- UAE Says it Withdrew Two Months Ago From US-Led Naval Coalition
- Deadly Blast at Palestinian Terror Group Base in Lebanon; Israel Denies Involvement
- Secret Talks In Oman Suggest the US Is Preparing Deals with Iran
- Sudan Army Quits Truce Talks with Paramilitary Foes
- Türkiye Arrests 6 Mossad Recruits on Espionage Charges
- Türkiye Arrests 6 Mossad Recruits on Espionage Charges (Daily Sabah). Turkish officials have arrested six suspects in an ongoing probe into a cell of 15 operatives caught spying for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, according to a report in the Sabah newspaper.
- The Turkish Economy Grows 4% in the First Quarter, Exceeding Expectations (Al Sharq Business). Turkiye’s economy grew during the first quarter of this year by 4% annually, exceeding analysts’ average expectations of 3.5% growth.
- UAE and Turkiye Ratify Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Al Nahar). UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al-Zuwaidi announced that his country had ratified the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Turkey in preparation for its activation…Al-Zuwaidi indicated that the agreement would contribute to the growth and prosperity of non-oil trade between the two countries to more than $40 billion annually within five years.
- Palestinian Group Blames Israel for Blasting at Lebanon Base, Killing Five Members (New Arab). A blast at a base close to the Lebanese-Syrian border belonging to a Palestinian militant group has killed five and wounded several more.
- Deadly Blast at Palestinian Terror Group Base in Lebanon; Israel Denies Involvement (Times of Israel). Arabic-language media reported that five members of a Palestinian terror group in Lebanon were killed in a mysterious blast blamed on Israel on Wednesday morning. Israeli officials denied any involveHowever, ment and a Lebanese security source said the explosion was accidental.
- Secret Talks in Oman Suggest the US is Preparing Deals with Iran (Iran International). It is more likely that the US is stepping up talks to kick-start nuclear negotiations with Iran despite denials from senior diplomats…As Brett McGurk, President Biden’s senior Middle East adviser, took a low-profile trip to Oman earlier this month for talks on possible diplomatic outreach to Iran, it seems this is more than ‘talks.’
- Hardliners In Iran Dismiss Government Hijab Bill, Demand Harsher One (Iran International). Heated debates over a new bill about dealing with women who refuse to observe compulsory hijab continue inside and outside the Iranian parliament.
- Khamenei Says Iran and Turkmenistan are “Relatives” Who Share Cultural Affinities (Tehran Times). The Supreme Leader made the remarks during a Wednesday meeting in Tehran with former Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who is now chairman of the People’s Council of the National Assembly of Turkmenistan.
ISRAEL AND PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
- Israel’s DM Gallant Meets U.S. CENTCOM Commander Kurilla (i24 News). The defense minister, alongside IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, presented the military achievements of the recent Operation “Shield and Arrow” in Gaza.
- At Least 10 Palestinians Wounded by Israeli Settlers Attack Near Nablus, Jenin (New Arab). According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, at least ten Palestinians were injured on Wednesday during an Israeli settlers’ attack on the village of Jaloud, south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
- Israel to Conduct Navy Drills Near Border with Lebanon (New Arab). Israel said it will conduct naval drills on the border with Lebanon Wednesday evening. “A military manoeuvre will take place this evening in the maritime area in the north of the country,” the Israeli army said in a statement.
- Iraq Anticipates an Iranian Strike Against the Kurdish Opposition (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Iraq anticipated a possible Iranian strike against the Kurdish opposition groups present in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, after Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji traveled to Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah, and Tehran recently for security talks between the two countries.
- Iraq Allocates $417 Million for New Marine Pipeline (Iraqi News). Sky News Arabia reported that in a step aimed at boosting oil exports, the Iraqi government allocated about $417 million to build a third offshore oil export pipeline.
- Iraq’s Christians Fight to Save Threatened Ancient Language (Al Monitor). Iraq’s shrunken and conflict-scarred Christian community is launching a new television channel to save their dying Syriac language, spoken for more than 2,000 years.
