Geopolitical News from the modern world

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marzo 2018

Germany denies deal to give Israel UN council seat

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

Germany has rejected accusations that it has violated a presumed 10-year agreement that provides for Israel to stand as candidates without a disagreement in obtaining a seat at the UN Security Council. The agreement referred to was signed when the Jewish state joined the regional group of Western Europe and others (WEOG) at the UN, and it included a promise not to oppose Israel if it applied for one of the non-permanent posts reserved for the regional group, but Germany denies that this commitment has been made. Israel, Germany and Belgium are competing for the two seats reserved for the regional group in the General Assembly elections to be held on 8 June. Overall, five seats are up for grabs for a period of two years, but three are reserved for Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.

To win the election to the council, the candidate countries must obtain a two-thirds majority in the assembly of the 193 nations. While on the one hand Germany has been actively working for its sixth election for years, Israel has been working behind the scenes for over a year, but according to a recent report it seems to have decided to abandon the attempt because it failed to muster the necessary majority. Israel is one of the 66 nations of the world that have never had a seat on the body; beating Germany and Belgium for the coveted position would be an important result for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose goal is to erode the great automatic majority that makes the Council unbalance against Israel.

Zarif: US complicity in world’s biggest humanitarian disaster unfathomable

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed the US for its unbridled support for Saudi Arabia in its war of aggression against Yemen, saying Washington is complicit in the world’s biggest humanitarian disaster. In a post on his official Twitter account on Thursday, Zarif said the role that the United States has so far played in fanning the flames of the Yemen war, including through supplying Saudi Arabia with bombs and refueling its warplanes, is apparently not enough for American rulers. By acknowledging involvement in managing brutal Saudi airstrikes, the US is complicit in the world’s biggest humanitarian disaster, he added.

Gao Feng, “The practices of the United States are like opening Pandora’s Box”

in ECONOMY/FAR EAST by

China’s commerce ministry, said the U.S. approach on trade sets a bad precedent that could trigger a domino effect, so the United States must stop its wrong actions and withdraw from its unilateralism. Ministry spokesman Gao Feng also told the U.S. trade measures on China were typical trade protectionism and reflected a Cold War attitude. “The malicious practices of the United States are like opening Pandora’s Box, and there is a danger of triggering a chain reaction that will spread the virus of trade protectionism across the globe” the spokesman added.

China in fact would take all possible steps to protect its interests and was confident in its ability to counter any trade and investment protectionism. Itcould target a broad range of U.S. businesses from agriculture to aircraft, autos, semiconductors and even services if the trade conflict escalates.

Edi Rama, “The debate on the users’ fee in the Nation’s Road is worthloss”

in ECONOMY/EUROPE by

Prime Minister Edi Rama today said that the debate on the users’ fee in the Nation’s Road is worthloss, as Albania is the only country in Europe and region where no roads are paid. In his speech to the Assembly, after the debate on the tariff on the Nation’s Road, Rama added that the debate on this topic, according to him, is not worth it, it is a debate that there are no two sides discussing on the path of reason, but there is a side that walks in the way of reason and another side that is not responsible for what it says.

Rama said that the decision is not about a tax, because it is not a tax, is the fee for the Nation Street user originated in 2010 with Sali Berisha. Rama explained that Berisha has taken the initiative to open this process and has publicy stated rarely in his career that which today as always denies: now the Government have to built but to maintain it it can not hold it but this is not a word of mouth, because the inability to maintain has brought significant degradations to that axis throughout these years.

Indian’s minister confirms his cooperation in Afghanistan

in ASIA/ECONOMY by

India’s minister for external affairs said in Tashkent his country’s development assistance stands at $3 billion USD, adding that his country will continue to help rebuild Afghanistan and turn it into a stable economy. According to the minister, last year India embarked upon the New Development Partnership, which will support
116 ‘High Impact Community Development Projects’ in Afghanistan according to the priorities of the Afghan government. They include large scale projects such as drinking water for Kabul city and low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugees.

Akbar said that India’s other key priority is helping Afghanistan in building “robust, reliable and year-round connectivity, improving trade and investment relations of Afghanistan with prominent markets in the region and beyond”. He also said that the Indian grant aid of 170,000 tons of wheat supplies to Afghanistan is currently transiting through Chabahar (Port in Iran). Furthermore, the India-Afghanistan air freight corridor helps the connection between the countries. In fact, over 110 flights have carried over 2,000 tons of exports from Afghanistan to India worth over tens of millions of dollars.

