Diplomacy

Understanding Israel’s Role in The F-35 Dispute Between the US and Turkey

The United States has just cut off its nose to spite its face by announcing that Washington will halt delivery of equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey. Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture This makes life more difficult for both Turkey and the US as Turkey played a key role in the development of the F-35. Is this about Russia or is it about Israel?  Throughout 2018, the US threatened to halt delivery of the F-35s to Turkey due to ... Read More »

Trump Threatens to Blow Up the U.S. Economy

The same dynamics that preceded Trump’s decision to cut off aid to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are now playing out with his threats to shut down the Mexican border. It all starts on Twitter. Nancy LeTourneau Washington Monthly According to CNN, some members of his administration are warning him that such a move would result in catastrophic consequences, while others are cheering him on. Stephen Miller—more than likely in the latter group—suggests that the president is not bluffing. In ... Read More »

Europe is spending more on its defence. Can Trump take credit?

Europe is spending more on its defence. But the spree may be more cyclical than the result of US pressure, analysts say. Dana Lewis Al Jazeera Browbeating European NATO countries to spend more on their own defence has become a staple of US President Donald Trump‘s foreign policy. So too has his administration’s “Buy American” drive to boost US arms exports to allies around the world. The tandem push has thrown the United States’ commitment to NATO into question and tarnished the notion ... Read More »

Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the President of the European Commission Klearchos A. Kyriakides Assistant Professor, Cyprus Campus, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan Cyprus) 2 April 2019 Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas Published by Agora Dialogue on 2 April 2019 Read More »

Germany to prioritize women during UN Security Council presidency

During its month at the helm of the UN Security Council, Germany will focus on the needs of women in conflicts and arms control. “We are aware of the responsibility this presidency entails,” Germany’s Heiko Maas said. Deutsche Welle Germany plans on putting its own issues on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council during its month-long presidency, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday. Germany, currently a non-permanent Security Council member, is taking over the chair in April as part ... Read More »

The Brexit Plan B Options Parliament Will Vote on: A Guide

British members of Parliament will once again take control of the Brexit process on Monday, voting on a platter of alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May’s thrice-defeated deal. Jess Shankleman Bloomberg After an initial round of voting last week failed to reveal a majority for any Brexit outcome, MPs will have another opportunity to try to break the impasse. The result isn’t binding on the government, but the House of Commons could try to make it so. Eight motions have ... Read More »

Brexit’s Endgame

The next ten days will bring to a head the Brexit drama. It has strained the UK’s constitution, threatened its social cohesion, terrified its businesses, appalled its friends, and delighted its enemies. Peter Kellner Carnegie Europe Each morning, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary email a word of the day to their subscribers. It is often a little-known word with topical relevance. On Saturday, March 30—the day when the UK was scheduled to wake up for the first time ... Read More »

Kastelorizo Updates

I predicted at “Kastelorizo – Mediterranean Flashpoint?” that the issue of a Greek exclusive economic zone would turn the tiny island of the Anatolian coast into a crisis point. Daniel Pipes This blog notes some developments on the EEZ topic that bear on that issue. For starters, the Hellas Frappe blog reports on a indirect Greek proclamation of its EEZ, at the behest of Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. This was done via a verbal statement of its continental shelf coordinates ... Read More »

Switzerland to sue Nigeria over seized oil tanker

Authorities in Bern are considering legal proceedings after failed diplomatic efforts to secure the release of a Swiss-flag-carrying oil tanker, blocked in the bay of Biafra for over a year. SWI The San Padre Pio oil tanker, registered with canton Vaud shipping company ABC Maritime, was seized by Nigerian authorities in January 2018, who accused the ship and its crew of violating territorial waters and diesel smuggling. Over a year later, with diplomatic efforts to release the ship proven futile, ... Read More »

The Critical Role of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Greek-Turkish Dispute

The legal regime for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is enshrined in the Unites Nations Law Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNLOS) on December 10, 1982. Theodore C. Kariotis Part V of that Convention (more precisely, articles 55 to 75) provides for an EEZ “extending 200 nautical miles seaward from the coast.” If all coastal states thus exercised their jurisdiction over their own EEZs, some 38 million square nautical miles would become their “economic patrimony.” The oceans represent ... Read More »

‘The world stands disgraced’ – Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15

• UN condemns IDF attack on sleeping children as violation of international law • Strike on crowded market in Shujai’iya during ceasefire kills 17 • Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting Harriet Sherwoodin Jerusalem and Hazem Baloushain Jabaliya The Guardian United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday. ... Read More »

Germany’s Manfred Weber warns of China ‘shopping spree’

European Union politician Manfred Weber says the bloc should stop Chinese companies from gaining too much power in key sectors. He also warned of the political implications of China’s Belt and Road project. Chase Winter Deutsche Welle The European Union should prevent Chinese firms from going on a “shopping spree,” buying up strategic assets, a top contender for the European Commission presidency said Saturday. Manfred Weber, the leader of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), warned that the EU should ... Read More »

Government faces tense week over Brexit border plans

Cliff Taylor: Government would support long UK extension to avoid a no-deal nightmare The Irish Times The United Kingdom was meant to have left the European Union at 11pm last night. Now you can take your pick on Brexit day. April 12th. Later in April or early May. May 22nd. The end of the year. Some time in 2020. Another date of your choosing. Never. As this all develops over the next 10 days, there are tricky times ahead for the Irish ... Read More »

UK Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit plan for the third time

London: UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan has been voted down again, in another heavy blow to both her premiership and her strategy for taking the UK out of the European Union. Nick Miller The Age The UK is now set for an April 12 Brexit deadline, when it will either crash out of the EU without a deal or have to come up with an alternative way forward and plead with the EU for another delay in order to ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Maduro blocks Guaido from office as the opposition scoffs

Venezuela‘s opposition leader Juan Guaido will be barred from public office for 15 years, the government comptroller said on March 28, as it seeks to crack down on the U.S.-backed rival to President Nicolas Maduro. CARACAS – Reuters Hurriyet Guaido has been recognized as head of state by most Western countries after invoking the constitution to assume the interim presidency, arguing Maduro‘s 2018 re-election was illegitimate and that he became a usurper when his second term began in January. Maduro dismisses Guaido‘s claim to the presidency as a Washington-backed ... Read More »

Brexit was designed to fail

Too big to fail? Please. The 2016 referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union involved a constitutional question so large it was too big to succeed. The Week This is the only reason the national vote on Brexit was ever allowed to take place. Like Ted Heath and John Major before him, former British Prime Minister David Cameron found himself faced with the impossible task of placating the Tory Party’s right wing. His exceedingly clever answer was ... Read More »