The Takeaway: Raisi likely can’t resist economic benefits of Iran nuclear deal

Talks will go on … In上海夜生活论坛coming Ir上海品茶网anian President Ebrahim Raisi will continue talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal. As we wrote here last week, the economic payday from a revived JCPOA would be a huge boost economically and politically. The JCPOA was wildly popular in Iran. If Raisi can close the deal, the conservatives, not the Reformists, can claim the windfall.

… but no missiles. Raisi has ruled out discussions of Iran’s regional role and missiles as part of the JCPOA talks as “non-negotiable.” This is on the one hand not new. Rouhani and his negotiators, at least publicly, have called for the United States to “live up to its commitments” under the JCPOA.

“No problem” with regional talks. Raisi will probably keep pace with Iran’s outreach to regional parties, including Saudi Arabia, saying at a press conference after his win, “There should be no problem for relations between the two countries as well as dialogue with all regional countries.”

Guarantee? “The US must give a guarantee” that it will not back out of any subsequent nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said this week, as Adam Lucente re上海夜生活论坛coming Ir上海品茶网ports. In 2018, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, which had been negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2015.

Bennett calls on world powers to wake up. Just because Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer prime minister, don’t expect a change in Israel’s alarm about a new Iran deal. Referring to Raisi as the “hangman of Tehran,” newly installed Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday that this is the “last chance for the world powers to wake up before returning to the nuclear agreement. … These guys are murderers, mass murderers,” as Rina Bassist reports. Expect Bibi to keep the heat on Bennett from his perch as Likud party opposition leader, Ben Caspit writes. While there may be little difference in Bennett and Netanyahu on opposition to the JCPOA, the new prime minister will want less rancorous ties with Democrats in Washington.

Our take. The State Department classifies the JCPOA as a nonbinding political agreement, not a treaty. If it were a treaty, it would require a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate, where there is a 50-50 Republican-Democrat split. Whether the Joe Biden administration seeks some form of congressional buy-in for a renewed or new nuclear deal, which is what Iran may mean by “guarantee,” is a decision solely for the White Ho上海夜生活论坛coming Ir上海品茶网use, but does not seem to be required by law. A treaty is therefore a nonstarter. A subsequent agreement could be subject to congressional review under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which was passed prior to the JCPOA.

  1. Turkey as wild card on Syria aid

The deadline for the UN Security Council to renew its last remaining humanitarian aid channel to Syria is fast approaching, and as Fehim Tastekin writes, Turkey is expected to play a key role in negotiations between Russia and the United States.

Washington is urging Moscow not to veto the cross-border mandate, which allows UN relief agencies to supply rebel-held Syria using the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish border.

But Russia, which views the aid operation as a violation of Syria’s sovereignty, might be willing to compromise if Turkey were to reduce its support for jihadi opposition groups in Syria, Tastekin says.

Also at stake is the al-Yarubiyah crossing on the Iraqi border, which served northeast Syria before Moscow forced its closure in early 2020. Washington wants the crossing reopened, but Ankara fears doing so would help the Kurds who govern the region.

  1. US not trading Syrian oil for aid

The Biden administration, meanwhile, says its decision to not renew a sanctions waiver for an American energy company planning to extract and market oil in northeastern Syria was not connected to aid negotiations with Russia.

As Amberin Zaman first reported last month, the United States did not renew the waiver for Delta Crescent energy when it expired in M上海夜生活论坛coming Ir上海品茶网ay. The decision “had nothing to do with the Russians,” a senior administration official told Zaman, pushing back on recent speculation.

  1. Russia restoring ancient Palmyra

In the ancient desert city of Palmyra, Russia has set out to restore the archaeological treasures damaged by the Islamic State (IS). Before Russian-backed Syrian forces expelled the group in 2017, IS militants plundered and razed a number of sites in the UNESCO World Heritage city, including the 2,000-year-old Arch of Triumph.

Moscow has since inked a number of agreements with Damascus to rehabilitate the monumental ruins in what analysts tell Mohammed Hardan is an effort to reap future tourism dollars. Russia’s interest in Palmyra can also be explained by the city’s proximity to potentially lucrative phosphate mines and gas fields.

  1. Reporting from Syria’s last rebel stronghold

Catch up on our coverage of Idlib province, the rebel holdout in northwest Syria that’s largely under control of the US-designated terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

-Sultan al-Kanj reports on how the militants are cracking down on a Kurdish jihadi group known as Ansar al-Islam that’s seeking to establish its own “Islamic state.”

-Khaled al-Khateb has this story on why a group of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-affiliated Uzbek jihadis destroyed antiquities they considered to be false idols on display at the Idlib Museum.

-Kanj covers the uproar caused by Idlib University’s decision to ban men and women from participating together in chat rooms on WhatsApp, Telegram and other social media apps.

  1. Bedouin lawmaker a headache for Israel’s Arab party

Afif Abu Much has this deep dive on Saeed Alkharumi, a Bedouin member of the Arab party Ra’am whose sole mission is stopping Israeli demolitions in unrecognized villages in the Negev.

Despite Ra’am’s inclusion in the coalition led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Alkharumi abstained from the history-making vote to approve the new government. It remains to be seen whether he plans to vote for the state budget, and in the meantime, Much writes that “Ra’am is working to project that all is calm within the party.”

ICYMI: Can Israel’s new government mend ties with American Jews?

Yizhar Hess, vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization and former CEO of the Conservative Judaism movement, says he’s hopeful that Israel’s new government can repair the country’s strained relationship with the Jewish diaspora, specifically liberal American Jews. Hess tells Ben Caspit that he doesn’t expect the Naftali Bennett-led government to be revolutionary when it comes to religion vs. state, but implementing the “Kotel” agreement would be a step in the right direction. The agreement, which was scrapped by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would create a designated space at the Western Wall for non-Orthodox mixed-gender prayer. Listen to the full podcast with Hess here.

