Diplomacy

My Good Friend Roosevelt

Were US-Cuban relations soured for the want of ten dollars? Perhaps better than anyone else, Fidel Castro was keenly aware of the fact that the histories and destinies of Cuba and the United States were profoundly intertwined. Luis Martínez-Fernández History Today A fascinating and virtually unknown document housed in the US National Archives and Records Administration demonstrates that Castro was aware of this from an early age. ‘My good friend Roosvelt’, opens a letter a young Castro sent to President Franklin Delano ... Read More »

Trump Asks for Unity, but Presses Hard Line on Immigration

WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but signaled that he will continue to wage war for the… Peter Baker The New York Times In a nationally televised speech that toggled between conciliation and confrontation, Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he pressed lawmakers to build a… “We must reject the politics ... Read More »

INF nuclear treaty: Russia plans new missile systems after pullout

Russia says it is planning to develop new missile systems after both Russia and the US suspended their involvement in an arms control pact. BBC The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) banned the pair from using short- and medium-range missiles. The US has long accused Russia of violating the pact, and last week US President Donald Trump announced he would exit it. Russia followed suit. The moves have raised concerns about a new arms race. The INF was signed during ... Read More »

How EU Leaders Can Prevent a No-Deal Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s strategy of threatening a no-deal Brexit requires a hard deadline that forces her opponents to capitulate. Anatole Kaletsky Project Syndicate Without that, “running down the clock” becomes “kicking the can down the road,” which more accurately reflects May’s paradoxical combination of robotic inflexibility and exasperating indecisiveness. LONDON – Has British Prime Minister Theresa May outmaneuvered all her opponents? By defeating Parliament’s effort to rule out a disorderly “no-deal” rupture between the European Union and its ... Read More »

Europeans fear Trump may threaten not just the transatlantic bond, but the state of their union

BERLIN — As President Trump prepares to deliver his second State of the Union address, the leaders of the United States’ closest allies in Europe are filled with anxiety. Dan Balz and Griff Witte The Washington Post They are unsure of whom to talk to in Washington. They can’t tell whether Trump considers them friends or foes. They dig through his Twitter feed for indications of whether the president intends to wreck the European Union and NATO or merely hobble the ... Read More »

Refugees deported by Europe attacked by Taliban, ISIL

Afghans deported and returned from Europe tell Al Jazeera how they are caught in the crossfire amid rising attacks. Shereena Qazi Al Jazeera Nasir, a 26-year-old shopkeeper from the northern Kunduz province, left as a refugee for Europe in July 2015 – the year his father, a local police officer, was killed by unknown assailants. Last month, having returned to Afghanistan after being deported from Finland, he was injured in a Taliban-claimed massacre in Kabul that killed more than 100 people. As he recovered in a ... Read More »

How countries use ‘migration diplomacy’ to pursue their own interests

The story of Rahaf Mohammed, the Saudi teenager granted asylum by Canada on January 11 after barricading herself in a Bangkok hotel room, sparked headlines around the world. Authors: The Conversation The decision to grant asylum to Mohammed, the daughter of a Saudi town governor, was the latest episode in an ongoing spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia. Commenting on the decision, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said: Canada is a country that understands how important it is to ... Read More »

Modi has ‘nothing to offer’ to Kashmiris: separatist leader

NEW DELHI: A separatist leader in Indian-controlled Kashmir accused New Delhi on Sunday of having “nothing to offer” to the disputed territory, dismissing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit as… Sanjay Kumar Arab News “If the Indian government is really keen to reach out to the people of Kashmir it should suspend all military operations and stop celebrating the killing of young innocent people. Development does not mean anything if there is no peace and dialogue,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief ... Read More »

Chinese fishing boat captain arrested in waters close to Japan

A Chinese fishing boat captain has been arrested in waters close to Japan, according to state media in the island nation. Liu Zhen South China Morning Post Chen Wenting, 40, was detained by the Japanese coastguard on Saturday morning on suspicion of violating Japan’s fishing rights and trying to avoid inspection, NHK reported. The incident happened on the same day China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told visiting Japanese senior deputy minister for foreign affairs Takeo Mori that 2019 was going ... Read More »

George III Lost America. Theresa May Could Lose the United Kingdom Over Brexit.

Brexit has shown the world a British parliament and a political class that resembles a ship of fools without a captain. Clive Irving The Daily Beast Britain is locked in the most serious peacetime crisis in its modern history, the increasingly desperate attempt to secure the nation’s orderly departure from the European Union. Brexit has shown the world a British parliament and a political class that resembles a ship of fools without a captain. One veteran of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet ... Read More »

Living inside the world’s worst economy, Venezuela

Hungry and without access to medicine, Venezuelans are suffering as a political crisis unfolds. Al Jazeera In oil-rich Venezuela, people don’t have enough to eat, infant mortality is soaring at a faster rate than in Syria, and according to the UN, some three million people have fled the country since 2015. Once Latin America’s richest nation, Venezuela and its people are suffering from the ravages of hyperinflation. On January 23, the leader of the legislature, Juan Guaido, began a push to remove ... Read More »

Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine. What is Mexico’s position on the fast-developing events in Venezuela? Mexico has declined to recognise Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, and has adopted a… Mexico’s New ... Read More »

UN Rejects Guaido, Favors Discourse With President Maduro

Guterres reiterated his concern about the impact of the current Venezuelan crisis on the people. UN News, by teleSUR/ jf-GB The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recognized, Friday, the representation of the Venezuelan Government – led by its Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza – while rejecting the interests of deputy of the National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaido, who… Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, confirmed that Guterres responded to a letter, which was sent by Juan Guaido asking the agency to send humanitarian aid to… UN Rejects Guaido… Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #2

This is Crisis Group’s second weekly update published as part of our Yemen Campaign. ICG Prefaced with a new introductory trendline – this week, fear of famine – it provides up-to-the minute insights into the four-year-old civil war and the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. The Present Context For more than six months the primary focus for diplomats, policymakers and analysts working on Yemen has been the now-frozen offensive on the Red Sea port city of Hodeida. (You can read our ... Read More »

Kurdish lobby struggles to slow US pullout from Syria

Reeling from President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria, the political wing of the Pentagon-backed Kurdish group that has spent the past four years fighting the Islamic State started the… Jack Detsch Al-Monitor It’s not clear how the delegation, led by Ilham Ahmed, happened upon the president. Trump told the group “I love the Kurds” and promised that the US allies are “not going to be killed” by Turkish forces, the Syrian Democratic Committee co-president recalled ... Read More »

INSTEX: Europe sets up transactions channel with Iran

Germany, France and the UK have set up a payment channel with Iran called INSTEX, to help continue trade and circumvent US sanctions. DW Washington has cautioned EU nations against such actions. Several European countries have set up a new transaction channel that will allow companies to continue trading with Irandespite US sanctions. The announcement was made on Thursday. The channel, set up by Germany, France and the UK, is called  INSTEX — short for “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges.” “We’re making ... Read More »