Diplomacy

Jeremy Corbyn defies critics and calls for calm over Russia

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Labour leader warns against ‘McCarthyite intolerance of dissent’ after nerve agent attack Heather Stewart and Larry Elliott The Guardian Jeremy Corbyn has defied critics in his own party and warned the prime minister against “rushing way ahead of the evidence” over the Salisbury poisoning, in what he called the “fevered” atmosphere of Westminster. The Labour leader used an article in the Guardian to urge the government to take a “calm, measured” approach – and warn against the drift towards a “new cold war” with… Corbyn ... Read More »

After the Rohingya crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi will come to the ASEAN summit with her reputation tarnished

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Two years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy (NLD) into government in Myanmar amid a global outpouring of support and goodwill. Authors.. The Conversation When she arrives in Australia for this weekend’s ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the welcome will be cooler, tempered by her government’s limited progress on a range of political and economic issues. In particular, concerns will be raised over the Myanmar military’s appalling treatment of the Muslim Rohingya, and Suu Kyi’s refusal to ... Read More »

Saudi Crown Prince Likens Iran’s Supreme Leader to Hitler

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BEIRUT, Lebanon — Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince has compared the supreme leader of Iran to Adolf Hitler, and said that his country would acquire a nuclear bomb “as soon as possible” if Iran developed nuclear weapons. Ben Hubbard The New York Times The comments by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ratcheted up the rhetoric in the increasingly volatile rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which has fueled sectarianism and war across the Middle East. His statements were in an ... Read More »

The Fatal Flaw in China’s Plan for Dominating the World Economy

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Dependence is baked into China’s industrial plans—and will likely fail. Chinese premier Li Keqiang recently delivered a remarkably revealing speech. Milton Ezrati The National Interest Addressing the National People’s Congress for two full hours early in March, he stressed the county’s determination to rely on broad industrial policies as a means to development. The objective, to use Li’s words, is to “speed up work to build China into a leader in manufacturing.” Li doubtless wanted his audience and the world ... Read More »

End the Weaponisation of Water in Central Asia

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Four Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – have argued over their water resources since the collapse of the Soviet Union. At times these disputes have seemed to threaten war. The forthcoming presidential summit in Astana can help banish that spectre. Alina Dalbaeva ICG On 15-16 March there is a landmark opportunity to promote peace and prosperity in Central Asia when the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan meet in the Kazakh capital of Astana. It ... Read More »

Rivals for Authority in Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan

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The prevailing calm in Gorno-Badakhshan in Tajikistan’s remote east does not rule out the prospect of a clash between local powerbrokers and Dushanbe authorities. ICG To mitigate the risks of a local flare-up and regional power rivalry, China and Russia should communicate with each other and nudge President Rahmon toward a smooth transition of power. What’s new? The Tajik government’s control of its eastern territory, Gorno-Badakhshan, is tenuous at best. Irregulars loyal to local powerbrokers known as the Authorities have ... Read More »

The 2018 Turkey Regress Report

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The European Commission is due to publish its next progress report on Turkey in April 2018. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe This standard procedure is meant to outline how candidate countries have advanced in aligning with the EU’s political and technical criteria for accession and to chart their paths forward. Yet, in Turkey’s case, a massive deterioration of the rule of law makes it impossible to acknowledge any progress. Instead, the commission’s forthcoming report is bound to illustrate a substantial regression. ... Read More »

Jordan’s New Regional Role

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It is significant for a Syrian opposition member to take a photo with a top American official. Maria Dubovikova and Shehab Al-Makahleh International Policy Digest When the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a meeting in Jordan’s capital, Amman, with the head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, and an accompanying delegation on February 14, the photo, which went viral, signaled how Jordan is set to play a major role in the outcome of ongoing conflicts in the… Indeed, the ... Read More »

Erdogan’s Vision: Uniting an ‘Army of Islam’ to Destroy Israel in 10 Days

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JERUSALEM, Israel – An article in a Turkish paper with close ties to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exposes the regime’s desire to form an “Army of Islam” to attack and destroy the State of Israel. Tzippe Barrow CBNnews The article calls on the 57 member nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) throughout the Muslim world to join forces against the Israeli “occupiers” who would then be vastly outnumbered and unable to defend their country. Translated and posted by MEMRI (Middle ... Read More »

After Kenya’s Leaders Reconcile, a Tough Path Ahead

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The meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga was an important step toward ending the protracted crisis over last year’s disputed election. To build on the progress, consensus is required on concrete steps that can help safeguard against future polarisation and violence.​ ICG I. Overview The meeting on 9 March 2018 between Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga was as unanticipated as it is significant. In their joint statement issued after the talks, they promised ... Read More »

Russia warns UK: ‘No one should threaten a nuclear power’

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Russia warned the UK not to threaten a nuclear power last night as tensions mounted ahead of an announcement today of tough new measures against the Kremlin over the use of a nerve agent on British soil. The Scotsman The Kremlin hit back at a demand to explain its involvement in the poisoning of Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, demanding access to samples of the nerve agent identified by UK investigators. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ... Read More »

Mike Pompeo on Muslims, torture and Guantanamo Bay

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Newly appointed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has a controversial history. Where does he stand on the issues? Creede Newton Al Jazeera The appointment of former CIA director Mike Pompeo as US secretary of state occurred on Tuesday after months of rumours that Rex Tillerson was on the way out. Tillerson was often depicted as a calm hand of “peaceful pressure” while US President Donald Trump usually opted for hasty decisions, bombastic rhetoric, and controversial policy positions. The two men disagreed on many issues, including the Iran ... Read More »

The U.S. Must Not Appease Turkey’s Erdogan

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It is often invidious to draw historical parallels, but in the case of Turkey’s attack on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria, one parallel is justified: Nazi Germany’s claim to the Sudetenland in Czechslovakia in 1938, where Britain and France adopted a policy of appeasement. Robert Ellis International Policy Digest When Germany invaded Poland a year later, Britain and France were forced to declare war. And we all know what that led to. The U.S. is now in ... Read More »

UN Goodwill Ambassador says Turkish attack on Afrin foreshadows genocide and ethnic cleansing

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UN Goodwill Ambassador and ISIS survivor Nadia Murad on Monday called for a ceasefire in Afrin and called on Turkey to stop the attacks on Afrin that so far have killed over 200 civilians. Wladimir van Wilgenburg The Region “Today, I received information that the area of Afrin inhabited by Kurds, Yazidis and Christians is under siege from all sides. There is only one road through which people can leave the city,” she said in a statement. “200 civilians have ... Read More »

Spy scandal has sent UK-Russia relations tumbling. What next?

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Many options will be on table should Kremlin involvement be confirmed. None will be simple Patrick Wintour The Guardian Theresa May’s assertion that it is highly likely the Russian state has committed an act of aggression by poisoning the double agent Sergei Skripal plunges Anglo-Russian relations into their worst state since the cruise missile crisis in the 1980s. The prime minister knows that she will have to go further than her response as home secretary to the 2006 murder of Alexander Litvinenko – some ... Read More »

UN: Israel settlements in West Bank, Jerusalem ‘war crime’

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein has described Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem as “war crimes”, Quds Press reported yesterday. MEM According to local media, Al-Hussein’s warnings would be part of a report he is to introduce to the UN Security Council on 19 March. “Building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the social, economic and security facilities given to their residents with the aim to move Zionists to forcefully occupied lands, is a violation ... Read More »