Articles

President Barack Obama hosted Tunisian President Béji Caïd Essebsi at the White House, where they held talks. Ahead of their May 21 meeting, The Washington Post published an opinion editorial, jointly written by the two leaders. Excerpts follow.

Helping Tunisia Realize its Democratic Promise

Amid the turmoil that so often dominates the headlines, it can be tempting to think that all of North Africa and the Middle East is gripped by disorder. But in Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began, democracy and pluralism are taking root ...

More than four years after a young street vendor, Mohammed Bouazizi, set himself on fire to protest the daily humiliations of an oppressive government, sparking the protests that ended decades of dictatorship, Tunisia shows that democracy is not only possible but also necessary in North Africa and the Middle East ...

Our two nations now have an unprecedented opportunity to forge an enduring partnership based on shared interests and values. Indeed, since the revolution, the United States has committed more than $570 million, and supported two major loan guarantees, to help Tunisians pursue critical political, economic and security reforms. Over the past year alone, the United States has worked to double its assistance to Tunisia, with $134 million proposed for next year. This is not charity...

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White House spinmeisters were in full damage-control mode Monday after Saudi Arabia announced that King Salman would not be attending a Camp David summit expressly arranged to reassure him and other U.S. Arab allies that an impending nuclear agreement with Iran is not coming at their expense.

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Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq, got head-of-state treatment in Washington this week: two meetings with Vice President Joe Biden with a "drop-in" by President Barack Obama plus talks on Capitol Hill and the State Department and appearances at several Washington think tanks.

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EW YORK —This week, this reporter got a chance to witness two impressive performances in rather different fields.

On Tuesday night, Robert Fairchild, the New York City ballet star turned Broadway phenomenon, managed to eclipse his idol Gene Kelly in a reimagining of the movie musical "An American in Paris."

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Bottom Line Up Front: 

• On April 28 and 30 the Nigerian military rescued hundreds of female hostages from Boko Haram’s stronghold in the northern Sambisa Forest

• The origins of the freed kidnap victims are unknown, but the military has announced that most of them are not the schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in April 2014

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The visit of China's President Xi Jing Ping to Islamabad and the promised commitment of some $45 billion to develop a new "silk road" through Pakistan could be a stunning geopolitical as well as economic development Of course, Pakistan and China have enjoyed a long-standing relationship in part impelled by India's role as a rival and threat to both. It was President Yahya Khan who lubricated the Nixon opening to China in the early 1970's serving as the very silent matchmaker between Beijing and Washington.

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After four weeks of pounding one of the poorest and most dysfunctional places on earth, Saudi Arabia has wisely reduced its bombing campaign in Yemen.

While Saudi officials proclaimed "Operation Decisive Storm" a victory against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the campaign weakened but did not dislodge the Houthis and expanded the power of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

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For months now, Russia has been a constructive member of the international consortium negotiating with Iran, often proposing creative fixes to technical hurdles.

But this week, just as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was taking up sensitive Iran-related legislation, Russia announced that it was going forward with an old contract to sell Iran an air defense missile system that could make it less vulnerable to foreign attack.

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WHAT SEEMS lost in the furious, partisan debate about the Iran nuclear deal is just how long it took the United States to actually get back to a negotiating table with the Iranian government — nearly 35 years.

The talks have already achieved something tangible and rare: The United States and Iran are talking again, after decades of a bitter divorce and near total isolation from each other.

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Even as Iran has applied the brakes to its nuclear program over the past 18 months and provisionally agreed last week to a deal lasting more than a decade, it has continued to advance its prowess in the field of cyber-attacks, experts say.

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