Iran questions US pivot back to region as Europe embraces Rouhani

While the United States is increasingly engaged in a war of words with Iran, the bigger story may be the impact Washington’s more hawkish line may have on Europe’s approach toward Tehran and the consequences of a suggested US pivot back to the Middle East not materializing.
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 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 26

Civic groups press to revive Kurdish peace efforts in Turkey

After much bloodshed and destruction, a fledgling civic initiative in Turkey is seeking to bring Turks and Kurds closer to open the way for a fresh settlement effort to end the decadeslong Kurdish conflict.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 26

US mulls how best to control pro-Iran factions in Mideast

The United States and the Gulf states seem to agree that Tehran and its allies need to be contained to keep Iran from aggressively expanding once the Islamic State is driven out of the region.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed on May 26

Turkish mothers take up civil disobedience

Anyone who dares protest Erdogan is branded a dangerous terrorist and subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, even elderly mothers.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on May 26

Israeli lawmaker's selfie with Trump draws scorn

Knesset member Oren Hazan's selfie with President Donald Trump highlights the increasingly offensive behavior of Israel's elected officials.
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 Mazal Mualem on May 26

Egypt's journalists decry attack on free speech as 21 websites banned

Egyptian authorities have banned 21 news websites, including a prominent independent site, claiming they promote terrorism and "spread lies."
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 Shahira Amin for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 26

For now, Israel stuck paying Gaza's electric bill

With the Palestinian Authority unwilling to pay for electricity in the Gaza Strip, Israel has become solely responsible for providing electricity to Gaza free of charge.
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 Shlomi Eldar on May 26

Israel's economic aid to PA only temporary fix

Israel is preparing to implement a series of economic concessions to the Palestinians, which some see as a step to circumvent a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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 Adnan Abu Amer on May 26

Egypt's economy trapped in vicious cycle of IMF debts

Egypt is expecting a new rise of prices due to the IMF loan requirements, while the country has not yet recovered from the aftermath of the economic decisions taken in November 2016.
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 Ismael El-Kholy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 26

Russia remains unconcerned by Trump's anti-Iran rhetoric

US President Donald Trump tells the Saudis what they want to hear, but Russian experts don't expect him to renege on the Iran deal.
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Chulkovskaya for Al-Monitor on May 26

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