Diplomacy

Turkey’s lira crisis: ‘economic war’ sees Erdoğan look east for new allies

Global markets are on edge once again, this time thanks to the Turkish lira. It crashed more than 15% against the US dollar, euro and pound sterling on August 10 and continued to fall when markets reopened after the weekend on August 13. Emre Tarim The Conversation The latest trigger was Donald Trump’s announcement that he would double import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. But the lira has been falling consistently over the past year as markets fear for ... Read More »

The US-Turkey Crisis: The NATO Alliance Forged in 1949 Is Today Largely Irrelevant

There has been some reporting in the United States mass media about the deteriorating relationship between Washington and Ankara and what it might mean. Philip Giraldi American Herald Tribune Such a falling out between NATO members has not been seen since France left the alliance in 1966 and observers note that the hostility emanating from both sides suggests that far worse is to come as neither party appears prepared to moderate its current position while diplomatic… The immediate cause of ... Read More »

China Uighurs: Beijing denies detaining one million

China has said reports it is holding a million Muslim Uighurs in detention in Xinjiang are “completely untrue”. BBC Uighurs enjoyed full rights but “those deceived by religious extremism… shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education”, officials said. The rare admission from Beijing – at a UN meeting in Geneva – came in response to concerns that the region “resembles a massive internment camp”. Xinjiang has seen intermittent violence – followed by crackdowns – for years. China accuses Islamist… China ... Read More »

Taliban Kill More Than 200 Afghan Defenders on 4 Fronts: ‘a Catastrophe’

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan government forces lost more than 200 officers and soldiers in fighting over the past three days as Taliban insurgents launched sustained attacks on four different fronts. By Rod Nordland, Fahim Abed and Mujib Mashal The New York Times The hardest-hit area was the southeastern city of Ghazni, where more than 100 police officers and soldiers had been killed by Sunday, a hospital official said, and the insurgents appeared to be in control of most of the… Ninety miles west, in Ghazni Province, ... Read More »

Trump and Erdoğan are impatient players in a chess match – Hareetz

The fraught relations between the United States and Turkey may resemble a chess game, but neither President Donald Trump nor President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have the patience or the… Ahval Turkey’s reconciliation with Russia after Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane over the Syrian border in 2015, leading to an impasse in relations between the two countries, shows that… In June 2016, Erdoğan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, apologising for the death of the Russian pilot and ... Read More »

Russia will emerge from US-Turkey fallout as an even more potent actor

Putin stands to gain from a whole array of Trump policies, from trade tensions with Europe to undermining Nato allies, writes David Rothkopf The National There is one clear winner from the increased tensions between the United States and Turkey that were ratcheted up this week by, naturally, a tweet from Donald Trump: Vladimir Putin. Mr Putin seems to be the big beneficiary of a whole array of Trump policies and postures, from trade tensions with Europe and undercutting the ... Read More »

More than 100 seats that backed Brexit now want to remain in EU

Major new analysis shows most constituencies now have majority who want to Remain Michael Savage The Guardian More than 100 Westminster constituencies that voted to leave the EU have now switched their support to Remain, according to a stark new analysis seen by the Observer. In findings that could have a significant impact on the parliamentary battle of Brexit later this year, the study concludes that most seats in Britain now contain a majority of voters who want to stay in the EU. ... Read More »

‘Leave immediately’: US Navy plane warned over South China Sea

Above the South China Sea (CNN) – High above one of the most hotly contested regions in the world, CNN was given a rare look Friday at the Chinese government’s rapidly expanding militarization of the South China Sea. By Brad Lendon, Ivan Watson and Ben Westcott, CNN Aboard a US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane, CNN got a view from 16,500 feet of low-lying coral reefs turned into garrisons with five-story buildings, large radar installations, power plants and runways sturdy enough ... Read More »

ITLOS ruling: Ghana, Ivory Coast successfully plots all coordinates; boundary dispute settled

The boundary dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast has been amicably settled after both parties reached a consensus on the plotting of the coordinates in Accra today. GhanaWeb The Coordinates provided by the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in its judgement of the boundary dispute brought before it by Ivory Coast, was to assist both parties draw the line that separates the countries. Head of Ghana’s delegation at the meeting and Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo explained ... Read More »

Embattled Nord Stream 2 seeks to skirt Danish veto

Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline consortium on Friday said it had applied for an alternative route to skirt a new Danish law that threatened to block the project. AFP New legislation which took effect in January allows the Danish government to veto pipelines passing through the Nordic nation’s territorial waters based on its foreign policy, security and defence interests. Led by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, the consortium said in a statement that the law gives the Danish foreign ministry ... Read More »

Erdogan: How Turkey Sees the Crisis With the U.S.

Unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States will undermine American interests and force Turkey to look for other friends and allies. By Recep Tayyip Erdogan Mr. Erdogan is the president of Turkey. The New York Times ANKARA, Turkey — For the past six decades, Turkey and the United States have been strategic partners and NATO allies. Our two countries stood shoulder to shoulder against common challenges during the Cold War and in its aftermath. Over the years, Turkey rushed ... Read More »

Trump’s Victorious Retreats

Why does US President Donald Trump keep making empty threats against other countries? While his detractors think he is simply a braggart, a fool, and an ignoramus, there could be a less unflattering, though equally depressing, explanation. Anatole Kaletsky Project Syndicate LONDON – Will Donald Trump back down in his trade war with China, or will he win it? The answer is probably both. Trump’s characteristic sequence of blood-curdling threats – “fire and fury,” “squeeze Iran’s exports to zero,” “tariffs ... Read More »

Kenya or Somalia: Who owns the sea?

(MENAFN – SomTribune) – For years, Kenya and Somalia have argued over where their maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean runs. The International Court of Justice in The Hague could now decide who owns the sea, a decision that will only suit one. A narrow triangle off the coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean, about 100,000 square kilometers (62,000 square miles), is the bone of contention between neighboring Kenya and Somalia. Both countries want the area because it supposedly ... Read More »

Further Balkanizing the Balkans is a recipe for disaster

When it comes to the future of the Balkans, the discourse is slowing leaning toward proposing new divisions in the region — which is a recipe for geopolitical instability. Carl Bildt The Washington Post Discreetly, Serb and Albanian political leaders have been exploring the possibility of sorting out their differences using territorial swaps. The idea of sorting out divisions through exchanging territories has been circulating in Belgrade for years, but lately, it seems to have acquired traction in leading Albanian circles, as ... Read More »

After the Showdown in Libya’s Oil Crescent

A renewed struggle this summer over Libya’s main oil export zone cut sales in half, squeezing hard currency supplies amid outcry about mismanagement of hydrocarbon revenues. ICG To build trust, Libyan and international actors should review public spending and move toward unifying divided financial institutions. What’s new? Fighting in June in Libya’s “oil crescent”, a coastal area home to most of its oil export terminals, led to a brief military takeover of oil installations and, subsequently, an attempt to deepen ... Read More »

Chinese officials remember diplomat who helped shape ‘Law of the Sea’

Li Shengjiao was regarded as China’s top expert on international maritime law and boundary demarcation issues Foreign affairs officials and observers have remembered a Chinese diplomat who was involved in the creation of an international treaty on the use of the world’s seas and oceans on the first anniversary of his death. South China Morning Post Li Shengjiao, who served as Counsellor of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), died on ... Read More »