One cool thing: Egyptian museum gets a makeover

Egypt is carrying out renovations on downtown Cairo’s Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, in hopes of competing with the new state-of-the-art, billion-dollar Grand Egyptian Museum. The rebranding work comes after a number of precious artifacts, including 22 royal mummies and King Tutankhamun’s burial treasures, were transferred from the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities to the newer museum in Giza. Shahira Amin details how experts from the Louvre and other European museums are now lending their expertise to restoring what’s been described as a cramped warehouse for Egyptian artifacts.

What we’re reading: Tackling poverty in war-torn Yemen

Even before the civil war, Yemen was the Arab world’s poorest country. Today, an estimated two-thirds of the population — more than 24 million people — are food insecure. The COVID-19 pandemic, prolonged conflict and the spread of cholera have contributed to what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The World Bank describes how its International Development Association is providing cash-for-work opportunities, emergency health services and nutrition support to Yemeni families in need. Read the full report here.


The Takeaway: Iran deal on front burner before Raisi takes office

Everything or nothing?上海夜生活 The partie上海品茶网s to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as well as the United States (which withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018), may soon convene in Vienna for the seventh and perhaps final round of talks to bring the United States back into the JCPOA fold. There is anticipation of a possible accord, and declarations of low expectations. An Iranian government spokesman said this week that “unless there is agreement on all the agenda points, there is practically no deal,” apparently referring not just to relief from banking and oil sanctions, as we report here, but also those sanctions imposed on individuals and entities linked to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and maybe even incoming president Ebrah上海夜生活 The partie上海品茶网im Raisi, who takes office Aug. 3. A US official said June 24 that “serious differences” remain to be bridged in the talks.

Here come the Hezbollahis. Timing is of the essence. Raisi is part of a wave of “Hezbollahis,” the vanguard of what Khamenei calls the “second revolution” to cultivate “a faithful, revolutionary, professional and confident manpower.” Ali Hashem writes that “while the decision to engage with the West will not change” under Raisi, “the tone, expectations and ceiling are going to see a clear shift.”

Raisi’s window. Before that happens, Raisi and Iran’s outgoing president, Hassan Rouhani, could score a win-win if they can revive the JCPOA in some form. Rouhani wants the win for his own legacy, as the deal was both his greatest achievement and, after the Trump administration withdrew from it, a mortal blow to the moderate-reformist camp. Raisi, as Sanam Vakil writes, knows that “the swiftest formula” to address Iran’上海夜生活 The partie上海品茶网s deep economic challenges “begins through the revival of the JCPOA.” If Iran can close the deal before he takes office, Raisi can reap the benefits while not having to be seen as compromising with the West.

Israel: Netanyahu plots his comeback

Since leaving office, Benjamin Netanyahu has posed for selfies, answered to the title of “prime minister,” and enjoyed the perks of his former job — all while plotting to dismantle the newly formed Israeli government.

As Ben Caspit writes, Netanyahu “is acting like a man possessed, hanging on to the remnants of his past glory and trying to fuel his popularity and his standing as a leader only temporarily out of office.” Netanyahu hopes the government led by his former protege, Naftali Bennett, will quickly fail, and in the meantime has tried to drive a wedge between Israel’s new leaders and the White House.

As Netanyahu fights for his political survival, his Likud party is gearing up for a war of succession. Afif Abu Much looks at who among Likud’s leadership is most likely to challenge Bibi for control of the party and whether his rivals have what it takes.

Gaza: Fatah members resign

Amid growing frustrations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, members of his Fatah party in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip have anno上海夜生活 The partie上海品茶网unced their resignations.

Mai Abu Hasaneen writes, “The resignations come at a tense time for Abbas and Fatah, with critics claiming the authorities employ a policy of alienation and exclusion against whoever opposes the octogenarian president’s policies.” The resignations followed Abbas’ recent dismissals of several Fatah figures, as well as the killing of Nizar Banat, a political activist and Palestinian Authority critic who died in PA custody.

For more news out of Gaza, check out this this deeply reported story from Hasaneen on the uptick in violence against women and how Palestinian feminists are pushing for changes to the law.

Jordan: Can post-Bibi Israel rebuild ties with Jordan?

Osama Al Sharif looks at what the departure of Netanyahu means for Jordan’s ties to the Jewish state. Relations were strained under Netanyahu, with Sharif writing, “It was no secret that King Abdullah had lost trust in Netanyahu who, in Amman’s view, violated every agreement and understanding reached with Jordan over the years.”

Jordan has yet to comment publicly on the formation of Israel’s new government, perhaps because Bennett is no less right-wing than his predecessor on key issues. Bennett’s Yamina party rejects a two-state solution in which Israel and an independent Palestine would coexist, and supports expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Iraq: Baghdad scene of history-making summit

Ali Mamouri breaks down the tripartite talks in Baghdad that brought together Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Sunday.

The meeting, which focused on economic, political and intelligence cooperation among the three countries, marked the first official visit by an Egyptian head of state to the Iraqi capital since 1990. Mamouri writes that the agenda covered security threats such as the Islamic State and regional conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Turkey: Will Afghanistan help save US-Turkey ties?

Turkey is trying to shore up regional support for its offer to safeguard Kabul’s civilian airport after the US and NATO withdrawal. Fehim Tastekin has the latest on Ankara’s outreach to Pakistan and Iran, as well as the Joe Biden administration, which has welcomed a “lead role” for Turkey in securing the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Turkey’s proposal comes at a tense time for US-Turkish ties, which are strained over a range of issues, including Ankara’s purchase of Russian defense systems. Semih Idiz writes that during their recent face-to-face meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Biden made progress on Afghanistan but little else.

One cool thing: Egyptian woman trains male boxers, shattering social barriers

In the south of Egypt, Sabah Abdel Halim trains male boxers on the latest techniques. Women boxers are uncommon in Egypt; women coaching men, in boxing no less, is unheard of. Rasha Mahmoud has the story here.

