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Today’s most notable stories from the Middle East, selected by ACLS experts.
10 DECEMBER 2022

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1. Iranian Regime Eying Venezuela As Sanctuary For Leaders (Iran International).  Western diplomatic sources told Iran International that the Islamic Republic has started negotiations with its Venezuelan allies to ensure they’d offer asylum to regime officials and their families should the situation worsen, and the possibility of a regime change increases.

2. Iran’s Top Sunni Cleric Says Hanging Protesters Is Un-Islamic (Iran International).  A secret file revealed by hackers in November showed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered his security people not to arrest Abdolhamid but to disgrace him, after the Sunni cleric directly criticized the autocratic ruler.


3. The Arab-Chinese Riyadh summit… the race for progress and renaissance (Al Sharq Al Awsat).  Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, confirmed at the conclusion of the Arab-Chinese Summit “We assure the whole world that the Arabs will race for progress and renaissance again, and we will prove that every day.”

4. Unspeakable crimes… Minors suffer in Houthi prisons (Al Hadath).  A recent Yemeni human rights report revealed that militias committed more than 1,893 cases of kidnapping, torture and rape against women from December 2017 to October 2022.


5. Demonstrators were killed in Iraq in protests following the prison sentence of an activist (Al Hadath).  Hussein Riyad, spokesman for the health department in Dhi Qar province, told “Agence France Presse” that “demonstrators were shot dead” and 21 others were wounded, including five by bullets, in clashes with security forces during a gathering in the city centre of Nasiriyah. This comes after a court in Baghdad sentenced the young activist Haider al-Zaidi (20 years) to three years in prison, on charges of insulting the Popular Mobilization Forces. Al-Zaidi can still appeal this ruling.

6. Al-Sudani: We will not accept that Iraq be a springboard for threatening the neighbourhood (Al Hadath).  During his speech at the Arab-Chinese Summit in Riyadh, Al-Sudani affirmed support for all efforts to strengthen relations with China, explaining that his country wants open relations with the East and West on the basis of common interests.


7. Egypt keen to boost strategic relations with China in all domains: Sisi tells Xi (Ahram Online).  The Egyptian president expressed his aspiration to boost Chinese tourism to Egypt as well as to encourage Chinese companies to boost their investments in the country, especially in the fields of localizing industrialisation and the transfer of high technology.

8. Morocco-Chaired G77+China Calls for Equitable Geographical Representation at UNODC (Agency Marocaine De Presse).  The G77+China, under Moroccan chairmanship, called Thursday in Vienna for equitable geographical representation at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on the occasion of the reconvened 65th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the 31st session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.


9. Mikati: We will work to activate cooperation between Lebanon and its Arab brothers, and between Lebanon and China (Beirut Observer).  Mikati:  “Our Arab world, which possesses many human and natural qualifications, is at the center of the world’s interest, specifically the People’s Republic of China, with which we have bonds of friendship and common denominators.”


10. Turkey ‘neutralizes’ 4,000 terrorists in operations at home, abroad in 2022: Defense Ministry (Anadolu Agency).  Türkiye to date has neutralized 4,500 Daesh/ISIS terrorists, [Akar] said.  


11. Hundreds of Syrian families fled from Assad’s control areas to the north due to hunger and cold (Orient News).  More than 200 Syrian families and more than 300 young men from different regions in Syria under the control of the Assad militia have sought refuge in the cities of Afrin, al-Bab, Azaz, and Idlib province, which is under opposition control, in northwestern Syria over the past two days, according to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

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