Diplomacy

Nazarbayev Is Giving Up Presidency, Not Power, in Kazakhstan

The long-time autocrat’s shock resignation kicks off an opaque succession process. By Reid Standish FP ASTANA, Kazakhstan—Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s first and only president, resigned on Tuesday, ending his nearly 30-year reign and setting the stage for an opaque succession process in the oil-rich Central Asian country of 18 million people.   In a lengthy speech that Nazarbayev delivered in a prerecorded televised address to the country that reflected on his lengthy tenure in office, the 78-year-old president said that the ... Read More »

Turkey’s terror sponsorship is worse than imagined

I have written much over the years about Turkey’s complicity with terrorism over the past decade. by Michael Rubin Washington Examiner Interviews with a captured Islamic State prisoner, however, make clear that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s terror complicity is worse than many imagined, and not just because his son-in-law was dealing in Islamic State oil. Consider this piece from Homeland Security Today based on prison interviews with Abu Mansour al Maghrebi, the Islamic State’s liaison with Turkey’s intelligence service: ‘My ... Read More »

Turkey: Putin’s Ally in NATO?

On September 17, 1950, more than 68 years ago, the first Turkish brigade left the port of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, arriving, 26 days later, at Busan in Korea. Burak Bekdil Gatestone Institute Turkey was the first country, after the United States, to answer the United Nations’ call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked that year. Turkey sent four brigades (a total of 21,212 soldiers) to a country that is 7,785 km away. By the ... Read More »

In the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre hatemongers are having a field day

As there were Turkish victims of the attack, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu travelled to Christchurch to emphasize Turkey’s common resolve against Islamophobia and xenophobia. Samuel Huntington and the Christchurch Massacre Posted by Robert Ellis Furthermore, Fuat Oktay called on the entire world to stop promoting some kind of provocative language. Back home, Fuat Oktay’s call fell on deaf ears. The day after the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is not known to mince ... Read More »

Third time lucky for Theresa May’s Brexit vote?

(CNN) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be hoping the third time’s the charm when she tries to get the House of Commons to back her Brexit deal this week after two previous defeats — but she’ll need more than just luck to get lawmakers to change their minds. By Jane Merrick, for CNN The question being posed in Downing Street this week is: What will it take for more than 70 lawmakers to back her and get her deal ... Read More »

No Choice and No Exit for the UK

The outcome of the simple binary choice given to UK voters in the June 2016 Brexit referendum has proved almost impossible to implement. Robert Skidelsky Project Syndicate The main obstacle is not the complications of negotiating new treaties, but rather the judgment by those in charge of Britain’s political life that the costs of an emphatic withdrawal are too great. LONDON – The United Kingdom’s protracted attempt to leave the European Union has upended the two illusions by which the ... Read More »

Bolton slams Turkey over refusal to abandon S-400 deal with Russia

Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton has blasted the S-400 deal as one of several major stumbling blocks in US-Turkish relations. AMNnews “We’re concerned about their purchase of the Russian air defence system called the S-400 – that’s a big problem,” Bolton said, speaking to AM 970 radio host John Catsimatidis on Sunday morning. Asked directly by Catsimatidis whether Turkey was a “friend or foe” to the United States, the top Trump foreign policy adviser cited a host of other problems affecting relations. “Well you know they’re still a NATO ally; ... Read More »

The Brief – Replacing Turkey in NATO

A global geopolitical shift has taken place without the wider audience noticing. Turkey has drifted apart from the US and NATO, it has got much closer to Russia, and… By Georgi Gotev with Sam Morgan | EURACTIV.com Turkey is still a NATO member. But it has repeatedly said it is committed to buying Russian missile defence system, despite warnings from the United States that the S-400s cannot be integrated into the NATO air defence system. Missile defence is not a… ... Read More »

Why Emmanuel Macron’s plan for a European agency to fend off fake news makes sense

When French president Emmanuel Macron sent an open letter to the people of Europe, he said their first freedom is democratic – “the freedom to choose our leaders as foreign powers seek to influence our vote at each election”. Alexi Drew The Conversation He went on to propose establishing a European agency to protect this right. The idea would be to provide European states with experts to help them fend off cyberattacks and other kinds of threats to their elections. ... Read More »

Why is Turkey’s presence in Afrin, Syria any different than the West Bank?

Turkey’s continued role in Afrin, a year after military occupation began in March 2018, is under spotlight as US State Department and UN highlight abuses. Seth J. Frantzman JPost Military occupation. Stolen olives. Checkpoints. Accusations of theft of property, land confiscation, demographic change and settlers. These are claims usually leveled at Israel’s role in the West Bank, but in the last year Turkey and Syrian groups it backs have been accused of similar violations in northwestern Syria. The area of ... Read More »

Wanted: Patient Diplomacy in Yemen

Sanaa has become the centerpiece of a struggle among regional power centers, and the battle for control over it will not end soon. Gordon Gray The National Interest Recent Congressional  debates about the Yemen war  have put a high priority on imposing costs on the Saudi-led military coalition by restricting arms sales and military cooperation. Moreover, this past week’s vote in the U.S. Senate  is just the latest in a series of Congressional actions sending a message of disapproval about the Trump administration’s military policy in ... Read More »

Jews are unsafe in Turkey and should leave now

Turkey’s mercurial leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan took his diplomatic spat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a new level on Wednesday when he implicitly threatened the well-being of Turkey’s already dwindling Jewish community. Michael Rubin Washington Examiner “Do not provoke,” Erdogan said, before noting that he had not yet taken any action against Turkish Jews or their houses of worship. This is, of course, not the first Turkish government threat against its Jewish community. A decade ago, then-Foreign Minister ... Read More »

The Darkest Hours: Power Outages Raise the Temperature in Venezuela

The crippling blackouts across Venezuela are a grim portent of things to come as U.S. oil sanctions kick in and the country’s crisis deepens. Phil Gunson ICG All concerned to end Venezuelans’ suffering should vigorously pursue a negotiated transition leading to a power-sharing deal. On Thursday 7 March, at around five in the afternoon, the lights went out in Venezuela. Within a couple of hours, as the tropical night descended, around 90 per cent of the country was plunged into ... Read More »

Russia’s Next Land Grab Won’t Be in an Ex-Soviet State. It Will Be in Europe.

First he came for Georgia, then for Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s next target is likely to be a non-NATO nation in the EU. By Mikheil Saakashvili FP Not many observers would consider the world’s coldest shipping lane a geopolitical hotspot. But that may be about to change. Last week, reports emerged that a new Kremlin policy will require all international naval ships to give Russia 45 days’ notice before entering the Northern Sea Route, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans ... Read More »

US Wants To Change The Law Of The Sea – Analysis

The US is frustrated by North Korea’s continuing violation of UN sanctions by using rogue vessels to import and export banned cargo, sometimes transferring the cargo at sea. Mark J. Valencia Eurasia Review So it wants to interdict suspect vessels on the high seas using force if necessary. The problem is that doing so without the consent of the flag state would violate the international law of the sea. John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor is taking the lead ... Read More »

Picking Up the Pieces After Hanoi

The collapse of last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was perhaps the inevitable result of a process in which the two leaders dominated, optimistic about their personal relationship and confident in their abilities. Richard N. Haass Project Syndicate The question is what to do now. NEW YORK – When last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal, the result was not surprising. ... Read More »