ICYMI: Lebanon running on fumes

Extremely long lines at gas stations have become a common sight in Lebanon, where crippling fuel shortages are deepening the country’s financial crisis. Gasoline-filled storage containers are causing fires in homes, and gas station workers have become the targets of near-daily attacks by people seeking the rationed fuel. Abandoned cars are scattered across the country’s streets. Hanan Hamdan examines what caused the crisis, why people are turning to the black market for gas and how Lebanon’s government is trying to stop the smuggling of fuel to neighboring Syria.

What we are reading: “Learning poverty” in the Middle East

More than half of children living in the Middle East and North Africa experience “learning poverty,” meaning they can’t read or understand age-appropriate text. The gender gap is profound, with boys far more likely to be in learning poverty than girls in the region. A new World Bank report explores how Middle East countries can better teach the Arabic language, specifically Modern Standard Arabic, to young children. Read the full report here.


Takeaway: Israel: Deja vu, all over again

nce again, for the fourth tim上海品茶网e in two y上海夜生活ears, an Israeli election produced no clear winner and the prospect of yet another vote. In the March 23 elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc received 59 seats, two short of a majority, and few seats seem up for grabs at this point, except for the five seats of Arab Joint List defector Mansour Abbas’ Raam party (see below).

Odds of stability: “Slim to None.” Netanyahu could gain a majority if he could peel off some of the defectors from the other right-wing parties allied against him. Or Netanyahu could lose out if the center-left parties opposed to Bibi could win over the seven seats held by Naftali Bennett’s Yamina Party. Ben Caspit puts these odds as “slim to none.” Also in the “slim to none” category is an arrangement with Abbas. Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc won’t be buying a deal with any Arab party. Caspit says Bibi’s flirtation with the Arab vote has led to a funeral, rather than wedding, for Netanyahu. Abbas, for his part, could end up being a broker.

Gang of Four: If there is chance for Bibi to lose power, it will depend on the rival “Gang of Fo上海品茶网e in two y上海夜生活ur” pulling together: Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman, New Hope leader Gideon Saar and Bennett on the right, and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on the center-left. Caspit, who notes that the four “would each give up a kidney” if Netanyahu willingly stepped aside, doesn’t see this outcome as likely, but doesn’t rule it out either.

More of the same: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will soon ask whoever gathers the most votes to form the next government. That is likely to be Netanyahu, but you never know. Rivlin could also call for an emergency coalition government like last time, but the last effort flopped, and would require another deal with Netanyahu. Mazal Mualem writes that assuming the final vote tallies (expected March 31) stay on track, a divided transition government with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz (who overcame a kind of political near-death experience to win eight seats) “will continue to run the country for the next few months as Israel plunges into another election round.”

Read our coverage here from Ben Caspit, Mazal Mualem and Rina Bassist.

Israeli election results
Five quick takes from Russia, Egypt, Turkey, the Gulf and Israel’s ‘cave of horror’

  1. Hezbollah officials make rare Russia trip

Anton Mardasov looks at what a group of Hezbollah officials were doing in Russia last week. The visit — the Lebanese militant group’s first since 2011 — probably saw a discussion over t上海品茶网e in two y上海夜生活he French road map for resolving Beirut’s political deadlock, as well as Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian civil war.

The delegation’s visit nearly overlapped with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi’s arrival in Moscow — a “rather awkward situation,” Mardasov writes, seeing as Israel views the Iran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

  1. Inside Egypt’s all-female village

The residents of Egypt’s al-Samaha village have one thing in common — they’re all women. Al-Monitor’s correspondent takes us inside the government-run, women-only village in Upper Egypt that’s become a refuge for divorcees, widows and victims of domestic violence in the conservative country.

  1. Turkey’s market tumble

Diego Cupolo breaks down how President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s abrupt sacking of Turkey’s central bank governor, Naci Agbal, caused financial markets to plummet and the Turkish lira to crash Monday.

Plus, Cupolo has more on what to expect from Agbal’s replacement, Sahap Kavcioglu. In a nutshell: Think short-term objectives, like stimulating rapid growth and possibly selling Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves, rather than the type of long-term stabilization measures pursued by his predecessor.

  1. Pandemic spending in the Gulf

The oil-rich Gulf states have racked up record debt bailing out their economies during the pandemic. Sebastian Castelier looks at how the six Gulf Cooperation Council members used the billions they borrowed and finds much of the funds have gone back into the pockets of civil servants. “The strategy keeps the existing social safety net afloat, but raises the question of economic leakages,” Castelier writes.

  1. Dead Sea Scrolls found in “Cave of Horror”

For the first time in more than six decades, archaeologists have uncovered new Dead Sea Scrolls fragments stashed away in the West Bank’s Cave of Horror, where a group of Jewish refugees hid during their failed revolt against the Romans in the 2nd century. The Israeli excavation team also discovered a partially mummified child, a cache of Jewish coins and a 10,500-year-old woven basket.

One cool thing: Do deep fakes of the dead violate Islamic law?
Maybe cool, maybe a little creepy, or both. The Israeli-made “My Heritage” app has rolled out a new feature that allows users to animate still photographs of their dead relatives. The eerie use of deepfake technology has raised questions in Egypt over whether the animations violate Sharia law, says Rasha Mahmoud.

What we’re reading: Did Iran and Hezbollah meddle in US elections?
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei likely authorized “a covert influence campaign” to undercut President Donald Trump’s reelection chances, according to a newly released US intelligence assessment. The report also identified the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah among the foreign actors that took steps to meddle in the 2020 election. Read the report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence here.

ICYMI: Amberin Zaman at the National Press Club
Al Monitor’s Amberin Zaman examined the state of US-Turkey relations in an interview with the National Press Club. “I’ve never seen in all my years of reporting, the kind of hostility that Turkey currently faces across the board on the Hill and in the administration,” she said. Plus, Zaman recounts her own personal experience with Turkey’s press crackdown.


Turkey wild card in US-Russia conflict over Syria aid

ough humanitarian a上海夜网论坛id to Syria was上海品茶网 hardly a top agenda item during President Joe Biden’s Europe tour, Washington has signaled that it might be ready for some sort of position shift over the matter, which remains a top priority for the Biden administration’s Syria policy. As Washington’s talks with Moscow have been focusing on keeping the international aid flowing and reopening border crossings, Turkey holds a key position in the negotiations.

