A new push to resolve the conflict over Western Sahara

IN THE SAHARA, rain is said to bring good luck. So negotiators from the United Nations should be encouraged by a recent downpour in Laayoune, the capital of Western Sahara. On December 5th they will gather in Geneva to try, yet again, to resolve the differences between Morocco, which rules two-thirds of the territory, and the Polisario Front, a nationalist movement that controls the other (mostly inhospitable) third

Continue reading

What Russia’s upgrade of Syria’s air defences means for Israel

IT WAS “a chain of tragic circumstances” that led to the downing of a Russian spy plane by Syria on September 17th, said Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president. With those words, Mr Putin seemed to accept the episode as an accident and absolve Israel of any blame.

Continue reading