Diplomacy

Let’s All Agree Not To Visit Turkey

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To many Americans, a trip to Turkey has long seemed like a dream excursion A NATO ally that sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey has offered an approachable window into exotic history and culture. And the flights are generally affordable, too. Gregg Roman The Daily Caller But Turkey has changed in the past few years. The State Department hasn’t issued a travel warning yet, but if Americans think they’ll be safe there, they’re wrong. One year ago ... Read More »

If Catalonia goes independent, these places could be next

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Catalonia might be the separatist region making headlines at the moment but Europe has many other separatist movements that are closely watching developments in northeastern… Holly Ellyatt  CNBC Separatist movements in Europe can range from small townships to entire regions and the motivations for wanting to go it alone are equally as diverse encompassing linguistic and cultural differences as well as economic and historical… While some separatist movements harbor dreams of gaining just a bit more autonomy from the national ... Read More »

Brexit Raises Questions About U.K. Sovereign Bases on Cyprus

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Cyprus and the U.K. will begin talks next week on the status of the two British sovereign bases on the eastern Mediterranean island after Brexit, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said. By Georgios Georgiou and Paul Tugwell Bloomberg “It matters for Cyprus if it’s a hard or soft Brexit,” Kasoulides said in a telephone interview. Agreement between the U.K. and Cyprus on the status of the bases will be part of the withdrawal deal, Kasoulides said. The two sovereign bases, ... Read More »

An Eye for an Eye: Iran Promises to Partition Saudi Arabia If Iraq Is Partitioned

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Iran is now openly threatening to dismember Saudi Arabia for its support for Kurdish independence and secession from Iraq. Prof. Hillel Frisch BESA This ratcheting up of tensions has implications not only for those two countries but for the region and the world at large Israel would do well to remember that the Middle East is growing ever more volatile, and the US should sharpen its resolve to contain… The Iranian-Saudi struggle over primacy in the Middle East ... Read More »

Niger Clash Kills U.S. and Nigerien Troops

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A deadly ambush near the Niger-Mali border on 4 October claimed the lives of at least five Nigerien soldiers and marked the unprecedented killing of American forces in the region. ICG In this Q&A, Deputy West Africa Project Director Jean-Hervé Jezequel and Research Assistant Hamza Cherbib say that jihadist violence cannot be divorced from deeper inter-communal tensions related to local competition over resources and illicit economic activity. What happened and where? According to U.S. and Nigerien security sources, on 4 October ... Read More »

How to Ensure a Credible, Peaceful Presidential Vote in Kenya

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Following the annulment of August’s historic vote, Kenya must hold repeat presidential elections by 1 November. But rising tensions and the threat of an opposition boycott could result in missing the vote’s deadline and risk a constitutional crisis Both political camps must move away from harsh words and find mutually acceptable electoral reforms to allow elections to proceed. ICG 1. Overview Kenya must hold repeat presidential elections before 1 November, after the country’s Supreme Court annulled a first vote that ... Read More »

North Korea Called Me a ‘War Maniac.’ I Ignored Them, and Trump Should Too.

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Smart diplomacy backed by the threat of force, not Twitter bluster, is the way to deal with Kim Jong Un. The last time events on the Korean Peninsula were in a state of crisis as urgent as what we are experiencing now was in 1994, when President Bill Clinton drew a… William J. Perry * Politico The regime in Pyongyang responded by threatening to turn the South Korean capital into a “sea of flames” and calling the U.S. defense secretary ... Read More »

Europe still hopeful to get Turkmen gas

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Turkmenistan, a hydrocarbon-rich Central Asian, is still hopeful to see its gas reach the European markets, while Brussels counties talks in this regard. Gulgiz Muradova AzerNews The EU is negotiating with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan over a Trans Caspian Pipeline System, said Anca Paduraru, EU Spokesperson for Energy Union projects. “Negotiations are on-going,” Paduraru said, when answering on progress of the talks. “The EU’s objective has not changed. To diversify the EU’s supplies, the Southern Gas Corridor aims to expand infrastructure ... Read More »

