Diplomacy

Backlash in Cuba

Obama’s historic visit was a smash hit in Havana. Fidel Castro wasn’t going to take that lying down.. By ANN LOUISE BARDACH HAVANA — These days Fidel Castro doesn’t often leave his comfortable home in Siboney, a leafy suburb west of this city. But on April 19, the 89-year-old Cuban leader emerged, aides at his side, wearing a royal blue Adidas sports jacket over a blue plaid shirt, and was driven two miles to the immense Palacio de Convenciones. Inside he ... Read More »

Referendum required as UN move confirms abortion law is unsustainable

Human Rights Committee decision underlines Eighth Amendment is incompatible with human rights.. Ιn a decision that will not have come as a surprise to those who are attentive to either international human rights law or abortion law in Ireland, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has found that a woman’s rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were violated by her having to travel for an abortion in a situation of fatal foetal abnormality… Source: Referendum required as ... Read More »

Sweden’s solidarity is needed on the UN Security Council

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On November 4th Americans will elect a new President. José Ramos-Horta  As for me, from the little country of Timor-Leste I am already invoking God and all Christian Saints and Animist Spirits to deliver to us Hillary Rodham Clinton. Timor-Leste owes much to William Jefferson Clinton, who as President in 1999 played a central role in getting the UN to authorize an international peace force to be deployed to our island, quelling the violence in our countryside and paving the ... Read More »

IMF Go Home

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Eurozone finance ministers and the IMF have agreed with Greece to begin providing some debt relief to the country, and to release $10.3 billion in bailout funds. But all parties would have been better off had the IMF been cut out of the deal, in favor of greater reliance on European loans… Source: IMF Go Home by Daniel Gros – Project Syndicate Read More »

Britain reborn as Greek wild-child?

ATHENS // It is a surreal experience to write about a possible EU Brexit from the country that was the first to raise the spectre of bailing out of the bloc. Greece, was painted as Europe’s wild-child last summer when it went to the polls in a Yes or No referendum on a multibillion-euro bailout and its attached demands from creditors. It was interpreted by many as the country deciding whether or not to stay in the EU. The initial ... Read More »

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Beijing’s artificial islands bring South China Sea crisis to the boil

A tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is ready to give its verdict on a complaint by the Philippines, which has challenged China’s territorial rights in the South China Sea. The verdict is set to address the simmering crisis in the South China Sea which will come to the boil later this month. Assertion China has rightfully asserted that the tribunal cannot adjudicate maritime boundaries; these can only be determined through bilateral negotiations between the parties ... Read More »

In a Reversal, Germany’s Military Growth Is Met With Western Relief

BERLIN — You know times have changed when the Germans announce they are expanding their army for the first time in 25 years — and no one objects. Back when the Berlin Wall fell, Britain and France in particular feared the re-emergence of a German colossus in Europe. By contrast, Berlin’s pledge last month to add almost 7,000 soldiers to its military by 2023, and an earlier announcement to spend up to 130 billion euros, about $148 billion… Source: In ... Read More »

Cyprus sidelined as Brussels scrambles to save Turkey migrant deal

Push to allow Turkish participation in European agencies worries Nicosia.. The European Commission has put new pressure on Cyprus in a bid to meet Turkish demands for quicker integration into the Brussels lawmaking machine. After convincing Nicosia earlier this year to soften its opposition to Ankara’s EU membership bid in order to secure a deal with Turkey on stemming the flow of refugees into Europe, the Commission is now reviving long-frozen Turkish requests for participation in European rule-making bodies on ... Read More »

Greek Leaks Expose IMF Chief Overruling Pro-Debt Relief IMF Negotiator

Securities lawyer Dimitri Lascaris says recent leaks to the press show that IMF Chief Lagarde forced her negotiator to give up the previously stated position to insist that creditors offer debt relief to Greece.. Recent press reports have revealed that International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde forced her negotiator to renege on an agreement that would have provided debt relief to Greece. Eurozone finance ministers and the IMF appeared to reach a deal last week that would have cleared the ... Read More »

Imagine Europe in chaos, and freedom just an empty slogan

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Ten years after the vote, I fear an EU unravelled and nationalistic ghosts ruling its former members.. It’s 2026. Ten years have passed since the British voted to pull out of the European Union. In London, the Ukip prime minister has organised ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the “sovereignty referendum”. What does the world look like? How have Britain and Europe fared?… Source: Imagine Europe in chaos, and freedom just an empty slogan | Natalie Nougayrède | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

The Left backing Brexit: The European Union won’t bend

The EU is a game set up more for big business than for ordinary people. Many people’s response to seeing massive structural flaws within the European Union is to say “Yes, of course the EU isn’t perfect, but it’s better to stay in and reform it than give up and leave.” This is the Labour party line, which we tend to hear whenever an awkward truth is brought up in a debate: Yes it is awful, but let’s try and ... Read More »

Timor-Leste pushes Australia to conciliation

Australia has yet to enter into compulsory conciliation talks with Timor-Leste over maritime boundaries, but it has already disputed the legality of the process.. Timor-Leste rolled out the red carpet last month to Vladimir Golitsyn, president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the Hamburg-based judicial body established to deal with disputes under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)… Source: Timor-Leste pushes Australia to conciliation | The Saturday Paper Read More »

Blaming Spree: Is Ankara Really Seeking to Mend Russo-Turkish Relations?

Due to his inconsistent foreign policy Turkish President Erdogan still remains at odds with Russia. It is hardly surprising since Ankara has spoiled relations with countries all across its neighborhood.. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bid to acquire almost absolute power in Turkey as well as his inconsistent foreign policy triggers concerns both in Russia and in the West… Source: Blaming Spree: Is Ankara Really Seeking to Mend Russo-Turkish Relations? Read More »

Brexit and Boris Johnson: A perfect political pairing?

We ask if the former mayor of London is an asset to the Leave campaign or if his association with it could backfire.. by Alasdair Soussi Freelance journalist Alasdair Soussi’s latest book is “In The Shadow Of The Cotton Tree: A Diary of Second World War Sierra Leone”. Glasgow, UK – He has been left hanging in mid-air while… Source: Brexit and Boris Johnson: A perfect political pairing? – Al Jazeera English Read More »

German MPs vote on Armenian ‘genocide’ amid Turkish fury

German MPs are set to recognise the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 as “genocide” – in the face of Turkish protests.. Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their people died in the atrocities of 1915. Turkey says the toll was much lower and rejects the term “genocide”… Source: German MPs vote on Armenian ‘genocide’ amid Turkish fury – BBC News Read More »

Interview with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz

Interview Conducted by Walter Mayr and Mathieu von Rohr At 29, Austria’s Sebastian Kurz is the world’s youngest foreign minister. He speaks with SPIEGEL about the rise of the far right in his country and Europe, the immigrant crisis and the dangers of dependence on Turkey.. SPIEGEL: Foreign Minister Kurz, in recent weeks, the entire world has been watching Austria, which is rather rare. How does it feel?… Source: Interview with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz – SPIEGEL ONLINE Read More »