Reconciliation

N. Korea says it has no need for nuclear weapons if it has security guarantee

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North Korea said it has no reason to possess nuclear weapons if it has a security guarantee, Seoul has confirmed, according to AP and Yonhap news agencies. RT North Korea also pledged to freeze its nuclear-missile activities if it holds talks with the US. Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to bilateral negotiations scheduled for next month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s top security adviser said, as quoted by Yonhap news agency. The leaders of both countries are expected to attend. The ... Read More »

We need to talk about peace again

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We’re in an age when ambition is called for. And it just may come in the shape of a 32,000 tonne ocean liner Scott Ludlam * The Guardian A cruise liner is not the first place you’d go looking for conflict prevention, sustainability education, disarmament diplomacy and international collaborations on everything from disaster relief to low-carbon marine transport. From the outside, the Ocean Dream looks like any other 32,000 tonne ocean liner; a long, seafaring apartment block slung with lifeboats, ... Read More »

Congress, State Department divided on sanctions against Turkey

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As the US Congress continues to weigh potential sanctions against Turkey over its unremittingly hostile stance toward the United States, there is growing debate within the policy community about the merits of such action, with some arguing it could bow Turkey into submission and others insisting it will make the problem even worse. Amberin Zaman Al-Monitor Fury at what Washington calls the unlawful detention of US consular staff and US citizens, in particular that of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson ... Read More »

China steps into the maelstrom of the Middle East

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The Middle East has a knack for sucking external powers into its conflicts China’s ventures into the region have shown how difficult it is to maintain its principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. Dr James M Dorsey Today China’s abandonment of non-interference is manifested by its (largely ineffective) efforts to mediate conflicts in South Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan as well as between Israel and Palestine and even between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is even more ... Read More »

Winter Olympics 2018: Who is winning the propaganda battle?

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Two unusual guests marked the beginning of the Winter Olympics in South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister and the father of a US student who died after being jailed in North Korea. BBC Kim Yo-jong and Fred Warmbier are the faces of their respective countries’ propaganda efforts amid tension over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. On a day that was supposed to be about sport, their presence was one of many diplomatic subtexts. Pence skips dinner US ... Read More »

The Quiet Diplomacy to Save the Olympics in a Nuclear Standoff

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BEIJING — In late December, a group of teenagers from North Korea traveled to the Chinese city of Kunming to play in an obscure under-15 soccer tournament. By JANE PERLEZ, CHOE SANG-HUN and REBECCA R. RUIZ The New York Times On the field, under a wintry sun, they faced teams from China and South Korea. Off the field, there was an unusual spectator: Choi Moon-soon, the governor of the province in South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics. Mr. Choi had flown more than 1,000 ... Read More »

Sports Diplomacy in the Korean Peninsula

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The opening of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games represents an opportunity for diplomacy to help reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula Christopher Green ICG North Korea’s decision to dispatch Kim Jong-un’s younger sister Yo-jong to South Korea (Republic of Korea, ROK) as part of a delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics has opened up the possibility for the past month of sports diplomacy to garner something more substantive and… With all parties to the Korean peninsula conflict sending senior delegations ... Read More »

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018

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From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018. Robert Malley FP It’s not all about Donald Trump. That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the U.S. president’s erratic comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his cavalier disregard of international accords, his readiness to undercut his own diplomats, his odd choice of foes, and… And yet, a more inward-looking United States and a greater international diffusion of power, increasingly militarized ... Read More »

Ten Tips for Israel when Negotiating with Saudi Arabia and the Arab World

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When negotiating with the Saudis and their friends, Israel’s number one rule should be to make clear that it will not pay anything for peace. By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA If the Saudis want to live in peace with Israel, it will extend its hand to offer them peace in return. But that is all they will get. There is no other kind of peace agreement. If they do not want peace on those terms, then there ... Read More »

A former Israeli diplomat answers 5 questions about Jerusalem

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Editor’s note: Professor Dan Arbell of American University, who spent 25 years in the Israeli Foreign Service, answers five questions about Jerusalem, which President Donald Trump recently recognized as the capital of Israel. Dan Arbell The Conversation 1. What is Jerusalem like today? Jerusalem has a growing high-tech sector, a diverse, multicultural and multiethnic population, and bustling business centers and marketplaces that attract millions of tourists annually. Jerusalem is situated in a mountainous region, at 2,650 feet above sea level, ... Read More »

Kenya stands its ground in sea row with Somalia

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Kenya has filed its response at the International Court of Justice in the Indian Ocean border dispute case filed by Somalia KENNEDY KIMANTHI Daily Nation A statement from the Office of the Attorney-General Githu Muigai has said Kenya’s position is that the maritime border remains as it is and the dispute be solved through negotiations. “This position is entrenched in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and several resolutions and decisions of the African Union Heads ... Read More »

Can Peacekeepers Break the Deadlock in Ukraine?

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Implementation of the Minsk ceasefire agreement remains deadlocked Russia’s first proposal of a UN peacekeeping force in Ukraine’s breakaway eastern regions cannot work, but it opens a much-needed window for diplomacy. ICG What’s the issue? In September 2017, Moscow proposed the deployment of UN peacekeepers along the line dividing Ukrainian from separatist and Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. Such a mission would not help end the conflict. To do that, peacekeepers would need a greater role, including helping secure the Ukraine-Russia ... Read More »

Jeremy Corbyn and Noam Chomsky win peace prize amid media silence

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UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize along with Noam Chomsky and Japanese anti-military base activists, yet the award received scant coverage in the British media. RT The International Peace Bureau presents the Sean MacBride Peace Prize to individuals, organizations or movements for their work in the areas of peace, disarmament and human rights. Corbyn, along with renowned scholar Noam Chomsky and the All Okinawa Council Against Henoko New Base, were deemed this year’s ... Read More »

Netanyahu: Palestinians must face reality over Jerusalem

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Israel’s prime minister has said Palestinians must “get to grips with” the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital in order to move towards peace. BBC Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem had been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and had “never been the capital of any other people”. He spoke amid ongoing protests in the Muslim and Arab world at a US decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital. Violence flared near the US embassy in Lebanon and elsewhere on Sunday. ... Read More »

Is this Israel’s “most hated” man?

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Author and commentator Gideon Levy has been called both “the most hated man in Israel” and “the most heroic.” ABC LateLine While he describes himself as a “patriotic Israeli”, he’s highly critical of what he calls his country’s ‘moral blindness’ to its acts of war and occupation. Emma Alberici spoke to Gideon Levy ahead of his talk at the University of Sydney this week. Transcript Read More »

Opportunities and Challenges Await Kyrgyzstan’s Incoming President

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The inauguration of Kyrgyzstan’s new president on 24 November is a tribute to the country’s parliamentary democracy Deirdre Tynan  ICG But to overcome continued vulnerability, Sooronbai Jeenbekov must manage powerful southern elites, define the role of religion in society and spearhead reconciliation with Central Asian neighbours Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Sooronbai Jeenbekov will be inaugurated as Kyrgyzstan’s fifth president on 24 November, the victor of a tight, unpredictable, contested but ultimately legitimate election. The new leader, a loyal member of the ... Read More »