Diplomacy

‘Brussels is SPINNING out the talks’ Ministers urged to UNITE to stop EU ‘wasting time’

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BRITISH Cabinet members arguing over the Government’s Brexit position should “come together” to keep the European Union from delaying withdrawal talks with the UK, think tank director Henry Newman said. Aurora Bosotti Express Mr Newman suggested arguments between Cabinet members over the Government’s Brexit position do not help securing a beneficial deal from the European Union. Theresa May has been facing increasing pressure from both Remainers and Brexiteers because of the proposals for the future trade relationship with the bloc she presented. Brexiteers ... Read More »

How Istanbul’s man-made canal project could trigger an arms race in the Black Sea – and why China is watching closely

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The Kanal Istanbul project will not be subject to the international treaty that limits the access of warships to the strategically pivotal waters in central Europe Helene Franchineau South China Morning Post In the conservative Istanbul neighbourhood of Üsküdar, couples sit near the July 15 Martyrs bridge and sip cups of tea as oil tankers and cargo ships pass. The sight is common for the city’s residents: every day about 115 vessels cross the Bosphorus Strait. Accidents can happen in ... Read More »

7 Reasons US Should Not Ratify UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

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President Donald Trump recently proclaimed June 2018 to be National Ocean Month and stated his support for better utilizing the vast resources contained in America’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the 200-nautical mile zone off U.S. coasts over which the U.S. has jurisdiction.j Authors: The Daily Signal There are now sure to be renewed calls for the United States to accede to the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea—also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty—as a useful ... Read More »

US disregards Beijing’s nonsense, says it can take down South China Sea islands

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The US issued a stark warning to Beijing on Thursday, as Chinese militarization of the South China Sea creates a potential flashpoint in a longstanding battle for control of the Pacific. Alex Lockie Business Insider For years, Beijing has dredged the South China Sea to build artificial islands in waters it claims as its territory. Six of China’s neighbors also lay claim to conflicting patches of the South China Sea. The body of water is home to natural resources, and ... Read More »

Ex-Israeli spy chief: Netanyahu planned Iran strike in 2011

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the order in 2011 for the military to prepare to attack Iran within 15 days, a former Mossad chief said in remarks released on Thursday. Jerusalem (AP) Hurriyet Tamir Pardo, who served as head of the Israeli intelligence agency from 2011 to 2016, told Israeli Keshet TV’s investigative show Uvda that the order was not given “for the sake of a drill,” according to excerpts of the interview released ahead of the broadcast on Thursday evening. “When he ... Read More »

The U.S. to bar sale of fighter aircraft to Turkey

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During the debates on the draft National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), both chambers of the US Congress took parallel initiatives to bar the delivery of F-35 advanced fighter aircraft to Turkey. Yaşar Yakış Ahval In the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis submitted an amendment asking the secretary of defence to prepare a plan to exclude Turkey from the F-35 programme. Tillis said the amendment was proposed as a reaction to Turkey’s detention ... Read More »

Misery as Strategy: The Human Cost of Conflict

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In conflicts across the world, levels of displacement and hunger are increasing. The tactics used by leaders, governments and non-state armed groups have much to do with that misery. Caroline Flintoft ICG From Syria to Yemen, from South Sudan to Venezuela, war and political crisis are causing human anguish on a scale unseen in a generation. That conflict and crisis take a high human toll is hardly new, of course. Yet the scope of suffering today is striking. The number ... Read More »

The shriveling ally

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Only yesterday, Turkey was considered a candidate for membership in the European Union, a reliable friend of the West. The Washington Times Turkey was reasonably modern, forward looking, and Western oriented. Turkey was already a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and membership in the EU would only cement its alliance with the West. Alas, over the past several years Turkey has devolved from something unique to something close to just another depressing redoubt of Middle Eastern despotism. Recep ... Read More »

Accountability is key to building trust in Australia’s intelligence community

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Intelligence doesn’t have to be, and rarely is, James Bond-esque. Indeed, 007 is the world’s worst spy: everyone knows who he is, meaning he is compromised, exposed and susceptible to blackmail before he… Daniel Baldino The Conversation But the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, and the all-encompassing “war on terror” that followed, did have a major transformative impact on the handling of secrecy and surveillance activities in… One impact has been the growth of executive authority in national security. This ... Read More »

Turkey-Israel Tension: What Does President Erdogan Want to Achieve?

