Showing posts with label Geopolitics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geopolitics. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Turkey Leaks Secret Locations of U.S. Troops in Syria

Ankara has long been angered by the alliance between Washington and Kurdish factions. But a new report exposing secret American bases is a dangerous way to strike back.

Roy Gutman
ROY GUTMAN
07.19.17 1:00 AM ET

The Daily Beast

ISTANBUL—In the latest display of Turkish anger at U.S. policy in Syria, the state news agency has divulged the locations of 10 U.S. military bases and outposts in northern Syria where the U.S. is leading an operation to destroy the so-called Islamic State in its self-styled capital of Raqqa.
The list published by the Anadolu news agency points to a U.S. presence from one end to the other of the Kurdish self-administration region—a distance of more than 200 miles. The Anadolu news agency even listed the number of U.S. troops in several locations and in two instances stipulated the presence of French special forces.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Greece fires at Turkish freighter in Aegean, Ankara protests

03-07-2017
Deusche Welle


Greece's coast guard has fired "warning shots" at a Turkish freight ship near Rhodes island, prompting a protest from Ankara. Greek police say they acted on an anonymous call that it was "transporting drugs."

Turkey's foreign ministry condemned Greece on Monday over the shooting that left no one injured - but 16 bullet holes in the freighter's hull, according to its captain.
The vessel, the M/V ACT, had left the southern Turkish port of Iskenderun, near the Syrian border, and was heading west to the Gulf of Izmit when, according to Greek coast guards, it entered Greek waters northeast of Rhodes island.
"Warning shots were fired but the ship did not change course," said the Greek coast guard.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

In Greece, China Finds an Ally Against Human Rights Criticism


By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE and SOMINI SENGUPTAJUNE 19, 2017


GENEVA — China has long won diplomatic allies in the world’s poor countries by helping them build expensive roads and ports. Now, it appears to have similarly won over a needy country in Europe.

At a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council this month in Geneva, the European Union sought to draw renewed attention to human rights abuses in China — only to be blocked by one of its member countries, Greece. A spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens called it “unproductive criticism.”

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Israel’s prime minister in Greece to tout energy projects

By Costas Kantouris | AP June 15 at 8:40 AM

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Under heavy security, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited northern Greece on Thursday to discuss plans to become a key supplier of European energy through an ambitious Mediterranean undersea natural gas pipeline project.

Netanyahu met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city.

More than 3,500 police officers were deployed around the city, which historically had a large Jewish community that was almost wiped out during the Nazi occupation in World War II.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Britain’s Theresa May comes under pressure to soften her stance on Brexit


The Washington Post

By Griff Witte and Karla Adam June 12 at 3:30 PM
LONDON — When Britain voted last week in an election that ended with Prime Minister Theresa May hanging onto her job by a thread, Brexit wasn’t on the ballot.

Even though the country had split nearly down the middle in last year’s referendum – 52 percent to 48 – and continues to be closely divided, none of the major parties ran on a platform of reversing the public’s decision to leave the European Union.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Trump offers to help resolve Gulf crisis, UAE tightens squeeze on Qatar

 Wed Jun 7, 2017 | 8:40pm EDT

Reuters

By William Maclean and Tom Finn | DUBAI/DOHA
U.S. President Donald Trump offered on Wednesday to help resolve a worsening diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Arab powers as the United Arab Emirates invoked the possibility of an economic embargo on Doha over its alleged support of terrorism.

In his second intervention in the row in as many days, Trump urged action against terrorism in a call with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, a White House statement said.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Latest: Hamas ‘shocked’ by Saudi comments on Qatar


The Washington Post
By Associated Press June 7 at 1:00 AM
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Latest on the Gulf crisis after Saudi Arabia and other nations cut ties to Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism (all times local):

8:30 a.m.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas says it is shocked by Saudi Arabia’s call on Qatar to stop supporting the Islamic militant group.

Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, have cut ties with Qatar and moved to isolate the Gulf nation, accusing it of harboring extremists. Qatar has denied the allegations.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that Qatar must sever ties with Hamas and its historic parent, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood.

Hamas said in a statement early Wednesday that al-Jubeir’s remarks “constitute a shock for our Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations.”

Hamas alleged that Israel “exploits these statements to carry out more violations against the Palestinian people.”

Qatar has hosted Hamas leaders and has financed major projects in Gaza.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cementing a long-term deal with Greece

Souda Bay gives the U.S. a singulary valuable port in the Eastern Mediterranean

The Washington Times

By John Sitilides - - Monday, June 5, 2017
ANALYSIS/OPINION:
Since World War II, the Mediterranean Sea has been the home to the U.S. Sixth Fleet, whose mission is to conduct “the full range of Maritime Operations and Theater Security Cooperation missions to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.” It was an essentially uncontested naval force through the mid-2000s, operating with near impunity from the Strait of Gibraltar to Israel, from the Black Sea to the Suez Canal.
Today, Russia and China are operating within the Eastern Mediterranean region with growing ambition and determination to challenge America’s historic naval posture and extensive power projection reach.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

White House considers naming Reince Priebus ambassador to Greece: Report

by Melissa Quinn | May 27, 2017, 4:30 PM

Washington Examiner

As President Trump and his advisers consider making changes in the White House amid the flurry of reports involving Trump's campaign associates and Russia, one such change could involve making Chief of Staff Reince Priebus the ambassador to Greece, according to a report.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Turkey’s leader confronted by France, Germany at NATO summit


The Washington Post

By Raf Casert | AP May 25 at 2:22 PM
BRUSSELS — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was confronted by key allies France and Germany with diplomatic complaints despite him traveling to Brussels to celebrate the unity of the NATO alliance.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both raised the issue of nationals from their countries currently held in custody in Turkey. It was the latest example of steadily decreasing relations between Erdogan and several of his European allies in the wake of last year’s coup attempt.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The extraordinary ways in which China humiliates Muslims


