Diplomacy

Djibouti accuses Eritrea of occupying disputed area

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Official says Eritrean soldiers occupied moved contested border territory, days after Qatar pulled its peacekeepers out. Al Jazeera and news agencies Djibouti’s foreign minister has accused neighbouring Eritrea of occupying a disputed territory along their border shortly after Qatar peacekeepers left the location this… Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said on Friday Djibouti’s military was “on alert” and that it has lodged complaints to the United Nations and the African… Djibouti accuses Eritrea… Read More »

Trump partially rolls back Obama’s Cuba thaw

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US President Donald Trump says he is rolling back the Obama administration’s “completely one-sided deal with Cuba”. BBC Speaking in Miami, Florida, he said his new policy would tighten rules affecting travel and on sending funds to the Caribbean island nation. But he is not reversing key diplomatic and commercial ties, and will not close the US embassy in… Trump partially rolls… Read More »

New Cold War in the Indian Ocean

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Great power competition between the US, India, Japan and Australia on one side, and China on the other, is raising the strategic stakes in the maritime area Bertil Lintner  Asia Times A new Cold War is brewing in the Indian Ocean, with an informal alliance of the United States, India, Australia, Japan on one side and China on the other. While tensions in the… New Cold War… Read More »

Mexico’s Worsening War without a Name

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The “war on drugs” has morphed into a new rash of killings in Mexico. Froylán Enciso ICG The deadly violence of increasingly well-organised, business-minded criminal groups risks being aggravated by government inaction, corruption and bombastic U.S. rhetoric – exactly what caused the problem in the first place. Murder rates in Mexico have hit a… Mexico’s Worsening War… Read More »

US reassures Qatar with arms sale, drill

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The United States agreed a major warplane sale to Qatar and began maneuvers with the emirate’s navy on June 15, underscoring its commitment to their military alliance despite Doha’s rift with… Hurriyet Washington has sent conflicting signals to its longtime ally about its position on the diplomatic crisis which has seen Saudi Arabia and its allies impose sweeping sanctions on the… Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed support for the… US reassures Qatar… Read More »

Why is Turkey standing up for Qatar?

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“Thank you Turkey for the milk!” posted one Twitter user from Qatar, along with a picture taken in a supermarket whose shelves were full of… Selin Girit BBC Over the weekend, fresh stocks of milk, yogurt, poultry and juice from Turkey were flown to Doha as the country faced a shortage of fresh produce due to the recent crisis in the Gulf – the worst in the… On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the isolation of Qatar as… ... Read More »

Egypt lawmakers approve deal giving islands to Saudi Arabia

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In defiance of a court ruling, Egypt’s parliament voted on Wednesday to ratify a disputed 2016 agreement that would transfer two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Hamza Hendawi Associated Press ABC The vote, in which lawmakers in favor were asked to stand up, came shortly after the 596-seat chamber opened a debate on the pact earlier in the day. The outcome was a foregone conclusion since the legislature is packed with supporters of President Abdel-Fattah el… Egypt lawmakers ... Read More »

Israel says it approves of the controversial transfer of two Egyptian islands to Saudi control

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The transfer of the islands has provoked anger in Egypt [AFP] Israel says it backs the controversial handover of two Red Sea islands from Egyptian to Saudi control, despite having no formal relations with Riyadh. The New Arab Tiran and Sanafir islands in the Gulf of Aqaba have been under Cairo’s administration since at least the 1950s, but will be handed over to Saudi Arabia later this… Israel says it… Read More »

Turkey Hires More U.S. Lobbying Firms as its Reputation is Further Tarnished

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As Turkey becomes the target of worldwide condemnation for its human rights violations, the Turkish government decides to spend a fortune on lobbying and public relations firms to try to cleanse its… Harut Sassounian The Armenian Weekly On the heels of the April 16 flawed referendum which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan barely won to give himself a wide-ranging dictatorial powers, and his bodyguards’ brutal attack in front of the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C., on… Turkey Hires More… Read More »

Japan warns Russia not to conduct survey in EEZ without permission

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Tokyo has asked Russia not to conduct marine surveys or resource exploration within Japan’s exclusive economic zone without permission, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday. the japan times Kyodo On the morning of June 5, the Japan Coast Guard spotted a Russian vessel hanging what appeared to be a wire within Japan’s EEZ near the Soya Strait, which lies between Hokkaido and the Russian island of Sakhalin, Kishida told a news conference. The Foreign Ministry told the Russian Embassy in ... Read More »

Panama cuts ties with Taiwan, switches to China

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Panama and China announced June 13 they were establishing diplomatic relations, as the Central American nation became the latest to dump Taiwan for closer ties with the… BEIJING – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The move prompted an angry response from Taiwan and will likely further strain ties between Taipei and Beijing, which considers the self-ruled island a renegade province awaiting reunification with the… Taiwan is recognized by around 20 countries worldwide and its status is one of the… Panama cuts ties… Read More »

Turkey’s Evolving Array of Diplomatic Challenges

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As the Turkish leadership becomes increasingly isolated from its traditional allies, Ankara seems tempted to seek refuge in an unconvincing regional role. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe Long gone are the happy days when Turkey’s foreign policy motto was “zero problems with neighbors.” Nowadays, Ankara is facing new diplomatic challenges on multiple fronts, at a time when domestic politics are more polarized than ever since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in… The list of headaches is long, ... Read More »

Ali Sherif al-Emadi: Sanctions will not harm economy

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Finance minister says Qatar can defend economy and currency against tough sanctions imposed by neighbouring GCC nations. Al Jazeera and news agencies Qatar can easily defend its economy and currency against sanctions by other Arab states, Qatari finance minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi told CNBC television in an interview broadcast on… He said that the countries that had imposed sanctions on Qatar would also lose money because of the damage to business in the… Ali Sherif al… Read More »

Traversing the Tribal Patchwork of Libya’s South West

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Our Senior Analyst Claudia Gazzini travels to southern Libya and finds neglect, smugglers, a gold rush, and simmering tensions among a patchwork of ethnic, tribal and militia actors on the edge of the Sahara… Claudia Gazzini ICG She also discovers much longing for a united, well-governed Libya. SEBHA, Libya – To understand the full extent of the impact of the civil war that has fractured the rest of the country into warring fiefdoms, it is… Traversing the Tribal… Read More »

America’s Political Gamble in Syria May Not Pay Off

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President Trump’s plan to defeat the Islamic State relies on the complex web of relations between the United States, Turkey and the… Matthew RJ Brodsky The National Interest As the Islamic State’s territory continues to shrink in the Middle East, its henchmen and those inspired by the extremist group are increasingly lashing out at soft targets in the… The types of attacks recently experienced in London and Manchester are likely to continue until the… America’s Political Gamble… Read More »

Egypt Gives Saudi Arabia 2 Islands in a Show of Gratitude

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CAIRO — Since King Salman of Saudi Arabia arrived in Cairo on Thursday for a five-day visit, the leader of the oil-rich kingdom has lavished his Egyptian allies with promises of aid and… DECLAN WALSH  The New York Times But this time, instead of writing a blank check with little more than a polite “thank you” to show for it, King Salman will return home Monday with something more substantial in return: two islands in a… Egypt’s cabinet announced on ... Read More »