MENASource

In “The Arab Cold War Revisited,” published in Middle East Policy 2013, I suggested that Arab monarchies, authoritarian republics, and Islamist forces comprised the three main axes competing for power in the Middle East. I argued that the competition would likely continue until the more radical Islamists were defeated and the state systems went back to a more pragmatic approach in their relations.

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King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud died at the age of 90 after suffering from pneumonia. Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, his 79-year-old half-brother, has been confirmed as the new king.

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As the moment has arrived to mourn the passing of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, my own experience with Saudis leads me to believe that the king’s greatest legacy to his own people—and to Saudi-US relations—will prove to be his pioneering of higher education initiatives.

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In its regional economic outlook update,  the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its 2015 GDP growth forecast for Egypt 30 bps to 3.8 percent from the 3.5 percent announced in October. The reassessment is due to the sharp drop in oil prices reducing energy import bills for oil importers in the MENA region. According to Egypt’s finance minister, Egypt can expect economic growth "easily north of 4 percent" in the fiscal year 2014-15, boosted by rising confidence and a windfall from lower oil prices.

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Less than 48 hours had passed after the latest agreement between the Houthi rebel movement and the Yemeni government, and the ground had shifted once again.

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Yemen's President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi expressed readiness on Wednesday to accept demands for constitutional change and power sharing with Houthi rebels. The late-night agreement left unclear who really controls the country.

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According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), losses from lower oil exports should sap up to $300 billion from economies in the Middle East and Central Asia this year, as countries in the region adjust to falling crude prices. An updated outlook on the region predicted that economies particularly dependent on oil exports, including Qatar, Iraq, Libya and Saudi Arabia, will be hit hardest by the more than 50 percent decline in petroleum prices.

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What is happening in Libya? And how will Egypt react? Libya today has devolved into a violent political struggle between two major blocs: the internationally recognized, Tobruk-based parliament versus Tripoli’s parliament and administration.

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US policy toward Syria is stalled in a cul-de-sac. It occupies the strategic low ground between an August 2011 presidential call for Bashar al-Assad to step aside, the June 2014 eruption of the Assad-conjured Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) into Iraq from Syria, and the administration's resolute reluctance to act in accordance with a fundamental fact: ISIL will be defeated neither in Iraq nor in Syria so long as Assad family-rule remains in place.

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Sheikh Sayyid Abdul-Malik al-Houthi spoke hours after fighters from the Houthi group battled guards at President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi's private home. Calling his measures "open-ended," he laid out four demands.

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