Agreement

Brexit: Tusk statement raises fears UK could crash out of EU with no deal next week

May will address British public tonight to explain delay of Brexit until June 30th A short Brexit extension is possible but only if the UK approves the withdrawal agreement next week, according to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council. The Irish Times In a move which puts pressure back on British prime minister Theresa May, Mr Tusk’s brief statement ahead of Thursday’s EU Council meeting explicitly ties an extension of the Article 50 process to the passage through the House of Commons ... Read More »

Bridging the Gap in the Nile Waters Dispute

Ethiopia is building a mighty dam on the Blue Nile, promising economic benefits for both itself and Sudan. ICG But Egypt fears for its freshwater supply. The parties should agree on how fast to fill the dam’s reservoir and how to share river waters going forward. What’s new?  Ethiopia is moving ahead with construction of Africa’s largest dam, despite Egypt’s worry that it will reduce the downstream flow of the Nile, the source of around 90 per cent of its ... Read More »

Italy’s Risky Silk Road

The Italian government is keen to join China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and plans to sign an agreement to this effect during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to Italy. Paola Subacchi Project Syndicate But although deeper trade and investment ties with China could boost its sluggish economy, Italy should pursue them through the EU, not bilaterally. VENICE – Is China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) “a train that Italy cannot afford to miss,” as Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria ... Read More »

The Guardian view on the Brexit crisis: take back control by giving it up

The prime minister will only a get a grip on the Brexit crisis by learning to loosen hers on the terms of departure from the EU Editorial The Guardian Almost two years after Theresa May triggered article 50 it is still unclear when, in what form and how Brexit will occur – even to the prime minister. Any country invoking the Lisbon treaty’s clause of departure leaves the European Union after two years. It is a mark of failure that Mrs May ... 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 »

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 »

Salvaging South Sudan’s Fragile Peace Deal

The truce in South Sudan is holding but could break down at any time. ICG To stave off renewed civil war, external actors should urge the belligerents to strike new bargains on security and internal boundaries – and accept a third-party protection force for the capital. What’s new? South Sudan’s new peace deal is nearing its first critical test: the formation of a unity government in May 2019. But steps toward key interim benchmarks – unifying a national army and ... Read More »

Brexit vote: What just happened?

Theresa May’s planned Brexit deal has suffered a major defeat in the UK parliament, leaving the Brexit process in disarray. BBC Mrs May began the day with renewed hope after securing last-minute changes to her withdrawal deal with the EU. But MPs roundly defeated her proposals, 391 votes to 242, weeks after her first attempt to pass the deal met the same fate. Had the vote gone her way, the UK would be preparing to leave the EU on 29 ... Read More »

Brexit: ‘Legally binding’ changes to EU deal agreed

Theresa May says she has secured “legally binding” changes to her Brexit deal, a day ahead of MPs voting on it. BBC But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned if the deal was voted down there was “no third chance”. They spoke at a joint press conference in Strasbourg after a late meeting. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister’s negotiations had “failed” and the announcements did not contain “anything approaching the changes” she had promised Parliament. Cabinet Office ... Read More »

US, Philippine defense ties under the gun

Washington says for first time it will come to Manila’s defense in the South China Sea but Filipino top brass want even firmer security assurances Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times Ιn a policy departure with ramifications for regional peace and stability, US President Donald Trump’s administration has explicitly reaffirmed its obligations to the Philippines under their 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on March 1 during a visit to Manila that his country would ... Read More »

Spain unveils ‘generous’ plan to protect British citizens in event of no-deal Brexit

Spain’s plans includes residency rights and healthcare protections to UK citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit Nick Duffy The Scotsman The Spanish government has unveiled plans to protect UK citizens even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It unveiled a “generous” plan to guarantee residency and healthcare rights to UK citizens. Spain is home to the largest British diaspora within the EU, with an estimated 400,000 UK citizens living in the country. Spain wants reciprocity The plan announced ... Read More »

At the Hanoi summit, Trump and Kim Jong Un may declare the Korean War over. Does it still matter?

The signing took all of 10 minutes. Neither man uttered a word as they inked nine documents agreeing to halt more than three years of brutal fighting. Victoria Kim Los Angeles Times When it was done, the American and North Korean generals exchanged one long, cold stare before leaving the room. It was July 1953. U.S. 8th Army commander Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor reminded reporters the war wasn’t yet over. The cease-fire agreement was “just a suspension of hostilities, which ... Read More »

All Eyes on Tangible Results from U.S.-North Korea Summit

The North Korean and U.S. leaders enter their second summit under pressure to achieve concrete progress toward their respective goals, sanctions relief and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Crisis Group senior adviser Chris Green suggests risk reduction measures each side can take. What has happened since the first U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore? At the conclusion of the Singapore summit last June, the U.S. and North Korea issued a statement calling for a new bilateral relationship, a stable peninsular peace ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit throws up really big calls on jobs, the rural economy and peace

Cliff Taylor: Government would need to embark on a major programme of assistance for the companies affected The Irish Times The Omnibus Bill on Brexit, published yesterday, is an important piece of work to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. But the big decisions lie elsewhere. How do we support the sectors worst hit? And what about the Border? There is an almost irresistible temptation among the political classes to reassure us that everything is ready, and it will all be alright ... Read More »

US law recognizes Aegean treaty regime in Dodecanese

It was in 1920 that the United States first became seriously involved in issues arising from the Aegean treaty regime in the Dodecanese. Nicholas G. Karambelas ekathimerini In that year, the peace conference which culminated in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 had been convened. The fate of the 12 Aegean islands commonly known as the Dodecanese was one of the issues which the peace conference debated. The US Senate passed a resolution which called on the peace conference to ... Read More »