Diplomacy

Diplomats to Tillerson: don’t eliminate state department’s refugee office

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National security officials are arguing the elimination the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration would have ‘profound and negative implications’ Reuters in Washington The Guardian Forty former US diplomats and national security officials urged the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, not to eliminate the state department office that handles refugees, in a letter seen by Reuters on Monday. The letter argued that a Trump administration proposal to transfer the… Diplomats to Tillerson… Read More »

Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal

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TNI’s Jacob Heilbrunn just sat down with Tehran’s top diplomat—and he was not happy with the Trump administration. Mohammad Javad Zarif The National Interest Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister in an interview in New York on Monday, July 17, 2017. The following is a lightly… Jacob Heilbrunn: Yesterday you were on Fareed Zakaria’s show. And if, as you alleged, the Trump administration is indeed violating the… Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign… Read More »

Will the Americans Abandon Us?

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Our Senior Analyst for Syria Noah Bonsey visits the north east of the country to meet a Syrian Kurdish organisation that has made the region relatively secure, yet knows that it still has far to go in its… Noah Bonsey ICG QAMISHLI, Syria ­– Abd al-Menaam picks me up as usual from the customs shed on the Syrian bank of the Tigris… As we drive west toward the town of Qamishli, we pass beneath a hilltop command centre bombed by ... Read More »

Are we sleepwalking to World War III?

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Analysis Australia is plunging headlong into catastrophe and we are utterly unprepared. Stan Grant  ABC In fact, we may be past the time when we can prepare. The time-bomb is ticking and it will explode in our lifetimes. All certainty will be lost, our economy will be devastated, our land seized, our system of government upended. This isn’t mere idle speculation or the rantings of a doomsday cult, this is the warning from a man who has made it his… ... Read More »

Secretary of State Tillerson has been in over his head from the get-go

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We were not alone in criticizing the pick of Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state. Jennifer Rubin Miami Herald He had no government experience, no feel for human rights or the values that (should) underlie American foreign policy and no deep knowledge of the world beyond that of an oil company executive accustomed to transactional… With an experienced and sophisticated president, a Tillerson might have been effective; with President Trump, Tillerson has proven… Secretary of State… Read More »

Trump and Macron, once cast as adversaries, show they have much in common

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PARIS — For dinner on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron chose to dine with President Trump at Le Jules Verne, an opulent restaurant nestled in the Eiffel Tower that has earned a… By Jenna Johnson and James McAuley The Washington Post The extravagant meal capped off a day filled with frequent backslaps, handshakes, toothy smiles, knee pats, photo ops and a shared determination to… Up until now, the relationship between these two world leaders has been largely… Trump and Macron… Read More »

Has Duterte’s China engagement backfired?

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The Philippine leader’s decision to set aside last July’s international arbitration win over Beijing’s extensive claims in the South China Sea has allowed China to consolidate major… Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times When a special arbitral tribunal ruled last July 12 in favor of the Philippines over China regarding their territorial disputes in the South China Sea, many at the time thought the… One year on, China continues its fast build-up unperturbed while the… Has Duterte’s China… Read More »

Nicola Sturgeon calls Brexit Repeal Bill a ‘naked power grab’

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Theresa May’s government is facing a major battle over crucial legislation to implement Brexit amid a fresh row between Edinburgh and London over sweeping… Paris Goutsoyannis The Scotsman The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will transfer EU regulations into British statute from the day Brexit takes effect, preventing “black holes” appearing… As the bill was published at Westminster, Brexit Secretary David Davis said it would give the… Nicola Sturgeon calls… Read More »

Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb

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We are witnessing a striking shift in the global paradigm of how the world views nuclear weapons. Alice Slater The Nation On July 7, 2017, at a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned, 122 nations completed the job after three weeks, accompanied by a… The new treaty outlaws any prohibited activities related to… Democracy Breaks Out… Read More »

The New Silk Road will go through Syria

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China and Syria have already begun discussing post-war infrastructure investment; with a ‘Matchmaking Fair for Syria… Pepe Escobar  Asia Times Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good… Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with… The New Silk… Read More »

The EU Is Not Out of the Danger Zone

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European leaders should convert their newfound confidence into positive energy to develop realistic solutions to the challenges that continue to plague the EU. Stefan Lehne, Tomáš Valášek Carnegie Europe Lately, Europe has been going through strange mood swings. Just a few months ago, the end seemed to be near for European integration. In light of the British vote to leave the EU and the rise of populist parties in a number of member states, many observers doubted whether the… The ... Read More »

Is Turkey the most Orwellian country?

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It’s been almost 70 years since English novelist Eric Arthur Blair, writing under the pseudonym George Orwell, penned “1984,” his famous dystopian novel which depicted life in Oceania, a state in… Michael Rubin AEIdeas The state prosecutes “thought crime” and independent thinking. The “Inner Party” strictly controls policy, even as members of the “Outer Party” fill other bureaucratic slots in order to keep the… Historical revisionism is rife and… Is Turkey the… Read More »

UN criticism of Australian human rights record welcomed by lawyers

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Lawyers who are part of a coalition of NGOs have welcomed the wide-ranging findings made by a UN committee about Australia’s human rights record and are calling on the government to address the nation’s poor… Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly Australia has been taken to task by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a new report released last… The committee assessed how well Australia has managed to meet its commitments under the International Covenant on Economic, Social… ... Read More »

Turkey minister barred from Austria rally for failed coup anniversary

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The Austrian authorities have barred Turkey’s economy minister from entering the country to attend a rally to mark the first anniversary of the failed coup attempt. BBC Nihat Zeybekci’s visit would represent a danger to “public order and security”, an Austrian spokesman said. The Turkish government did not comment immediately on the… Relations are already tense as Austria has criticised the Turkish government’s response to the… Turkey minister barred… Read More »

Can Kurt Volker Solve the Ukraine Crisis?

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Kurt Volker, widely known as a tough-minded and accomplished diplomat, confronts his biggest challenge in working to implement the… Curt Mills The National Interest As Donald Trump spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Hamburg late last week, his State Department announced the appointment of a… His mandate is to help implement the Minsk agreements. Kurt Volker is widely respected as an accomplished diplomat, but in Ukraine he confronts his… Can Kurt Volker… Read More »

China’s Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan

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China, traditionally cautious about intervening in other countries, is playing the unprecedented role of peacebuilder in… ICG This experience could serve as a trial run for a more proactive global role, but Beijing is still challenged by limitations in its experience, expertise and… Executive Summary China’s longstanding principle of non-interference in other states’ internal affairs is evolving with its growing global footprint. As Chinese overseas investment and… China’s Foreign Policy… Read More »