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The Economist Intelligence Unit

This post has been authored by experts of The Economist Intelligence Unit.

INSIGHT: Business Looks for Post-Morsi Dividend

The Egyptian army’s removal of Mohamed Morsi as president was warmly welcomed by the business community, which had viewed the Muslim Brotherhood-led government as both hostile to business and an ineffective administrator. This positive mood will only have been reinforced by the pledging of $12 billion in aid from three Gulf states, which should More »

INSIGHT: Kuwait Stuck in Political Quagmire

Kuwait’s long-running series of political crises show no sign of abating. Twelve months after the Constitutional Court cited technical irregularities in the electoral decree paving the way for the opposition-dominated February 2012 election, the same court has ordered the re-running of the December 2012 election; the latter was won by pro-government supporters in the More »

INSIGHT: Egypt – Mass Protests Planned for Morsi Anniversary

Organizers of a campaign seeking to force an early presidential election are planning to stage mass demonstrations across Egypt on June 30, the first anniversary of the presidency of Mohamed Morsi. The protests are aimed at showing the extent of popular disaffection with the government. There is a risk that they will result in renewed More »

INSIGHT: Iran Presidential Debate Falls Short on Substance

A televised debate this week between candidates for Iran’s presidential election to be held on June 14 seems to have failed to inspire much voter confidence that this year’s poll would offer any solutions to the country’s economic woes or international isolation. Iran’s leadership is trying to influence the outcome of the poll by curtailing debate More »

INSIGHT: Egypt Election Stuck in Constitutional Logjam

Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) has once more registered detailed objections to legislation proposed by the Shura Council (the upper house of the country’s parliament) to provide the framework for the election of the House of Representatives (the lower house). According to the constitution, which was pushed through by President Mohamed Morsi amid intense controversy More »

INSIGHT: Israel’s Syria, Hezbollah Challenge

Israel in early May reportedly carried out its heaviest attacks on targets in Syria since the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began in March of 2011, hitting a military convoy and several military installations near the capital, Damascus. The air strikes were the first direct military intervention by Israel since several of More »

INSIGHT: Bahrain Tensions, Gridlock Remain After F1 Race

This year’s Formula One race in Bahrain was again accompanied by extensive anti-government rallies around the capital, Manama. Although protesters were kept well away from the race itself, which is held at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, the violence that accompanied the protests, and the accompanying crackdown, highlighted the paucity of political progress More »

INSIGHT: Syrian Rebels Make Gains But Challenges Remain

On the back of fresh supplies of weapons and the provision of logistics and training support through Jordan, rebel forces have made substantial gains in the south against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in recent weeks. However, the dynamic among those rebel groups fighting under Islamist banners has been shaken up after an informal alliance More »

INSIGHT: Tunisia – Crisis Averted But Challenges Remain

The assassination of a leading anti-Islamist politician, Chokri Belaid, at the start of February plunged Tunisia into its deepest political crisis since the revolution of January 2011. It crystallized widespread dissatisfaction with the failure of the interim government, led by the moderate Islamist party, Ennahda, to halt the rising tide of political violence and More »

INSIGHT: Syrian Rebels Grow Weapons Cache, Evidence Shows

Opposition forces seeking to overthrow the regime of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, have stepped up their operations in the southern part of the country, including Damascus, with the help of an infusion of new weaponry identified by military analysts as having originated in Croatia. Evidence of the influx of new weaponry for the rebels More »

INSIGHT: Egypt – State of Disorder

The spate of violent incidents in Cairo and the Suez Canal cities of Port Said and Suez in the last week of January has highlighted the increasingly fractured state of Egyptian society and exposed the failings of key institutions, in particular the presidency, the judiciary and the forces of law and order. The president, Mohamed Morsi, More »

INSIGHT: Israel’s Election Surprise

Israeli voters delivered an unexpected outcome in the general election held on January 22nd. According to still preliminary results, a late surge by the new centrist Yesh Atid party saw it capture 19 seats and emerge as the second-largest grouping after Likud-Beiteinu, which secured 31 seats in the 120-member Knesset (parliament). Overall, the election More »

INSIGHT: Small Step Forward for Saudi Women

Saudi King Abdullah is poised to appoint* women for the first time as members of the country’s Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Council). The move is symbolically important, but the assembly itself lacks real power. The king first announced his intention to appoint women to the Majlis al-Shura over a year ago, and, since that time, newspaper reports More »

INSIGHT: Egypt – A President Under Siege

The attempt by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to rush through the new constitution while overriding the judiciary has sparked off violent confrontations between his supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood and non-Islamist activists, leading to at least five deaths in clashes outside the presidential palace on December 5. Morsi has indicated that he intends to press ahead with More »

INSIGHT: ‘Palestine’ Becomes UN Observer State

On November 29, ‘Palestine’ was recognized as a State by the U.N. General Assembly, albeit as an observer rather than a full member. A total of 138 countries voted in favor, with nine voting against and 41 abstaining. Exasperated by the failure of two decades of sporadic and mainly U.S.-mediated peace negotiations, and the continued More »

INSIGHT: Israel’s Conflict with Hamas Escalates

After nearly a month of low-level fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the situation erupted into a fully-fledged conflict on November 14, following the death of Ahmed Jabari, military chief of the Islamic Hamas movement, in an Israeli airstrike. Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and other militant groups responded More »

INSIGHT: Decoding the Latest Saudi Appointment

After just four months at the helm, Ahmed bin Abdel-Aziz al-Saud has been replaced as Saudi Arabia’s interior minister in favor of his deputy (and nephew), Mohammed bin Nayef (pictured above). The appointment of Prince Mohammed, who was assistant interior minister between 1999 and July 2012 (and deputy interior minister thereafter), is a logical move More »

INSIGHT: Jordan – Next Battleground in Syria Conflict?

Concerns that the violence in Syria could spill over the border into Jordan were realized when a group of Jordanian militants were arrested, accused of planning a series of attacks in the capital, Amman. On October 21, Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate (GID) announced that it had detained 11 local militants, who it alleged had been More »

INSIGHT: Turkey Increasingly Entangled in Syrian Conflict

On October 15 Turkish air force jets forced an Armenian plane en route to the Syrian town of Aleppo to land at Erzurum in eastern Turkey for a security check. Also, according to the Turkish disaster management agency (AFAD), the number of Syrian refugees in camps in Turkey has now exceeded 100,000. Since Syrian shells More »