Eye

“Progressive members of the US Congress renewed their call for the Israeli government to vaccinate Palestinians living under its control in a letter urging the Biden administration to pressure Israel to live up to its obligations as the occupying power in the Palestinian territories. The document, signed by 17 members of the House of Representatives and addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday (March 15), was the third congressional letter criticising Israeli policies over the past four days. ‘We write to request that the State Department take additional action to ensure that the Israeli government provide Covid-19 vaccines and facilitate vaccination programs for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza,’ the lawmakers said."

What's Happening at CMEP

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Devotions written on the theme of “Beacons of Hope: Journeying in Faith for Peace and Justice in the Middle East” are CMEP’s encouragement to you during the season of Lent.


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new winds in turkey

Image: Houthi loyalists check weapons on military trucks during a tribal gathering on 1 August 2019 in Sana'a, Yemen. (Mohammed Hamoud / Getty Images)

Yemen: Protestors storm Presidential Palace in Aden
Middle East Monitor

“Hundreds of Yemenis stormed the Presidential Palace in the southern port city of Aden yesterday in a protest against poor living conditions and corruption within the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Some of the protestors carried the flag of the former South Yemen republic. According to an AFP correspondent, the demonstrators included retired military and security personnel. They were eventually pushed back peacefully, with government officials including Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed still inside the building."

Netanyahu trip to UAE cancelled

Image: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a memorial ceremony for Joseph Trumpeldor in Tel-Hai, northern Israel, February 23, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash 90)

UAE calls off Netanyahu trip, says won’t get involved in 'Israeli electioneering’

“The United Arab Emirates rejected attempts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to squeeze in his first trip to the Gulf state before Tuesday’s election. Netanyahu had been working on visiting Abu Dhabi on Thursday – including a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan – a week after a planned trip was postponed for the first time.”

Pope's moral power

Image: Pope Francis waves from the Popemobile on his way to attend the Via Crucis on Copacabana Beach during World Youth Day celebrations on July 26, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The hard edge of the Pope’s moral power
Foreign Policy

“By the most superficial measures of Vatican diplomacy, Pope Francis’s recent visit to Iraq was an outstanding success. He bolstered the country’s remaining Christian population and advanced his efforts to bring the Abrahamic faiths together by meeting Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani as well as giving an address at Ur—the site of Abraham’s birth. The trip put Iraq back in the headlines for something other than the Islamic State, rocket attacks on the U.S. Embassy, Iran, refugees, or the host of other problems that have convulsed the country since the U.S. invasion in 2003. And there was no doubt that the pope seemed to be getting his mojo back; like everyone else, he seemed to be very happy to step out of his house for the first time in a year.”

CMEP's Bulletin is a weekly round-up of news from the Middle East and represents an array of perspectives on the issues we cover. CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the articles, and they do not speak on CMEP's behalf.

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