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Agreements between Azerbaijan’s SOCAR Trading SA and Poland’s company Lotos Oil

SOCAR Trading SA, the marketing arm of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, and the Polish company Lotos Oil have reached agreements to transport oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), Azerbaijani Embassy in Poland said in a message. The agreements were reached during the bilateral business meetings that took place in Warsaw as part of the 7th meeting of the Azerbaijan-Poland Intergovernmental Commission.

An agreement between Interior Ministry and LTDH on visiting places of detention will soon be signed

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An agreement will soon be signed between the Ministry of Interior and the Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LTDH) on visiting places of detention, said new president of the League, Jamel M’sallem on Tuesday. Following a meeting between Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub and the new executive committee of the League, M’sallem said the meeting discussed ways to identify common work instruments to address several issues, particularly those related to complaints received by the LTDH and visiting places of detention. The meeting, he added, is part of a series of meetings initiated by the new board of the LTDH to establish a first contact with the officials of the Executive and explain the organisation’s work framework for the coming period. According to Jamel M’sallem, the meeting with the Interior Minister was at the request of the Tunisian League for the defence of human rights.

International Crisis Group wants the LPA to be changed

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The International Crisis Group says the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat last December has to be changed. In a hard-hitting and lengthy report published today, it says that as it stands it cannot be implemented. The agreement has altered the conflict far more so than resolving it, it states. While the Presidency Council (the main outcome of the PLA) has been unable to deal with issues affecting ordinary people such as power and water shortages and the lack of money in the banks, divisions in the country have deepened over the past year as a result of changing situations on the ground. Libya potentially now faces free-fall, it warns. To save the country, the calls for new negotiations to create a united government “involving especially key security actors not at Skhirat” – a reference to Khalifa Hafter and the Libyan National Army. Not only has the agreement altered the conflict, the conflict has altered the circumstances. Hafter’s successes in Benghazi and in the oil fields have upset the international community’s calculations and changed the situation on the ground.

The Spleen of Beijing

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To understand what is happening in China we can start from a grotesque news that comes from North America. The Canadian company Vitality Air had recently launched, a bit as a joke, a new product: bottles filled with the crystal clear air of the Rocky Mountains. Within a few days the stocks went sold out and all orders came from China. The country is in fact experiencing in recent weeks a real environmental emergency, because of the very high levels of smog and particulates recorded in major cities.


After the “red alert” declared by the authorities last week, which paralyzed the capital Beijing with the closure of schools, construction sites and public offices, the health of Chinese citizens continue to be threatened. The problem is determined by the huge consumption of coal and other fossil fuels that pushes the economic growth of the Asian giant. The exhaust fumes of cars, despite popular belief, only partially contribute to the formation of smelling clouds that wrap Beijing and other big cities of the most industrialized regions. In fact, the country is experiencing its industrial revolution and the coal, like what happened in Europe in the nineteenth century, is feeding the motor of development. Making the due proportions, the consequences on environmental scale are dramatic and affect the entire planet.

After Beijing, Shanghai also has been enveloped by a thick smog, last Tuesday. In the economic capital of the country the air quality index value reached 300, which is considered “hazardous” to human health with possible long-term repercussions. Not much, compared to the values ​​recorded in the capital and in the northern cities last week, but still enough to encourage the local authorities to declare a “yellow alert” and intervene to limit construction activities and prohibit students to get out of school buildings during the morning, when the smog level are higher.

The difficulties on the environmental front that the country daily faces are even more striking, after the approval of the agreement on the climate conference Cop21 of Paris, which ended last week. Also the Chinese delegation joined the agreement, whose real effectiveness has been questioned by many in recent days, with judgments often far apart. For Chinese representatives, the final document is an acceptable compromise between the needs of the country’s development and the commitments to reduce greenhouse gases in the medium term. Certainly, the delegation headed by Xie Zhenhua pushed for a limitation of the legally binding commitments, but the non-subscription by the most polluting country in the world would have decreed the failure of the summit.

What does the Paris Agreement envisage? In short, the signatories undertake to reach the peak of emissions as soon as possible, then move on to a significant reduction of greenhouse gases in the second half of the century. The common objective, which is considered vital by the experts, is to limit the average increase in global temperatures “well below” the two degrees and focusing, if possible, to the maximum limit of 1.5 C. The progress of the plan will be monitored every five years and, by 2020, $ 100 billion a year will be allocated in favour of developing countries for the implementation of environmental projects. After 2020, the funding is expected to increase to an extent yet to be determined.

According to some observers, the limit of two degrees will be difficult to comply with, but for the first time China and other great polluting countries of the developing world have decided to formally join the common effort. The change of direction, according to Naomi Klein, is also determined by the fact that the living conditions of the Chinese are getting really worse, because of pollution, and that the children of the elites of the country are beginning to directly suffer its effects. It may not be necessary to slow the train of industrial development, but a gradual conversion from coal to other forms of more sustainable energy is already an unavoidable prospect.

And the same might be valid for India.


Libya: International Community is waiting Tripoli

Crucial week for the composition of national unity government. Italian Foreign Minister Gentiloni and the UN ambassador Leon are pressing Tripoli Prime Minister Abusahmin. After the agreement, International Community could decide on military operation. But Isis has published a video against Tobruk executive branch.

“This is a warning to Haftar and his companions, the atheists who gather in Parliament, we will not be tolerant, we will have pleasure to slit yours throats.” These are the words of jihadist Abu Yahya Al-Tunsi in a video posted (“Message of Sirte”) on internet by ISIS. The threats to the Tobruk government have arrived in crucial week for the formation of the national unity government because Tripoli will must decide if it wants to sign deal.

Last 1st August, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni Bernardino Leon and the UN mediator met Prime Minister Nuri Abusahmin Tripoli in Algeria. They tried to follow up Shikat agreement of two weeks ago, when all factions, except the government supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, agreed on Libyan national unity government. Despite many difficulties in the negotiations in recent months, Tripoli has continued to negotiate: so agreement could be not so far.

This deal is urgent for International Community, especially for the Eu. After institution of Libyan national unity government, an Un military mission could start. It could include Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United States which, according to La Repubblica, would provide only logistical support to the operation.

Meanwhile, on August 3rd another video was broadcast on internet. It documents torture suffered by Al-Saadi Gaddafi, the Rais second son, in Tripoli prison. These bloody images bring the opening of an investigation by the Attorney General of Tripoli.
Giacomo Pratali


Giacomo Pratali
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