EGYPT AND NORTH AFRICA
- Egyptian Jurists Demand $2 Billion Compensation from Netflix Over Cleopatra Controversy (Egypt Independent). An Egyptian team consisting of several jurists and archaeologists demanded financial compensation worth two billion dollars from Netflix for distorting the image of Queen Cleopatra and ancient Egyptian civilization.
- Sudan Army Quits Truce Talks with Paramilitary Foes (Al Monitor). The Sudanese army suspended its participation in US- and Saudi-brokered ceasefire talks Wednesday, accusing its paramilitary foes of failing to honor their cease fire commitments.
- Regional Ranking Rates Egyptian Armed Forces Most Powerful in the Arab World (Egypt Independent). The Global Firepower website in military affairs published the annual ranking of the most powerful armies globally for 2023, with Egypt leading the order of the most powerful Arab armies.
THE GULF & YEMEN
- UAE Says it Withdrew Two Months Ago From a Washington-led Naval Coalition (New Arab). The UAE said today, Wednesday, that it withdrew two months ago from a US-led maritime security coalition in the Middle East. The unified naval force consists of 34 countries and works to ensure security and combat terrorism and piracy in the Red Sea and Gulf regions, where some of the most important shipping routes in the world are located. The main headquarters of the force is located in Bahrain.
- UAE Boosts Diplomatic Ties with Iran (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Khalifa Shaheen Al-Marar, Minister of State in the UAE and envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, paid an official visit to Tehran, during which he met with Hussein Amir Abdollahian, Iranian Foreign Minister…The UAE said it is committed to peaceful dialogue and diplomatic means to promote common goals of regional security and stability. The UAE Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Wednesday: “As a result of our continuous evaluation of effective security cooperation with all partners, the UAE withdrew two months ago from its participation in the Unified Naval Force.” The statement affirmed that the UAE continues its commitment to ensuring the safety of navigation in a responsible manner, in accordance with international law. According to previous information, the unified naval force consists of 34 countries, is based at the US naval base in Bahrain, and works to ensure security and combat terrorism and piracy in the Red Sea and Gulf.
- France: Combating Impunity in Syria is a Priority, and the Return of Refugees is Impossible (Syria TV). France’s political coordinator to the United Nations, Isis Jarrod Darno, stressed that accountability and combating impunity in Syria is a “priority” for her country, stressing that a dignified, safe and voluntary return for Syrian refugees is “impossible” at present.
- First Flight Between Damascus and Caracas in 12 Years (Enab Baladi). The Venezuelan plane belonging to Conviasa Airlines arrived at Damascus International Airport, coming from the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, today, Wednesday, May 31, on a flight that is the first of its kind between the two countries in 12 years.
- Russia Claims America is Preparing an Army in Syria with the Participation of ISIS (Syria TV). Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, accused the United States of America of establishing an army in Syria that Includes elements of the “Islamic State” (ISIS) Organization.
- After an Absence of 12 Years, Syria Appoints a Permanent Representative to the Arab League (Al Hadath). After an absence of more than a decade, Syria appointed a delegate to the Arab League and head of its diplomatic mission in Egypt. Ambassador Husam al-Din Ala was appointed permanent representative of Syria to the Arab League and director of the diplomatic mission in Cairo, according to Syrian media.
- Germany Arrests Seven People on Charges of Financing ISIS in Syria (Enab Baladi). The German authorities arrested seven people suspected of being supporters of the “Islamic State” organization, and of being involved with an international financing network for the organization… In a statement issued on Wednesday, the German Public Prosecutor’s Office revealed that authorities carried out 19 raids simultaneously in several German cities, in addition to one property in the Netherlands, to arrest the suspects…Five of the defendants hold German citizenship, including one who has dual Moroccan nationality, a sixth has Kosovar nationality, and a seventh has Turkish nationality.