Diplomacy

Tehran-Riyadh war of words heats up as Iranians miss hajj

A bitter war of words between Iran and Saudi Arabia intensified on Sept. 7 ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage from which Iranians have been excluded for the first time in decades. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted the “incompetence” of the Saudi royal family as he met with the families of victims of a deadly stampede during last year’s hajj. “This incident proves once again that this cursed, evil family does not deserve to be in charge and… Source: Tehran-Riyadh war of words heats up as Iranians miss hajj – MIDEAST Read More »

Greece is still grinding toward Grexit

Stephen Pope The Greek economy grew between April and June; although only by 0.2% An estimate by the statistics service show it shrank by 0.9% year-on-year Following sales-tax increases and pension cuts, consumer spending has fallen The economy has contracted by 25% since the debt crisis in 2009 It is time to be seriously contemplating “Grexit” once again It has been a while since I took a look at the tricky trouble spot of the… Source: Greece is still grinding ... Read More »

Poland Wants to Take Responsibility for EU Future, Show Model for Reforms

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo stated that the European Union should be reformed to meet the needs of the Europeans, but not the continent’s elites, to increase the role of national parliaments and return the EU institutions back to their responsibilities described in EU documents… Source: Poland Wants to Take Responsibility for EU Future, Show Model for Reforms Read More »

What are Russia’s objectives in the Middle East and in the Caspian?

August was a month of active Russian diplomacy in the Middle East and the Caspian region. By Yekaterina Chulkovskaya, Russia Beyond the Headlines A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took place in Baku on… Source: What are Russia’s objectives in the Middle East and in the Caspian? – UPI.com Read More »

China’s High-Stakes Korea Conundrum

A recent academic article hints at a possible shift in China’s approach on the peninsula. Lyle J. Goldstein Even the promising trilateral meeting recently of South Korean, Japanese, and Chinese foreign ministers could not dispel the dark cloud over the… Source: China’s High-Stakes Korea Conundrum | The National Interest Read More »

Comment: Chinese money isn’t the issue – the whole political donations system’s screwed up

Recent weeks have seen media attention focus on the role of Chinese nationals in sponsoring or donating to Australian politicians and political parties, amidst public concerns over what these donors might potentially expect in return – from Australia’s foreign policy objectives, to favourable deals in domestic economic projects… Source: Comment: Chinese money isn’t the issue – the whole political donations system’s screwed up | SBS News Read More »

G20 summit: Japan issues stark warning to Britain over Brexit 

May on diplomatic offensive as Japan says firms may leave UK if EU deal not agreed Clifford Coonan in Hangzhou British prime minister Theresa May has sought to soothe fears about Britain’s decision to leave the European Union after the United States and Japan warned of the… Source: G20 summit: Japan issues stark warning to Britain over Brexit Read More »

British warship sent to Libya to target people-smugglers

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Deployment of HMS Diamond part of EU crackdown as number of migrants trying to cross Mediterranean reaches record level Chris Stephen A British warship will arrive off the Libyan coast in the next few days in a dramatic attempt to intercept and arrest people smugglers as the flow of migrants trying to cross the… Source: British warship sent to Libya to target people-smugglers | Politics | The Guardian Read More »

Cyprus-Egypt pipe deal opens door for East Med gas

Cyprus has signed a deal to build a pipeline to supply Egypt with natural gas once production starts from the Aphrodite field located offshore the Mediterranean island. The agreement sets the political framework for additional commercial agreements, Cyprus’ Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek el-… Source: Cyprus-Egypt pipe deal opens door for East Med gas Read More »

Can Israel become a maritime power?

A commission of former Israeli and American navy admirals and policymakers is calling for the Jewish state to take a far greater role in securing and administering the Eastern Mediterranean, so the US doesn’t have to. BY HAVIV RETTIG GUR Several years ago, before the onset of the Arab Spring, the eminent historian Bernard Lewis suggested that Israel’s future in the Middle East was more secure than many assumed. In measurable ways, the nearer… Source: Can Israel become a maritime ... Read More »

UN hearing puts spotlight on Timor Sea

East Timor hopes a UN Conciliation Commission hearing in The Hague, which started on Monday, will help solve a feud with neighbouring Australia over maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. East Timor started the compulsory conciliation process, conducted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in April. A five-member panel of independent conciliators will try to help the… Source: UN hearing puts spotlight on Timor Sea | Natural Gas Daily Read More »

Saudi forces are killing civilians in Yemen, so why is the UK still arming the regime?

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Did the British government lie in court about Saudi arms deals? Andrew Smith “We have a long-standing relationship with the Saudi armed forces, particularly the Royal Saudi Air Force… We’ll support the Saudis in every practical way short of engaging in combat.”… Source: Saudi forces are killing civilians in Yemen, so why is the UK still arming the regime? | openDemocracy Read More »

Jean Marie Guehenno on European Defense After Brexit

What’s next for the European Union after Brexit? When it comes to defense policy, Germany and France need to step up to the plate. For Germany this will mean greater spending — and more foreign deployments… Source: Jean Marie Guehenno on European Defense After Brexit – SPIEGEL ONLINE Read More »

May and Sturgeon on collision course over ‘hard Brexit’

Theresa May has put the UK on course for a “hard Brexit” that will see the country exit the common market and the imposition of curbs on EU migration. PARIS GOURTSOYANNIS Revealing the first details of the government’s strategy for leaving the EU last night, the Prime Minister said the UK government would decide the… Source: May and Sturgeon on collision course over ‘hard Brexit’ – The Scotsman Read More »

On Timor, Australia looks like it’s denying an impoverished neighbour its birthright

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This week’s conciliation talks in The Hague give Australia a new chance to do the right thing by the new country to help it secure its future Ben Saul Australia and Timor-Leste start conciliation talks in The Hague on Monday in an effort to resolve their bitter legal dispute over maritime boundaries – and $40bn of… Source: On Timor, Australia looks like it’s denying an impoverished neighbour its birthright | Ben Saul | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

TTIP Dead: Massive US-EU Trade Deal Falls Apart Says German Vice-Chancellor

The collapse of a signature Obama administration trade pact marks a major defeat for free trade advocates and politico-economic globalism.. Free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States have fallen apart in recent weeks with Europe reticent to open its agricultural industry to low-cost American “frankenfruits” in addition to concerns over the… Source: TTIP Dead: Massive US-EU Trade Deal Falls Apart Says German Vice-Chancellor Read More »