Although Biden has failed to secure a commitment from Russian President Vladimir Putin t上海夜网论坛id to Syria was上海品茶网o renew cross-border humanitarian access to Syria during their June 16 meeting, remarks indicate both leaders might be ready for a change.

“[Putin] indicated that he was prepared to, quote, ‘help’ on Afghanistan … on Iran,” Biden said following the June 16 meeting. “In return, we told him what we wanted to do relative to bringing some stability and economic security or physical security to the people of Syria and Libya,” he added.

Currently, the most pressing issue in the negotiations is keeping the Cilvegozu/Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish border open. A UN Security Council mandate to keep the crossing open will end by July 10, amid warnings by civic groups of a looming catastrophe. The Biden administration and international organizations are also pushing for authorization to reopen the Bab al-Salama crossing on the Turkish border and al-Yarubiyah between Iraqi Kurdistan and northeast Syria.

Turkey, which has a critical position in the decision-making process over which crossings will be used for the flow of humanitarian aid, also stands as the main interlocutor in a possible Russian-Americ上海夜网论坛id to Syria was上海品茶网an reconciliation.

During his meeting with Biden on June 14 on the sidelines of the NATO summit, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan listed Turkey’s priorities on the Syrian file, reiterating that an end to US support to Syrian Kurdish groups remains Ankara’s top priority.

Turkey opposes reopening al-Yarubiyah on the grounds that the aid flowing through the crossing will help the Kurdish-led administration in northeast Syria.

Although Erdogan failed to get what he wanted from Biden during their meeting, the final communique of the NATO summit has offered some mollification for Turkey.

“We remain vigilant over missile launches from Syria which could again hit or target Turkey. We continue to monitor and assess the ballistic missile threat from Syria,” the final document said.

“We reiterate our appreciation to our Ally Turkey for hosting millions of Syrian refugees,” it added. Of note, this support could be seen as a reward for Ankara’s proposal of maintaining the security of Kabul’s airport after NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan and Turkey’s contributions to NATO efforts aiming to deter Russia. There was no mention of Turkey’s security concerns in the previous NATO summit communique.
If the Biden administration manages to keep the Bab al-Hawa crossing open and reopen one more crossing for the flow of aid, a milestone could be achieved in Syrian politics.

International humanitarian aid flowed through four border crossings — Bab al-Hawa, Bab al-Salama, al-Yarubiyah and Ramse on the Jordanian border — between 2014 to 2020 under a UN Security Council decision. Al-Yarubiyah and Ramse were closed in 2020. Arguing that the aid should be channeled through Damascus, Russia vetoed renewing the authorization to keep Bab al-Salama open and to reopen al-Yarubiyah and Ramse. Currently humanitarian aid flows through only Bab al-Hawa.

Speaking in a virtual Security Council session on Syria on March 29, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the reopening of Bab al-Salama and al-Yarubiyah as international organizations warn of a humanitarian disaster on the way if the parties fail to reach an agreement to extend the UN mandate to keep Bab al-Hawa open.

“For millions of civilians in Idlib, this is their lifeline. Over the last year and a half, some members of the Security Council succeeded in shamefully closing two other crossings into Syria. … Bab al-Hawa is literally all that’s left,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said during her visit to the border crossing on June 3. Her visit came following the Russian threats to veto an extension to keep the border open.

Although Biden failed to secure a promise from Putin to keep the aid flowing during their meeting, the US side “made clear that this was of significant importance for us if there was going to be any further cooperation on Syria,” a US official told Reuters after their June 16 meeting. The official said the renewal will be a test of whether the United States and Russia could work together.

As for the reopening of the al-Yarubiyah crossing, the Russian objections are not the sole obstacle. Turkey also opposes the idea on the grounds that the aid flowing through the crossing will help the Kurdish-led administration in northeast Syria.

Instead, Turkey wants Bab al-Hawa to remain open and to reopen Bab al-Salama, which connects to the Euphrates Shield area under the control of the Turkey-backed Syrian opposition.

Russia, for its part, might consent to Bab al-Hawa remaining open for the sake of Russian-Turkish ties. Yet in exchange for the reopening of Bab al-Salama and al-Yarubiyah, Moscow asks for protective positions toward radical Islamist organizations in Idlib including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham to be abandoned and sanctions on the Syrian regime to be lifted.

Meanwhile, Russia might be seeking a new formula that will push the Kurds in northeast Syria to Damascus. One scenario suggests that should the United States leave control of oil wells in northern Syria to Damascus, then Moscow might allow the reopening of al-Yarubiyah. Although there is no concrete confirmation of such claims, recent developments have strengthened the prospect.

First, the US administration decided to not extend a sanctions waiver granted by the Trump administration in April 2020 to American oil company Delta Crescent Energy’s operations in northeast Syria. Biden might be seeking to pave the way to work with Russia on Syria by abandoning the US policy of guarding the Syrian oil, one he did not cherish in the first place. The move might also aim to smooth Ankara’s concerns over Kurdish control of Syrian oil and Turkish opposition to the reopening of al-Yarubiyah.

After oil wells fell under the control of the SDF, the Moscow and Damascus positions toward the Kurds dramatically changed. The US-Kurdish partnership and the Kurdish dominance over Syrian oil and grain stand as major impediments to the negotiations with Damascus. The reopening of al-Yarubiyah and the change of control over Syrian oil might be a milestone for the Turkey-Russia-US triangle in Syria.

Although the US administration still argues that a political settlement in Syria should be reached in line with Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for free and fair elections under UN supervision, the Biden-Putin summit might have also hinted at a policy shift in Washington’s standing vis-a-vis the Syrian government.

“They asked me why I thought that it was important to continue to have problems with the president of Syria. I said, ‘Because he’s in violation of an international norm.’ It’s called a chemical weapons treaty. Can’t be trusted. It’s about trust,” Biden said.

