The Middle East 22nd May 2017

Countries across the Middle East face political turmoil following the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and the ongoing one in Syria. Libya will remains highly unstable due to inter factional fighting & criminal activity, including kidnapping is on the rise. The British Embassy closed in July 2014 due to security concerns and FCO is advising Against All Travel to Libya. The FCO also advise against all travel to Syria, unrest will continue and the country in now in a state of civil war. Unrest in Lebanon is now a concern as religious tensions spread from Syria. In Egypt the Army removes Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi after millions protests against the government and the country is unstable and generally tense. Whilst some of the Red Sea tourist destination are operating as normal there remaines a hight threat from terrorism across the country. Flights to Sharm el Sheik are still suspended following the shooting down of a Russian passeger airline in Oct 2015. Travellers should follow the FCO travel advice. Tension is high in Jersualem following a number of sectarian murders throughout 2015 & into 2016. Iraq has now returned to the worse days of the mid 2004 with the emergence of IS and reengagement of the US.

Following the 2 terrrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015 the FCO now advise Against all but Essential travel to the country.

Iran is opening to trade and tourism following the successful conclusion of the nuclear energy talks and is looking to improve relations with the West.  Anyone who has been generally loves the country, very friendly with wonderful sites and topography. British and US visitors requite a guide/escort when travelling and the visa authorisation process will take weeks so plan well ahead. A vehicle borne expedition will need a Carnet De Passage, in the UK this can be obtained from Cars UK. The British Embassy has reopened in Tehran & BA fly direct from London. President Rouhani won the presidential election in May 2017 with a commmitment to continue to improve relations with the West. Opportunities to travel in Iran are likley to increase.

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