Reconciliation

Typhoon Trump blows G7 off course

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Other leaders thought they’d kept the club together — until the US president tweeted his fury. David M. Hersenhorn Politico LA MALBAIE, Canada — As host of this year’s G7 summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to have just one over-arching goal: to get through the gathering without U.S. President Donald Trump blasting it to pieces. Trudeau succeeded — for all of about 90 minutes. Just an hour and a half after Trudeau finished his concluding news conference, an ... Read More »

Australian officials spotted in mysterious Assange visit

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London: Australian government officials have paid a mysterious visit to Julian Assange in his Ecuadorian embassy refuge in London, in a sign there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate that has lasted almost six years. Nick Miller WAtoday Two officials from Australia’s High Commission were spotted leaving the embassy in Knightsbridge in west London on Thursday. It is the first time Australian consular officials have visited Assange at the embassy. They were accompanied by Assange’s lawyer Jennifer… Australian officials spotted… Read More »

Increasing the Stakes in DR Congo’s Electoral Poker

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A moment of waning international attention has led some in President Kabila’s camp to revisit the idea of an internationally-opposed third presidential term. Nairobi/Brussels ICG African and Western leaders must maintain unity, redouble efforts to dissuade Kabila from pursuing this course and ensure preparations for elections in 2018 continue apace. What’s new? Allies of President Joseph Kabila suggest increasingly overtly that he could seek a third term in office; international actors, led by Angola, firmly reject that idea. Meanwhile, preparations ... Read More »

NATO welcomes ceasefire with Taliban, calls for peace talks

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed on Thursday Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban, and he called on the militants to lay down their arms and negotiate a peace… “The announcement of a ceasefire shows the seriousness of President Ghani and the Afghan government … I call on the Taliban to join the ceasefire,” Stoltenberg told… “The Taliban will not win on the battlefield. The only way for them to achieve a solution is to ... Read More »

The Ethnic Cleansing of Northern Cyprus

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Confessions of a Turkish-Cypriot Mass Murderer “Why is there not peace yet? How can we make peace when we have rabid murderers living among us? Instead of prosecuting them, we enable them to appear on TV and to boast about their murders…. If you do not even bring to account a murderer who says, ‘killing was my art,’ who will you bring to account?” — Şener Levent, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika. So far, these “rabid murderers” have ... Read More »

U.S. and Turkey almost came to blows over this Syrian town. A new deal may avert that.

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The United States and Turkey have reached agreement on the withdrawal of U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, and the military forces of the two countries will begin joint patrols of the area, U.S. and Turkish officials said. by Karen DeYoung and Erin Cunningham The Washington Post The agreement is designed to defuse one of the most serious and long-running disagreements between the two NATO allies, whose troops in Syria have come perilously close to conflict ... Read More »

Somalia and the Gulf Crisis

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The quarrel between Gulf monarchies has spilled into Somalia, with the fragile state now caught between the rival interests of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. ICG The competition has already aggravated intra-Somali disputes. All sides should take a step back before these tensions mount further. What’s new? The rivalries underpinning the June 2017 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis – particularly between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the one hand and Qatar and, by extension, Turkey on the other ... Read More »

Aboriginal reconciliation and what we can learn from a French philosopher

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What can a French historian and philosopher tell us about reconciliation between black and white in Australia? More than a century ago, when in Australia it was still widely presumed that Aboriginal people were a dying race, Ernest Renan was grappling with the question, what is a nation? By Matter of Fact host Stan Grant ABC It remains one of the most profound and powerful statements of identity, written in 1882 in the shadows of the French Revolution. Renan sought to ... Read More »

Has the US conceded to Turkey in Manbij?

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If one is to go by leaks to the media as well as official statements out of Ankara, Turkey and the United States have essentially worked out a “road map” for Washington-backed Kurdish fighters to leave the northern Syrian city of Manbij near the… Semih Idiz Al-Monitor Accordingly, once the People’s Protection Units (YPG) — which Turkey considers a terrorist organization and an existential threat to its security — evacuate Manbij, Turkish forces would move in and work with US forces already there to provide “stability and security” ... Read More »

Cyprus History: Ignore at your own peril

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Scratch the surface of the Cyprus Problem and what will you find? Anna Koukkides-Procopiou * The ever-popular answer to that question could probably be the post-modernist, constructivist explanation of differing historical narratives of a local power-sharing struggle between two ethnic communities, whose perceptions and misperceptions of each other and of their history of conflict supposedly matter more than realities on the ground-such attempts even taking at times the form of a self-imposed Jesuit flogging of shame, especially among Greek Cypriots. ... Read More »

Turkey and Israel: From Loveless to Fracas

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How can there ever be a lasting peace between a Zionist state and another nation where the president thinks that Zionism is a crime against humanity? Burak Bekdil Gatestone Institute When Turkey and Israel decided to normalize their badly strained ties in December 2016, after more than six years of downgraded diplomatic relations, the first thing they did, as the protocol dictates, was to appoint ambassadors to each other’s capital. With a theoretical new chapter opening in troubled relations, Turkey ... Read More »

Making the Best of France’s Libya Summit

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Four main Libyan leaders meet in Paris on 29 May to sign a roadmap to peace, including 2018 elections with united international backing. ICG But with Libya’s UN-backed peace process at risk from the meeting’s format and the accord that France has brokered, the sides should instead commit to a broader declaration of principles. What’s new? On 29 May France will host a summit on Libya bringing together the country’s four principal competing leaders to sign an agreement on a ... Read More »

Spain’s PM Rajoy under growing threat over party graft case

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MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was threatened with no-confidence motions and demands for a snap election on Friday over a graft trial involving members of his party in which a… Julien Toyer Rajoy said he would fight off a no-confidence vote and serve his four-year term, and ruled out calling an early election. “This goes against the political stability that our country needs and it goes against the economic recovery. It is bad for Spain,” he told ... Read More »

Cyprus: tensions grow as contested waters yield promising results

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Tensions over natural gas and oil deposits in the sea off Cyprus threatened to boil over this March after Turkey sent a drill ship to the contested region just days after US based ExxonMobil dispatched its own survey vessels. Patrick Kingsland offshore technology Turkish president Erdogan has gone so far as to say he won’t tolerate the reserves being exploited by Greek Cypriots. So what is at stake here and how likely is it that oil will begin flowing anytime ... Read More »

North Korea slams ‘ignorant and stupid’ Pence

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North Korea called U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” for his warnings over a planned summit with Donald Trump, renewing a threat to cancel as the U.S. president said the fate of the historic talks will be decided next week. SEOUL – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Trump is due to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 for high stakes talks aimed at ridding the reclusive state of its newly acquired nuclear weapons and improving ties after decades of ... Read More »

Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Time to Talk Trade

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Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Trade alone cannot transform the parties’ core political differences. But talks among them on mutually beneficial commerce could open lines of communication long cemented shut. ICG What’s happening?  Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Formalising aspects of this trade is ... Read More »