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Entries in Qatar (32)


Syria Video & Transcript: President Assad's Interview with Al-Manar TV

Al-Manar: Mr. President, we are in the heart of the People’s Palace, two and a half years into the Syrian crisis. At the time, the bet was that the president and his regime would be overthrown within weeks. How have you managed to foil the plots of your opponents and enemies? What is the secret behind this steadfastness?

President Assad: There are a number of factors are involved. One is the Syrian factor, which thwarted their intentions; the other factor is related to those who masterminded these scenarios and ended up defeating themselves because they do not know Syria or understand in detail the situation. They started with the calls of revolution, but a real revolution requires tangible elements; you cannot create a revolution simply by paying money.

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Syria Today: An Opposition in Disarray?

Opposition Spokesman Louay al-Safi (Akin Celiktas/Reuters)Iranian Lines of Credit to Damascus

The Syrian Central Bank has said that Iran has opened two lines of credit totaling $4 billion to Damascus and plans on opening up a third.

"Iran continues to support Syria, by opening one line of credit worth a billion dollars to finance the import of different items and another line of credit worth three billion dollars to finance the purchase of petrol and associated products," Central Bank Governor Adib Mayale said.

Mayale said Iran was considering an additional loan of $3 billion to bolster the Syrian economy amid war and international sanctions.

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Middle East Today: Israel Extends Detention Orders For Security Suspects

Iraq: 26 Die in Monday Bombings

Five car bombs have exploded in public areas in central and southern Iraq, killing 26 civilians and wounding dozens.

Two parked car bombs went off simultaneously in the city of Amarah near a gathering of construction workers and a market, killing 13 civilians and wounding 42, according to police.

A parked car bomb exploded near a restaurant in the city of Diwaniyah, killing eight civilians and wounding 25 others.

Amarah and Diwaniyah are predominantly Shia areas.

Hours later, another parked car bomb went off in the Shia hold city of Karbala, killing two civilians and wounding 12 others.

A parked car bomb ripped through a Shiite neighborhood in the otherwise predominantly Sunni town of Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, killing three and wounding 16.

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Syria Live: "The Regime Used Chemical Weapons" Campaign

Claimed footage of the destruction of the Ummayad Mosque in Aleppo

See also Syria Analysis: Could Hezbollah Involvement Spark Sectarian Violence
Wednesday's Syria Live: The Fight Near the Lebanese Border

1740 GMT: Chemical Weapons. Two significant updates about our previous story that the US now says Assad has used chemical weapons in Syria....

Danger Room reports that there is clear and unambiguous evidence, based on blood samples of the victims, that sarin gas was used by the Assad regime, according to an unnamed American intelligence official:

“This is more than one organization representing that they have more than one sample from more than one attack,” the source tells Danger Room. “But we can’t confirm anything because no is really sure what’s going on in country.”

What’s clear is that the samples are authentic, and that the weapons were almost certainly employed by the Assad regime, which began months ago mixing up quantities of sarin’s chemical precursors for an potential attack, as Danger Room first reported.

“It would be very, very difficult for the opposition to fake this. Not only would they need the wherewithal to steal it or brew it up themselves. Then they’d need volunteers who would notionally agree to a possibly lethal exposure,” the source adds.

This assessment sounds definitive, as if the US is certain sarin was used. It is also a lot stronger rhetoric than the official statement originally leaked through Secretary of Defense Hagel.

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live: Mubarak Retrial Opens

See also Syria Live: "We Are Stronger Than Those Who Would Divide Us"
Friday's Israel (and Beyond) Live: A Quiet "Freeze" on Settlement Expansion?

1925 GMT: Palestine. West Bank Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has submitted his resignation to President Mahmud Abba, despite US efforts for him to stay on.

"Fayyad met Abbas for half an hour in the president's headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank and officially handed him his written resignation," a Palestinian official said.

Abbas tasked Fayyad with the role of caretaker for the current government until a new Prime Minister is appointed, another official said.

Late Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Abbas to press him to find common ground with his prime minister over economic policies, Palestinian officials said.

