The European Union, most often preoccupied with its economic problems over the past few years, grappled with two strategic challenges last week. The first involved a tug-of-war with Russia over Ukraine. The second centered on Geneva, where the union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, chaired talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Nov 26, 2013
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East

The United States and Iran, having clinched a landmark interim deal suspending some aspects of Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, turned their attention this week to addressing the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Read the full Foreign Policy article here

Nov 26, 2013
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

The January 22 start of landmark Syria peace talks in Geneva will be difficult to keep to as the war worsens and fallout spreads across the Middle East, analysts say.

Read the full Agence France Presse article here

Nov 26, 2013
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Cuba won seats on the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday, despite fierce criticism of their records from rights campaigners.

Read the full Global Post article here

Nov 12, 2013
Richard Gowan

The United Nations Security Council has received the first report from chemical weapons inspectors inside Syria. The report details the country's cooperation with the initial effort to destroy its capacity to manufacture the weapons but despite progress on that front, the humanitarian crisis there shows no sign of improvement.

Read the full Channel NewsAsia article here

Oct 28, 2013
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

In diplomacy, it is easier to pull off a stunt than sustain a long-term strategy. Last week Saudi Arabia managed some multilateral acrobatics at the United Nations by winning a seat on the Security Council unopposed and then almost immediately renouncing it.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Oct 21, 2013
Richard Gowan
Middle East

Saudi Arabia refused to accept the membership of the United Nations Security Council it won yesterday, citing issues including Syria’s civil war that it said show the world body is incapable of resolving conflicts.

Read the full Bloomberg Business Week article here.

Oct 18, 2013
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

Saudi Arabia took the extraordinary step Friday of refusing to take its seat on the U.N. Security Council -- despite pursuing the position for years. It's an unprecedented protest over the council's failure to take firmer action in Syria and Palestine. And it comes at a time of growing Saudi frustration with American-led policies across the Middle East.

Read the full Foreign Policy article here.

Oct 18, 2013
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria, United States

Five countries have won two-year terms on the U.N. Security Council, including two potentially controversial countries. Chad has faced U.N. scrutiny for its use of child soldiers among the ranks of its military, while Saudi Arabia regularly faces international criticism for the state of human rights, and especially women’s rights, in the oil-rich kingdom.

Read the full Voice of America article here

Oct 17, 2013
Richard Gowan
United Nations

Chosen as one of the most influential women in the world by Time magazine, Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. undergoes a baptism by fire as she confronts the difficulties of Syrian diplomacy.

Read the full Le Monde article here

Oct 08, 2013
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria, United States

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