Turkey called back its research vessel Oruç Reis to port in order to support efforts by Germany and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to facilitate dialogue with Greece. As Ankara and Athens continue to exchange statements, tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean will be discussed at the Special European Council on Sept. 24-25.
After a long COVID-19 interval, the two U.S. presidential candidates launched their campaigns and started to meet voters. Trump campaign prefers to organize large rallies in the battleground states, despite a rise in the number of COVID-19 infections there. Joe Biden's campaign, on the other hand, chose to organize small gatherings as per social distancing rules and broadcast the former vice president's remarks online.
Last week this column addressed how the coronavirus can change the debates and domestic dynamics of the U.S. elections. The crisis management and leadership in handling the outbreak, the economy – in particular, unemployment rates – and the state of the health care sector in the U.S. were cited as potential issues that may arise or be amplified as a result of the pandemic.
It has become almost customary for every U.S. administration to propose a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian problem in the Middle East. For some, like the Bill Clinton administration, it became almost a legacy issue. The administration and its president spent countless days and weeks on the process and the failure of the peace process, which they deemed the best possible deal, upset them deeply.
The targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, an elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and the deputy chief of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandisi, is a game-changer for Middle Eastern politics. Immediately after the attack that killed Soleimani, Iranian leadership threatened the U.S. and its allies in the region. Iran fired missiles at two American bases in Iraq in retaliation to the assassination of Soleimani. No casualties were declared in Iran's retaliatory attacks. Leaders of both countries escalated the tension, but they were careful not to let the crisis get out of control.