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Turkey’s relations with Israel are determined, in no small part, by Ankara’s relations with other power blocs, its domestic and broader foreign policy. Guney Yildiz Valdai The roots of Ankara’s May 14th decision to recall its ambassadors to Washington and Tel Aviv shouldn’t therefore solely be sought in US President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem or alternatively the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters by Israeli Defence Forces at the Gaza border. The Turkish government’s ... Read More »

Nuclear Weapons: Pakistan’s National Security Assets

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In the 1970s, the then prime minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, famously declaredthat, “We will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will have our own,” while referring to the attainment of nuclear weapons. Usman Ali Khan ModernDiplomacy Forty years after that declaration, we attained this capability by ensuring the neighbors that national security would not be compromised. In late May of 1998, Pakistan revealed its nuclear capability by conducting six nuclear tests, a move necessitated by the India’s nuclear tests ... Read More »

Operator of world’s top internet hub sues German spy agency

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The operator of the world’s largest internet hub challenged the legality of sweeping telecoms surveillance by Germany’s spy agency, a German court heard on May 30. Berlin Hurriyet The BND foreign intelligence service has long tapped international data flows through the De-Cix exchange based in the German city of Frankfurt. But the operator argues the agency is breaking the law by also capturing German domestic communications. “We have grave doubts about the legality of the current practice,” said a statement Wednesday on the website of De-Cix Management GmbH, ... Read More »

Has the US conceded to Turkey in Manbij?

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If one is to go by leaks to the media as well as official statements out of Ankara, Turkey and the United States have essentially worked out a “road map” for Washington-backed Kurdish fighters to leave the northern Syrian city of Manbij near the… Semih Idiz Al-Monitor Accordingly, once the People’s Protection Units (YPG) — which Turkey considers a terrorist organization and an existential threat to its security — evacuate Manbij, Turkish forces would move in and work with US forces already there to provide “stability and security” ... Read More »

Turkey blames ‘Jewish lobby’ for economic crisis

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Turkish media have blamed the “Jewish lobby” for the sudden drop in the value of the country’s currency, based on a tweet from an Israeli academic. Hannah Lucinda Smith. Adam Sage, David Charter The Times The Turkish lira has fallen by 20 per cent against the dollar this year and President Erdogan has repeatedly blamed an unspecified “interest-rate lobby” for manipulating the currency. Turkey’s press is almost exclusively controlled by the state or pro-Erdogan businessmen after a crackdown on critical media. It seized ... Read More »

Rising Global Support for Safe Schools

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Declaration to Protect Students and Schools in Wartime Turns Three Bede Sheppard HRW Three years ago today, representatives from countries from around the globe came together in Oslo to declare their support for the protection of students, teachers, schools, and universities during times of war. Three years later, an incredible 75 countries have joined the… Support for the declaration has come from the highest levels of the United Nations, notably the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres; the human rights chief, Zeid ... Read More »

Cyprus History: Ignore at your own peril

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Scratch the surface of the Cyprus Problem and what will you find? Anna Koukkides-Procopiou * The ever-popular answer to that question could probably be the post-modernist, constructivist explanation of differing historical narratives of a local power-sharing struggle between two ethnic communities, whose perceptions and misperceptions of each other and of their history of conflict supposedly matter more than realities on the ground-such attempts even taking at times the form of a self-imposed Jesuit flogging of shame, especially among Greek Cypriots. ... Read More »