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*Regional and International Affairs:

Political Headlines:

1.   Netanyahu: Israel shouldn't hurry to alter peace treaty with Egypt

2.   UN envoy Prosor: Israel has no chance of stopping recognition of Palestinian state

3.   Iran Warns of Regional Crisis if Syria Falls

4.   Arab League Tells Syria to End Bloodshed Soon

5.   Libyan rebel council takes charge as Gaddafi rumours fly

6.   Chavez to Have Third Chemo Session in Venezuela

7.   Spain changes constitution to cap budget deficit

8.   Nigerian leader vows to fight terrorism after UN attack

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*Regional and International Affairs:

Political Headlines:

1.   Netanyahu: Israel shouldn't hurry to alter peace treaty with Egypt

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, sent a classified cable to the Foreign Ministry last week, stating that Israel stands no chance of rallying a substantial number of states to oppose a resolution at the UN General Assembly recognizing a Palestinian state in September.

Sources in the Prime Minister's Office, meanwhile, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering not participating in this year's General Assembly. Instead President Shimon Peres is likely to represent Israel.

Under the headline "Report from the frontline at the UN," Prosor - considered one of the most experienced and senior Israeli diplomats - offered a very pessimistic estimate as to Israel's ability to significantly affect the results of the vote. Even though he did not state so explicitly, Prosor implies that Israel will sustain a diplomatic defeat.

"The maximum that we can hope to gain [at the UN vote] is for a group of states who will abstain or be absent during the vote," Prosor wrote, adding that his comments are based on more than 60 meetings he held during the past few weeks with his counterparts at the UN. "Only a few countries will vote against the Palestinian initiative," he wrote.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/un-envoy-prosor-israel-has-no-chance-of-stopping-recognition-of-palestinian-state-1.381062

2.   UN envoy Prosor: Israel has no chance of stopping recognition of Palestinian state

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he does not believe Israel should rush to amend the peace treaty with Israel.

"If we are going to alter the peace treaty with Egypt – and I don't think that it is something we need to rush into – it must be approved by the cabinet," Netanyahu said Sunday during a meeting with Likud ministers.

Recently, senior Israel Defense Forces officials said that Israel should consider amending its peace treaty with Egypt so as to allow the Egyptian Army to increase its presence in Sinai in light of the deteriorating security situation there.

Netanyahu, however, stressed that Israel must first take care of its security issues and also examine more closely the situation in Sinai.

"We must take care of security, terror problems in particular, and we need to invest more resources in tackling obstacles," Netanyahu pressed. "We are in continued contacts with the Egyptian government and we are trying to navigate these contacts intelligently."

On Saturday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel does not intend to approve additional Egyptian troops in the eastern Sinai Peninsula, despite reports in Haaretz and the British weekly The Economist on Friday in which the defense minister said it was in Israel's interest to allow Egypt to bring in larger forces to overcome the ongoing anarchy along the border with Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/netanyahu-israel-shouldn-t-hurry-to-alter-peace-treaty-with-egypt-1.381146?trailingPath=2.169%2C2.216%2C2.217%2C

 

3.   Iran Warns of Regional Crisis if Syria Falls

Syria's closest ally, Iran, warned Saturday that a power vacuum in Damascus could spark an unprecedented regional crisis while urging President Bashar Assad to listen to some of his people's "legitimate demands." Thousands of protesters, meanwhile, insisted they will defy tanks and bullets until Assad goes.

The 5-month-old uprising in Syria has left Assad with few international allies — with the vital exception of Iran, which the U.S. and other nations say is helping drive the deadly crackdown on dissent.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/08/27/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Syria.html?_r=1&ref=world&gwh=4F7FEAEF3999ABB62287F1FA054A6B5

4.   Arab League Tells Syria to End Bloodshed Soon

Arab foreign ministers told Syria on Sunday to work to end months of bloodshed "before it's too late," and decided to send Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby to Damascus to push for political and economic reforms.

But in a conciliatory message to Damascus, the ministers also said after an extraordinary meeting in Cairo that Syria's stability was crucial for the Arab World and the whole region.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/08/27/world/middleeast/international-us-syria-arableague.html?ref=world&gwh=7C13C702B774ACC64C2F3D6B93AF3DB7

5.   Libyan rebel council takes charge as Gaddafi rumours fly

Libyan rebels fought for control of a major supply road to the capital on Saturday, after seizing a border crossing with Tunisia as they hunted for Muammar Gaddafi. With the search for the dictator and his sons continuing, the Egyptian news agency Mena, quoting unidentified rebel fighters, reported from Tripoli that six armoured Mercedes sedans had crossed the border at the south-western Libyan town of Ghadames into Algeria.

The report said that the cars could be carrying top figures from the Gaddafi regime. Rebels were unable to pursue the vehicles because they did not have ammunition or the necessary equipment, Mena said. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Clearing the supply road of remaining Gaddafi loyalists from the Tunisian border to Tripoli would help to ease growing shortages of fuel and food, particularly in the battle-scarred capital, where problems are now acute.

Rebel officials in Tripoli are struggling to maintain electricity and water supplies, with fears that much of the Libyan capital could be without water by . The Transitional National Council (TNC) announced on Saturday that a new Tripoli local council would be operating from the previous municipal building and launching a website with updates on basic services.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/27/libyan-rebel-council-takes-charge

  6.   Chavez to Have Third Chemo Session in Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez will undergo a third round of chemotherapy for cancer at home in Venezuela beginning Sunday, he said, instead of travelling to Cuba where he had two previous rounds of treatment.

The 57-year-old gave few details during a TV appearance on Saturday, but the choice to have his next session at home could indicate he is more optimistic about the pace of his recovery ahead of a bid for a new six-year term at an election in 2012.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/08/27/world/americas/international-us-venezuela-chavez.html?ref=world&gwh=754550306BCC402F99813FF5E44E1AB0

7.   Spain changes constitution to cap budget deficit

Spanish politicians took a dramatic step to try to win back market confidence by agreeing on a reform of the country's constitution to introduce a cap on future deficits.

The socialist party (PSOE) of outgoing prime minister José Luis Zapatero and the conservative opposition People's party (PP) said the cap would come into effect in 2020. The limit will be set at 0.4% and will effect all levels of Spain's highly devolved administration, including the regional governments that run health and education.

The move came at the end of a month that has seen Spain's sovereign debt under severe pressure in the markets, amid fears that it might need a bailout similar to those of fellow eurozone nations Portugal, Greece or Ireland. It also came a week after Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy called for eurozone countries to establish legal limits on their deficits to integrate their economies. So far only Germany has such a cap.

Spanish politicians claimed the measure was a step towards eurozone integration. "August has been a month of financial instability. Investors have lost confidence in the eurozone," said Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the PSOE candidate for prime minister in November's general election. "We have to win back confidence and show we are solvent."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/26/spain-constitutional-cap-deficit

 8.   Nigerian leader vows to fight terrorism after UN attack

Nigeria's president has promised to bring terrorism under control, during a visit to the scene of Friday's bombing at the UN's headquarters in Abuja.

Goodluck Jonathan said it had been not just an attack on Nigeria, but an attack on the international community.

The radical Islamist group, Boko Haram, told the BBC it was behind the blast in the capital, which left at least 19 people dead and dozens wounded.

Mr Jonathan said the group was a "local problem" that had to be dealt with.

Boko Haram, which is fighting for the establishment of Sharia law in Nigeria, is alleged to have had contacts with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates in North Africa, and al-Shabab in Somalia.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14696446

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