Abbott, Key to discuss Iraq commitment

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AAP Herald Sun – A JOINT operation in Iraq is likely to be the focus of talks between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his New Zealand counterpart John Key. THE pair meet in Auckland for an annual bilateral leaders discussion on Saturday morning. Mr Key recently committed to send 143 NZ troops to help train Iraqi forces in the fight against ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia to allow Israel use of its airspace to strike Iran – report

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RT – Saudi Arabia has reportedly agreed to let Israel use its airspace to attack Iran if necessary, in exchange for “some kind of progress” on the Palestinian issue, Israel’s Channel 2 TV station quoted an unnamed European official as saying. “The Saudis have declared their readiness for the Israeli Air Force to overfly Saudi air space en route to ... Read More »

Cyprus signs deal to allow Russian navy to use ports

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BBC – Russia has signed an agreement with Cyprus to give Russian navy ships access to Cypriot ports. Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed the deal after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. The deal comes as tensions between Russia and Western countries over the Ukrainian conflict continue. President Putin said that other countries should not be concerned and that the port’s ... Read More »

Bali Nine: Tony Abbott says he believes Joko Widodo is ‘considering position’ on executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he believes his Indonesian counterpart is “carefully considering” his position over the execution of two Australian men. ABC – By Melissa Clarke and Helen Brown Mr Abbott telephoned Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo last night to appeal for clemency for convicted Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. He said he would not reveal the details ... Read More »

Libya: Getting Geneva Right

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ICG – Middle East and North Africa Report N°157 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Libya’s deteriorating internal conflict may be nearing a dramatic turning point. Over six months of fighting between two parliaments, their respective governments and allied militias have led to the brink of all-out war. On the current trajectory, the most likely medium-term prospect is not one side’s triumph, but that rival ... Read More »

More weapons are not the answer to Libya’s jihadi upsurge

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In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Libya Senior Analyst Claudia Gazzini discusses the upsurge in Islamic State activity in Libya. ICG – After the Islamic State (IS) beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, and Egypt bombed IS camps in response, it seems clear that there is an IS problem in Libya that didn’t exist before. By Claudia Gazzini How did Libya ... Read More »

Back from the Brink: Saving Ciudad Juárez

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS ICG - Just four years ago, Ciudad Juárez was under siege from criminal gang members and being sabotaged by crooked cops. Also available in Spanish. Latin America Report N°54 Killings and kidnappings spiralled out of control despite the deployment of thousands of soldiers and federal police. Today Juárez is on the path to recovery: public investments in ... Read More »

Blackburn MP Jack Straw is honoured by the Turkish government

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Jack Straw has been given one of Turkey’s highest awards for being ‘a politician who approaches the Islamic world and Muslim societies with sincerity and friendship’. Lancashire Telegraph – by Bill Jacobs, Local government reporter He flew to Turkish capital Ankara to receive the country’s highest order available to individuals who are not heads of state. The citation for the Order ... Read More »

Turkish military mission becomes media circus

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Public relations photos distributed to the press Feb. 22 overshadowed the realities of Turkey’s cross-border military operation. An image showed soldiers hoisting the Turkish flag exactly in the same manner and style as that unforgettable picture at Iwo Jima. Summary: Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party framed its cross-border mission to evacuate the Tomb of Suleiman Shah as a victory for ... Read More »

The Island Dispute No One Is Talking About

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While the South China Sea and Senkaku Island disputes are all the rage these days, South Korea and Japan’s conflict could be equally consequential. The National Interest - Ted Galen Carpenter * Acrimonious territorial disputes between East Asian nations involving largely uninhabited islands are nothing new, and they have received an abundance of attention from foreign policy officials and the news media. ... Read More »