Diplomacy

US updates warning over Turkey travel amid rising political tensions

Turkey announced it would purchase Russia’s missile system The US Department of State on Thursday updated its travel advisory for Turkey amid stalled US-Turkey talks on Syria and growing differences over Venezuela and Turkish S-400 deal with Russia. Joyce Karam The National Turkey announced Thursday it would be going ahead with a purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system, ahead of an informal Friday deadline to respond to a rival US offer. Turkey, a NATO member, made repeated moves to buy ... Read More »

U.S. ally Turkey looks to Russia and Iran to protect its interests

Analysis: The U.S. organized a global conference on the Mideast in Warsaw, but Turkey’s leader is at a summit with Russian and Iranian leaders instead. By Dan De Luce NBC WASHINGTON — As Trump administration officials presided over the second day of an international conference in Warsaw dominated by calls to ratchet up pressure on Iran, one longtime U.S. ally and NATO member was noticeably absent — Turkey. Snubbing the gathering in Poland, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #4

Below is the fourth weekly update as part of Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. ICG This week we look at fighting near the Saudi-Yemeni border and strains on the ceasefire around Hodeida, as well as international developments. Trendline: The Overlooked Battle for Yemen’s Northern Border Though the battle for the Red Sea port and city of Hodeida is paused until the UN-brokered deal to demilitarise the area succeeds or collapses, fighting on other fronts has intensified, particularly along the Saudi-Yemeni border. ... Read More »

Egypt says “NO” to East Med

An unequivocal “no” from Egypt received the East Med gas pipeline. Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, said he was opposed to the transportation of gas from East Mediterranean to Europe via the East Med pipeline. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna He even justified his position by saying that the feasibility study for this project would last up to two years, which in itself is a luxury the region of ... Read More »

‘How to Hide an Empire’ Shines Light on America’s Expansionist Sidε

The word “empire” has a distinct place in the American lexicon: readily applicable to other countries but rarely, if ever, to the United States itself. Jennifer Szalai The New York Times Even in the spring of 2003, when American forces were occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and government officials were writing torture memos, the defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed almost offended when a reporter asked whether the United States was engaged in anything like “empire-building.” “We’re not imperialistic,” Rumsfeld insisted. “We ... Read More »

Rebel Incursion Exposes Chad’s Weaknesses

An early February incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) into Chad from Libya was halted by French air strikes, conducted in coordination with the Chadian army. ICG This most severe security threat for several years highlights the weakness of the country and President Idriss Déby’s rule. On 3-6 February 2019, at the request of N’Djamena, planes from the French Operation Barkhane proceeded with a series of strikes against a group of Chadian rebels in the north east of the country. According ... Read More »

What is the essence of the Saudi-Turkish Conflict?

The establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it is known by the world today, dates back to 1932 by Abdulaziz Al Saud. Osama Dlykan Geopolitika.ru But what many do not know is that this kingdom is the third state of the Sauds; the first one (1747-1818) and the second (1818-1891). Both states were overthrown militarily by the Ottoman Turks, the first directly, and the second indirectly through the Turks’ support of the Al Rashid, who were the rivals ... Read More »

UK Human Rights Act is at risk of repeal – here’s why it should be protected

There have long been attempts to “scrap” the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. Stephen Clear The Conversation But while none have gained traction to date, parliamentarians have recently raised concerns that the government could be wavering in its commitment to the act post-Brexit. The House of Lords’ EU justice sub-committee said in January that it was worried to see the government change the wording of the political declaration it ... Read More »

Italian PM: We want to shake things up in Europe

Giuseppe Conte says government wants to change EU rules that are ‘old and outdated.’ By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI Politico ROME — The Italian government wants to give Europe “a shake,” according to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, but he dismissed fights with other EU members as mere “misunderstandings.” The prime minister, who never campaigned for office or ran in Italy’s election, heads a populist coalition that has  clashed with Brussels over its spending plans and with France over a range of issues from ... Read More »

Europe, Please Wake Up

The first step to defending Europe from its enemies, both internal and external, is to recognize the magnitude of the threat they present. George Soros The Project Syndicate The second is to awaken the sleeping pro-European majority and mobilize it to defend the values on which the EU was founded. MUNICH – Europe is sleepwalking into oblivion, and the people of Europe need to wake up before it is too late. If they don’t, the European Union will go the ... Read More »

Macron Is Going Full De Gaulle

France’s president is pushing around Britain, Germany, and Italy—and going back to his country’s foreign-policy roots. Robert Zaretsky FP In the case of Emmanuel Macron’s official presidential photograph, a picture is worth not a thousand but quite literally hundreds of thousands of words. The photo shows Macron flanked by the French and European Union flags and an opened book on the desk behind him. Though the title is not shown, Macron made it known that the book was none other ... Read More »

Mitigating Risks for Syrian Refugee Youth in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa

Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, half of whom are under eighteen. Despite European aid, tensions are rising as the country strains to accommodate the influx. ICG The answer is smarter integration policies aimed particularly at meeting the needs of vulnerable youth. What’s new? A generation of young Syrians in Turkey is not receiving the support it needs to integrate successfully into Turkish society. Exposure to discrimination and exploitation, unaddressed psycho-social trauma, and lagging support for skill acquisition and… Mitigating ... Read More »

Austrian foreign minister: Hell is other people

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl blamed Brexit frustration for Donald Tusk’s controversial remark about Brexiteers. Paul Dallison Politico Tusk said last week after a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar: “I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.” On Sunday, the BBC’s Andrew Marr told Kneissl that the remarks were “very very unhelpful, perhaps, to the EU side.” “My personal reaction when I ... Read More »

Why does Turkey see the US as the greatest threat to their country?

Since 1952 (the date of Turkey’s entry into NATO), Turkey has been an official ally of the United States. However, Washington’s unyielding egocentrism and tendency to turn violent has led the country (and many others around the… Nurettin Kurt United World Since the 60s, innumerable crises have occurred in Turkish-American relations. Regardless of whether or not the perception is completely accurate, how Ankara’s ally became widely recognized as an arch-foe is a crucial topic. The United States has been on ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #3

This is Crisis Group’s third weekly update published as part of our Yemen Campaign. ICG The trend we identify in this edition is new hope for a political compromise to end the four-year-old civil war and ease the country’s grave humanitarian crisis. Trendline: A Shift to the Political in 2019? After a year of unrelenting military pressure along Yemen’s Red Sea coast, there are some indications that the Saudi-led coalition may be pivoting toward a greater recognition that a political ... Read More »

EU adopts French, German compromise on Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Russia

Overcoming differences between Paris and Berlin, EU diplomats reached a deal on the pipeline, placing stricter regulations on the project. France said it wanted to “ensure European control” of its own energy needs. DW France and Germany have reached a compromise that will allow Berlin to remain the lead negotiator with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, European leaders confirmed on Friday. “Regarding the gas directive, we have reached an agreement and this was possible because Germany and France worked closely together,” ... Read More »