Watch Barack Obama’s historic handshake with President Raul Castro


US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands at a summit in Panama, a symbolically charged gesture as the pair seek to restore ties between two Cold War foes Leon Siciliano, and AP, video source APTN The Telegraph With a cordial evening handshake, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro moved Friday toward a groundbreaking meeting ... Read More »

China welcomes India’s initiative to break the ice with Pakistan: report

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China has welcomed India’s initiative to break the ice with Pakistan and said it is nudging Pakistan to improve relations with India, raising hopes that it may prevail upon its ally to work toward easing tension in the subcontinent, states  The Economic Times . Pakistan Today – By WebDesk “India and Pakistan have launched dialogue to ease tensions. We understand that it is not an ... Read More »

Sudan: The Prospects for “National Dialogue”

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ICG - OVERVIEW Nairobi/Brussels - Prospects for an inclusive national dialogue President Omar al-Bashir promised in January 2014 are fading, making a soft-landing end to Sudan’s crises more doubtful. Sceptics who warned that the ruling party was unwilling and unable to make needed concessions have been vindicated. Peacemaking in Darfur and the Two Areas (Blue Nile and South Kordofan) and ... Read More »

Demining the Path to Peace in Colombia

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ICG – On 7 March, negotiators for the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced they would embark on a joint demining effort. By Christian Voelkel | @voelkelchr – Also available in: español After two and a half years of negotiations in the Cuban capital of Havana, and outline agreements on three agenda points, this is the first ... Read More »

Turkish President Erdogan fined 10,000 lira for calling statue symbolising peace a ‘monstrosity


The statue was a symbol of unity between Turkey and Armenia An Istanbul court has ordered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay an artist 10,000 Turkish Lira (£2,500) in compensation, after the politician called his sculpture a “monstrosity.” Kashmira Gander The Independent Mehmet Aksoy’s Monument to Humanity featured two human figures towering 30 metres above the eastern city of Kars, ... Read More »

Israel targets rising critical opinion in Germany

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As celebrations kick off marking 50 years of diplomacy, an increasing number of Germans is expressing negative views. Yermi Brenner | Source: Al Jazeera Berlin, Germany - It is called “Israel Day” and it features lectures, cultural performances, open discussions in schools and universities, and even dance lessons with Israeli music. Israel Day has taken place in more than 20 cities throughout ... Read More »

Libya: Getting Geneva Right

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ICG – Middle East and North Africa Report N°157 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Libya’s deteriorating internal conflict may be nearing a dramatic turning point. Over six months of fighting between two parliaments, their respective governments and allied militias have led to the brink of all-out war. On the current trajectory, the most likely medium-term prospect is not one side’s triumph, but that rival ... Read More »

Burkina Faso: Nine Months to Complete the Transition

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Three months after Blaise Compaoré’s departure, Burkina Faso’s transition is moving forward in an uncertain context. ICG The provisional government, with the help of its international partners, should initiate urgent reforms and ensure the October 2015 elections allow for peaceful, democratic change. When President Blaise Compaoré was ousted in October 2014, he left the country with weak institutions and under ... Read More »

Yemen Conflict Alert: Time for Compromise

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Sanaa/Brussels | ICG | Yemen’s UN-backed transition has unravelled and the country has entered a new, highly unstable phase. On 22 January President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the prime minister resigned after Huthi fighters seized the presidential palace and consolidated control of the capital. This has upended the troubled transition and raises the very real prospect of territorial fragmentation, economic ... Read More »

Yemeni president capitulates to the demands of Houthi rebels

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Abed Mansour Hadi agrees power-sharing role that will dilute his powers, after he was ousted from his palace in Sana’a The Guardian – Hakim Almasmari in Sana’a, and Martin Chulov in Beirut Yemen’s president Abed Mansour Hadi has yielded to the demands of Houthi gunmen who over ran the capital Sana’a, agreeing to a power-sharing role that will dilute his powers ... Read More »