Atlantic Council

MENASource

In the World Bank Doing Business ranking, Egypt climbed one spot from last year's ranking. The main reason for the advancement is Egypt’s reforms aimed at protecting minority investors. In that category Egypt jumped eighteen places. While the country also gained two spots for ease of trading across borders, it dropped six spots in the ranking for "starting a business" and eight spots in "paying taxes".

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Tunisian officials confirmed that the results of Sunday’s election are official, and that members of the secular Nidaa Tounes party have won eighty-five of the 217 parliamentary seats. Electoral authorities also said that the Islamist Ennahda party, which conceded victory to Nidaa Tounes on Monday, won sixty-eight seats.

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Syria observers have balked at the rapid growth of capabilities and territory acquired by the Islamic State in Iraq al-Sham (ISIS, ISIL, or Islamic State) as it confronts global powers on many fronts. But ISIS’s successes in eastern Syria cannot be explained from a military and ideological standpoint alone.

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Factional warfare in Libya is pushing the oil producing North African country "very close to the point of no return,” UN Special Representative Bernardino Leon said, as efforts to bring about a ceasefire and political dialogue have yielded no results.

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According to the Moroccan economy and finance ministry, foreign currency debt and local currency debt are rated respectively ‘BBB-’ and ‘BBB’. These Fitch ratings reflect the country’s macroeconomic stability in an unstable international and regional environment and the resilience of its GDP growth, despite a drop in the foreign demand from Europe, Morocco’s top economic partner. However, Morocco’s social indicators are weaker than peer countries overall.

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When it comes to the narrative of Arab democracies, Sunday, October 26 marked a historic day. Tunisia, the country that sparked the so-called Arab Spring, held its first elections under a post-revolution constitution.

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Tunisia marked the begining of its final chapter by holding its first legislative elections under its new constitution on October 26. Despite concerns over insecurity and political apathy after a tumultuous three and a half year transition, initial figures regarding voter turnout suggest a high degree of Tunisian engagement with the process, surprising most analysts.

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Annemie Neyts-Uytterbroeck, head of the European Union observer mission in Tunisia, called the country’s elections “transparent and credible.”

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Special Presidential Envoy General John Allen did his best in an Asharq Al-Awsat interview to square the circle of an unsustainable Syria policy in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, ISIL, or the Islamic State).

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US Treasury Secretary Lew indicated that Washington will go ahead with international emergency loans for Egypt if Cairo pushes further to repair the country’s economy. The United States has long viewed Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, as a linchpin for regional stability. Bailout talks between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund have been stalled for years since reliable economic recovery plans were lacking in Egypt.

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