News, Notes & Links | 28.01.16

Headlines:

Syria peace talks to start January 29th, U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura says.

Five years after the Egyptian uprising state repression is “worst in decades”, activists say.

Russian airstrikes in Syria have killed more than 1000 civilians, monitoring group says.

Iran and China vow to develop economic ties worth 600 billions over the next decade.

U.S. “looking at military options” to counter ISIS in Libya.

More than 18.000 civilans killed in Iraq between January 2014 and October 2015, U.N. report says.

 

Recommended Reads:

‘I was terribly wrong’ – five authors look back at the Arab spring five years on | The Guardian

In January 2011, days after the first uprising in Tunisia and the protests in Tahrir Square, the Guardian invited leading writers from across the Arab world to reflect on the revolutionary fervour sweeping the region. Then, they expressed great optimism for the future. Here, they revisit their responses and ask, is there still room for hope?

How the U.N. Let Assad Edit the Truth of Syria’s War | By Roy Gutman, Foreign Policy

As Syrian civilians starved to death, U.N. officials let the government in Damascus alter its master plan for saving lives.

Could Iraq mediate Iran, Saudi strife? | By Mohammad Ali Shabani, Al-Monitor

Utilizing Iraq as a mediator to address its dispute with Iran would allow Saudi Arabia to both improve relations with Tehran and build important relations with Iraqi Shiites. Why, then, is Riyadh not seizing this opportunity?

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