Thu Feb 23, 2017 07:15AM
Avigdor Liberman, the Israeli minister for military affairs (L), and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir address the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 19, 2017.
Avigdor Liberman, the Israeli minister for military affairs (L), and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir address the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 19, 2017.
  • Embed

These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

Ganging up on Iran will get them nowhere 

Iran on Monday reacted to a series of statements made against it by Israeli and Saudi officials at the 53rd Munich Security Conference. The country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the fact that Israeli and Saudi officials had launched separate but notably similar tirades against Iran was not a coincidence. Qassemi said this looked more like a coordinated attempt to disrupt Iran’s image. A third party that later joined the Saudis and the Israelis against Iran was Turkey. The country’s foreign minister – in his speech again at Munich Security Conference – accused Iran of pursuing a sectarian policy in the region. This drew an immediate reaction from Iran. The country’s Foreign Ministry summoned Turkey’s ambassador to protest the remarks.  

Trump to Persian Gulf countries: Pay for safe zones in Syria

Since Donald Trump became the president of the United States, hardly a day has passed without a controversy. The latest one is about Syria: The President is going to create so-called safe zones in Syria and make Persian Gulf Arab countries pay for it. The idea sounds bizarre, but since assuming the presidency, Donald Trump has embarked on a series of decisions that may spell disasters not only for the Middle East but also for the whole world. The idea has been touted around for some time. During talks with the Saudi King in late January, Trump and king Salman touched on the issue of creating so-called safe-zones in Syria for Syrian refugees. And just days after that, Trump and his Turkish counter-part Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on joint action against Daesh in Syria. Could Trump’s latest comments be a hint of a new scenario for the crisis-hit nation of Syria?

Le Pen in Lebanon: Prepping to be president?

France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen on Monday visited Lebanon on a trip which is seen as being rare given her lack of foreign policy experience. The head of the anti-immigration National Front party held talks with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri as well as numerous other officials, including the Christian Maronite patriarch. Le pen's visit is highly significant because of the implications of her possible victory in the April and May presidential election for France's policy on the Middle East. It is widely believed that there will be a policy shift regarding Syria if she wins the vote.