Diplomacy

‘Living in a fantasy’: A close US ally is investigating everyone named John and trying to arrest US military leaders

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The Turkish government claims to have new evidence that the US was involved in the 2016 failed coup attempt, according to a Tuesday report from Ahval, an allegation the US State Department… Daniel Brown Business Insider Turkish investigators claim to have discovered an internal Word document entitled “coup directive,” which was authored by someone named John, and last updated about a week before the… As such, Ankara is investigating everyone named John who was in the country at the time ... Read More »

Yemen: US allies strike deals with al-Qaida in war on rebels

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ATAQ, Yemen (AP) — A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns the militants had seized across Yemen and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated… MAGGIE MICHAEL, TRISH WILSON and LEE KEATH AP Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself. Again and again over the past two years, ... Read More »

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounces US ‘psychological warfare’

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Iran has been in economic turmoil since US President Donald Trump announced he would withdraw from an international deal that lifted sanctions against Iran’s economy. The measures are set to be reintroduced at midnight. DW Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Monday that the United States had launched “psychological warfare” against Iran in the aftermath of its withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal. “They want to launch psychological warfare against the Iranian nation and create divisions ... Read More »

Europe vows to preserve Iran deal as US sanctions return

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EU diplomats say they will work to protect Iran’s continued export of oil and gas as US threatens ‘severe consequences’. AlJazeera Europe’s top diplomats have vowed to work together to preserve a multinational nuclear deal with Iran, as US President Donald Trump signed an executive order paving the way for the return of biting sanctions against Tehran on… In a joint statement issued on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain said the remaining ... Read More »

If Other Countries Knew How Australia Stops The Boats It Could Damage Foreign Relations, Peter Dutton Told

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The minister’s 245-page incoming brief has been obtained by BuzzFeed News. Josh Taylor Revealing Australia’s role in turning back boats and other border enforcement operations could affect Australia’s relationship with other countries, home affairs minister Peter Dutton was told by his department. Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) is a military operation initiated under the Abbott government in 2013 to stop the flow of boats bringing asylum seekers to Australia. The operation works in secrecy and very little information about what is ... Read More »

What else can ASEAN do to deescalate the South China Sea conflict?

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With limited options to deescalate the conflict, ASEAN turns to diplomacy while building broader economic and military alliance with the USA Kumaran Pillai The Independent The new Chinese hegemony in Asia Pacific poses both opportunities and risks for member states of ASEAN. China’s Belt and Road initiative promises new economic frontiers and some South East Asian countries are only too willing to concede to the territorial ambitions of China in the South China Seas to pursue economic growth. This week, ... Read More »

Turkey to freeze assets of two US ministers as retailiation to sanctions: Erdoğan

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Turkey will freeze the assets of two United States ministers as retaliation to Washington’s sanctions against Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced. Hurriyet “The latest step taken by the U.S. in the incident of Pastor Brunson in İzmir was not suitable to a strategic partner. The U.S. has displayed a serious disrespect with this step,” Erdoğan said in a speech at the ruling Justice and… “We have had shown patience until yesterday evening. Today I am instructing my friends ... Read More »

America’s Turkey Problem Finally Comes to a Head

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This week brought signs that the deeply flawed status quo of U.S.-Turkish relations has begun to crack. Matthew RJ Brodsky National Review For successive administrations, inertia may have kept the flawed status quo of U.S.–Turkey relations in place, but the train appears finally to be running out of track. It was bound to happen eventually, regardless of the Trump administration’s just-announced decision to impose sanctions on two Turkish cabinet officials in response to Turkey’s continued detention of an… And now ... Read More »

Restoring Public Confidence in Tunisia’s Political System

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Whether Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed will remain in his post or resign has been at the heart of a political crisis for several weeks. Should major political parties and trade unions fail to find a compromise, putting in place a technocratic government could help shore… ICG What’s new? Tunisia is going through a governmental crisis sparked chiefly by a dispute between political forces about whether the prime minister, Youssef Chahed, should resign and by a struggle for control of ... Read More »

Trump escalates attacks on Mueller probe

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President Trump on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately stop the Russia investigation, a significant escalation of Trump’s attacks against the long-running probe that has dogged his presidency. Jordan Fabian The Hill The remark was Trump’s most direct public appeal yet to end special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, which he has blasted for months. It also raised questions from legal experts about whether the president was attempting to obstruct justice. In a series of morning tweets, Trump ... Read More »

Brexit: champagne, parmesan, prosecco and feta could soon be at the centre of negotiations

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As Brexit day creeps closer, one issue that remains unresolved is the way that food names will be protected in Britain and the EU. Authors: The Conversation From parmesan and feta to cornish pasties and Bavarian beer, the EU is fiercely protective over protected designations of origin (PDOs) or protected geographical indications (PGIs). A number of highly popular products are protected under this legal framework that dictates certain products can only be produced in certain regions. So champagne must be ... Read More »

The Brilliant Cathy Wilcox

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Here is a letter by Freddie Steen to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.  I agree with every word of it ( Julian Burnside ) The Editor , Cathy Wilcox(“political cartoon, 1/8) cuts to the core: Dutton’s punitive, care-less position on the human status of men seeking asylum, lets young men die. A breach of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention RG Menzies freely signed in 1954. The death of Hamid Khazaie is now world history as a preventable death in administrative ... Read More »

Countering China’s Actions in the South China Sea

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For many who follow developments in the South China Sea, the July 2016 tribunal ruling in the Philippines’ case against China has become the equivalent of the birth of Jesus in the Gregorian calendar: Developments are considered… Lynn Kuok Lawfare In the first year after the award, compliance was fair: Beijing largely kept its actions, if not its words, within the letter of the ruling. In late July 2017, however, things went south. The Chinese government insists that the situation ... Read More »

What Turkey’s Political Changes Mean for U.S.-Turkish Relations

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The July 9 swearing-in of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his second term as Turkey’s president—and his subsequent decree1 thoroughly restructuring the Turkish government—have inaugurated a new phase in the… By Max Hoffman, Alan Makovsky, and Michael Werz Center for American Progress Erdoğan will preside over a new system in which power is even more centralized in the office of the presidency than it was previously. Of course, this structure represents the institutionalization of what had been a de facto reality: ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Wants To Crush The Kurds And Recreate The Ottoman World

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Consumed by the need for grandeur, despots tend to share their monstrous plans, then execute them. Running to be reelected in a race warped in his favor, Turkey’s President Erdogan campaigned by demonizing minority Kurds to create a… Jonathan Wachtel and Albert Wachtel Newsweek In troubled times, people worship self-assured leaders, and Erdogan sees himself as the anointed vessel of Ottoman resurrection. He allowed Islamic State to murder Kurds and unleashed his army on them. He must and can be ... Read More »

NATO: the Unexamined Alliance

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The outcome of the July11-12 NATO meeting in Brussels got lost amid the media’s obsession with President Donald Trump’s bombast, but the “Summit Declaration” makes for sober reading. Conn Hallinan CounterPunch The media reported that the 28-page document “upgraded military readiness,” and was “harshly critical of Russia,” but there was not much detail beyond that. But details matter, because that is where the Devil hides. One such detail is NATO’s “Readiness Initiative” that will beef up naval, air and ground forces in “the eastern ... Read More »