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Editorial: Saudi Arabia injects new energy into a moribund Arab League
Following last week's Arab League summit in Jeddah, "it is expected that Saudi Arabia will continue to use its year-long chairmanship of the Arab League to reshape the institution, and more broadly to reconfigure pan Arab-affairs, of course with Saudi Arabia at the helm," writes in this editorial. "For it is this new ambition of the Kingdom to become a leading regional and global player that has defined the summit, and will define its chairmanship of the Arab League over the next year." The summit formally healed some of the divisions of the last decade. Syria’s President Bashar al Assad attended, marking the full return of Syria into the Arab fold. There was a lot of talk of a new era of peace in the Middle East, and even Iran was now perceived as more of a partner rather than an enemy. Yet the summit gathered whilst a few miles away, across the waters of the Red Sea from Jeddah, a bloody civil war raged on in Sudan.
patrickn97 Tue, 05/23/2023 - 12:51
Opinion: 9 May diplomacy demonstrates a changing political landscape in the South Caucasus

"Azerbaijan’s non-participation in the military parade in Moscow demonstrates a changing political landscape in the region that profoundly challenges conventional perceptions," writes Farid Mirzali in this op-ed for

patrickn97 Tue, 05/23/2023 - 09:17
Editor's choice
Opinion: Pushing Armenia to make further concessions will spoil any chance for peace

Opinion: Pushing Armenia to make further concessions will spoil any chance for peace

"The Armenian government and Armenian society have reached the limits of concessions on Nagorno Karabakh, and any agreement which will not explicitly secure a long-term and solid international presence in Nagorno Karabakh (either through the deployment of peacekeeping forces or a large-size mission) will be rejected by the majority of the population", writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for He adds that "it should be clear to the international community that any new government in Armenia will pursue a tougher policy on the issues related to Nagorno Karabakh and relations with Azerbaijan. Thus, all those external actors, who are interested in the stability of the region, should understand that any additional pressure on the Armenian government to drop its demands for a solid international presence in Nagorno Karabakh, and failure to explicitly secure that presence in the peace agreement, is a recipe for significant political destabilization in Armenia, and has the potential of ruining the ongoing Armenia – Azerbaijan negotiation process, and bring the region back to a renewed cycle of violence."
US announces $375m military aid for Ukraine at G7 in Japan
The US Department of Defense has announced another package of military aid to Ukraine, this time totalling $375m. It is the 38th round of equipment sent to Ukraine by the US since August 2021. The statement released by the US Department of Defense on Sunday (21 May) following President Joe Biden's meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 meeting in Japan details the capabilities included in the latest package. It will include further ammunition with HIMARS rocket systems that have wrought havoc on Russian troop and equipment concentrations since they were first supplied to Ukraine in June 2022. It will also supply Javelin anti-tank missiles and AT-4 anti-armour systems, as well as armoured bridging systems, logistics support, and thermal imagery systems. This latest package comes after Joe Biden signaled that he would authorise the third-party transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, something that Ukraine has pressured allies over for months. He would also support an international intiative to train Ukrainian pilots on the jets, he added while at the G7 summit in Japan.
patrickn97 Mon, 05/22/2023 - 09:35
Xi outlines grand plan on how China and Central Asian states can develop together
Leaders of China and Central Asian countries on Friday (19 May) signed and released the Xian Declaration following the first China-Central Asia Summit. The Declaration hailed the cooperation between the two sides as all-round and productive, stressing that the six countries agreed to build a closer community with a shared future between China and Central Asian countries. "This summit has added new impetus to the development and revitalisation of the six counties, and injected strong positive energy into regional peace and stability," Xi said later at a press conference with his Central Asian counterparts. "We will jointly foster a new paradigm of deeply complementary and high-level win-win cooperation." Xi said China and the Central Asian countries should deepen trust and offer "clear and strong support" on core interests such as sovereignty, independence, national dignity and long-term development. "China is ready to help Central Asian countries improve their law enforcement, security, and defence capability construction," he said. In what appears to be a concession to Central Asian states who are keen to diversify their export routes, China said that "in the longer term", it supports construction of a cross-Caspian Sea international transport corridor, and would strengthen the construction of transport hubs of China-Europe freight train services.
dennis2020 Sat, 05/20/2023 - 09:38
Black Sea grain deal extended for another two months

An agreement allowing Ukraine to export grain via its Black Sea ports was extended for a further two months, it was announced on Wednesday (17 May).

Ukraine is one of the world's top providers of grain. However Russia blocked its ports in the opening months of its full-scale of invasion of Ukraine in 2022, to leading to global fears of food shortages especially in poorer countries heavily reliant on Ukrainian grain.

patrickn97 Fri, 05/19/2023 - 09:43
Arab League welcomes back Syrian President Assad at 32nd summit in Jeddah
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is attending his first Arab League summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday (19 May) since his country was suspended from the group over the government's violent crackdown of pro-democracy protests in 2011 that led to the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War. In the latest of a number of regional rapprochements, Syria was formally readmitted to the Arab League on 7 May after member states' foreign ministers voted to "resume the participation of the delegations of the government of the Syrian Arab Republic in the meetings of the Council of the League of Arab States", according to a statement. The 32nd Arab League summit in the Saudi port city of Jeddah comes amid a renewed sense of purpose and unity across the Arab world. In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh said that he hoped the summit in Saudi Arabia "will lead to recommendations and decisions that contribute to resolving critical situations and difficult conditions faced by the Arab world, while preserving unity and solidarity among Arab brothers."
patrickn97 Fri, 05/19/2023 - 08:35