The Twists and Turns along China’s Belt and Road

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China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative could potentially transform relations with over 60 countries across Eurasia, Africa and beyond But to bring the concept to fruition, Beijing must overcome mammoth logistical obstacles, navigate fragile political situations and placate growing regional apprehension surrounding its ambitions. Michael Kovrig  ICG “The project of the century” is how Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi touted the Belt and Road Initiative to the world when addressing the UN General Assembly on 21 September. It was only ... Read More »

Israel denies Turkish remarks on involvement in Kurd vote

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Oct. 1 denied Turkish remarks of covert involvement in Iraqi Kurdistan’s recent independence vote, reiterating however his “sympathy” for the Kurdish people. Agence France-Presse Hurriyet On Sept. 30, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Israel’s intelligence agency played a role in the Sept. 25 referendum, citing as proof the waving of Israeli flags during celebrations for the overwhelming “yes” vote. “This shows one thing, that this administration [in northern Iraq] has a history with ... Read More »

Only a partitioned island will bring the dispute between Turkish and Greek Cypriots to an end

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In one of its worst strategic decisions ever, the European Union (sadly, with UK acquiescence) had agreed that Cyprus should join the EU on 1 May 2004, whether agreement had been reached with the Turkish Cypriots or not Jack Straw * Earlier this summer the 11th international effort to strike a deal between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots was rejected by the Greek-Cypriot government – as every previous one has been. Independent So, whatever its terms, will the next, and the ... Read More »

US in direct communication with North Korea, after pressuring rogue state

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Beijing: The United States said on Saturday it was directly communicating with North Korea, seeking to start a dialogue with Pyongyang as its advancing nuclear and missile programs stoke fears of an armed confrontation. Reuters, The Washington Post and Adam Gartrell Brisbane Times  US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the disclosure about the communications during a trip to China and said it was important to find a way to reduce tensions with North… “We are probing, so stay tuned,” Tillerson ... Read More »

Brexit: Boris Johnson urges two-year transition time limit

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Theresa May is coming under fresh pressure over Brexit on the eve of the Conservative party conference Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has again intervened on Brexit, setting out four conditions he says are necessary. BBC Speaking to the Sun, Mr Johnson insisted any transition period after Britain leaves the EU should not last “a second more” than two years. Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson’s position threatened a trade war with the EU, which could impact on jobs. The prime minister ... Read More »

The Who, Where, and When of Secession

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National self-determination, the principle that US President Woodrow Wilson put on the international agenda in 1918, is generally defined as the right of a people to form its own state. Joseph S. Nye Project Syndicate The independence referendums in Iraqi Kurdistan and Catalonia are the latest examples showing why that principle is so often difficult to apply. CAMBRIDGE – This week, Kurds in northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence for the country’s Kurdistan Region. With some 30 million ... Read More »

Turkey agrees to ‘only deal with Baghdad’ over oil exports

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In a major U-turn, Turkey has agreed to solely deal with the central Iraqi government over crude oil exports, following a contentious secession referendum held by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, the Baghdad government says. PressTV The office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reported Ankara’s change of mode on Thursday, following a phone call between Abadi and his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim. Yildirim “confirmed the support of his country on all decisions” taken by the Iraqi government, said the… ... Read More »

EL PAÍS analyzes 10 claims commonly made by separatists to support their cause

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The Catalan pro-independence movement bases its claims on a set of emphatic and oft-repeated assertions These range from historical beliefs (that there was, for example, a war of secession in 1714 that resulted in a subjugated Catalonia) to economic maxims (Spain is robbing us, we’d be richer outside Spain). EL PAÍS These assertions are all false. EL PAÍS has analyzed 10 of the myths that are used to support the separatists’ story, and found that not one of them withstands ... Read More »