Diplomacy

Brexit: Emmanuel Macron in EU customs union threat to Scottish fishing

Emmanuel Macron has put fishing at the heart of a fresh row over the future trade with the EU by threatening to keep the UK inside the customs union unless European fishermen keep the same rights in British waters after Brexit. Paris Gourtsoyiannis The Scotsman The French President said that unless a new fishing agreement is agreed by the end of 2020, maintaining reciprocal access to waters and imposing the same quotas as today, he would seek to trigger the ... Read More »

The anti-Brexiters can get by without a leader. But not without a plan

As the chances of securing a people’s vote increase, the campaign needs to address the discontents of those who voted to leave the first time Andrew Rawnsley The Guardian If there were another Brexit referendum, who should lead the campaign to stay within the European Union? Pop this question to a prominent politician on the Remain side and you sometimes get the response, usually after a faux modest pause, that maybe the best face of the cause would be the person ... Read More »

Tensions Flare as Ukraine Says Russia Fired on Its Ships

Tensions escalated late Sunday as Ukraine accused Russia of attacking its navy near Crimea. By Aliaksandr Kudrytski , Daryna Krasnolutska , and Ilya Arkhipov Bloomberg Russian warships opened fire on a group of Ukrainian military vessels that had previously tried to enter the Kerch Strait near the disputed peninsula, Ukraine’s Navy said on Facebook. Two men were wounded as the Russians “fired to kill,” according to the statement. Ukraine said three of its ships were captured. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency cabinet meeting ... Read More »

Khashoggi murder: Storm clouds gather over Turkish-Saudi ties

Turkey’s determination to go all the way to force Saudi Arabia to come clean over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is pointing to a serious crisis in the making between the two countries. Semih Idiz Al-Monitor This crisis, which could have regional implications for Turkey, seems unavoidable since Ankara’s accusations ultimately target Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, commonly referred to by his initials, MBS. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have no affection for the crown prince, who ... Read More »

Managing American Decline

In Twilight of the Titans, two scholars provide a warning to a rising China, and a road map for the United States to regain its standing. Kori Schake The Atlantic America’s decline relative to a rising China has sparked interest among academics about power shifts in the international order—whether they can happen peacefully and under what conditions; what precedents exist and what they tell us. Now comes an important book, Twilight of the Titans, by Joseph M. Parent and Paul ... Read More »

Will Erdogan Risk Turkey’s COE Membership?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the incarceration of Selahattin Demirtas, of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), is… Semih Idiz Sigma Insight Turkey The Court ruled that Demirtas, a former presidential candidate who has been in prison since November 2016 on terrorism charges, should be released immediately because he had been detained for… The ruling puts Ankara in a bind, because, contrary to what Erdogan is arguing, ECHR ... Read More »

Friendly Fire: Venezuela’s Opposition Turmoil

As Venezuela’s socio-economic woes deepen, so do the fissures in the opposition to President Nicolás Maduro’s government. ICG Bridging these rifts is vital if the country’s crisis is to end through a negotiated transition. Outside powers should back opposition unity and stop hinting at military intervention. What’s new?  The Venezuelan opposition is split into seemingly irreconcilable factions that cannot settle on a strategy for ending their country’s crisis. They disagree over whether, and when, to take part in elections, whether to ... Read More »

UN Declaration of Human Rights ‘worth celebrating and hanging on to’

Despite “clunkiness in language”, and “lots of references to brotherhood”, the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights is a document that, on its 70th anniversary, remains remarkable, according to a… Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly Speaking last Friday at the Australian Bar Association and NSW Bar Association National Conference, Professor Hilary Charlesworth said that this particular UN Declaration is “remarkable” in that, for the first time, a… Professor Charlesworth, who is the director of the Centre for International Governance and Justice ... Read More »

Hillary Clinton urges Europe to curb migration to stop populists

Former US presidential candidate says leaders must show they can no longer ‘provide refuge and support.’ Eline Schaart Politico Europe needs a tougher approach on immigration in order to curb the growing threat of right-wing populists, Hillary Clinton said, calling on EU leaders to show their electorates that they can no longer “provide refuge and support.” “I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” Clinton said in an interview with the Guardian published ... Read More »

Why I’m sick of Turkey

Washington continues to claim Ankara as ‘strategic partner.’ Let’s stop pretending it is. Steven A. Cook Politico I am already sick of Turkey. I suspect that many Americans feel this way, about the bird and the country. Yet a small group of Washington foreign policy hands — at the State Department, at the Pentagon and in congressional offices — continue to make the case for Turkey as a “strategically important” partner to the… On paper, the country looks good: It ... Read More »

George Papadopoulos spreading disinformation to Australia

George Papadopoulos, a one-time adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, is promoting disinformation aimed at Australia, using tactics “in the same vein” as other public figures linked to… Chris Zappone WAtoday Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty in a US court to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian intermediary in September, has since initiated a public relations war against Australia’s former… After Papadopoulos told Downer in 2016 that Russia possessed damaging material about then-US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, ... Read More »

Scotland is Free to join EU, says Spain: Spanish Infuriate UK with goading on Brexit deal

Brexit will lead to the breakup of the UK, according to Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell, as Spain drops its historic opposition to Scotland rejoining the EU as an independent country. Abbie Llewelyn Express Spain has faced its own independence claim from the region of Catalonia, which voted to separate in a referendum dubbed illegal by Madrid. The Spanish government has always opposed Scotland being allowed to join the EU, apparently worried that it would start a precedent for newly ... Read More »

Britain must ditch post-imperial fantasies for a shot of sober realism – just as it did in 1975

God forbid that a leading Brexiteer should have to own the mess he has helped create. Fintan O’Toole NewStatesman As Robert Saunders reports in his fine book Yes to Europe!, the popular mood in 1974, a year after Britain joined the Common Market, was nicely captured by an official at the Department of Trade and Industry. He likened the British public, in its attitude to its European adventure, to “a crowd of holidaymakers who, after much doubt and expense, have made ... Read More »

How to Halt Yemen’s Slide into Famine

A Saudi-led coalition attack on the city of Hodeida risks plunging millions of Yemenis into famine and will meet fierce resistance from Huthi rebels. ICG The U.S. should stop enabling coalition offensives and international stakeholders must quickly place Hodeida under UN control. What’s new?  At the end of October, fighting reached the outer edges of the city of Hodeida, a gateway on Yemen’s Red Sea coast for trade that is a lifeline for some two thirds of the country’s population. ... Read More »

Pedro Sánchez sets sights on Brussels

As the UK is leaving and Italy is ruled by populists, the Spanish PM tells POLITICO that his country can step up to the plate. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN AND DIEGO TORRES Politico MADRID — Pedro Sánchez sees an opening in Brussels — and he intends for Spain to fill it. Less than six months after taking power, the Socialist prime minister is leading in national polls and looking to raise his international profile, in part by claiming a stronger role for his country ... Read More »

Australia refuses to sign UN migration pact, citing risks to turnbacks and detention

Morrison government says global deal risks reversing ‘hard-won successes in combating the people-smuggling trade’ Paul Karp The Guardian The Morrison government has confirmed it will not sign up to the United Nation’s migration pact, claiming it will undermine Australia’s harsh policies to deter asylum seekers despite Australia’s role in helping to draft it. The Refugee Council of Australia and advocates have strongly rejected the government’s claim, citing the fact the compact is non-binding and has a provision stating that countries ... Read More »