Diplomacy

Emmanuel Macron: French would ‘probably’ vote to leave EU

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Undated BBC handout photo of President Emmanuel Macron of France, during a recorded interview at Sandhurst for the BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday January 21, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Macron. Photo credit should read: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

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The French President believes his country might also have quit the bloc if offered the choice in an referendum Greg Heffer SkyNews France would “probably” have voted to leave the EU if it had held an in/out referendum, according to the country’s leader. Emmanuel Macron attributed the UK’s decision to leave the EU to British voters’ loss of faith in globalisation and unrestricted free markets. The French President suggested there is “always a risk” with votes such as Britain’s 2016 ... Read More »

The secret to Henry Kissinger’s success

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29:  Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee January 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony from Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the topic of global challenges and U.S. national security strategy.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Many think the retired diplomat’s closeness to one man — Richard Nixon — was the source of his power. That gets Kissinger dangerously wrong. By NIALL FERGUSON Politico About halfway through writing my biography of Henry Kissinger, an interesting hypothesis occurred to me: Did the former secretary of state owe his success, fame and notoriety not just to his powerful intellect and formidable will but also to his exceptional ability to build an eclectic network of relationships, not only to ... Read More »

“Don’t let Afrin become another Kobane”

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Academics and international human rights activists launched a petition calling upon world powers to act against Turkish aggression against Afrin ANF The petition, signed by academics and activists like Noam Chomsky, Michael Hardt and Debbi Bookchin, called for prevention of further Turkish attacks on Afrin. The full text of the petition reads as follows: “We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is ... Read More »

Is America’s Alliance with Turkey Worth It?

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The most basic feature that the United States should expect from an ally is consistent, reliable behavior that benefits U.S. policy objectives. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest  Ideally, since America regards itself as a champion of democracy and freedom, an ally should embody those values as well, but Washington has never been a stickler for that standard. Indeed, the United States has a sordid history of collaboration with undemocratic, even odious, regimes when U.S. leaders believed that the relationship ... Read More »

FYROM’s Zaev to discuss name push with Tsipras in Davos

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The name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will reportedly be discussed at a prime ministerial level in the next few days, reports from Skopje said on Friday. e kathimerini According to the tiny Balkan country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, the meeting will take place on January 24 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Even though Athens by late Friday had not confirmed the meeting, Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras described the ... Read More »

FYROM media reports UN mediator’s name proposals

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A website in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Thursday published the five names it claims United Nations negotiator Matthew Nimetz brought to table in talks the previous day between representatives from Athens and Skopje. e kathimerini According to the website www.mkd.mk, Nimetz proposed: Republika Nova Makedonija (Republic of New Macedonia); Republika Severna Makedonija (Republic of Northern Macedonia), Republika Gorna Makedonija (Republic of Upper Macedonia); Republika Vardarska Makedonija (Republic of Vardar Macedonia) and… Skopje raised new… FYROM media ... Read More »

Australia’s human rights record attacked in global report for ‘serious shortcomings’

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Human Rights Watch criticises Indigenous incarceration rate, counter-terrorism laws and detention centre abuse Helen Davidson The Guardian The Australian government must act on the “serious shortcomings” in its human rights record if it wants to be a credible leader on the global stage, Human Rights Watch has said in its annual world report. The Australian chapter of the HRW world review said that despite a strong tradition of protecting civil and political rights, “Australia has serious unresolved human rights problems” ... Read More »

Russia, Iran open their arms as Turkey loses patience with U.S.

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LONDON — Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have hit a new low over Washington’s support of militias battling the Islamic State, according to analysts. F. Brinley Bruton NBC News The government in Ankara views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists. Experts warn that the crisis is resulting in Turkey — a longtime American ally with NATO’s second-largest standing army — turning away from the West and toward Russia and Iran. U.S. military support for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are ... Read More »

Politics and Security Hold Each Other Hostage in Nagorno-Karabakh

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This week’s meeting between Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s foreign ministers is likely to centre on security issues, including numbers of international observers in Nagorno-Karabakh. Magdalena Grono ICG But frustration with the peace process will grow unless both foreign ministers address the critical political aspects of a future settlement. Sniper fire can hit almost every open-air spot in Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, an Armenian village in the Tavush region on the border with Azerbaijan. Nargiza, who runs a well-stocked shop out of an abandoned ... Read More »

Seven Priorities for the African Union in 2018

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In 2018, the African Union (AU) and its new Assembly Chairperson President Paul Kagame of Rwanda have the chance to push ahead with much-needed institutional reforms ICG But the AU must not lose focus on dire conflicts and defusing potential electoral violence. What’s the issue? African Union leaders meet at the end of January for their bi-annual summit. Vital institutional and financial reform will likely be at the top of the AU’s 2018 agenda, but the organisation must ensure that ... Read More »

Rex Tillerson signals an open-ended US military presence in Syria

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled for an open-ended US military presence in Syria as part of a broader strategy. Tillerson also called for “patience” on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s removal. David Brunnstrom, Reuters  Business Insider The United States on Wednesday signaled an open-ended military presence in Syria as part of a broader strategy to prevent Islamic State’s resurgence, pave the way diplomatically for the eventual departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and curtail Iran’s influence. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a speech at Stanford ... Read More »

Money Can’t Buy China Love – but Influence, Apparently

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China under Xi Jinping is deeply concerned with its global status and standing and aims to regain its deserved place on the global stage Falk Hartig Asia Sentinel This has dramatic consequences not only for China but for the rest of the world One of the most important developments with regards to China has been the bold departure from the foreign policy dictum to keep a low profile. While the country, until recently, was mainly concerned with domestic issues and ... Read More »

Nimetz: Term ‘Macedonia’ to be included in name proposal

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Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting between delegates from Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in New York, United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz said on Tuesday that his proposal to resolve the decades-old name dispute will include the term “Macedonia.” e kathimerini In an interview with ANT1 TV, Nimetz said the term “Macedonia” will be included in the name as more than 100 countries have already recognized it as such. “If we wait for another 25 years the problem will ... Read More »

The Iran Nuclear Deal at Two: A Status Report

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The 2015 Iran nuclear accord is working, but is at risk from longstanding U.S.-Iran rivalry, Trump administration policies and Tehran’s upsurge of activism in the Middle East. ICG The deal’s other signatories should encourage the U.S. not to withdraw and consider ways to sustain the deal, regardless of U.S. actions and as long as Iran remains committed to it. What’s the issue? The 2015 Iran nuclear accord is as successful as it remains fragile. President Trump has warned he will ... Read More »

Turkey, Russia blast U.S.-backed Syria force as “terrorist army”

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BEIRUT – Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria’s international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq. CBS News AP The coalition told The Associated Press Monday that 230 new cadets have already been recruited to the force, which is anticipated to reach 30,000 troops in the next several years. According to the coalition, the core of ... Read More »

EU’s Western Balkan Dilemma – the Trickiest Task in 2018

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Last year (2017) was not the year of the Western Balkans, as analyses can be read. Adelina Marini euinside This was the year of the EU’s awakening to this volatile region in its immediate neighbourhood, and the realisation that it is of strategic importance to member states in time of a renewed geopolitical race. 2017 began with the surprising recognition of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (Italy, Socialists and Democrats) that she was ... Read More »