Asia

Whither Japan’s Democracy?

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To some observers, retired civil servant Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy  attitude towards dissent Daniel Hurst Asia Times To some observers, protester Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy attitude towards dissent. The retired civil servant, a long-standing campaigner against the US military presence in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, was detained for five months from… Whither Japan’s… Read More »

The emerging Turkish-Iranian alliance

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Iran and Turkey, the two non-Arab Middle Eastern states, are among the largest and most populous in the… Manish Rai, Geopolitical Analyst  Asia Times The former occupies a strategic location on the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, while the latter controls the Bosporus Strait, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which links the… The two nations descend from the most ancient civilizations in the world and have strong national… Turkey and Iran have been mirror images of ... Read More »

Foreign Secretary joins crucial Cyprus settlement talks in Switzerland offering full UK support

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The Foreign Secretary will fly to Switzerland later today to support the UN facilitated talks aimed at reaching a settlement to the long running Cyprus issue. Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana with the participation of the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, and representatives of the Guarantor Powers (Greece, Turkey and UK). The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson’s attendance demonstrates ... Read More »

The ‘Conference on Cyprus’ at Crans Montana, Switzerland, 28 June 2017:

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An Open Letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary of the United Kingdom For the immediate attention of the Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, HM Government, Whitehall, London and copied to H.E. Matthew Kidd, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, British High Commission, Alexander Pallis Street, Nicosia OPEN LETTER By email to: fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk  Copied to: UKinCyprus@fco.gov.uk 27 June 2017 Dear Mr Johnson Re: The ‘Conference on Cyprus’ at Crans ... Read More »

“We won’t accept just any solution on Cyprus”

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On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive U.S. Administrations on behalf of a workable and ... Read More »

China releases Nobel laureate Liu with terminal cancer

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China’s jailed Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last month, his lawyer told AFP on June… Hurriyet Liu, who had about three years of his 11-year sentence to serve, was diagnosed on May 23 and was released days later, said lawyer Mo… The 61-year-old democracy campaigner was being treated at a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang. “He has no special… China releases Nobel… Read More »

‘Democracies Die Behind Closed Doors’:

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The chilling parallels between the ‘Munich Conference’ and the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ According to the celebrated American judge, Damon J. Keith, ‘democracies die behind closed doors’.  (Source: Detroit Free Press v Ashcroft, 303 F. 3d 681, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 2002.) Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published in Agora Dialogue on 26 June 2017 Judge Keith articulated his memorable dictum as a means of justifying the cherished principle of open justice. Nevertheless, his dictum is likewise capable of being applied in other ... Read More »

ISIS Is Pushing America and the Philippines Back Together

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Sharing an enemy has a magical way of forcing estranged allies back into each other’s embrace. Richard Javad Heydarian The National Interest In many ways, this is exactly what is happening to bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States, as both nations grapple with the prospect of an… Throughout his first year in office, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte rarely missed a chance to lash out at Washington and promote his distinct “Asia for… ISIS Is Pushing… Read More »

The Many Agents Of Tajikistan’s Path To Peace

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On June 27, Tajikistan marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Tajik Peace Accord that ended a five-year civil war… Bruce Pannier RFE/RL The man who will be taking much of the credit for achieving peace in Tajikistan is President Emomali Rahmon, aka “Asosguzori sulhu vahdati milli — Peşvo’i millat” (“Founder of Peace and Unity — Leader of the… The first part of this title, bestowed upon Rahmon by Tajikistan’s parliament in December 2015, seems overly… The Many ... Read More »

Turkey’s Identity Crisis

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As politicians purposefully polarize their own society for political profit, the result is rage and violence. Steven A. Cook  The Atlantic On June 14, a Turkish court sentenced Enis Berberoglu to 25 years in prison for spying. The decision sent shockwaves through Turkey, even after a year during which the government arrested, detained, or purged more than 200,000 people in the… Turkey’s Identity… Read More »

Arab and Islamic leaders condemn terror plot targeting Makkah’s Grand Mosque

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JEDDAH: Leaders from around the Arab world have condemned a terror plot targeting the Grand Mosque in Makkah, which Saudi security forces said on Friday they had… Arab News King Salman received a cable from Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, emir of the Kuwait, in which he expressed Kuwait’s strong condemnation of terrorist schemes, which contradict teachings of Islam and all religious and human… Cables were also received from … Arab and Islamic… Read More »

The European Union dumps China

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In one fell swoop, a legislative committee of the European Union Parliament has snubbed China’s recent easing of restrictions on inbound foreign investment, rejected Beijing’s demand to be recognized as a… Emanuele Scimia  Asia Times On Tuesday, the EU Parliament’s trade committee overwhelmingly adopted a resolution amending the European Commission’s proposed legislation on… In other words, EU lawmakers have decided to toughen the bloc’s… The European Union… Read More »

UK: Demands made of Qatar must be measured, realistic

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Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also calls Saudi-led bloc of countries to lift embargo imposed on Qatar. Al Jazeera Britain’s foreign secretary has said that a major diplomatic crisis in the Gulf will end only when “measured and realistic” conditions are discussed, in comments made shortly after a… “Gulf unity can only be restored when all countries involved are willing to discuss terms that are measured and realistic,” Boris Johnson said on Friday, according to a… UK: Demands made… Read More »

Kurds see chance to advance their cause in ruins of Islamic State

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With the defeat of Isis close, its opponents scent opportunity in the region. Can Kurdish forces win more… Martin Chulov The Guardian As what remains of Islamic State crumbles, the would-be victors have started… In Mosul, Iraqi forces have begun preparing for peace in the city where the now-encircled marauders took root three years… Across the border in Raqqa, with five of its neighbourhoods under their control, Kurdish forces are contemplating what comes next for them and… Kurds see chance… Read More »

Saudi Arabia & allies demand Qatar close Turkish base, shut Al-Jazeera and more within 10 days

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The Arab states which have imposed an economic blockade on Qatar over its alleged financing of terrorism have issued a severe list of demands, which includes giving Doha 10 days to cut ties with Iran, shutting down Al-Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base and… RT The Kuwait emissary, which is serving a mediator in the diplomatic standoff, has reportedly presented the list of 13 demands from the… Doha has 10 days to comply, according to Associated Press which has seen ... Read More »

The Evolution of Yannis: From Turkish Nationalist to Jailed Greek Activist

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Yannis Vasilis Yaylalı, an ethnic Greek peace activist born in Samsun, was recently arrested by Turkish police in the Kurdish city of Şırnak, where he had been living since… Uzay Bulut Special for the Armenian Weekly Meral Geylani, his partner and fellow activist, told the Armenian Weekly that four lawsuits have been filed against… Three of them are for “discouraging the public from military service” and one is for “publicly disrespecting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk” through his articles and… The Evolution ... Read More »