Reconciliation

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 »

The Contested Iraqi Parliamentary Elections in Kirkuk

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Widespread perceptions of fraud in May 2018 elections to Iraq’s Council of Representatives have triggered demonstrations in Kirkuk and fears of inter-ethnic violence. Crisis Group is calling for a vote recount in Kirkuk to restore confidence in the institutions vital to manage deeper divisions over the contested, oil-rich area. The International Crisis Group is deeply concerned about developments in Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic governorate in northern Iraq. Contested election results, and the widespread perception that ballot boxes were tampered with, have ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia: Back to Baghdad

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Saudi Arabia has been forging links to Iraq since reopening its Baghdad embassy in 2016. Its adversary Iran has strong Iraqi ties. ICG If Riyadh avoids antagonising Tehran, invests wisely and quiets anti-Shiite rhetoric, Iraq can be a bridge between the rival powers – not a battleground. What’s new? After a quarter-century of estrangement, Saudi Arabia has re-opened diplomatic relations with Iraq in an attempt to counter strong Iranian influence. The kingdom seeks a role in post-ISIS reconstruction and has ... Read More »

DMZ guardians could become ‘happiest jobless’ on earth

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Swedish and Swiss soldiers are the most peaceful denizens of the Korean DMZ. If a Korean War peace treaty is signed they may expand their mandate – or pack up and go home Andrew Salmon Asia Times It is the most bizarre corner of one of the most bizarre places in East Asia: A tranquil little chunk of Western Europe sitting betwixt armies which, if they ever go to war, could very well ignite Armageddon across Asia. Welcome to the ... Read More »

Israeli lawmakers move to recognize Armenian genocide amid Turkey row

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Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuly and Likud MK Amir Ohana stated they would submit legislation to make Israel the 30th country to recognize the Armenian genocide. Lahav Harkov JPost Bills to recognize the Armenian Genocide by the Turks were back on the Knesset’s agenda on Wednesday, after Turkey and Israel expelled each other’s envoys. Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuly and Likud MK Amir Ohana both said they would submit legislation to make Israel the 30th country to recognize the genocide ... Read More »

‘Horrific’ Israeli ‘war crimes’ in Gaza must end now, human rights watchdog says

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As the death toll among Palestinian protesters rises in Gaza, Amnesty International has called Israel’s crackdown “deplorable,” and the UN has called for an end to the Israeli military’s “disproportionate” use of… RT “This is another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way,” Amnesty International’s Philip Luther said. “This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful… Over 2,700 people have been injured, many with live ... Read More »

Study on South China Sea arbitration awards published

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BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) — A study on the South China Sea arbitration awards, compiled by the Chinese Society of International Law (CSIL), was published by the Foreign Languages Press Monday. Editor: Xiang Bo The book, titled “The South China Sea Arbitration Awards: A Critical Study,” has both Chinese and English versions, according to a press release issued on the CSIL website. The Aquino III administration of the Philippines unilaterally initiated an arbitration on disputes between China and the Philippines ... Read More »

Conference analyses disputes in East Sea

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Moscow (VNA) – Leading scientists and researchers specializing in Asia-Pacific region, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and international law, discussed the East Sea disputes in the… They analysed recent developments in the East Sea and discussed the prospects of settling the issues at the event, held by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of… They affirmed that disputes in the East Sea are among the largest threats to the global stability and security, as besides ... Read More »

Libya’s Unhealthy Focus on Personalities

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The surprise electoral defeat of one Libyan leader and the hospitalisation of a rival show the error of relying solely on individuals to achieve national reconciliation in Libya. All sides in Libya’s conflict should focus instead on making institutions more representative and improving governance. ICG What’s new? Two events have shaken up Libyan politics: the election of Muslim Brotherhood affiliate Khaled Mishri as president of the Tripoli-based High State Council, replacing Abderrahman Swehli, who had held the post since 2016, ... Read More »