Bans on “abnormal” beards and even the name “Muhammad”

Economist

CHINESE officials describe the far western province of Xinjiang as a “core area” in the vast swathe of territory covered by the country’s grandiose “Belt and Road Initiative” to boost economic ties with Central Asia and regions beyond. They hope that wealth generated by the scheme will help to make Xinjiang more stable—for years it has been plagued by separatist violence which China says is being fed by global jihadism. But the authorities are not waiting. In recent months they have intensified their efforts to stifle the Islamic identity of Xinjiang’s ethnic Uighurs, fearful that any public display of their religious belief could morph into militancy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Turkey strikes Kurds in Iraq, Syria, drawing condemnation

The Washington Post

By Suzan Fraser | AP April 25 at 2:26 PM
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish warplanes struck suspected Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, drawing condemnation from Baghdad and criticism from the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, which is allied with Kurdish factions in both countries.

Syrian activists said the attack killed at least 18 members of the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which is a close U.S. ally against IS but is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group because of its ties to Turkey’s Kurdish rebels.

Monday, March 6, 2017

North Korea fires four ballistic missiles into sea, angering Japan and South

Mon Mar 6, 2017 | 3:43am EST

Reuters

By Ju-min Park and Kaori Kaneko | SEOUL/TOKYO
North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan's northwest on Monday, angering South Korea and Japan, days after it promised retaliation over U.S.-South Korea military drills it sees as a preparation for war.

South Korea's military said the missiles were unlikely to have been intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), which can reach the United States. The missiles flew on average 1,000 km (620 miles) and reached a height of 260 km (160 miles).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Brexit Bulletin: Can Britain Split the Difference?

The U.K. may need to drive a wedge between EU states in Brexit talks. So far the Continent is singing with one voice.
by Simon Kennedy
14 February 2017, 9:30 π.μ. EET

It now looks like Theresa May was a little naive.

Back in October, the U.K. prime minister said she hoped her commitment to start the Brexit process by the end of March would prove enough for the European Union to engage in some “preparatory work” beforehand.

“This is important,” she told the BBC. “It’s not just important for the U.K.; it’s important for Europe as a whole.”

Instead, European officials held their line that there would be “no negotiation without notification” that Britain was definitely leaving.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Russia, Turkey, Iran discuss Syria ceasefire implementation in Astana

Mon Feb 6, 2017 | 12:42am EST

Ruters

Experts from Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United Nations have started a technical meeting in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, to discuss in detail the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire agreement, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"Representatives of Jordan are expected to take part for the first time," a ministry spokesman said of the talks.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump Advances Border Wall to Start Immigration Crackdown


by Margaret Talev  and Jennifer Jacobs
25 Ιανουαρίου 2017, 6:28 π.μ. EET 26 Ιανουαρίου 2017, 6:06 π.μ. EET

Bloomberg

President Donald Trump acted on two of the most fundamental -- and controversial -- elements of his presidential campaign, declaring on Wednesday that he would build a wall on the border with Mexico and greatly tighten restrictions on who can enter the U.S.

Trump signed a pair of orders to set in motion the construction of a "physical wall" across the 1,989-mile length of the southern border and to strengthen immigration enforcement within the U.S. The second order includes an attempt to crack down on "sanctuary cities" that refuse to allow their police to enforce federal immigration law.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trump kills TPP, giving China its first big win


By Ishaan Tharoor January 24 at 1:00 AM

The Washington Post

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday ending the United States' participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping trade pact negotiated with eleven other nations. It was neither ratified by American lawmakers nor expected to pass a vote in Congress. But Trump chose to kill it anyway with an executive action, underscoring how different he is from his Republican predecessors — and some of the party's current leaders — who embraced free trade and preached the dogma of open markets.

He also handed China its clearest opening yet to tilt the geopolitical balance in Asia in its favor.

Friday, January 20, 2017

As caliphate crumbles, Islamic State lashes out in Iraq

Wed Jan 18, 2017 | 8:51am EST

Reuters

By John Davison | BAGHDAD
Two days after Iraqi forces launched a new push against Islamic State in Mosul, bomb blasts ripped through a marketplace in central Baghdad - the start of a spate of attacks that appear to signal a shift in tactics by the Islamist group.

The Sunni jihadists have targeted Shi'ite Muslim civilians. Raids on police and army posts in other cities, also claimed by Islamic State, have accompanied the bombings.

The attacks show that even if Islamic State loses the Iraqi side of its self-styled caliphate, the threat from the group may not subside.

China’s 6.7% Growth Fueled by Soaring Real Estate and Consumer Spending

By KEITH BRADSHERJAN. 19, 2017

The New York Times

BEIJING — China’s economy grew 6.7 percent last year and even accelerated slightly to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the government announced on Friday morning, while dismissing concerns about the enormous lending that was needed to achieve that growth.

The strong results came after a weak start last year, when China’s currency and stock market were tumbling and many foreign investors fretted that the country’s three decades of robust economic expansion might be ending.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A complex relationship with China could temper Trump’s tough talk on jobs, trade


THE HANDOFF | The foreign policy challenges President-elect Donald Trump will inherit and how he might approach them.

By Anne Gearan January 14 at 3:43 PM
Donald Trump talked tough on China during his presidential run, blaming the country for the loss of American jobs, lobbing accusations of unfair currency manipulation or hostile trade practices, and suggesting that the United States levy enormous tariffs on Chinese goods.

“Look at what China is doing to our country,” Trump said in September, during a presidential debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“They’re using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China,” he added. “We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us.”