These remarks might indicate that Washington’s conditions to set up ties with Syrian President Bashar al Assad have changed. Still, it’s too early to draw big conclusions.

As for Turkey, whether the relative support NATO extended to Ankara in the summit’s final document will translate into concrete assistance or not remains an open question. Biden has not ruled out working with Russia on the Iran, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria files, which means American fulfillment of Turkey’s expectations in Syria is not guaranteed.

Meanwhile, Ankara has taken several steps from Georgia to Ukraine and Poland in a bid to contribute to Western efforts to deter Russia. The tensions piled up between Turkey and Russia on these fronts might turn into an escalation in Idlib, where Damascus and Moscow are already turning up the pressure militarily. Iran is also making a military buildup around Aleppo.

NATO’s support of Turkey might be aiming to build deterrence against an impending storm in Idlib. Yet Ankara is lacking concrete assurance on the matter, as evidenced in Erdogan’s remarks after his meeting with Biden.

“I believe we can take care of ourselves. There is no other way to do this,” Erdogan said after the talks, expressing his disappointment over US support to the Syrian Kurdish groups.


Turkey needs to build support for new Afghan mission

Turkey is out to dru上海夜生活论坛m up support for its offer to take charge of Kabul’s airport after US-led NATO forces complete their withdrawal from Afgha上海品茶网nistan in September. The Taliban’s objections stand out as a major uncertainty, adding importance to how Iran and Pakistan, two key neighbors of Afghanistan, will approach Turkey’s role.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held a trilateral meeting with his Iranian and Afghan counterparts June 20 during a diplomatic forum in Turkey’s Mediterranean city of Antalya. A joint statement after the meeting emphasized the three countries’ commitment to increase cooperation and support “a sovereign, independent, democratic and unified Afghanistan,” but made no mention of Turkey’s offer to guard and run Kabul’s international airport.

Speaking after the meeting, Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar said the three ministers had agreed to cooperate in three “important” areas. These are the peace process in Afghanistan, economic ties and security issues — including counterterrorism and the prevention of organized crimes and illegal migration. He welcomed Turkey’s “bold” offer to secure the airport, pledging that Kabul would “fully” back it. “We very much welcome Turkey’s willingness to sustain the capabilities and the facilities as well as the high-level technological arrangements for the airport, which will be necessary for the continuous presence of the diplomatic community, as well as the continued support of the international community to Afghanistan and our national security forces,” he said.

Indeed, a continued Turkish presence after NATO’s withdrawal appears to be the best option for the Afghan government. And despite the Turkish-Iranian rivalry in the region, the idea is likely to appeal also to Tehran as well, if it would mean less US influence in Afghanistan.

The Taliban, however, is the crucial party here and its initial reaction has been negative. “Turkey was part of NATO forces in the past 20 years, so as such, they should withdraw from Afghanistan,” a Taliban spokesman told Reuters earlier this month, citing the Feb. 29, 2020, deal between Washington and the Taliban. “Otherwise,” he added, “Turkey is a great Islamic country. Afghanistan has had historical relations with it. We hope to have close and good relations with them as a new Islamic government is established in the country in future.”

Assuming a security mission in Afghanistan without an understanding with the Taliban would be fraught with serious perils for Turkey. This makes Pakistan’s stance even more important, given its role in fostering the Taliban and ongoing influence over the movement. Could Pakistan soften the Taliban in favor of Turkey? Would the Taliban acquiesce to Turkey’s military presence in Kabul at a time when the Taliban are stepping up their territorial gains and eyeing a return to power?

According to Aqa Mohammad Qurishi, an Afghan academic and writer, Turkey’s historical friendship with Afghanistan, its peaceful record in the country in the past two turbulent decades and the Afghan people’s welcoming of a new role for Turkey are all facilitating factors, but an array of challenges remains.

“I think Turkey’s new role will be fruitful for Afghanistan, particularly … in coordination with NATO, but the Afghan people will not like Pakistan’s direct involvement in the mission,” Qurishi told Al-Monitor. “The second challenge is Iran’s attitude regarding Turkey’s involvement,” he added.

The mission would “face many obstacles” unless it rests on a clearly defined agreement with the Afghan government that would address also the concerns of regional countries, Qurishi said, stressing that the Taliban were unlikely to change their stance. Despite Atmar’s positive messages in Antalya, the Kabul government has yet to formally accept Turkey’s proposal, he noted.

Washington has welcomed a “lead role” for Turkey in securing the airport, and a Pentagon delegation was expected in Turkey on June 24 to discuss technical matters. According to a Pentagon spokesman, “There are still details to be worked out. There is a lot more work to be done.”

Turkey’s offer comes as part of efforts to mend fences with the United States. Some even speculate that the offer is meant to soften Washington on Turkey’s purchase of Russian air defense systems, which remains a major crisis between the two NATO allies.

Turkey currently has about 500 troops in Afghanistan and is responsible for running the military section of the Kabul airport. Speaking after his meeting with US President Joe Biden last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara was looking to partner with Pakistan and Hungary in the new mission.

Asked about the issue during the forum in Antalya, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he had yet to hear the details of Turkey’s proposal, even though he said Islamabad was comfortable working with Ankara in any realm.

Given that the airport would be a valuable target for the Taliban, an armed confrontation with the insurgents could bear on Ankara’s ties with Islamabad. Under US pressure, Pakistan has scaled back its ties with the Taliban, but never cut them. The Taliban hail mostly from the Pashtun ethnic group, which inhabits both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border and remains a major factor swaying bilateral ties.

As for Iran, its approach to the Taliban has significantly softened since it backed the overthrow of the hard-line Sunni movement following the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Iranian activity has grown in Kabul, Herat, Bamiyan and Daikundi — areas inhabited by the Shiite Hazara minority — since Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps began recruiting Afghan fighters for Syria in 2013. The Taliban may be irked that Iran has now gained a foothold for interference in Afghanistan, but their relationship has notably improved, as evidenced by a series of bilateral contacts in recent years. Tehran has yet to express a position on Turkey’s prospective mission in Kabul.

