Diplomacy

US sees TANAP ‘universally’ good for Turkey, Europe

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The United States has expressed very strong support for the trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) that will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European continent via Turkey, describing the $8.5 billion-worth project as a… Serkan Demirtaş – ANKARA Hurriyet “TANAP is pretty much universally good. It’s good for Azerbaijan, good for Turkey. Once the TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline Project] is built, it will also be good for Europe,” Sandra Oudkirk, the deputy assistant secretary of the… She came ... Read More »

The Niger-Mali Border: Subordinating Military Action to a Political Strategy

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The Nigerien government and its allies’ use of military force and non-state armed proxies to curtail jihadist groups along the Niger-Mali border is stoking intercommunal conflict. ICG Niger should instead adopt a political approach which includes reconciliation, dialogue and… Executive Summary What’s new? A new insurgency is developing along the Niger-Mali border. Jihadist groups, including a local Islamic State branch, have established a foothold in the region, exploiting recent instability in neighbouring Mali and… Why does it matter? Efforts to… ... Read More »

‘World will see a major change:’ Kim, Trump sign declaration

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First-ever North Korea-US summit was an optical success but a substantive failure with a vague, non-tangible outcome Nile Bowie and Andrew Salmon Asia Times The hugely anticipated, first-ever summit between North Korea and the United States – two states which remain technically at war, and which last year appeared on the brink of renewed combat ­– has been declared a… In a joint declaration, both sides agreed to upgrade relations. North Korea committed to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, ... Read More »

I visited the Rohingya camps in Myanmar and here is what I saw

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Myanmar recently claimed to have repatriated its first Rohingya refugee family. Cresa Pugh The Conversation But, as an official from the United Nations noted, the country is still not safe for the return of its estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape an ongoing state-sponsored military campaign and… Indeed, in recent times, the Myanmar military has been building a fence along the 170-mile border and fortifying it with landmines, to prevent the Rohingya from ... Read More »

How Democratic Is the Euro?

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If the European Union is to remain viable and democratic at the same time, policymakers will have to pay closer attention to the demanding requirements of delegating decisions to unelected bodies. Dani Rodrik Project Syndicate They should promote such a delegation of sovereignty only when it truly enhances the long-term performance of their democracies. SAN SERVOLO, ITALY – When Italy’s president recently vetoed the appointment of the Euroskeptic Paolo Savona as finance minister in the government proposed by the Five ... Read More »

Yemen: Averting a Destructive Battle for Hodeida

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More than three years into Yemen’s war, a bloody battle looms for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida. ICG International leaders should work for a UN-led negotiated settlement to stop the offensive and, if this fails, take steps to avoid deepening what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. What’s new? Three years into Yemen’s destructive war, a battle is shaping up for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for the bulk of Yemen’s population. Forces backed by ... Read More »

Security bill will muzzle human rights activists

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In this era of so-called “fake news”, civil society plays a critical role in holding governments to account. Claire O’Rourke Brisbane Times And yet, with Labor capitulating to the government on the proposed National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill, it may soon become a crime to hold the Australian government to account on its human rights record. The truth itself would not be a defence. By joining regimes around the world in passing new, restrictive laws attempting ... Read More »

New Strategic Dimensions of the Eastern Mediterranean

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For the first time since the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern Mediterranean is in the midst of a tectonic shift. Dr. Spyridon N. Litsas BESA The region presents all the required attributes to function as a distinct sub-regional system in the 21st century’s international environment. The Eastern Mediterranean holds the interest of the great powers (the US, Russia, and China); it contains resolute regional actors that influence the sociopolitical orbit of the region (Israel, Egypt, and Turkey); and ... Read More »

South China Sea: Everything You Need to Know About Asia’s Slow Brewing Showdown

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The recent US B-52 flyby over contested areas of the South China Sea, in response to the recent Chinese landing of a bomber aircraft in the area, is again shining a spotlight upon the underlying roots of the territorial disputes, tensions and provocations in the… Kris Osborn The National Interest While lingering beneath the radar and overshadowed by other pressing international crisis, South China Sea confrontations – and the history which causes them – have not gone away but rather ... Read More »

Deep Freeze and Beyond: Making the Trump-Kim Summit a Success

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The greatest risk to the 12 June summit between the U.S. and North Korea is mismatched expectations. ICG To avoid a return to escalatory rhetoric, both parties should keep hopes modest and adopt an action-for-action approach as part of a four-step plan for denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. What’s new? The on-again, off-again summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is upon us. The parties are in the throes of preparation for the historic 12 ... Read More »

Vietnam cheers G7 for backing ASEAN on South China Sea dispute

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Goal of keeping a clean marine environment only possible when cooperation is preserved, Vietnam PM tells summit. Vu Hoang VnExpress Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has lauded G7 members for supporting the stance of ASEAN countries on disputes in the South China Sea, commonly known as the East Sea in Vietnam. ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has said it is necessary to strengthen cooperation in ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation, and called for peaceful ... Read More »

‘Faux pacifists’ imperil Japan while empowering China

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The world would benefit from an assertive, proactive and militarily capable Japan. Radical leftists do Beijing’s bidding by keeping Tokyo weak and neutralized Kerry K Gershaneck Asia Times Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces a major political warfare campaign as he labors to defend Japan’s security interests through the normalization of the status of its armed forces. However, there is a very small but powerful radical-left minority in Japan that desires a weak and neutralized military; nearby, hostile totalitarian regimes ... Read More »

Typhoon Trump blows G7 off course

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Other leaders thought they’d kept the club together — until the US president tweeted his fury. David M. Hersenhorn Politico LA MALBAIE, Canada — As host of this year’s G7 summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to have just one over-arching goal: to get through the gathering without U.S. President Donald Trump blasting it to pieces. Trudeau succeeded — for all of about 90 minutes. Just an hour and a half after Trudeau finished his concluding news conference, an ... Read More »

The European Union’s Big, Unhappy Family

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The UK isn’t the EU’s only “problem child.” Gary Younge The Nation Back in January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel entertained the press corps with tales of a bizarre non-negotiation she’d conducted with British Prime Minister Theresa May. “Make me an offer,” May kept telling Merkel. To which Merkel would reply: “But you’re leaving—we don’t have to make you an offer. Come on, what do you want?” To which May would retort: “Make me an… Five months later… The European Union… Read More »

Australian officials spotted in mysterious Assange visit

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London: Australian government officials have paid a mysterious visit to Julian Assange in his Ecuadorian embassy refuge in London, in a sign there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate that has lasted almost six years. Nick Miller WAtoday Two officials from Australia’s High Commission were spotted leaving the embassy in Knightsbridge in west London on Thursday. It is the first time Australian consular officials have visited Assange at the embassy. They were accompanied by Assange’s lawyer Jennifer… Australian officials spotted… Read More »

Keep calm – the Top Guns of Brexit have got our backs

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Here’s hoping the EU negotiations can be fixed with a little psychopathic machismo. Because the Tories are awash with it. Marina Hyde The Guardian Barely two weeks after Russian phone pranksters taped him being indiscreet, I see Boris Johnson’s been the victim of another leaked recording. Speaking at a private dinner for Conservative Way Forward, the foreign secretary asked his audience not to panic during the coming Brexit “meltdown”, warned we may not get the Brexit we want, and… Secret recordings are the… ... Read More »