 

Houthis fighters in Yemen have warned they will fire more missiles into Saudi Arabia

in MIDLE EAST by

After the launch of seven missiles whose intended target was Riyadh and other important center of the Saudi kingdom, Houthis fighters in northern Yemen have warned they will fire more missiles into Saudi Arabia, if the Saudis do not stop their bombing raids.

Trump talks with Macron and Merkel about China trade practices

in AMERICAS/ECONOMY by

U.S. President Donald Trump discussed trade practices with China in calls on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the White House said. Trump and Merkel also discussed “joining forces to counter” China’s economic practices and alleged intellectual property theft, the White House said, in what would be a further escalation of Trump’s trade actions against China.

The U.S. president also pushed for intensifying cooperation with Turkey on Syria in his call with Macron, according to the White House.

Erdogan: Not allowing Turkey to join EU would be a big mistake

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 26 it would be a “grave mistake” for Europe to not include Turkey in the expansion of EU. According to Erdogan, Turkey’s operations against terrorism not only contribute to the security of Turkey and the Syrians but also to the security of Europe. Erdogan added that Turkey and EU have taken the first step of restoring confidence, but it has to be taken in concrete terms. Regarding visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, Erdoğan said Ankara had submitted the necessary paperwork and that was hoping the process to update the customs union with the EU would begin. Erdoğan also addressed the issue of Cyprus, saying that the involvement of Turkey is in accordance with international law.

About the negotiations on immigration, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker vowed to be a “guarantor” of the continuation of Turkey-EU negotiations, saying that it showed “visible results.” For his part, European Council President Donald Tusk stressed the good cooperation between Turkey and the EU in certain areas, although it “is going through difficult times.” Tusk thanked Turkey for its stance on migration and support for refugees. Tusk pointed to Turkey’s good bilateral relations with EU member states, adding that the EU “stands united behind the Republic of Cyprus regarding its right to explore and exploit its natural resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.”

The US State Department approves $1 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

During the royal visit in the United States, the US State Department approved three arms sales worth  more than $1 billion to Saudi Arabia. The sales include 6,000 Raytheon TOW-2 anti-tank missiles worth $670 million, $106 million in helicopter support and $300 million worth of vehicle parts. “The proposed sale of TOW 2B missiles and technical support will advance Saudi Arabia’s efforts to develop an integrated ground-defense capability,” the State Department said. However, the sales are not yet finalized, as all foreign military sales  have to be approved by Congress. Prices may change before they are finalized. Analysts have seen great significance in this deal, since it indicates strong political, economic, and defense ties between the two countries. Oubai Shahabandar, a fellow in the Washington, DC-based New America International security program, said: “Ensuring interoperability and integration of weapon systems between long-standing strategic partners has long been a mainstay of US foreign policy in the Arabian Gulf. It’s a win-win for all sides involved in these foreign military sales deals.” He added: “It means more American jobs and ultimately it will help Saudi Arabia to develop a sustainable indigenous military production capacity. No other country comes close to the sheer size and breadth of the foreign military sales cases that the US has with the Kingdom.

“In the long term, Riyadh’s acquisition of new military hardware from the US defense industry must also be met with a joint commitment between the US and the entire Gulf Cooperation Council to enhance the integration of their military readiness against common regional threats.” Sigurd Neubauer, a Middle East analyst and columnist based in Washington, sees Saudi Arabia as a major ally for the US in the region. He said: “Saudi Arabia has arguably surpassed Israel as Washington’s premier regional ally. “But because Trump is strengthening his relationship with Riyadh, balancing relations with Ankara and Tel Aviv also becomes paramount as Washington wants to align all of its regional allies against Tehran and its malign activity. Part of that strategy also centers on GCC unity, even if that issue was not discussed during the public part of the MBS-Trump meeting.”

 

 

‘Strong possibility’ North Korea’s Kim Jong Un made surprise Beijing visit

in FAR EAST/POLITICS by

An armoured green with yellow horizontal lines train arrived in Beijing on Monday night. This event, including tightened security outside the train station, and tourists being ushered out of the capital’s Tiananmen Square, which usually signals a high-level meeting in the Great Hall of the People there, fed rumours that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited Beijing. Assuming it actually took place it was Kim’s first visit to a foreign country since succeeding his father, Kim Jong-il, as supreme leader of North Korea in December 2011 and it was a clear message sent to the world that despite rumours to the contrary, Beijing and Pyongyang remain close allies.

Although the details of the visit remain a closely guarded secret, Kim is believed to have met Chinese President Xi Jinping and possibly other top Communist Party leaders, including Premier Li Keqiang while in the city. There has been no official comment from North Korea, while China’s foreign ministry said it had “no information for the moment”, but more would “be published in due course”.

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