Russia and China have to be factored in as well.

Like Tehran, Moscow did not oppose the US invasion, but has played a double game since then, wary of growing American influence in Central Asia, a region it views as a backyard. Russia has developed relatively close ties with the Taliban and, in March, hosted peace talks between the movement and the Afghan government. Asked about Turkey’s plan to guard the Kabul airport, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said June 17 that continued Turkish military presence in Afghanistan would go against the US-Taliban deal on the withdrawal of foreign troops.

As for China, its interest in Afghanistan has grown in recent years amid efforts to sever links between its Uighur separatists and the Taliban and advance its ambitious Belt and Road project. On June 3, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced an eight-point understanding with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, calling for a bigger role for regional countries in stabilizing Afghanistan.

Turkey’s offer to secure the airport has been conditioned on political, financial and logistical support from NATO, but, obviously, Turkey cannot rely on NATO backing alone for a safe mission in Kabul. A UN Security Council resolution, backed by Russia and China, would strengthen Turkey’s hand, yet such a prospect appears unlikely. Moreover, international support is not a guarantee of a smooth ride in Afghanistan amid the internal rifts plaguing the country since 1979. Drawing on ethnic and historical bonds, Turkey may take the amity of the Uzbek and Tajik communities for granted, but could hardly do so with the majority Pashtuns, who form the backbone of the Taliban.

Meanwhile, NATO has approached Qatar for a base to train Afghan soldiers after its withdrawal. According to Reuters, the United States, Britain and Turkey are among NATO allies ready to contribute forces to a training mission in Qatar.

All those developments have been taking place amid a stalemate in the peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban, which insists on the establishment of an “Islamic system” to end the conflict in the country. Moreover, the Taliban have seized dozens of districts from government forces since the NATO withdrawal began in May, extending Taliban control to at least 50% of the country’s territory, excluding urban centers, according to UN estimates. A worst-case scenario might see the Taliban threaten Kabul as they quickly fill the vacuum after NATO’s departure.


Turkey stalls on withdrawal of foreign forces from Libya

Turkey might have manage上海品茶网d to stave 上海夜生活off pressure to withdraw its military presence in Libya by agreeing to pull out the Syrian militia, but Ankara’s policies are widening the divide between rival Libyan actors and expanding the anti-Turkey front in the international arena.

Germany hosted the second Berlin conference on Libya on June 23 in a bid to advance efforts to carry the country to nationwide elections in December under a road map agreed as part of the UN-led efforts.

The process following the first Berlin conference in January 2020 has seen the announcement of a permanent cease-fire, the formation o上海品茶网d to stave 上海夜生活f a new unity government, and the formation of a military committee tasked with the unification of rival armed forces in the country.

Yet no progress has been achieved on efforts to merge rival Libyan institutions, form a national army, neutralize irregular Libyan militias, or draft a new constitution and election laws. The presence of foreign fighters in the country has turned into a major obstacle before all efforts on these fronts.

International calls for the withdrawal of foreign fighters from the country were echoed in the final text of the meeting as well.

However, the article was accepted with Turkey’s reservations. According to the Libyan sources, Turkey sought to use “all mercenaries” instead of “all foreign forces” in the wording of the text in a bid to secure the presence of the Turkis上海品茶网d to stave 上海夜生活h troops on the ground, yet its demand was denied by Egypt.

Ankara’s strategy is to bargain away the Syrian fighters it transferred to Libya in a bid to keep the Turkish troops in the country and to keep the spotlight on foreign militia fighting for Libya’s eastern-based forces loyal to retired Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

As part of this strategy, Turkey sought to force the Libyan Government of National Unity to back Ankara’s stance ahead of the conference. A large, high-level delegation including Turkey’s foreign, defense and interior ministers as well as presidential spokesman, intelligence chief and chief of the general staff paid an unannounced visit to the war-torn country on June 12.

While Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush has kept a firm stance on the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country, the head of the unity government, Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, who was in close contact with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during the conference, is making a distinction between foreign fighters and mercenaries.

Dbeibeh’s distinction favoring Turkey has become apparent after his 上海品茶网d to stave 上海夜生活meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Following the meeting on June 24, Dbeibeh said he stressed the importance of urgent withdrawal of “all foreign mercenaries” from the country.

The State Department’s readout on the meeting, in turn, said the parties emphasized the importance of “the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya.”

Speaking to the press on June 24, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Joey Hood acknowledged the difficulties before the implementation of the withdrawal calls but added that “the Libyans are clear: They want everybody out.”

“We can’t wave a magic wand and make this happen, but working together with the Libyan people, I think there’s a strong chance that we can set the conditions to provide the incentives and maybe other parameters for these forces to leave,” Hood said.

In the absence of a mechanism to enforce the withdrawal of foreign forces, the matter rests on negotiations between the involved parties, particularly between Russia and Turkey — two powers heavily involved in the conflict. As the conference w上海品茶网d to stave 上海夜生活as ongoing, The Associated Press reported that Russia and Turkey “tentatively agreed” to begin a process of withdrawing foreign fighters from Libya, citing a US official. The official told the AP the deal is not yet done but that the two countries were to discuss a withdrawal of about 300 each.

Mangoush voiced optimism over the matter. “We have progress in terms of mercenaries, so you know hopefully within coming days, mercenaries from both sides are going to be withdrawing and I think this is going to be encouraging,” she said, speaking in a joint conference with Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the end of the conference.

Maas said the withdrawal would have to be carried out “step by step” and in a balanced way to ensure neither Russia nor Turkey do not gain an advantage.

Sparring parties seem to have divided over which mercenaries leave the country first. The Russian-backed eastern forces have advocated the pullout of Syrian and Turkish fighters but sought to keep Syrian, Chad and Sundanese militia fighting in their ranks.

