Diplomacy

Why North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses are Being Ignored

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Despite the reactions of the United States and South Korea to the North’s human-rights abuses, North Koreans are left behind. Min hee Jo, Quinn Marschik The National Interest Human rights form a pillar of most democratic countries’ foreign policies and play a major role in their international relations. When it comes to totalitarian North Korea, which is among the worst human-rights abusers in modern history, the United States and South Korea under the Trump and Moon administrations respectively have employed similar but ... Read More »

Don’t wait for the Western Balkans to blow up again. The U.S. and the E.U. must act.

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It has been more than two decades since I worked with Richard Holbrooke and our team to negotiate an end to the war in Bosnia. NATO deployed and then acted to halt Serb ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Wesley K. Clark The Washington Post Today, three Western Balkan states (Croatia, Albania and Slovenia) have become members of NATO. Croatia and Slovenia have joined the European Union. Kosovo is now an independent nation. Most Americans and Europeans have mentally filed away that ... Read More »

Brussels NO DEAL fears

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REVEALED: EU panic as UK set for TOTAL control of waters EUROPEAN Union fears of a no-deal Brexit intensified tonight after officials admitted it would mean Britain would regain TOTAL control of its fishing waters. Joey Millar Express Brussels has spent much of the months-long negotiations demanding the UK jump through hoop after hoop, reminding Theresa May and her Brexit ministers on several occasions: “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” The prospect of a no-deal situation has been repeatedly ... Read More »

Kosovo does not aim to start conflicts or armed attacks, Thaçi tells Bulgarian PM

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In an April 10 telephone conversation, Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi assured Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov that his country does not aim to start any conflicts or armed attacks, a Bulgarian government statement said. Clive Leviev-Sawyer ibna Borissov, whose country is the current holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, had said earlier in Mostar, after talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, that he intended phoning Thaçi to discuss the situation between Belgrade and Priština. At their ... Read More »

EU Council President brands Brexit ‘one of the saddest moments’ in recent European history

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EU top dog Donald Tusk said Britain’s departure made him “furious”, adding bluntly: “I don’t like Brexit” Michael McHugh & Dan Bloom Mirror Brexit is “one of the saddest moments” in recent European history, the President of the European Council has declared. EU top dog Donald Tusk said Britain’s departure made him “furious”, adding bluntly: “I don’t like Brexit .” In a speech in Dublin today, he called on Europe to unite and warned it would take little time for its structures of ... Read More »

Will Bolton and Trump Start the First Sino-American War?

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When America launches a preemptive attack on North Korea, will the US find itself at war with China? This is not an idle question. Charles Pierson CounterPunch On Monday, the fiercest advocate of a preemptive attack on North Korea, John R. Bolton, joined the Trump Administration. Bolton, a former US Ambassador to the UN, replaces H. R. McMaster as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser. Bolton is the gold standard against which all other hawks are measured. Bolton pushed for ... Read More »

Identity crisis in Lithuania’s bohemian republic

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Gentrification threatens the artists’ colony where ‘a dog has the right to be a dog.’ By GINGER HERVEY Politico VILNIUS — In Užupis, Lithuania, a gate is not just a gate. A gate, you see, is a symbol — of barriers, of impossibilities, of divisions between people and of outdated ideas about property. A symbol that might belong in oldLithuania, but is unwelcome in Užupis, a bohemian self-proclaimed republic in the center of the former Soviet country’s capital. Not that Užupis ... Read More »

Can the U.S. Respond to the Syria Chemical Weapons Attack without Risking Escalation?

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After an apparent chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb Saturday, the United States and its allies are considering retaliatory strikes against the Syrian government. Sam Heller ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Sam Heller lays out the Douma attack’s impact and the repercussions of a possible new U.S.-led intervention. What do we know about the 7 April chemical weapons attack? On the evening of 7 April 2018, the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma was subjected to an apparent chemical ... Read More »

Beijing’s South China Sea Military Bases Now Have Jammers That Can Block American Radar and Communications, U.S. Claims

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United States officials claimed that China has installed military jamming equipment on fortified artificial islands in the South China Sea which will allow Beijing to block enemy radar and communications systems. David Brennan Newsweek This latest step in China’s militarization of its island bases signifies Beijing’s determination to assert its regional territorial claims, regardless of U.S. opposition. According to The Wall Street Journal, the jamming systems were installed within the last 90 days. The Journal quoted a U.S. Defense Department official who said ... Read More »

Less Than Meets the Eye

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The Russia-Turkish-Iran Axis If an alliance is forming between Ankara, Moscow, and Tehran, it’s a flimsy one at best. Dimitar Bechev The American Interest While the U.S. mulls how to calibrate its policy in response to the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad last week, a set of leaders are hoping that President Trump stays the course and decides to withdraw from Syria. The past week saw Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin sharing the stage in Ankara ... Read More »

Europe Caught in the Middle as Trump Threatens China

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FRANKFURT — One is a good customer, a military ally and an old friend, although lately its behavior has been erratic. The other is also a good customer, and despite a few spats and some lingering mistrust, it’s getting to be a more lucrative and dependable business partner all the time. Jack Ewing The New York Times Which side would you choose? That more or less sums up the dilemma confronting Europe as it watches the escalating conflict between its ... Read More »

The South China Sea Disputes: Will Taiwan’s Role Be Enhanced?

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For many years, Taiwan’s interests and role in the South China Sea disputes have essentially been officially ignored. But with the election of US President Donald J. Trump and his appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor, its influence on and involvement in such issues may increase substantially. Mark J. Valencia IPP Review Bolton in particular has a long history of supporting Taiwan’s interests. He has urged the restoration of formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and that Taiwan be ... Read More »

The Future of Greek-Israeli Relations

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The deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey that began at the end of 2008 led the Israeli leadership to look for alternative alliances in the Eastern Mediterranean. Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos BESA A rapprochement with Greece, traditionally at odds with Turkey, made theoretical sense but was practically difficult due to the Greek sympathy with the Arabs and the Palestinian cause. Careful diplomacy was thus required. While some discussions on the matter began in Athens in the spring of 2009, ... Read More »

Why’s EuroMaidan’s Mastermind Warning About Greek-Turkish Tensions?

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The former US Ambassador to Ukraine during EuroMaidan and present chief diplomat in Greece Geoffrey Pyatt predicted that Turkey’s ties with both the US and Greece will go through what he described as “turbulence” ahead of President Erdogan’s reelection vote next… Andrew Korybko Oriental Review This ambiguous warning can be interpreted in one of two ways. The decontextualized understanding is to think that he’s hinting that President Erdogan will cynically stage various highly-publicized provocations against them in order to galvanize ... Read More »

Putting Trump’s Trade Bombast to the Test

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President Trump’s recent threat to escalate his trade skirmish with China into a full-scale trade war is a foolish gambit with little historical precedent. Editorial Board The New York Times It is also hard to take seriously, given how quickly Mr. Trump changes his mind and how rarely and clumsily he tends to follow through on tough talk. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he wants to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports in response to Beijing’s plan ... Read More »

I lived through Saddam Hussein’s fall – and the horror that came next

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I was a senior university student in Baghdad, Iraq. It was March 2003, and over the past few months, my classmates had whispered to each other about the possibility of a US-led invasion and the likelihood that 35 years of dictatorship and tyranny could be brought to an end. Balsam Mustafa The Conversation We could not dare to speculate on Iraq’s future, but many were longing to see Saddam Hussein fall. And soon enough, the war came. An intense and ... Read More »