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Four conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  
 

➤ Algeria: Deputy Prime Minister Ramtane Lamamra embarked on a foreign tour this week, announcing in Moscow that the date of new presidential elections will be determined during an inclusive national conference. Crisis Group expert Michaël Ayari says much now depends on protesters’ determination to demand Bouteflika's departure, whether opposition groups propose viable alternatives to the plan and whether the army chief of staff Gaid Salah will directly intervene in politics.

➤ Kazakhstan: Long-time President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation on Tuesday after nearly 30 years in office, handing power to regime veteran Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Crisis Group expert Olga Oliker says it is almost certain that Nazarbayev and his inner circle have had this planned for some time and are implementing their own version of a managed transition.

➤ Israel/Palestine: President Trump on Thursday called for U.S. recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a region captured from Syria in 1967 and formally annexed in 1981. Crisis Group expert Ofer Zalzberg says formal U.S. recognition is an ominous step that could lay the ground for recognition of future Israeli annexation of the West Bank or parts of it. 

Ukraine-Russia: Moscow on Monday marked the five-year anniversary of its annexation of Crimea and announced plans to deploy strategic bombers to the Black Sea peninsula. Crisis Group expert Anna Arutunyan says Moscow is committed to treating the annexation of Crimea as a fait accompli and described its deployment of strategic bombers as a response to the U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defence system in Romania. 

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