Pakistan Receives International Aid After Devastating Floods

Since mid-June Pakistan has been devastated by floods with an estimated 1,400 dead, and over 30 million people displaced, according to The New York Times. The nation’s Minister of Finance, Miftah Ismail, estimates that there have been around $10 billion in damages caused by the flooding, however, others believe that there could be up to twice that amount and that the damages will only continue to rise, reports Al Jazeera.

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U.S. Allies Doubt Iran Nuclear Deal Revival is Imminent

With the latest effort to revive the Iranian nuclear deal, U.S. allies have stated that they have “serious doubts” that Iran and the U.S. will strike a deal, reports Reuters. President Biden promised to restore the nuclear agreement during his 2020 presidential campaign, yet negotiations appear to be delayed ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

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Water Scarcity and Armed Conflict Shaping Migration Patterns in the Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), water scarcity, worsened by climate change, has contributed to a rise in global migration. Climate change, environmental degradation, and water stress drive extreme migration patterns throughout the MENA region. As climate change intensifies in states with weakened central government authority, armed groups, and extremist organizations exploit these challenges and weaponize water.

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U.S. Launches Sanctions Against Houthi Financers

On February 23, the United States took a major step in supporting allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by announcing sanctions against key members of an international financing network accused of diverting funds for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, reports The Independent. The sanctions were launched in response to recent conflict escalation by the Houthis, who have launched an increasing number of missile and drone strikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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Is Israel Being Unfairly Targeted by the UN Human Rights Council?

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recently created a special commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of crimes of apartheid committed by the Israeli government against Palestinians. The fact-finding mission is being used to respond to allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel, according to the UNHRC.

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Turkish President Visits UAE to Boost Long Strained Ties

On February 14, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the United Arab Emirates for the first time in nearly a decade in an attempt to revive relations long strained by regional disputes, Barron’s reports. President Erdogan was welcomed in the capital Abu Dhabi by the de facto ruler of the UAE, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, for the second meeting in three months between the Middle Eastern nations, after years of hostility over the role of Islamist groups in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

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Yemen War Intensifies as Drones Fired on UAE

On January 17, a drone attack on the UAE by Ansarullah, also known as Houthis, in Yemen marked the first time Yemeni forces were able to strike targets in the UAE, a notable escalation in the Yemen War, reports The Associated Press. The Associated Press further reports that this attack was followed by subsequent strikes on strategic facilities in the UAE, including during the visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog, on January 31.

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Afghan Drug Trade Threatens U.S. War on Drugs

Concerns regarding the impact on Afghanistan’s opium trade have been largely elusive from global conversations since the Taliban reclaimed control of Afghanistan last August, despite its prominence as a multi-billion dollar industry. Reuters reports the United States government has spent more than $8 billion in an unsuccessful effort to eradicate it. 

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FOCUS on Pariah Leaders: Bashar al-Assad

In early October, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received a phone call from King Abdullah II of Jordan, their first since Abdullah called for Assad to step down in 2011 during the Arab Spring, according to Al Jazeera. Jordan is not alone in normalizing relations with their estranged Arab neighbor—Egypt and the UAE have both contacted the Syrian government. Jordan and the UAE have come to agreements to improve economic ties and resume trade with Syria, despite U.S. sanctions.

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