Diplomacy

Brexit bill may have broken international environment law, says UN

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Exclusive: compliance committee considers complaint alleging government breached Aarhus convention by not consulting public over withdrawal bill Laura Laker The Guardian The British government may have breached a major “environmental democracy” law by failing to consult the public when drawing up Brexit legislation. A UN-backed committee has confirmed it is considering a complaint from Friends of the Earth that the government’s EU withdrawal bill breached the Aarhus convention, which requires public consultation on any new environmental law. Most of the… Brexit bill may… Read More »

The World According to H.R. McMaster

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Why is he so worried about North Korea? Why is H.R. McMaster so alarmed by North Korea? Uri Friedman The Atlantic Why does Donald Trump’s national-security adviser insist—more vigorously than any administration official except the president himself—that Kim Jong Un must be denied the capability to place a nuclear warhead on a missile that can reach the United States, even if this requires initiating a military conflict with the North that could devolve into a cataclysmic war? While Secretary of ... Read More »

Statement of the National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon

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The United States together with the UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran should continue to implement rigorously the JCPOA. A TNI Exclusive The National Interest Prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon is a vital U.S. national security objective. The multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), assures that if it continues to comply with it, Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon for at least 13 years, after which time the parties can either implement ... Read More »

Cyprus sets sea borders for energy drilling with Greece’s backing

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NICOSIA – Facing challenges from Turkey, which has unlawfully occupied the northern third of the island since a 1974 invasion, Cyprus is moving ahead to set the rest of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), trying to re-establish borders in the seas where it has licensed international companies to drill for oil and gas. Tornos News Cyprus will delineate the EEZ that Turkey has violated, including the north and western part, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said, calling on Greece to offer ... Read More »

Rising nationalism and the EU’s split with the East

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What’s wrong with the EU? Poland and Hungary, who only joined the bloc 13 years ago, are increasingly turning to nationalism. Volker Wagener DW examines a phenomenon that has been smoldering for some time Once upon a time, the European Union was a desirable destination for former Eastern Bloc countries. Twenty-five years ago, to be exact. Today, the European alliance faces major difficulties with some of its most recent additions — and vice versa. Poland and Hungary enjoy the EU ... Read More »

Brexit ‘will not be a fatal blow to Irish economy’

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Former WTO director general and Goldman Sachs chairman Peter Sutherland on why Ireland had to change and future economic challenges Ian Hyland The Irish Times The following is an edited version of one of the last interviews Peter Sutherland gave prior to his death Attorney general, European commissioner, director general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), chairmanships of BP and Goldman Sachs. … Peter Sutherland has undoubtedly enjoyed an illustrious career. ... Read More »

Israel Moves to Annex the West Bank

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This Is How the Two-State Solution Dies While the media focuses on Trump, Netanyahu imposes a “solution”: There will never be a Palestinian state. Steven A. Cook Salon In between anti-government protests in Iran and President Donald Trump’s tweets about the size of his nuclear button, Huma Abedin and civil aviation safety, an important vote took place in Israel. Few people seemed to notice. The Washington Post relegated the story to its “Digest” of world news and Reuters produced a short article, but the Wall ... Read More »

The harsh reality for Palestinians: The rules of the game in the Middle East are changing

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Six Arab foreign ministers met in Jordan’s capital on Saturday to discuss the response to the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital By Norman Hermant in Amman ABC They had little new to say. The head of the Arab League told a media conference there would be a renewed effort to have East Jerusalem recognised as the capital of a Palestinian state. But that approach has been tried already, and gained little traction. Washington’s announcement a month ago that it would ... Read More »

Time for Germany to Learn to Lead

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Washington’s move to abandon its global leadership role marks the end of Germany’s foreign policy innocence Christiane Hoffmann Spiegel Berlin will soon be faced with difficult choices that could dent its moral standing It is often a single sentence that goes down in history, one that epitomizes an idea, a movement, an era or a personality. Two sentences from Angela Merkel come to mind. One, focused on domestic politics, was an entreaty: “We can do it.” It was a pledge ... Read More »

UK minister expects closer defense ties with Cyprus military

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Britain’s defense minister says authorities want to ensure that British armed forces “work closer and more supportively” with Cyprus’ military in tackling common challenges. The Associated Press Herald-Whig Britain has two military bases on Cyprus, which was a British colony until 1960. It continues to carry out air strikes against Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Syria from the Mediterranean island nation. Defense Minister Gavin Williamson said after talks with Cypriot counterpart Christoforos Fokaides on ... Read More »

Watch out for ‘Land of Morning Warning’

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Japan is universally known as the Land of the Rising Sun and the Korean peninsula as the Land of Morning Calm Abhijit Bhattacharyya, The writer is an advocate practising in the Supreme Court. The views expressed here are personal. The Asian Age It is now time for a new template. Yes, be ready to acknowledge China as the indisputable “Land of Morning Warning”. This new proverb was introduced by none other than Chinese President Xi Jinping. On a chilly winter morning, ... Read More »

Sanctions, refugees and the marginalised: Iran uprisings are Australia’s concern too

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Tehran’s response to this week’s anti-government protests in Iran has been harsh and reminiscent of the state response to the post-election uprising of 2009 Omid Tofighian ABC Back then, Iranians contested the re-election of former ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by taking to the streets in support of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi, and decrying election fraud. A key difference this time around is that the leader of Iran’s reformist movement — former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami — has joined centrist President ... Read More »

How Iran’s President Rouhani Can Turn Crisis into Opportunity

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Daily street protests across Iran since 28 December 2017 have pitted many young Iranians against the government, but the state’s response is revealing deep fractures in the political establishment. Ali Vaez ICG To outflank both the unrest and his political opponents, President Rouhani’s best option is to address head-on the drivers of the protests and pursue popular reform. Manifold reasons lie behind Iran’s ongoing protests, but the immediate trigger appears to be widespread disgruntlement over the country’s economic performance, especially ... Read More »

Tony Blair: Government could oppose final Brexit deal

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Discussions over Border highlight central dilemma for Theresa May, says former PM Denis Staunton The Irish Times The Government would have a strong case to oppose a final Brexit deal without a clear, detailed agreement on how to avoid a hard border, Tony Blair has said. The former British prime minister said the deal agreed between Theresa May and the European Union last month did not resolve the issue of the Border. “The important thing about the deal on Ireland was that ... Read More »

Yemen civil war: Norway suspends arms sales to UAE as part of ‘precautionary line’

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There is “great concern” over the humanitarian crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country, says Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide Jan M. Olsen Independent AP Norway has suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates as a “precautionary line,” based on its assessment of the situation in Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition including the UAE has been fighting Shia rebels in the country for nearly three years. Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said she had “no information” that any of Norway’s military exports have been used in Yemen, but that there’s ... Read More »

Kim Jong-un’s strategy: drive a wedge between South Korea and the US

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Seoul: Beyond a New Year’s declaration by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, that he would move to the mass-production of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles in 2018 lies a canny new strategy to initiate direct talks with South Korea: drive a wedge into its seven-decade alliance with the United… Choe Sang-hun NYT Brisbane Times Kim, perhaps sensing the simmering tension between US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, called for an urgent dialogue between the two Koreas before ... Read More »