Diplomacy

Qatar blockade: Gulf states silent on Tillerson plea to ease measures

Nations behind a blockade on Qatar have welcomed strong comments from President Donald Trump backing their move, but were silent on calls from his secretary of state to ease the measures. BBC Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain have cut ties, accusing Qatar of funding terrorism. Qatar denies the accusations. The UAE hailed Mr Trump’s “leadership”. But the states did not respond to Secretary of… Qatar blockade: Gulf… Read More »

Fragile Kosovo prepares for crucial vote

Nine years after proclaiming independence, fragile Kosovo votes on June 11 at a time of high tension with Serbia, rampant unemployment and some of its leaders threatened with prosecution for… Pristina Hurriyet The parliamentary election – Kosovo’s third since 2008 – is the most important since the independence declaration, according to Slovenian think-tank IFIMES, which specializes in the… While Kosovo’s sovereignty… Fragile Kosovo prepares… Read More »

Spain’s Catalonia announces October independence vote

The leader of Spain’s Catalonia region, where a separatist movement is in full swing, announced on June 9 an independence referendum for October 1 in defiance of Madrid which is firmly against such a… Barcelona Hurriyet Speaking in Barcelona, Carles Puigdemont said the question would be: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a… Catalonia, a wealthy, 7.5-million-strong region with its own language and customs, has long demanded greater… Spain’s Catalonia announces… Read More »

Turkey: NATO’s Odd One Out

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Discounting the sincerity of Turkish President Erdoğan’s fiercely anti-western rhetoric ahead of the April 16 referendum is akin to disregarding bitter facts about once staunch NATO ally Turkey. Burak Bekdil       BESA NATO’s deepening “Turkey problem” is contained in the country’s Islamist ideology, conspicuous “un-likemindedness”, and democratic anomalies, which stand against NATO’s founding values of safeguarding freedom and the… Turkey: NATO’s Odd… Read More »

To slow climate change, India joins the renewable energy revolution

On June 3, two days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged a hug with French President Emmanuel Macron during an… Arun Agrawal The Conversation Modi and Macron pledged to achieve emissions reductions beyond their… For observers who equate India’s energy production with a… To slow climate… Read More »

Analysis: Why is Turkey deploying troops to Qatar?

Turkey’s decision is not necessarily anti-Saudi, but it is definitely pro-Qatari, say analysts. Birce Bora  Al Jazeera Only two days after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar for its alleged support of “terrorist organisations”, Turkey’s parliament has ratified military deals allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in… Analysis: Why is… Read More »

Iran Unites as Tehran Struck by Middle East’s Proxy Wars

The 7 June attacks in Tehran struck at the symbolic heart of Iran’s revolutionary republic. In this Q&A, Ali Vaez, Senior Analyst for Iran, says the outrages show how the region’s proxy wars are now reaching far beyond the… Ali Vaez ICG How unusual are these attacks for Iran? If this indeed was, as it claimed, an attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it would constitute the first time the organisation has been able to strike ... Read More »

50 Years of Palestinian Rejection

And the world encourages it. The 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, which fell this week, has sparked much hand-wringing about why Israel still controls the West Bank half a century later. Evelyn Gordon  Commentary By sheer coincidence, Haaretz reporter Amir Tibon produced a scoop this week answering that question. It detailed the precise offer the… 50 Years of… Read More »

Israeli Commandos Heading to Cyprus for Largest-ever Drill

The joint drill, which involves 400 Israeli soldiers, has ruffled feathers in Ankara Gili Cohen Haaretz Israeli commandos will be undergoing training in Cyprus next week, the biggest joint military exercise ever undertaken between the two countries in the island nation. Sqaudrons of Black Hawk helicopters will head to Cyprus for the joint exercise, which starts Sunday, Haaretz has learned… Israeli Commandos Heading… Read More »

Russia sanctions talks leave Iran bill hanging in the balance

Ongoing Senate talks on a bipartisan Russia sanctions proposal are testing the ability of powerful GOP chairmen to work together on a package that can avoid imperiling passage of the Iran sanctions bill it could hitch a ride to. Elana Schor Politico Leaders in both parties say they want to vote on a plan to punish Russia as an amendment to the Iran sanctions bill that senators voted to move ahead with on Wednesday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck… Russia sanctions ... Read More »

Why Venezuela Proves That Russia Is Still a World Power

Russia has acquired in Venezuela, as it has in Syria, a need to preserve the current regime in order to safeguard its investments. Nikolas K. Gvosdev The National Interest One of the problems with continuing to box Russia into the European policy box is that Moscow, while not wielding all the resources of the former Soviet Union, can still wield influence in a… This myopia continually ignores the… Why Venezuela Proves… Read More »

Israel’s Diplomacy Gets Serious and Gets Results

Israel abandons shades of gray in its own defense. Though Israel’s diplomatic situation has improved remarkably, there’s been one glaring and nontrivial exception: Europe. Evelyn Gordon Commentary Hence, it’s encouraging to discover that even in Europe, patient, persistent diplomacy can bear fruit if it focuses on a few clear, consistent messages. Consider, for instance, the… Israel’s Diplomacy Gets… Read More »

UN rights czar: Nothing is like Holocaust, but Palestinians are suffering

Marking 50 years since 1967 war, Jordan’s Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein says Israelis and Palestinians both deserve different kinds of… By Times of Israel staff and AP The UN human rights chief on Tuesday decried 50 years of Israeli control of the West Bank, “which has denied the Palestinians many of their most fundamental freedoms,” invoking the Jewish Holocaust while simultaneously asserting that he was not comparing the experiences of the… In a statement marking the… UN rights czar… Read More »

UN: Turkey hinders our investigations in the South East

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Al Hussein said: “Our attempts at investigating the severe human rights violations in South Eastern Turkey are… AFN 35th Human Rights session of the United Nations Human Rights Council started in… UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s speech at the opening started with the Israel-Palestine issue and demanded an end to the… UN: Turkey hinders… Read More »

Ambassador Slammed Donald Trump Amid UAE Campaign To Isolate Qatar

“On what planet can trump be a president??” Yousef Al Otaiba wrote in an email on election night. Akbar Shahid Ahmed HuffPost WASHINGTON ― Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the U.S. and a confidant of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, repeatedly criticized President Donald Trump in private correspondence last year ― including with… Otaiba, one of the most powerful diplomats in Washington, figures in an… Ambassador Slammed Donald… Read More »

VN proposes ASEAN-China hotline for sea disputes

SINGAPORE  – Việt Nam has stressed the need for ASEAN and China to implement the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CEUS) and operate a… Viet Nam News Addressing the fourth special discussion held in Singapore on Saturday on practical measures to prevent encounters at sea, the Deputy Minister of Public Security, Senior Lieutenant General Bùi Văn Nam, also said that a… Nam told the meeting, held as… VN proposes ASEAN… Read More »