Diplomacy

How a Democratic majority could undermine Mueller probe

Democrats want to open probes into issues the US special counsel is also investigating. Darren Samuelsohn Politico U.S. Democrats have religiously deferred to special counsel Robert Mueller over the last 17 months, hamstrung by their lack of congressional power and expressing faith that the respected investigator will get the job done if left alone. That could all change after November. If Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections, they’re prepared to use their newfound subpoena power to aggressively open ... Read More »

Despite PR duress, Saudi $6bn to Pakistan comes with strings

Saudi Arabia’s crisis over Khashoggi murder is Imran Khan’s gain, but Pakistan may still be expected to up military cooperation with the kingdom. Suddaf Chaudry Asia Times Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan returned home this week from Saudi Arabia with a pledge of $6 billion in loans. Khan was likely able to secure the deal with fewer strings than a previous rejected offer, due to enormous international scrutiny on the kingdom in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi murder. But ... Read More »

The UN Wants to be Our World Government By 2030

In the 1960s, an informed but naïve undergraduate, I was walking across the campus of the University of Pennsylvania with the Chairman of the Chemistry Department, Prof. Charles C. Price. E. Jeffrey Ludwig American Thinker He told me that he was president of the United World Federalists, and asked if I knew what that organization was. When I said that I did not, he replied that they believed in a one-world government that would grow out of the United Nations. ... Read More »

Brian Wilson: Leipzig shows how history’s giants bring people together

In Leipzig, Brian Wilson finds evidence of the greatness of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who took an extraordinary decision that helped make the reunification of Germany a success. Brian Wilson The Scotsman It is surely a paradox of history that so much time now has to be spent resisting efforts to create new borders when most of the past couple of centuries’ heroes are those who brought people together. This week, I was in two German cities – Berlin for ... Read More »

Bahrain says ‘Arab NATO’ to be formed by next year

The alliance aims to include six Gulf countries and Egypt, though Saudi-led blockade on Qatar remains an obstacle. Al Jazeera Bahrain‘s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has said a planned Gulf security alliance, expected to include Egypt, will be formed by next year. At a security summit in capital Manama on Saturday, Khalifa said the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), an initiative pushed by US President Donald Trump to confront Iran, will help the Gulf remain “a… “It (MESA) is an alliance ... Read More »

Lack of trust between EU and Britain emerging as issue in backstop talks

London Letter: Fears Britain could seek to use Border issue for trade deal leverage Denis Staunton The Irish Times This was supposed to be “hell week” for Theresa May after mutinous Brexiteers foretold her political assassination in grisly metaphors in last Sunday’s papers. But after surviving a Brexit statement in the House of Commons on Monday, a fiery cabinet meeting on Tuesday and an appearance before the 1922 Committee on Wednesday, the prime minister ends the week in a… But May still ... Read More »

UN names Human Rights Prize winners for 2018

Asma Jahangir, Rebeca Gyumi, Joenia Wapichana and Front Line Defenders honoured by the UN for promoting human rights. Al Jazeera The United Nations has hailed the “inspiring” work of four individuals and organisations as it announced the winners of its Human Rights Prize for 2018. The honour was given on Friday to Asma Jahangir, the late Pakistani lawyer and leading human rights defender, along with Tanzanian activist Rebeca Gyumi, Brazil’s first indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapichana and Irish human rights groups Front… UN names Human… Read More »

Trump administration plants US flag in Armenia

A visit by National Security Advisor John Bolton made clear that the past practice of looking the other way as Armenia deepened ties with Iran is over. Richard Giragosian Asia Times For the small country of Armenia, the past several months have marked an impressive emergence on the world stage. In a first-ever visit by a German leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Armenia in late August, followed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, joining other ... Read More »

Economic realpolitik brings Asia’s big guns together

There were deals a-plenty between China and Japan in Beijing on Friday, as Asia’s top economies hedge against global financial risk William Pesek Asia Times Nothing beats a potential financial crisis to bring geopolitical rivals together. This dynamic was on full display in Beijing Friday when the premiers of China and Japan joined hands on a US$30 billion currency swap, a yuan clearing bank and business deals worth billions. The steps agreed upon by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and ... Read More »

Israel’s Netanyahu meets Sultan Qaboos in surprise trip to Oman

Visit by Israeli prime minister forms part of policy of ‘deepening’ ties with the states of the region, statement says. Al Jazeera Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made an unannounced trip to Oman, according to his office, in an apparent sign of warming ties between the two countries. Netanyahu and his wife Sara were joined by Mossad intelligence chief Yossi Cohen, who has reportedly been responsible for clandestine talks with Gulf Arab governments, and… The Israeli delegation reportedly flew to Oman ... Read More »

Don’t Mention The War In Wentworth: Dr Peter Slezak

The furore over the Morrison government’s ‘riffing’ on moving Australia’s embassy in Israel has distracted from the even greater crimes being perpetrated against Palestinians. Dr Peter Slezak explains New Matilda Despite the storm of local and international condemnation, Prime Minister Morrison’s willingness to consider moving Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem is a significant public relations win in the larger political scheme of things. Whether or not the harshest criticisms of the proposal are warranted, the furore over the embassy issue has ... Read More »

German jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges

His family claimed Patrick K. was on a hiking holiday, but Turkey said he was fighting for the Kurdish YPG militia. Author Rebecca Staudenmaier (with DPA) DW Now a court in Sirnak has sentenced the German man to over six years in prison. A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a German man to six years and three months in prison for membership of a terrorist organization. In addition, he received a suspended sentence of one year and eight months in jail for entering a ... Read More »

Khashoggi’s Murder Heralds a New Era of Impunity

The ugly geopolitics in the wake of the Saudi journalist’s death point to a world in which impunity reigns The head of the United Nations delivered a dark and, it turns out, prophetic warning several weeks ago. Uri Friedman The Atlantic As power diffuses from the United States, the world is devolving into chaos. “Impunity and unpredictability” are becoming “the name of the game,” António Guterres told me. At the time, the UN secretary-general had the kaleidoscopic and catastrophic Syrian war top ... Read More »

Late night text messages reveal Indonesia’s anger over Jerusalem embassy announcement

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s late-night flurry of angry text messages to Australian counterpart Marise Payne was the first direct contact between the two over the Morrison government’s… David Wroe The Canberra Times Extraordinary exchanges in a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday morning have also revealed the government decided to announce its review of Australia’s stances on Jerusalem and the Iran nuclear deal without consulting a… Foreign Minister Marise Payne acknowledged under questioning from Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong ... Read More »

NATO blames Russia for missile pact violation, Putin warns Europe

Brussels: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that allies blame Russia for violating an important Cold War-era missile treaty but he does not expect them to deploy more nuclear warheads in Europe in response. The Age AP In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin followed up on US President Donald Trump’s declared intention to pull out of the 1987 arms control pact by warning that if the US deploys the now-banned missiles in Europe, Russia would target the nations hosting them. ... Read More »

Not one government official was consulted about Australia’s major Israel foreign policy shift

Just after lunchtime on Monday last week, the head of Australia’s Foreign Affairs Department, Frances Adamson, took a call about the government’s planned Jerusalem announcement. David Wroe WAtoday Public servants, even the most seasoned, aren’t unimpeachable, but they are the government’s bedrock for advice on major and complex issues. So it must have been a surprise for the nation’s most senior diplomat that the call from Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s office wasn’t so much asking for her input as letting ... Read More »