Reconciliation

Cyprus: tensions grow as contested waters yield promising results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

Clock ticking for Cyprus reunification

Nobel Peace Prize winner F.W. de Klerk says Cypriots need to find a way to reconnect Former South African President F.W. de Klerk is a man who knows how to read the warning signs of history and he urges Cypriot leaders not to miss another opportunity to make peace before it’s too late. Charlie Charalambous Knews “Timing is important, sometimes the time is right for something to happen and if you don’t see the opportunity and use it, the window ... Read More »

Cuba to host Colombia-ELN rebel peace talks

Cuba will host peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist ELN rebels aimed at ending a five-decade conflict after Ecuador bowed out as host, negotiators said May 5. BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is trying to conclude a peace agreement with the country’s 1,500-strong last active rebel group, similar to the one signed with the larger FARC guerrillas in November 2016. The FARC has since become a political party. Five other countries — Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Norway and Venezuela — ... Read More »

Mirror Images: The Standoff between Moscow and Western Capitals

Russia and the West are mired in mutual mistrust, sinking deeper with each contretemps in the post-Soviet space and every round of sanctions punishing perceived Russian malfeasance. Magdalena Grono ICG A rapprochement appears unlikely soon, so both sides must open channels to avert confrontations where their interests collide. Relations between Russia and the West are at a perilous juncture. The two sides’ narratives on major issues of the day – for instance, the future of Crimea or the wars in ... Read More »

Eastern Mediterranean: International Arbitration for ‘Venus’

Cyprus and Israel are expected to resume international arbitration in order to put an end to their seven-year dispute over the exploitation rights of the “Aphrodite” (“Venus”) field. By Nefeli Tzanetakou / ibna On May 8, a two-sided meeting in Nicosia is scheduled to take place, with the participation of Greece, where, among other things, the implementation plan for the East Med pipeline, which is expected to transport the… In 2010, Cyprus and Israel co-signed the demarcation agreement relevant to the ... Read More »

Pompeo puts onus on Palestinians to rejoin peace talks

U.S. Secretary of State  Pompeo‘>Mike Pompeo wound up a three-day Middle East trip April 30 without having met any Palestinian, but nevertheless urged their leadership to rejoin the peace process. Hurriyet Washington’s newly appointed top diplomat received a warm reception in Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Amman, focusing his talks on Iranian interference in the region – despite the tensions once against rising between Israel and the Palestinians. Forty-five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border since the… Pompeo puts onus… Read More »