President Trump heralded the “dawn of a new Middle East”

President Trump heralded the “dawn of a new Middle East” yesterday and predicted that Saudi Arabia and half a dozen other countries would follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as they formally recognised Israel. “We are here this afternoon to change the course of history,” he said as he opened the signing ceremony for the so-called Abraham Accords at the White House. He talked of how Israel and the two Arab states would establish embassies in each other’s countries and co-operate on tourism, trade, healthcare and security. “They’re going to work together,” Mr Trump said. “They are friends.” Washington, … Continue reading President Trump heralded the “dawn of a new Middle East”

I spent my earliest years in Beirut

I spent my earliest years in Beirut before my family returned to the UK, and when I was at school here in the 1980s, the phrase “it’s like Beirut” was bandied around. The Lebanese capital, once called the Paris of the Middle East, became synonymous with a brutal civil war, the kidnapping of Terry Waite and bullet-scarred buildings. He is widely expected to announce the formal resignation of the cabinet but his confirmation became increasingly unnecessary as a string of ministers pre-empted him by saying they were quitting. During the course of the day, Ghazi Wazni, the finance minister, followed … Continue reading I spent my earliest years in Beirut

Donald Trump has prompted further condemnation after he threatened to strike 52 targets

Donald Trump has prompted further condemnation after he threatened to strike 52 targets, some apparently civilian sites, if Iran retaliates over the US assassination of military commander Qassem Soleimani. As bombs fell near the US embassy in Baghdad, the US president was labelled a “monster” and accused of plotting war crimes after promising swift retribution at high level targets “important to Iranian culture”. Mourners crowded around military personnel unloading Soleimani’s casket covered with an Iranian flag from a plane at Ahvaz International Airport in Tehran. A tide of mourners chanted furiously as his coffin was driven through tens of thousands … Continue reading Donald Trump has prompted further condemnation after he threatened to strike 52 targets