News 2021

 

 

25.1.2021

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | NANCY A. YOUSSEF

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd Austin, a retired Army general who most recently led all U.S. military operations in the Middle East, as President Biden’s defense secretary, making him the first Black secretary ever to run the department. Mr. Austin, 67 years old, was confirmed in a 93-2 vote, becoming the second member of Mr. Biden’s cabinet to gain Senate approval, after Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines was confirmed on Wednesday.

21.1.2021

Reuters

Egypt and Qatar Agree to Resume Diplomatic Ties

Egypt and Qatar have agreed to resume diplomatic relations, the Egyptian foreign ministry said, making Cairo the first to officially do so under an Arab deal to end a long-running dispute with Doha. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt agreed earlier this month to restore diplomatic, trade and travel ties severed in 2017 over allegations Qatar supported terrorism, a charge that Doha denies. When the boycott was announced, Egypt and its allies called on Qatar to cut ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, among other demands. The Islamist group was outlawed in Egypt after then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the overthrow of the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi from the presidency in 2013, before being elected president himself the following year. Much of the Muslim Brotherhood’s senior leadership was jailed in Egypt but other members took refuge abroad in Qatar or its regional ally Turkey. Egypt and the UAE have also found themselves at odds with Turkey and Qatar in Libya, where they have backed opposing factions in a civil conflict.

UAE Arms Deal Signed an Hour Before Biden Takes Office

The UAE has signed an agreement with the U.S. to purchase 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 armed drones. Although the UAE and the US were working to ink a deal before Biden took office, the new president has said he will re-examine the agreements. The UAE, one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies, has long expressed interest in acquiring the stealthy F-35 jets and was promised a chance to buy them in a side deal when it agreed to normalize relations with Israel. The US State Department and the UAE Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment. One of the people said the agreement was signed about an hour before Biden was sworn into office. The document gave the UAE the chance to accept the negotiated schedule and configuration of the jets while also making the purchase request official.

Jerusalem Post

 

14.1.2021

Al-Monitor

UAE Signs Joint Defense Agreement with Cyprus

The UAE and Cyprus signed a defense cooperation agreement in the latest partnership between the Gulf country and a Mediterranean country. UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi signed the agreement during a videoconference with Cyprus’ Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides. The agreement includes proposals for future joint training exercises and operational cooperation. Petrides lauded the deal as inaugurating a strategic relationship between the two countries’ militaries, according to the Associated Press. The deal is the latest sign the UAE is capitalizing on its common cause with Mediterranean nations opposed to Turkey’s policies in the region. Cyprus currently has close military ties with Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Amid tensions between Greece and Turkey last year, the UAE offered F-16s to partake in joint exercises off Crete with Cypriot, Greek and French military personnel. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed later penned a strategic partnership with Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in November, allowing the two countries to station forces on each other’s territory and share intelligence. See also ‘‘How Capitol Hill Riots Will Complicate Turkey-US Ties’’ (Al-Monitor)

 

7-12 January 2021

 

The Jerusalem Post | Lahav Harkov

Sudanese Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari signed the document with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin present. Mnuchin continued to Israel for “important meetings,” as he characterized them on Twitter. Sudan became the third of four countries to agree to sign on to the Trump administration-brokered accords, following the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and before Morocco.


Six hours of paralysis: Inside Trump’s failure to act after a mob stormed the Capitol,

The Jerusalem Post | Lahav Harkov

Sudanese Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari signed the document with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin present. Mnuchin continued to Israel for “important meetings,” as he characterized them on Twitter. Sudan became the third of four countries to agree to sign on to the Trump administration-brokered accords, following the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and before Morocco.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-mob-failure/2021/01/11/36a46e2e-542e-11eb-a817-e5e7f8a406d6_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F2e6c1d9%2F5ffdda469d2fda0efbabeabc%2F596ba6649bbc0f403f94dde5%2F54%2F70%2F5ffdda469d2fda0efbabeabc

The Washington Post
The Post Most

(Leah Millis/Reuters)

FBI report warned of ‘war’ at Capitol, contradicting claims there was no indication of looming violence

An internal FBI report reviewed by The Post is the starkest evidence yet of the sizable intelligence failure that preceded last week’s mayhem.