The POMED Wire

Details on the New Tunisian Cabinet

By Keian Razipour September 27, 2017 On September 11, the Tunisian parliament approved a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed of the Nidaa Tounes party. Chahed came to power in August 2016 as Tunisia’s sixth head of government since January 2011. This is the second cabinet change under Chahed, and Tunisia’s ninth since January 2011. Chahed’s new cabinet has 28 ministers. Five of them served in government or in the ex-ruling party, the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD), under toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011), the largest number of such cabinet members since the 2011 revolution. Five

Overview of Recent Developments with U.S. Aid to Egypt

September 20, 2017 Recent Trump administration decisions on existing Egypt aid On August 22, citing human rights-related concerns reportedly centered on Egypt’s clampdown on civil society groups, the Trump administration stated that it was cutting $65.7 million of Egypt’s Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and $30 million of FY16 Economic Support Funds (ESF) and would reprogram the funds for use elsewhere The administration also said it would delay Egypt’s ability to make use of $195 million in FY16 FMF until it addresses (unspecified) U.S. concerns on human rights and democracy and Egypt’s ties with North Korea. This

Experts Call for Release of Bahá’í Prisoners, End to Persecution in Yemen

In a letter addressed to Abdulmalik al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi rebel group, 19 academics, regional experts, and civil society leaders called for the release of Bahá’í prisoners held by Houthi forces in Yemen and urged al-Houthi to end the persecution of the group. The letter states: “In the context of a country that has been ravaged by violent conflict in recent years and is now facing the threat of starvation and epidemic, the oppression of an innocent, peaceful, and service-oriented community of a few thousand members is not only cruel and unjust but also bewildering. The ongoing efforts

Egypt’s North Korea Connection

August 10, 2017 By Daniel Leone Egypt watchers noticed an unusual reference to North Korea in the readout of President Donald Trump’s July 5 call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The White House statement said, “The two presidents also discussed the threat from North Korea. President Trump stressed the need for all countries to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea, stop hosting North Korean guest workers, and stop providing economic or military benefits to North Korea.”    In fact, ties between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Egypt go back decades, and Egypt has

The Tiran and Sanafir Islands Deal: A Political Test for al-Sisi

July 7, 2017 Daniel Leone On June 24, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified [Ar] a controversial maritime demarcation agreement that cedes Egyptian control over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. This step followed the Egyptian Parliament’s June 15 approval [Ar] of the agreement. The transfer of sovereignty has struck a nationalist nerve among many Egyptians, provoking public criticism and sparking street protests rare in al-Sisi’s repressive system. It could place Egypt’s highest court in direct opposition to Parliament and the President. President al-Sisi first announced the agreement to transfer the islands to Saudi Arabia