A senior Palestinian official said Fayyad had had his letter of resignation prepared since 23 March but put off submitting it because of a visit to Israel and Palestine by US President Barack Obama and Abbas's overseas trips.

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live: Qatar Extends Financial Lifeline with $3 Billion Grant

Egypt's Morsi & Qatar's Al-Thani1855 GMT: Egypt. President Morsi's has said that all legal complaints lodged against Egyptian journalists will be withdrawn.

Presidential spokesman Ihab Fahmy said that the President's decision was based on his "respect for freedom of expression."

1500 GMT: Turkey and Israel. Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz has said that it is too early to talk of energy deals with Israel despite signs of reconciliation between the two countries; however, he said Turkey was open to energy cooperation in the future.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologised to Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the slaying of nine Turkish civilians aboard a Gaza-bound ship by Israeli commandoes in May 2010.

"The reason for Israel's apology was not energy projects. But the consequence could be energy projects," Yildiz told reporters at an energy conference in Ankara.

"We have said we are not closed to these in the future. But at this stage ... it is early to talk about energy projects."

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Qatar Says No More Aid to Cairo

Qatari Minister of Finance Youssef Kamel1617 GMT: Bahrain. An interesting political development --- a royal decree has appointed Crown Prince Salman, often framed as a "moderate" within the regime, as 1st Deputy Prime Minister --- working with his uncle, the "hard-line" Prime Minister --- "to develop the performance of the executive".

1610 GMT: Egypt. Cairo is studying an offer from the International Monetary Fund of a bridging loan, a source at the Ministry of Finance ministry has said.

The funding, known as the IMF's Rapid Financing Instrument, is temporary and would not replace Egypt's negotiations with the IMF on a $4.8 billion loan, the source said.

The source added, "Egypt continues to work towards restructuring its economy through the economic reform programme."

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Syria Audio Analysis: Why Politics Means No Humanitarian Aid - Scott Lucas with Monocle 24 Lucas speaks to Monocle 24 Radio about the reasons why we're seeing countries scramble to give other types of aid to the rebels, but humanitarian aid is almost nowhere to be seen. In fact, less than a quarter of the humanitarian aid that has been pledged to those affected by this crisis has been delivered. The Saudis, in particular, have been criticized for their lack of aid.

Scott Lucas was joined by David Schenker of the Washington Institute. Scott's assessment - this is politics, the Saudis and the Qataris are focused on trying to pick a winner in the insurgency, and the refugees are almost on their own, while the few countries that are housing refugees have not received the assistances they've asked for.

The interview starts after the 1 hour 6 minute mark, and can be heard here.

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Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Israel Looks for Calm after Death of Palestinian Detainee

See also Turkey Analysis: Erdogan's "One Leader, One Nation, One Market" --- Will It Succeed?
Syria Live Coverage: Insurgents Capture Symbolic "Nuclear" Site
Sunday's Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Conflicting Claims Over Palestinian Who Died in Israeli Custody

2126 GMT: UAE. Two days after denying entry to a British academic scheduled to present a conference paper on Bahrain, two Bahrain-based journalists --- Associated Press reporter Reem Khalifa and her husband, Mansoor al-Jamri, chief editor for the independent Al Wasat newspaper, have been turned away.

Khalifa and al-Jamri were on a private trip to Dubai. No explanations were given for the refusal of entry.

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Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Regime Shuts Away Its Political Prisoners

See also Syria Live Coverage: Has the Insurgent Advance Stalled?

1900 GMT: Bahrain. The European Union has reacted to the regime's re-assertion of long prison sentences on 13 political prisoners with a call for their release. Spokesman Michael Mann said, "The EU has repeatedly asked the Bahraini authorities to consider an amnesty for all those arrested last year and tried on charges relating to the expression of their political opinion."

Mann said the European Union "fully respects the independence of the Bahraini judiciary" but "remains concerned about the lack of advancement of national reconciliation". He continued, "All sides should engage in a peaceful, inclusive and constructive dialogue, abstaining from all forms of violence and intimidation."

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