Ankara, in turn, has argued that withdrawal of Turkey from the country before the removal of militia backing Hifter would turn the tables against the legitimate Libyan government. For Turkey, the Turkish troops’ presence in the country is based on an agreement Ankara reached with the country’s legitimate government and is aimed at training the Libyan forces. Some Libyan groups supported by Turkey have also expressed their fears that withdrawal of Turkey might lay the ground for Hifter to reignite the war.

A road map proposed by France suggests a gradual withdrawal of foreign fighters. The road map unveiled by French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the G-7 summit foresees the withdr上海品茶网d to stave 上海夜生活awal of Syrian fighters first, Wagner mercenaries second and Turkish troops third in a bid to unify rival Libyan armies.

Turkey’s objections indicate that Ankara is also supporting a gradual withdrawal in coordination with Russia. The simultaneous withdrawal of Syrian fighters from both camps might give Ankara time to prolong the presence of the Turkish troops in the country.

The Libyan actors’ unwelcoming stance to the Turkish presence, meanwhile, is complicating Ankara’s strategy.

First of all, unlike his public remarks, Dbeibeh might be adopting a different stance over the presence of the Turkish troops in his private deliberations. As the head of the unity government, he has to take into account Hifter-led forces’ demands as well. Besides, in addition to Turkey, Dbeibeh needs the support of France, Italy and Egypt, which are at odds with Turkey over the presence of foreign fighters.

Furthermore, the Biden administration’s support of the UN’s road map indicates the days that Turkey imposed its own realities on the ground have long gone.

Hifter has already claimed that conditions on the ground are making it impossible to hold elections, fueling the pressure on Turkey further.

Turkey’s political blunders are also adding to the controversy. The Turkish delegation’s visit on June 14 has undermined the budget bill vote in the Tobruk-based House of Representatives. Head of the Defense and National Security Committee Talal al-Mihoub blamed Dbeibeh’s open support for Turkey and the Turkish delegation’s unannounced visit for the veto of the budget bill.

“We, the Libyans, have been fighting the Turks since 1825; it hasn’t started today,” Misbah Duma, a parliamentarian, said during the budget discussions marred by a brawl.

Hifter-led forces aside, some other Libyan groups are also irked by Turkey’s overreaching policies in the country.

Aref Ali Nayed, head of the Ihya Libya Movement, called on the United Nations to push for a binding timetable for the withdrawal of the Turkish and Turkey-backed foreign fighters. Nayed also lashed out at the Turkish delegations’ frequent visits to Mitiga airport — a strategic airbase where most of the Turkish troops are based.

Apart from its military presence, some Libyan circles have also accused Turkey of eyeing economic gains through its military intervention. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call on his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev for joint investments in the Libyan energy sector has irked many in the country, leading to questions over Turkey’s respect for Libya’s sovereignty.

Deepening confrontations with the various Libyan actors further increase the question marks over the future of controversial military cooperation and maritime deals Turkey had signed with Libya’s Tripoli government in 2019 — the agreements have yet to be ratified by the House Representatives.

Meanwhile, Ankara’s insistence on keeping its troops in the country also mars its efforts to improve ties with Egypt, which asks Turkey to fully withdraw from Libya before a normalization between the two countries can be achieved.


US teachers union to vote on support for ‘heroic struggle’ of Palestinians

major teachers uni上海夜生活on in the United States will soon vote on resolutions in support of the Palestinian cause and against US backing for the Israeli and Saudi governments.

The National Education Association (NEA) represents American public school teachers, and is the largest such organization in the country. During its annual meeting, which is taking place virtually until Saturday, union members will vote on a variety of resolutions.

Some of the resolutions pertain to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as US-Saudi relations. New Business Item 29 calls on the association to support the Palestinian cause and demand the US government stop military and other support to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“The NEA will publicize its support for the Palestinian struggle for justice and call on the United States government to stop arming a上海夜生活nd supporting Israel and Saudi Arabia,” read the item.

New Business Item 29, like most such proposals, was submitted by 50 unnamed union representatives. It referred to the “heroic struggle” of Palestinians against Israel.

“The Arab population of Palestine has again risen up in a heroic struggle against military repression and ‘ethnic cleansing’ by the Israeli state and extreme nationalist forces in Israeli society,” it read.

Another Palestine-related resolution is New Business Item 51, which says the 上海夜生活sociation should educate the general public on Palestinian history, as well as the detention of Palestinian children by Israel. The item also calls on the teachers to advocate for the educational rights of Palestinian kids, among other things.

The association’s consideration of these resolutions was first reported by The Washington Free Beacon, an American conservative news outlet.

A resolution similar to New Business Item 51 was defeated at a 2019 meeting of the NEA.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an increasingly divisive issue in the United States. The United States provides billions in aid to Israel every year, in addition to a smaller amount to the Palestinian people. Criticism of US support for Saudi Arabia has also grown in recent years, in part due to Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemeni civil war and the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


Meet Iran’s US-sanctioned new judiciary chief

Iranian Supreme Leader 上海夜生活娱乐论坛Ayatollah Ali Khamenei named Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei the country’s new judiciary chief July 1. Mohseni Ejei will succeed Ebrahim Raisi, who is busy preparing to take office as Iran’s president in a few weeks following his landslide victory in a low-turnout election June 18.

In his letter of credentials to the new chief justice, Khamenei advised his pick to tackle corruption, and ensure the rule of law and justice, after describing the cleric as a man with “in-depth understanding and a brilliant record.”

Under Article 157 of Iran’s theocratic constitution, the unelected supreme leader directly appoints the head of the judiciary, one of the上海夜生活娱乐论坛 three branches of power along with the executive and the parliament. As the same laws require the judiciary head to be a cleric, the post has in the past three decades been held by relentless hard-liners close to Khamenei.

Iran’s judiciary has long been accused of rights violations and has represented to many Iranians an institution defined by lack of transparency and plagued by inner corruption. Mahmoud Shahroudi famously declared upon his appointment as chief justice in 1999 that he had inherited an institution that was in ruins.

