No visa-free travel, no migrant deal, says Turkey’s EU minister

Turkey’s minister for European Union affairs and its chief negotiator with the bloc, Volkan Bozkır, said if the EU does not grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel, Turkey could stop accepting migrants sent from Greece. “If the EU does not grant visa-free travel [to Turkish citizens] then we can suspend the readmission agreement. This is a bargain. If there is no… Source: No visa-free travel, no migrant deal, says Turkey’s EU minister – EUROPE Read More »

A Promising Start for a High Seas Treaty

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UNITED NATIONS, Apr 9 2016 (IPS) – Delegates from 83 countries came together at the United Nations from March 28 to April 8 for the first in a series of landmark meetings on ocean protection. This Preparatory Committee will help forge an agreement to determine how nations move forward to protect the high seas—the 64 percent of the ocean.. Elizabeth Wilson is the director of international ocean policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts… Source: A Promising Start for a High Seas ... Read More »

High Court the final authority? Think again

US mining company Nucoil is using a free trade agreement to put pressure on the Australian government to pay compensation over cancelled licences.. Remember the Doyle’s Creek corruption scandal in NSW involving Eddie Obeid and coal mining licences? Source: High Court the final authority? Think again Read More »

Dutch referendum on Vladimir Putin

Russia looms large in the coming vote on EU-Ukraine agreement. AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands holds a referendum next week on whether the EU should work more closely with Ukraine, but the campaign is just as much about Vladimir Putin. On the surface, Dutch voters will decide if they should accept a treaty to… Source: Dutch referendum on Vladimir Putin – POLITICO Read More »

The EU and Turkey Reach a Tenuous Immigration Agreement

The new plan could encourage migrants to pursue asylum in Europe through official channels. Analysis After two days of negotiations, Turkey and the European Union reached a compromise agreement on a plan to reduce the flow of migrants from the Middle East to Europe. At a summit concluding March 18, the heads of government of the 28 EU members and their Turkish counterparts approved the plan, which should take effect March 20. While the deal could help reduce the number ... Read More »

Greens demand investigation into Cambodian refugee deal

The Greens will refer Australia’s $55 million refugee resettlement deal with Cambodia to the Auditor General for investigation. “An independent assessment of value for money is warranted and important for the accountability of spending public funds,” Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said on Sunday… Source: Greens demand investigation into Cambodian refugee deal Read More »

Gianni Pittella: “Yes to a deal with Turkey but one based on respect for human rights”

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Speaking at the S&D press conference in Strasbourg today and following the EU Summit on Turkey yesterday, S&D Group President Gianni Pittella, said: “We cannot consider the lack of an agreement among Heads of State and Government yesterday as a positive outcome. “For our Group an agreement with Turkey is necessary to stabilise refugee flows. However, any such agreement must be based on sincere cooperation and not merely bartering one goody for another. “We are talking about human beings and ... Read More »

United States Must Ratify Law of Seas Treaty Right Away: Fishery Collapse Makes Action Required Says Activist Danny Quintana

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While the United States is not a party to The Laws of the Sea Treaty, an international convention, it has been supported by our military, and every president including Reagan and Bush.  While being the greatest maritime power on the planet, the rights of the nation are held back by not being a party to this vital convention.  At one and the same time the United States doesn’t want Source: United States Must Ratify Law of Seas Treaty Right Away: ... Read More »

Pact on U.S.-Cuba Flights Reopens Battle for Seized Property

MIAMI — The Obama administration’s top transportation officials joined Cuban dignitaries at the Hotel Nacional in Havana on Tuesday to sign an agreement that will restore commercial airline service between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years. José Ramón López, 62, the… Source: Pact on U.S.-Cuba Flights Reopens Battle for Seized Property – The New York Times Read More »

Energy Goals May Unify Eastern Med: Academic

interview with professor of strategic studies As a former deputy adviser to the Israel National Security Council, Dr Eran Lerman has strong and clear views about the eastern Mediterranean as a strategic environment, particularly now with the increasing prospects for regional cooperation in energy. He sees the eastern Mediterranean as the… Source: Energy Goals May Unify Eastern Med: Academic Read More »

Turkey about to conclude a deal with Israel on ‘all issues’: Turkish official

Turkey is about to conclude a deal with Israel on “all issues”, a Turkish official said on Tuesday, a sign the two former allies may be moving toward a compensation agreement for the killing of 10 Turkish activists by Israeli commandos in 2010. Source: Turkey about to conclude a deal with Israel on ‘all issues’: Turkish official | Reuters Read More »

World powers agree ‘cessation of hostilities’ in Syria

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World powers on Feb. 12 agreed an ambitious plan to cease hostilities in war-racked Syria within a week and dramatically ramp up humanitarian access at talks in Munich aimed at reviving the struggling peace process. Hurriyet – MUNICH, Germany – Agence France-Presse The 17 countries agreed “to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities to begin in a target of one week’s time,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry after extended talks co-hosted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The International ... Read More »

Push to stop Parliament ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Nearly 60 community organisations are calling for an independent assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before Parliament is asked to vote on ratifying the agreement. The Age – Gareth Hutchens A large alliance of groups – from World Vision and the Public Health Association, to Greenpeace, the ACTU, Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network – have signed a letter warning the agreement poses “grave risks to the public interest” without being independently assessed. They want an organisation ... Read More »

Israel gains strategic depth in Eastern Mediterranean

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The Trilateral Declaration between Cyprus, Israel and Greece issued in Nicosia on January 28 at a summit meeting of the three regional states shifts the tectonic plates in the geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean. Asia Times By M.K. Bhadrakumar The Declaration agreed between the president of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras commits the three countries “to strengthen the cooperation… in order to promote a trilateral partnership in different fields of common ... Read More »

Libya’s rival parliaments sign unity government deal

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Members of Libya’s rival parliaments have signed Dec. 17 a U.N.-sponsored deal on forming a unity government, aiming to bring peace to the war-ravaged country. Hurriyet – SKHIRAT – The Associated Press Supporters of the agreement hope that rival political factions and militias will embrace the deal and agree on a cease-fire, so that they can fend off the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISL) extremist group, which is expanding its gains in the country. U.N. envoy Martin Kobler ... Read More »

COP21: Climate deal ‘final draft’ reached in Paris

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Organisers of the climate talks in Paris say a final draft text has been reached after nearly two weeks of intensive negotiations. BBC An official in the office of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the AFP news agency the draft would be presented to ministers at 10:30 GMT. No details of the proposed agreement have been released so far. The tentative deal was reached nearly 16 hours after the talks had been scheduled to close. “We have a text ... Read More »