Diplomacy

Families leaving Eastern Ghouta take prize possessions

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Families who have left Damascus neighbourhood for Idlib tell of taking their most precious possessions with them. Arwa Ibrahim AlJazeera Abu Jawad was among thousands of Syrians who left their homes and underground shelters in the shrinking rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta to one of the last remaining rebel-held areas in northwest Syria. With dozens of daily convoys of buses making the 320km journey to the Idlib province since late March, families have been forced to take only the… Families leaving Eastern… Read More »

Gas, pipeline dreams and gunboat diplomacy in Mediterranean

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A spate of recent deals and gas finds in the eastern Mediterranean Sea has positioned Egypt to be a major energy hub. Chase Winter DW Turkey, which is flexing its military muscles, may be left out. For years, there was hope that gas fields under the eastern Mediterranean Sea would usher in peace and prosperity in a volatile region. But a string of recent deals and gas finds have revealed deep geopolitical fault lines. Since 2009, Israel, Egypt and Cyprus ... Read More »

Algeria establishes exclusive economic zone ahead of offshore drilling

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ALGIERS, April 1 (Xinhua) — Algeria on Sunday issued a decree to establish an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the Algerian coast, APS news agency reported. Xinhua The source specified that the EEZ is a space on which a country has sovereignty and exercise special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources. The outer limits of the Algerian EEZ, calculated from the baselines defined by the decree of August 1984, are specified by the coordinates expressed in the… ... Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

China slaps US with up to 25% bigger import tariffs in trade war retaliation

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Beijing is hiking up tariffs on more than 128 US imports, including fruit and pork, as part of a tit-for-tat response to US President Donald Trump’s $60 billion package of tariffs imposed against China. RT The additional fares, which range from 15 to 25 percent, are taking effect on Monday, the Chinese Finance Ministry said on their website. It added that the measure, aimed at “safeguarding China’s interests,” was in response to Washington’s package of tariffs targeting more than 100 types of Chinese goods, ... Read More »

No gun, no Molotov: why did a 19-year-old Palestinian protester die?

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Gaza:  The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and rewatching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head. Brisbane Times Washington Post The video appears to show Abdul Fattah, dressed in black, running away from the border fence carrying a tyre. Just before reaching the crowd, he crumples under gunfire. “He had no gun, no Molotov, a ... Read More »

Turkey to host Syria summit with Russia, Iran on April 4

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Turkey will host a trilateral meeting on Syria, gathering leaders from Turkey, Russia and Iran next week, the Presidential Press Office said on March 31. ANKARA – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The meeting hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 4 will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to a statement. Besides regional developments and the ongoing Syrian war, the Turkish and Iranian leaders are also expected to hold talks to discuss ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia has to face a pro-Iranian Turkey

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The unpredictable Middle Eastern geopolitical landscape is heading toward new dynamics, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is positioning itself against a… By KHALID IBN MUNEER Asia Times Since the consolidation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power through a referendum in April 2017, Turkey is once again gearing up for the revival of Ottoman-era dominance in the… But this swift resurgence of Turkey is not being seen through the lens of admiration in the… The history of the confrontation between Arabs ... Read More »

Weaponizing Hydrocarbons: It Was Obama’s Idea to Flood EU With US LNG

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According to some estimates, the US is likely to emerge as one of the major LNG exporters by 2020. Sputnik However, it appears that Washington is seeking to use its liquefied hydrocarbons as an economic weapon in the fight with its geopolitical rivals, Russia and China. Washington has weaponized its liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to kill two birds with one stone — expel Russia from the European energy market and win a “trade war” with China. Following the 2014 February coup in Ukraine and Crimea’s ... Read More »

Towards “NATO-Exit”?

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Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran? By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research Reminiscent of World War I, shifting alliances and the structure of military coalitions are crucial determinants of history. Today’s military alliances, including “cross-cutting coalitions” between “Great Powers” are equally dangerous, markedly different and exceedingly more complex than those pertaining to World War I. (i.e  the confrontation between “The Triple Entente” and “the Triple Alliance”). Contemporary developments point to a historical shift in the… Towards ... Read More »

Enough is enough: The message to Russia is clear, but it’s not over yet

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It was in the hectic midst of the ASEAN conference in Sydney a fortnight ago that Julie Bishop first discussed with her British counterpart, Boris Johnson, the prospect of expelling Russian spies. David Wroe The Age Bishop and Johnson had spoken by phone three days earlier after British leader Theresa May stood in the House of Commons and called out the Kremlin over the nerve agent attack on British soil. Then on the Saturday in Sydney, Johnson flagged in a text ... Read More »

India presses Tibetan leadership to stop political activity against Beijing

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2018 is going to be a busy year for both the governments of China and India. Sheeroy Desai Dorje Shugden From leaked memos in February instructing all Indian politicians and government officials not to participate in events organized by the Tibetan leadership, to a recent phone call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to work on deepening bilateral ties, it is clear where Indian interests lie and it is certainly not to the benefit of the Central Tibetan Administration ... Read More »

China Moves Centre Stage in Korean Peninsula Peace Efforts

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After weeks in which other actors have taken notable steps towards defusing fears of war over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, a China-North Korea summit held 26-27 March in Beijing has reasserted China’s pivotal role in efforts to find a solution to the… ICG When North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 26 March secretly rolled into Beijing on a private armoured train for unofficial meetings with President Xi Jinping, China moved decisively centre stage in the… China also ... Read More »

America Must Drop Its Delusions about Dealing with Russia

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It’s time to part with illusions. Otherwise, the United States cannot develop and execute a sustainable policy towards Russia. Nikolas K. Gvosdev The National Interest It’s time to part with illusions. For too long, the U.S. national-security community has oscillated in its assessment of the Russian Federation, swinging between viewing Moscow as the country’s number one geopolitical threat to dismissing the challenge of a nation whose per capita GDP equals that of Portugal. This has led… America Must Drop… Read More »

In Balkans, Britain rejoins battle for influence

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Soft-power struggle with Russia hots up as West renews interest in region. Valerie Hopkins Politico BELGRADE — The West is fighting back against Russia in a battle for influence in the Balkans. But although the European Union has renewed its interest in the region, the latest charge is being led by Britain. Seven years after shutting down in Belgrade, the BBC on Monday reopened its Serbian language service, launching a website and unveiling partnerships with local media outlets. The move is… In ... Read More »

Kenny MacAskill: Stop treating Catalonia as a proxy for Scotland

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A few years ago, I saw rival groups of football fans displaying Palestinian and Israeli flags at an Old Firm match. Kenny MacAskill The Scotsman Done more to provoke the opposition, than show support for the country whose flag they were flying, doubtless they had as little interest in Middle Eastern affairs as they had knowledge of the religions supposedly represented by their respective teams. Now, there are parallels with the situation in Catalonia where supporters and opponents of Scottish ... Read More »