23-Dec-11 World View — Jordan Helps Hamas Break with Syria and Iran

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Hamas and Palestinian Authority / Fatah hold reconciliation talks
  • Jordan helps Hamas break with Syria and Iran
  • Iran cutting funding to Hizbollah as well as Hamas
  • Turkey recalls ambassador from France due to ‘genocide’ bill
  • Israel’s relationship with South Sudan grows increasingly warm
  • Hedge funds threaten to sue over Greece haircut
  • Greece’s PM seeks to ward off a governmental crisis

Hamas and Palestinian Authority / Fatah hold reconciliation talks


Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal (AFP)
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal (AFP)

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA/Fatah), met with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Cairo on Wednesday night for talks seeking to reconcile the two Palestinian rivals. They broke in 2007 after a war between their security forces that gave control of Gaza to Hamas. Although their talks on Tuesday have been described as “successful,” there’s still no agreement on the two issues that have torpedoed previous reconciliation talks: who has most of the power in the government in the form of cabinet officials, and who has most of the power on the ground in the form of security forces. AFP

Jordan helps Hamas break with Syria and Iran

As the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad continues its violence against innocent protesters, Hamas has become increasingly estranged from al-Bashad, and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal is being increasingly pressured to move his headquarters office from Damascus to another country. On the other hand, Iran has been pressuring Hamas to remain in the al-Bashad camp, and has been cutting funding to Hamas as a means of pressure. Meshaal says that he just cannot support Assad when Assad is slaughtering so many innocent Arabs. Meshaal has not yet firmly decided to leave Damascus, but reports are that Jordan is acting as go-between in talks with several countries, including Qatar, Egypt and Jordan itself, to host Hamas’ headquarters. Al-Bawaba

Iran cutting funding to Hizbollah as well as Hamas

American and European sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program have caused Iran to reduce its funding not only to Hamas, but also to the Lebanese terror group Hizbollah. The reduction in funding, along with massive corruption, have put Hizbollah into dire financial straits. Ynet

Turkey recalls ambassador from France due to ‘genocide’ bill

France’s lower house of Parliament passed a bill on Thursday making it a crime, punishable by a year in jail, to deny that Turkey committed genocide against the Armenians in 1915-16. President Nicolas Sarkozy supported the crazy bill, apparently to get the votes of French Armenians in next year’s presidential elections. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately recalled Turkey’s ambassador to France, and announced that there will be further sanctions. Erdogan called the bill racist, discriminatory and xenophobic:

“As of now, we are canceling bilateral level political, economic and military activities. We are suspending all kinds of political consultations with France, [and] bilateral military cooperation, joint maneuvers are canceled as of now.

This is using Turkophobia and Islamophobia to gain votes, and it raises concerns regarding these issues not only in France but all Europe. [Turkey could] not remain silent in the face of this.

I am asking now if there is freedom of expression and freedom of thought in France, and I will reply myself, no, there is not.”

The bill has not become law, as it still has to pass France’s upper chamber prior to the end of the Parliamentary session in February. BBC and Zaman (Istanbul)

Israel’s relationship with South Sudan grows increasingly warm

The visit to Israel this week by South Sudan president Salva Kiir was kept under the radar, but it represents a new Africa-centric direction in Israel’s foreign policy. South Sudan (capital: Juba) is a predominantly Christian country that seceded from the Muslim-dominated Sudan (capital: Khartoum) in July of this year, and is the newest country in the United Nations. Israel has a decades old relationship with the South Sudanese as part of a Christianity alliance that Israel has cultivated with Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda, to counter Sudan and other Muslim countries. Israel has recently announced that it will participate militarily in Kenya’s fight against the al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. However, Kiir’s visit to Israel is triggering alarm in Khartoum, because the visit is “an issue of concern because of its possible repercussions on the national interest and national security of the country.” Afrique en Ligne and Jerusalem Post

Hedge funds threaten to sue over Greece haircut


Lucas Papademos on Thursday (Kathimerini)
Lucas Papademos on Thursday (Kathimerini)

The July 21 bailout of Greece that the eurozone finance ministers announced with enormous gaiety and fanfare left a number of details remaining to be worked out, and agreement on those details is still far away. At that time, it was decided that anyone holding Greek debt would have to take a 21% “haircut,” meaning that they would lose 21% of their investment — and they would do so “voluntarily,” so that a legal credit event wouldn’t occur. Later, the Europeans demanded the private creditors (mostly banks and hedge funds) increase their voluntary haircut to 50%. But now, a Spanish hedge fund has walked out of the “voluntary” negotiations over demands that the 50% be increased to a larger amount. Insiders indicate that negotiations are tense and far from a deal. There’s a hard deadline of March, when Greece faces a €14.5 billion bond redemption and it will need new financing if it is to pay out on the bonds when they mature. Reuters

Greece’s PM seeks to ward off a governmental crisis

Talks have collapsed among the parties in Greece’s interim caretaker government over plans to cut auxiliary pensions, in order to meet the austerity reforms demanded by the country’s international creditors. Some opposition figures are demanding that Prime Minister Lucas Papademos dissolve the government and call for snap elections, but Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos says that snap elections are out of the questions, since the negotiations for the amount of the “haircut” on Greek bonds are at a crucial stage. Kathimerini

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