The United States started organizing Sunday the evacuation of its nationals from Egypt as an angry anti-government revolt raged into a sixth day amid increasing lawlessness and mass jail breaks.
"The U.S. embassy in Cairo informs U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart that the department of state is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Europe," an embassy statement said, as other countries issued travel warnings and tourists scrambled for flights out.Full Story
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman stressed that U.N. Security Council members have expressed their keenness on seeing a Lebanese commitment to international resolutions following the formation of a new government led by Caretaker PM Najib Miqati.
Feltman told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published Friday that his talks with French officials in Paris touched on the developments in Lebanon. Security Council members have expressed to him their keenness on Lebanon’s commitment to resolutions 1701 and 1757, he said.Full Story
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday held phone talks with Qatar's Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani on the political crisis in Lebanon, Turkey's foreign ministry announced in a statement.
The two men "exchanged points of view regarding the crisis in Lebanon and efforts made to form a new government."Full Story
Turkey on Wednesday urged Lebanese factions for restraint in the country's political turmoil, warning of broader implications on regional stability.
"We call on all parties to refrain from violence and to act with common sense and within democratic legitimacy," a foreign ministry statement said, a day after protests against the appointment of a Hizbullah-backed premier turned violent.Full Story
A meeting that was scheduled to be held on Sunday between France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar over the political crisis in Lebanon was postponed over conflicting agendas, French foreign ministry sources told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.
In remarks published Monday, the sources said the Paris meeting is considered “postponed and not cancelled.”Full Story
A meeting between the French, Saudi Arabia, Turkish, and Qatari foreign ministers is expected to be held in Paris on Sunday in order to reach a solution to the Lebanese political crisis, reported the daily An Nahar Sunday.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to also join these talks, in a sign of France’s determination to continue efforts that would ensure Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty.Full Story
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the European Union must accept Turkey as a member if it wants to avoid being a "Christian club," in an interview with a German newspaper.
Asked whether Turkey should join the E.U., Assad told Germany's top-selling Bild newspaper: "They simply must ask Turkey to become a member because they need it as an Islamic country so the E.U. does not become a Christian club."Full Story
Visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Thursday not to stand idle during any future Israeli attack on Lebanon or Gaza.
“You are asking us to remain silent while you enter Lebanon with the most advanced tanks and destroy schools and hospitals,” Erdogan said about Israel.Full Story
Turkey has reportedly stepped in to limit tension in Lebanon at a time when the country is gearing itself up for the visits of four top Arab leaders – Saudi King Abdullah, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa.
As Safir daily quoted informed sources as saying Monday that Turkey is holding regional and international consultations to diffuse the tension that erupted over the expected announcement of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's findings next fall.Full Story
The EU's refusal to accept Turkey as a member swiftly has partly caused Ankara's foreign policy shift and the deterioration in its relations with Israel, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.
"The deterioration in the relationship between Turkey and Israel over the past year or so is a matter of concern," Gates told reporters in London.Full Story