In an exclusive interview in Washington with Al-Monitor's Barbara Slavin, former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril describes Libya as a "stateless society" requiring assistance from the United States and other Western nations to begin a national dialogue among its disparate factions and to stabilize the country.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi told Sophie Claudet in an interview that renewed protests against the Iranian government are imminent and that the opposition is working behind the scenes even if the state's crackdown has kept it off the streets. She also gave her views on Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian politics, sanctions and the Arab revolutions.
In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, former Israeli spy chief Efraim Halevy said Israel and the US must engage in a dialogue with Iran to understand how their adversaries think, a position rarely heard from top Israeli officials. He faulted Republican candidate Mitt Romney for making US policy toward Iran an issue in the presidential election.
Qatar has set up a fund to support enterprises in France’s underdeveloped areas, a move some speculate aims to interfere in French politics or propagate Qatar’s orthodox brand of Islam. Al-Monitor's Sophie Claudet met with Qatar's ambassador to discuss France, the rise of Islamism in Arab Spring countries, Syria and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Egyptian diplomat Amr Moussa tells Al-Monitor's Cale Salih in an exclusive interview that although strong US-Egypt relations are in the best interests of his country, he hopes Egypt will find itself in a position to say no to the US when necessary. Moussa also defended President Morsi, his one-time foe, praising his achievements in office.
In an interview with Al-Monitor, Gebran Bassil, Lebanon’s minister of energy and water, said he welcomes US involvement in the emerging energy opportunities in Lebanon and hopes the US will decide to become a “real player” in the Eastern Mediterranean. Bassil said American companies already are among those who have invested in the discoveries.
In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, who rarely speaks to the Western press, cast violence in Syria as a war against Salafi terrorists backed by predominantly Sunni Arab nations. "If ending the violence was in the hands of the Syrian government, then I assure you we would have ended it yesterday," Moallem said.
US Sen. Joseph Lieberman, in a wide ranging discussion of US policy in the Middle East, said the US should “stick with” the peace process and seek at least “a partial agreement” between Israel and Palestinians, adding he is “not seeking any position in whatever administration is elected,” although he would give any offer “serious consideration.”
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki speaks to Al-Monitor's Sophie Claudet just days after the US embassy in Tunis was stormed by Salafists. Marzouki said more could have been done to prevent the attack. He also acknowledged the rise and danger of Salafists, but said that force will not solve the problem of radical Islam.
In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor’s Andrew Parasiliti, Kurdistan leader Barham Salih warned, “let’s not repeat the mishaps of the Iraq transition” in planning for a post-Assad Syria, and said that the “Iraqi political crisis is far from over,” and compared threats to cut the Kurdistan Region’s share of the Iraqi budget to the tactics of Saddam Hussein.
Mohammed Ali Ahmed, a former South Yemeni leader who recently returned from exile, survived an assassination attempt on September 10. Al-Monitor's Farea al-Muslimi interviewed Ahmed, who rarely speaks and remains mostly in seclusion, earlier this summer on topics ranging from al-Qaeda to South Yemen’s prospects for independence.
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