Diplomacy

The Sick Man of Europe Returns

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When the Republic of Turkey emerged from the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, its national ambition was to join Europe as a modern, secular state. Joschka Fischer * Project Syndicate But after much progress, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has now all but squandered his country’s chance of realizing its founders’ vision. BERLIN – One of the great geopolitical issues in nineteenth-century Europe was the so-called Eastern Question. The Ottoman Empire, then known as the “sick ... Read More »

EEZ of Doing Watery Business

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With ties that go back centuries, the relations between Indonesia and India remain steadfast today. By Sidharto Suryodipuro (The writer is ambassador of Indonesia to India) The Economic Times Both President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have met in various fora. During the visit of Modi to Indonesia last May, the two governments agreed to enhance cooperation in defence, space, railways, science, medicine and health. One aspect of cooperation that tends to be forgotten, however, is maritime boundary delimitation (MBD). ... Read More »

Cate Blanchett urges UN to act on Rohingya Muslim refugees

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Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett has told the UN Security Council that nothing prepared her for “the extent and depth of suffering” she saw when she visited camps in Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled a… The Australian AP In her very different role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency, Blanchett said she heard “gut-wrenching accounts” of torture, rape, people seeing loved ones killed before their eyes, and… “I am a mother, and I saw my children ... Read More »

MAPPED: Where can the British and French fish for scallops? Where are the boundaries?

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A SCALLOPS war has broken out over the English Channel, with British and French vessels clashing in angry exchanges over capture of the valuable shellfish. Where can they fish for scallops and what are the boundaries? Paul Withers Express This map from the Government shows the territorial sea limits of the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. In particular in the latest outbreak with fishermen from across the channel, it illustrates a clear red line there the UK-France ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Stalled Transition

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s government appears stuck amid international condemnation of the Rohingya’s mass displacement and domestic unease about the economy. ICG To nudge Myanmar’s post-junta transition forward, the UN should combine engagement with pressure for accountability for crimes against humanity and eventual refugee return. What’s new?  Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is halfway through its first term, in what was to be a crucial phase in Myanmar’s transition away from authoritarian military rule. Thus far, however, her government is a… ... Read More »

Greece returns to the Balkans

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TIRANA, Aug. 28 – Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister Georgios Katrougalos represented Greece at the informal summit of the Prime Ministers of the Western Balkan Countries (WB6) in Durres on Monday. Tirana Times The main topic of the meeting was to promote regional economic integration. In his speech, Katrougalos referred to the unwavering Greek stance in favor of the European perspective of the Balkan countries, highlighting recent initiatives to support political stability and economic co-operation in the region. A significant example ... Read More »

The Erdogan Question: Is It Time To Shrink NATO?

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The Turkish president’s thuggish autocracy and reflexive anti-Americanism make him very popular in his country. Philip Terzian Weekly Standard There was once a country in what used to be called the Near East that was much admired in the United States and often regarded as America’s most valuable asset in the region. Although the country was predominantly Muslim, its government was resolutely secular in outlook and committed to “modernizing” its deeply traditional culture: Women enjoyed unprecedented equality, for example, and ... Read More »

Turkish currency isn’t the real problem for Erdoğan, it’s democracy

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is presiding over the damaging loss of value of the Turkish currency, the lira, against foreign currencies. Gary M. Grossman The Conversation It’s the most severe economic crisis the country has faced since he assumed power. Erdoğan has been the dominant figure in Turkish politics for almost two decades. Can he and his party maintain political control through this moment? As an American scholar, I began my engagement in Turkey in 1990, working with various ... Read More »

Time for President Donald Trump to Bury the U.S.-Turkey Alliance

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The alliance was already dead—just not everyone realizes it yet. The U.S.-Turkey alliance is dead. Certainly, as long as Tayyip Recep Erdoğan is Turkey’s president. Doug Bandow The National Interest And probably well beyond that. The current dispute over the imprisonment of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson dominates the news. But more important is an increasing divergence in the two nations’ geopolitical interests. The traditional claim that Ankara was a “vital” partner long reflected the triumph of hope over experience. During ... Read More »

A Preview of Donald Trump’s Next Speech on Erdogan’s Turkey

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Reflections on how to Make Turkey Great Again. When Recep Tayyip Erdogan jailed an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, and held him as a hostage, Donald Trump tried to get the fellow released. Ira Straus the Globalist This effort failing, he chose to respond with sanctions. Erdogan struck back with demagogic speeches about this being an attack on Turkey. The man in the Oval Office is unlikely to back down. He is not one to let go if someone locks horns ... Read More »

Al Gore, missionary man

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For someone warning of dangers of climate apocalypse, former US vice president is surprisingly upbeat. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Al Gore spent a year in divinity school as a young man, but he was well into middle age by the time he found his calling as a climate preacher. Now 70, and both grayer and portlier than when he was a full-time politician, America’s almost-president travels the world to raise awareness about climate change and what mankind can do ... Read More »

Sri Lanka joins Indian Ocean strategy talks at Vietnam forum

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is participating in conference to develop regional co-operation in the Indian Ocean held in Vietnam, a country that has suffered from China’s controversial restrictions on resources, free navigation and… The third Indian Ocean Conference is being held in Ha Noi to develop regional architectures to co-operate in security, trade commercial administration in the context of the strategic and economic importance of the… The Indian Ocean Conference was founded three years ago with ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit ‘could lead to break up of UK’

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Former European Council president Herman Van Rompuy has warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause the United Kingdom itself to collapse. Angus Howarth The Scotsman The ex-Belgian prime Minister told the Observer that crashing out without a deal was “an existential threat to the UK itself”. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she will decide whether to call for a second Scottish independence referendum by the end of this year. Van Rompuy believes a… No-deal Brexit… Read More »

North Korean fishing in Japan’s economic zone drops 77%

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Early patrol by coast guard ahead of squid season pays off MIO SADAKATA, Nikkei staff writer Asian Review TOKYO — North Korean boats fishing illegally in a vital part of Japan’s exclusive economic zone appear to have decreased almost 80% on the year in July, after the Japan Coast Guard began issuing earlier warnings ahead of prime squid season. The Yamatotai area of the Sea of Japan, about 300 km northwest of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, offers ideal ... Read More »

Is China Repeating Germany’s World War I Mistakes?

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Channeling his inner Kaiser Wilhelm, Xi calls on China’s navy to “aim for the top ranks in the world… John Maurer The National Interest Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military.” At a recent show of Chinese naval might in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping called for China to acquire a world-class navy, declaring to the assembled officers and crews that there has never been a… This demonstration of ... Read More »

Seafood diplomacy? Erdogan invites ‘dearest friend’ Putin to meet at fish restaurant

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Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan may soon be discussing the S-400 anti-air systems deal while eating fish or lobsters, as Putin has been reminded of an arrangement to meet at a… * RT An invitation from Erdogan, delivered to Putin by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu on Friday, said: “Your dearest friend, Mr. Erdogan, has asked to convene his greetings and best wishes, he is hoping for your visit to Istanbul in the near future. You have ... Read More »