Diplomacy

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

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

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

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

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’

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%

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?

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

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 »

Serbia, Kosovo presidents broach border changes for historic deal

Balkan leaders seek to calm fears that plan could reignite ethnic violence. Andrew Gray Politico ALPBACH — The presidents of Serbia and Kosovo made clear on Saturday they are considering border changes to reach a historic peace settlement and called on the European Union to provide crucial… The declarations by Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaçi at a panel discussion in Austria place the EU in a difficult position. EU leaders have long opposed such changes on the basis ... Read More »

Bunga bunga Britain

UK politics are looking distinctly Mediterranean. Erik Jones Politico BOLOGNA, Italy — Which country is hot in the summer, good at football and a political basket case? Italy? No, Britain (OK, England in the football). There was a time, not too long ago, when British politics was decisive and Italian politics was fractious. Things have changed. In the U.K., Prime Minister Theresa May is suffering the slings and arrows of warring factions within her… Her government relies on a tenuous confidence and ... Read More »

Germany Declares Independence From America

Also, Germany is once again the world-champion exporter. Richard Palmer theTrumpet German’s foreign minister declared independence from the United States this week. Europe, he said, should form a “counterweight” to the U.S., opposing America whenever it “crosses red lines.” Writing in Germany’s Handlesblatt newspaper, he warned that Germany couldn’t be this counterweight alone. “The main goal of our foreign policy is therefore to build a sovereign, strong Europe,” he wrote. He called for European independence in practical ways; he wants ... Read More »

Putin and Erdoğan Knock Again at Merkel’s Door

Sanctions force the two autocrats to negotiate with Germany over Syria. By Josué Michels theTrumpet Germany’s diplomatic relations with Turkey and Russia are warming up again. For several years, these relationships have been frosty. Reuters reported last week “But now, a diplomatic firework erupted” (Trumpet translation throughout). German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a three hour discussion on August 18. A meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planned for September. Ahead of the meeting ... Read More »

UN meeting on new Syrian constitution set for next month

The United Nations peace envoy for Syria will host Iran, Russia and Turkey for talks on drafting a new Syrian constitution on Sept. 11-12, a United Nations spokeswoman said on Aug. 24. GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura has been tasked with setting up a committee to write a new constitution for the war-ravaged country. The main foreign powers backing the project are Syrian government allies Russia and Iran, as well as Turkey, which supports some opposition groups. Representatives of the… UN meeting on… Read More »

The Ally That Isn’t

Almost two years ago, the American Presbyterian minister Andrew Brunson was taken hostage by the Turkish government. The Editors Weekly Standard The charges against him—“political or military espionage” and “support for a terrorist group”—are absurd. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen extradited from the United States—he holds a paranoid grudge against Gülen, whom he blames for a coup attempt in 2016—and erroneously thought the… President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both paid ... Read More »

Naval experts concerned over China’s increasing presence in Mediterranean

The workshop held at the University of Haifa studied and assessed the issues concerning the future and character of maritime warfare in the region as well as various strategic developments. Anna Ahronheim JPost The increasing presence of China in the Mediterranean region as part of the Asian giant’s Belt and Road Initiative should be a cause of concern, experts told The Jerusalem Post this week. “What concerns us is China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its growing role in Israel’s ... Read More »

Turkey will reportedly start getting Russia’s advanced missile defense system in 2019, despite US efforts to block it

Russia will start delivering its advanced S-400 missile defense system to Turkey in 2019, the Interfax news agency cited Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport as saying on Tuesday. Christopher Woody and Reuters Business Insider A Turkish defense official said in April that the delivery of the S-400 batteries had been brought forward from the first quarter of 2020 to July 2019. Turkey and Russia negotiated the purchase throughout 2017, finalizing a deal worth some $2.5 billion at the end of ... Read More »