We take a look at two countries that are seldom out of the international headlines these days – Syria and Egypt.
The first part of our ‘Middle East Analysis’ podcast sees us discuss a letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asking him, as the incumbent with a strong say in the future of the country, whether he would be willing to step aside in consideration of Syria’s future good and that of its people.
The letter’s author is our regular studio guest Dr Harry Hagopian. He tells us why he wrote it.
We also have an update on the depressing situation in the besieged city of Aleppo in northern Syria. There’s a shortage of almost everything in the government-controlled areas and there are no roads open for travel in or out.
Vegetables and fruits have disappeared from the markets and shops and all the restaurants are closed. Add to that no electricity or water not to mention a lack of petrol for vehicles and the picture is bleak.
Some people are selling their apartments for only $10,000. They want the money so they can leave the city for good as soon as the road opens again.
The focus of our podcast then shifts to Egypt. Dr Hagopian updates us on the situation in the north African country with a focus on human rights and the detention of a well-known activist.
We also discuss Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s state visit to the UK when he met Prime Minister David Cameron among others.
All this in light of the tragedy of an apparent terrorist bombing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula.