Diplomacy

World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

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World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in MyanmarPersecution of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s security forces has escalated to its worst level in years, becoming one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. Editorial The Age So extreme is the systematic brutality against this stateless, downtrodden and demonised minority of 1.1 million people in a nation of 54 million, 90 per cent of whom are Buddhists, that the United Nations is suggesting it is tantamount to ethnic cleansing ... Read More »

The Kurds Are Not Children

Iraqi Kurdish demonstrators wave the Kurdish flag during a protest demanding for the independence of Kurdistan outside the United Nations offices in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region, on August 23, 2014. About 700,000 Iraqis have gathered in the Kurdish north after being driven from their homes by jihadist Islamic State (IS) fighters, the UN said as it stepped up a massive aid operation to the region. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

They have earned their independence, and the West must get out of the way By Bernard-Henri Lévy  Foreign Policy The timidity of the international community in the face of the Sept. 25 referendum on an independent Kurdistan is a trifecta of shame, absurdity, and historic miscalculation. We are talking about a people who have been deported, Arabized by force, gassed, and pushed into the mountains where, for a century, they have mounted an exemplary resistance to the tyranny their Baghdad ... Read More »

Buddhism and State Power in Myanmar

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Extreme Buddhist nationalist positions including hate speech and violence are on the rise in Myanmar. Rather than ineffective bans on broad-based groups like the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion (MaBaTha), the government should address underlying causes and reframe the debate on Buddhism’s place in society and politics. ICG Executive Summary The August 2017 attacks by al-Yaqin or Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which the Myanmar government has designated a terrorist organisation, have pushed Rakhine state into renewed ... Read More »

Turkey Can Forget About EU Membership

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Turkey will never become a member of the European Union, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally said so in public. Michael J. Totten World Affairs Journal “The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU,” she said in an election debate with her opponent, Martin Shulz. “I’ll speak to my colleagues to see if we can reach a joint position on this so that we can end these accession talks.” The only thing surprising here ... Read More »

US-China clash of civilisations is being played out in the South China Sea

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Mark Valencia says the hard and soft power confrontation between the two has all the makings of an existential contest because both see it as their right and destiny to dominate and shape the international order. A clash may be inevitable. Mark J. Valencia South China Morning Post The struggle between the US and China for control of the South China Sea is symptomatic of a much deeper “clash of civilisations”. According to Samuel Huntington, the originator of this theory, ... Read More »

North Korea Nuke Tests Show Need for New Policy Response

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North Korea’s sixth nuclear test heightens regional anxieties and is dangerous for populations living nearby. But in itself it does not fundamentally alter the situation nor should it raise the risk of military conflict. Instead, it should spur the U.S., South Korea and China to forge a stronger, more effective and more united diplomatic approach. ICG In a season of repeated North Korean provocative steps, the 3 September underground nuclear test ranks as the most serious to date. Not only will ... Read More »

Kenya: A Historic Decision, A Tough Road Ahead

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Kenya’s Supreme Court decision to annul the 8 August presidential election is bold and historic, but the path ahead will be fraught. A successful rerun within 60 days will need compromise on a better electoral commission, more accountable policing and more effective management of the high-stakes vote. ICG The 1 September decision by Kenya’s Supreme Court to annul the results of the 8 August presidential election and order a fresh vote was at once unexpected, historic, bold and – by ... Read More »

A new multilateral world without the US

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A global consensus is emerging without the US. Canada and other countries that rely on a liberal world order must reinforce key multilateral institutions. Colin Chia Policy Options Can multilateral cooperation keep the international order going with the most powerful country acting as dead weight? Canada is adopting a broad foreign policy posture that presumes the answer is yes. With the US taking a hard line in NAFTA negotiations and seeing the bilateral relationship in “win-lose” terms, upholding a broader ... Read More »

Siege: Envoy insists Qatar will not bow down

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The daily lives of Qataris and residents have not been affected although the blockade was a surprise and in violation of international humanitarian law and all the customs of the region and of humanity as a whole, said a Qatari… The Peninsula Qatar has been able to recover swiftly by seeking alternative markets to import goods and avoid shortages because of the siege imposed by Saudi-led bloc, said Sultan Al Mahmoud (pictured), Qatar’s ambassador to… In an interview with the ... Read More »

How America Can Keep From Losing in the South China Sea

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Washington is losing ground in the South China Sea, and risks making the situation lasting unless America imposes “real” strategic costs to China. Tuan N. Pham The Diplomat Part one of this two-part series provided strategic perspectives and context to the recent uptick in tensions in the South China Sea (SCS) following a year of relative calm since the International Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague handed down its historic and sweeping award on maritime entitlements ... Read More »

The Copenhagen breakthrough in the Timor Sea

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There has been an agreed breakthrough in the long running dispute between Australia and Timor Leste in relation to maritime boundary demarcation and control of the resources in the disputed area in the Timor Sea. Frank Brennan Eureka Street The breakthrough came on 30 August, the 18th anniversary of the bloody referendum at which the Timorese voted for their independence from Indonesia. The terms of the deal remain confidential. But the Permanent Court of Arbitration which is overseeing the Conciliation ... Read More »

Turkey eyes deal for Russian air defense system, irking West

US forces, accompanied by Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters, drive their armoured vehicles near the northern Syrian village of Darbasiyah, on the border with Turkey on April 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / DELIL SOULEIMAN

Experts skeptical Ankara will end up inking purchase of S-400 batteries, but say the message of dissatisfaction with NATO is what’s important Stuart Williams The Times of Israel ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) — Turkey and Russia are inching toward an accord for the first major Turkish weapons purchase from Moscow, troubling Ankara’s allies in NATO even though the deal may not ultimately materialize. According to Turkish and Russian officials, all preparations have been made for the purchase of a sophisticated S-400 ... Read More »

Xi, Putin agree to enhance strategic coordination, appropriately deal with DPRK nuclear test

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XIAMEN, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sunday, calling for enhancing mutual support and strategic coordination. Source: Xinhua Editor: Mu Xuequan The two leaders also agreed to appropriately deal with the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Putin is in the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian Province, to attend the ninth BRICS summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries ... Read More »

Russia vs US Economic War: Who’s Going to be the Ultimate Loser?

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Full scale economic war in between America and Russia is underway. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said so, and the US administration and the American congress voted it in with new sanctions. Phil Batler NEO The only question that remains is ”œwho will win?” Here’s a look at the future of US-Russia relations and the ultimate loser in this new type of Cold War. A fact most people are not aware of is that the United States is at risk ... Read More »

Three Dangerous Delusions about Korea

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They say that most of the world’s real dangers arise not because of what people don’t know but because of what they do «know» that just ain’t so. JAMES GEORGE JATRAS Strategic Culture As a case in point, consider three things about Korea that the bipartisan Washington establishment seems quite sure of but are far removed from reality:Delusion 1: All options, including U.S. military force, are «on the table.» – Everyone knows there are no military «options» the U.S. could ... Read More »

Guatemala Stumbles in Central America’s Anti-corruption Fight

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Guatemala’s fight against corruption is in danger after President Morales attempted to expel the head of a uniquely effective UN-backed anti-corruption organisation. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Analyst for Guatemala Arturo Matute says a corrupt elite is waging a battle to maintain its privileged position. Arturo Matute ICG What is happening in Guatemala? A remarkable and hopeful two-year interlude in one of Central America’s most corrupt countries may now be ending. The key reversal came on Friday 25 August 2017, at a ... Read More »