What perhaps distinguishes Mohseni Ejei from his predecessors is his repeated movements between the judiciary and the intelligence apparatus. As an interrogator in the early years following Iran’s 1979 revolution and later the judiciary’s representative in the Intelligence Ministry, Mohseni Ejei is accused of close involvement in the mass executions of political prisoners in the 1980s as well as the so-called “chain assassination” of Iranian dissidents and intellectuals in the late 1990s.

In 2005, Mohseni Ejei was named Iran’s intelligence minister, a post he maintained for four years before his promotion to prosecutor-general. His transition between the two key posts coincided with the Islamic Republic’s crackdown on the 2009 postelection protests. The unrest saw hundreds killed and thousands p上海夜生活娱乐论坛aced behind bars, many of whom shown confessing in mass televised trials as the ruling establishment was poised to crush a fledgling Green Movement. Mohseni Ejei’s role in the state-led clampdown triggered his inclusion as a rights violator in separate blacklists issued by the European Union and the US Department of Treasury.​

In 2004, the cleric became known as “the biting judge” after he expressed his intolerance of criticism by severely attacking and leaving a bite mark on the shoulder of a senior Reformist journalist during a weekly meeting.

The figure of a man known for his inflammatory speeches and overt disregard for press freedoms is already sending shivers down the spines of members of Iran’s civil society, who are sharing across social media platforms their experiences with the ultraconservative judge.

“It would be a step backward,” wrote rights activist and lawyer Ali Mojtahedzadeh before the official appointment as he hoped for the rumors to be untrue. “As we continue to deal with crises on a d上海夜生活娱乐论坛aily basis, the replacement of a bad chief justice with one who is worse is little less than a surprise,” tweeted another Tehran-based lawyer.

Mohseni Ejei’s appointment also marked yet another move toward a further tightening of the hard-liners’ grip on power in Iran. All the three branches of the Islamic Republic establishment are now in full control of men effectively handpicked by the country’s supreme leader.


Islamic State exploits economic downturn in Iraq, Syria, US envoy says

The Islamic Stat上海夜生活论坛e (IS) is trying to take advantage of deteriorating economic conditions in Iraq and Syria to reconstitute itself, said the State Department’s envoy to the US-led coalition battling the group.

“One thing I heard consistently in both Iraq and Syria is that poverty, inequality and 上海品茶网perceived injustice continue to drive many young people to join terrorist groups, including [IS],” John Godfrey, acting US Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, told reporters on Thursday.

“The combination of a severe drought and a weak harvest that will be about half of what is normal has created a significant economic downturn that impacts the revenues of local partners and also contributes to unemployment,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey, who recently returned from a visit to Iraq and Syria, cited local partners who say the terrorist group is “actively seeking to exploit that economic situation to reconstitute presence, or to try to reconstitute presence, in areas hardest hit by the economic downturn.”

Iraq declared victory over the Sunni terrorist group in December 2017, but the group is still waging a low-level insurgency in the rural, mountainous parts of northern and western Iraq. The group is also suspected of several bombings in Baghdad this year.

IS is also territorially defeated in Syria but has carried out small-scale attacks on regime forces or areas held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). After the fall of the last IS stronghold in Baghouz in March 2019, thousands of captured fighters and their families were transferred to makeshift camps and detention centers run by the SDF.

More than two years later, the remaining prisoners and some residents of the camps “constitute a potential threat to security in the region and beyond.” The estimated 43,000 men, women and children housed by the Kurdish-led SDF are placing a major strain on the local authorities, he added. Human rights groups have repeatedly warned of the dire conditions in the camps and the potential for radicalization among impoverished residents.

On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pressed US allies to repatriate their citizens who are in the custody of the under-resourced, Kurdish-led SDF in northeast Syria. He described the detention of 10,000 suspected IS fighters, about 2,000 of whom are foreigners, as an “untenable” situation.

The United States has repatriated a total of 28 Americans to date, Godfrey said on Thursday. Of that group, 12 are adults and 10 have been prosecuted or are undergoing prosecution.


N to send cease-fire observers to Libya

Libya’s unity 上海夜生活论坛government上海品茶网 lauded a decision by the UN Security Council to send international observers to the war-torn country to monitor a nationwide cease-fire, now in its sixth month.

The UN Security Council on Friday passed a unanimous resolution approving a proposal to send cease-fire monitors to Libya and calling once again f上海夜生活论坛government上海品茶网or foreign forces and mercenaries to leave the country.

The observers will work independently of the 5+5 joint military commission established between Libya’s opposing sides last year under the internationally backed peace initiative.

Why it matters: The arrival of new observers may help bring exposure to the contin上海夜生活论坛government上海品茶网ued presence of foreign fighters in Libya, but Friday’s resolution does not give the Security Council teeth to enforce their departure.

Some 20,000 foreign fighters remained in Libya at the end of last year, according to a UN estimate. Among them were more than 1,000 Wagner Group paramilitary fighters under Russia’s Defense Ministry, as well as Syrians fighting on both sides of the conflict. Turkish and UAE military advisers have also reportedly been on the ground during the conflict, as well as Sudanese and Chadian mercenaries.

Resolution 2570 “strongly urges” member states to support the cease-fire agreement signed last October and the withdrawal of all foreign forces. Foreign fighters were scheduled to leave Libya in January under last year’s agreement, but so far there has been little sign of their departure.

What’s next: As many as 60 unarmed observers under the UN’s assistance mission to Libya (UNSMIL) are set to deploy to the frontline city of Sirte under the resolution once security arrangements are made, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters.

A legislative framework for Libya’s future elections is scheduled to be in place by July 1. Parliamentary and national elections are scheduled for Dec. 24, with the rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk vowing to support the process.

Know more: Mustafa Fetouri show上海夜生活论坛government上海品茶网s how promises for women’s representation in Libya’s new government have fallen short. Nonetheless, women are making historic gains. The country recently saw its first female justice minister appointed, Halima Abdul Rahman Busafi; the first female minister from Libya’s Tebu minority, Culture and Knowledge Development Minister Mabrouka Tovi Osman Aoki; and its first female foreign minister, Najla el-Mangoush.