Diplomacy

Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

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US President Donald Trump called Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Wednesday and began the process moving his country’s embassy to the city Zena Tahhan & Farah Najjar AlJazeera The move sparked global condemnation from world leaders. Israel occupied East Jerusalem at the end of the 1967 War with Syria, Egypt and Jordan; the western half of the holy city had been captured in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem effectively put the entire city under de facto Israeli control. Israeli jurisdiction and ownership of Jerusalem, however, is not ... Read More »

Russia’s multilayered Syrian diplomacy worries Iran

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TEHRAN, Iran — The Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, widely known for its tourist attractions, has recently turned into a diplomatic hub, with dialogue over the Syrian crisis now serving as its main international attraction. Hamidreza Azizi  AlMonitor On Nov. 22, the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey attended a trilateral summit in Sochi to coordinate their efforts on the future of Syria. Just a day before, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in the resort, with his warm welcome ... Read More »

Ten things Australia can do to be a human rights hero

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Sunday is Human Rights Day. December 10 marks 69 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Carolien van Ham Lisa Hill Louise Chappell With the 70th anniversary coming up in 2018, the UN has launched Stand Up 4 Human Rights, a year-long campaign to bring the ideals of the declaration closer to reality. The Conversation As a leader in the framing of the UN declaration and one of the ... Read More »

The Killing of Former President Saleh Could Worsen Yemen’s War

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The dramatic collapse of the Huthi-Saleh alliance is likely to prolong Yemen’s war and the suffering of its people April Longley Alley  After killing former President Saleh, the Huthis, viewed by their enemies in Riyadh as Iranian proxies, are firmly in control of the capital. ICG Neither they, nor the Saudis, are in a mood for compromise. What exactly happened and what led up to this sudden twist in Yemen’s devastating war? On 4 December, Huthi fighters killed Yemen’s former ... Read More »

Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico

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JERUSALEM – In response to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Palestinian National Authority has announced that it will recognize Texas as a state of Mexico since it was violently annexed by the United States in the… ALEX HUNTLEY The Beaverton “The territory north and east of the Rio Grande is very important to the Mexican people,” explained a PNA spokesperson. “Before American settlers showed up and implemented slavery, Mexico oversaw this land. Then, President Polk sent his ... Read More »

Brexit: SNP minister wants united Holyrood voice for single market bid

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Scotland’s Brexit minister has called on rival parties to unite and “speak with one voice” in a bid to keep the UK in the single market as political turmoil continued over Britain’s departure from the European… Russel Jackson The Scotsman Mike Russell said there was “overwhelming support” for this both at Holyrood and among the public as he urged Labour and the Tories to back the whole UK remaining in both the European single market and customs… He spoke out ... Read More »

YPG, Russia meeting ‘evaluated steps to take’ after ISIL: Russian defense ministry

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Dec. 4 that a meeting held a day earlier by a Russian military delegation and officials of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s Deir Ezzor province had “evaluated the steps to be taken” after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is ousted from the region. Nerdun Hacıoğlu – MOSCOW Hurriyet It was the first statement released by Russia regarding the Dec. 3 meeting. The Defense Ministry said among the ... Read More »

Do the Numbers Lie? Mistrust and Military Lockdown after Honduras’ Disputed Poll

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With massive protests, armed clashes and a government-declared state of emergency, Honduras is in social and political chaos after the 26 November general elections. Sofía Martínez Fernández  ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Northern Triangle Analyst Sofía Martínez explains what has sparked the crisis and its potential effect on armed violence. What is happening in Honduras? Honduras has entered a political crisis that is turning increasingly violent following the disputed results of the 26 November general elections. In a climate ... Read More »

Time for Concerted Action in DR Congo

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President Kabila’s delaying tactics are holding hostage DR Congo’s political transition, while internal strife and government repression are weakening the opposition. ICG Western and African actors need to coordinate their approach to the deepening crisis, support the advancement of democratic elections and encourage the opening of political space. What’s the issue? President Joseph Kabila’s apparent determination to remain in power threatens to prolong the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) political stalemate. Having subverted the… Time for Concerted… Read More »

Geopolitics of Syrian Kurds and military cooperation with the US

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The survival and development of the revolutionary process in Rojava, i.e. of a new democratic perspective, has the big potential to change the mindsets of dozens of millions of people in Middle East. ERCAN AYBOĞA ANF How did the US end up supporting the Kurds in Rojava? Since October 2014 the Syrian Kurds and their non-Kurdish Allies have discussed military cooperation with the US-led Global Coalition against the “Islamic State” (IS). Towards the end of 2014, the mainly Kurdish People’s/Women’s ... Read More »

Dutch prime minister says more EU integration ‘not the answer’

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Mark Rutte’s speech was a direct challenge to the ideas of French President Emmanuel Macron MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico AMSTERDAM — A “federal Europe” and “more integration” is not the answer to the EU’s problems, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a speech Saturday challenging French President Emmanuel Macron’s vision of a more integrated Europe. The Dutch prime minister — who was speaking at the annual congress of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) — ... Read More »

Crossing the Line: Australia’s Secret History in Timor Sea, Kim McGrath

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“Kissingerian realism” and an associated hard nose for the “national interest”, or “Wilsonian idealism”? Robert Murray The Australian Nowhere has this timeless tension in foreign affairs challenged Canberra more than over our nearest neighbour, East Timor. It has made prime ministers from William McMahon to Malcolm Turnbull look mean and tricky, and yet, Kim McGrath suggests in this brisk account of it all, it might be one of those ­issues where the Wilsonian approach would have served the national interest ... Read More »

UN votes 151-6 against Israel, an ‘occupying power’ with no rights to Jerusalem

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The UN passed six new resolutions against the Jewish state, including one denying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem 151-6. United with Israel The United Nations General Assembly in New York passed six resolutions on Thursday affirming Palestinian rights and condemning Israeli violations of international law, Middle East Monitor reported. According to one resolution (‘Jerusalem’), “the Assembly reiterated that any actions by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem were illegal and therefore null and… UN ... Read More »

UN appeals for record $22.5 bln in global aid for 2018

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The United Nations appealed Dec. 1 for a record $22.5 billion (18.9 billion euros) to provide aid in 2018 to soaring numbers of people slammed by conflicts and disasters around the world GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The global appeal by U.N. agencies and other humanitarian organizations aims to raise funds to help the some 91 million most vulnerable of the nearly 136 million people expected to need aid across 26 countries next year. The number of people in need ... Read More »

Gordon Brown: ‘Independence is impossible in a globalised world’

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Gordon Brown has warned against the rise of political movements demanding to ‘take back control’, claiming that independence is impossible in a globalised world. CHRIS MCCALL The Scotsman The former prime minister told an audience in Madrid they should heed the warning of Brexit – an event he feared would leave the UK “poorer”. His comments were viewed by some sections of the Spanish press as a reference to the hugely controversial Catalan referendum on October 1 organised by the ... Read More »

Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying About Trump Sabotage of Security Council Resolution Against Israel Settlements

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This morning, former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his efforts with Jared Kushner to torpedo a United Nations Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlements. Richard Silverstein CounterPunch These included lobbying the Russian ambassador to help in this campaign by delaying or cancelling a vote on the matter. Earlier today, I published a new column in Middle East Eye (MEE) which outlined the case against Kushner. Here’s how the Times laid out the… ... Read More »