Georgian government "well-aware" of "long-term obligations and responsibilities" of EU membership, says PM
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Monday (24 July) said his government was “well-aware” that joining the European Union came with “long-term obligations and responsibilities”, and added it was a “long but rewarding process”. He was speaking in the Croatian capital of Zagreb on his first visit to the country.
patrickn97 Mon, 07/24/2023 - 15:39
Editor's choice
Erdogan visits Gulf countries to seal strategic partnerships

Erdogan visits Gulf countries to seal strategic partnerships

Turkish prime minister, Recip Tayip Erdogan, on Monday embarked on a tour of the Gulf region which will see him visiting Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The trip, coming shortly after Erdogan's re-election as President, is seen as part of an effort to consolidate a strategic partnership with the Gulf countries, based on new realities that have emerged in recent years. The rift between Turkey and Saudi Arabia and UAE has now been fully healed, and this visit is no longer about fixing the past, but is definitely about charting the future. Economic co-operation, and co-operation in the defence sector are key elements of Erdogan's agenda.
Opinion: despite a recent thaw in Azerbaijan-Iran relations, tensions are here to stay

The shift in the regional balance of power after Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia in the Second Karabakh War and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine have led to remarkable changes in Azerbaijan’s and Iran’s threat perception about each other, fueling a security dilemma spiral, writes Mahammad Mammadov for

patrickn97 Tue, 07/18/2023 - 07:53
Editor's choice
Commentary: Step by step

Commentary: Step by step

On Saturday, 15 July, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan once again met in Brussels, under the auspices of the president of the European Council Charles Michel, to discuss the future of the relations between their two countries after years of war and conflict. Those who hoped for a dramatic breakthrough in the past in the process of Armenia - Azerbaijan normalisation, may have been disappointed at how slow the process moved. Yet progress is being made, and yesterday, speaking after the meeting in Brussels, European Council president Charles Michel summed it up, saying "We are going through one of the most comprehensive and vigorous stages of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan". Those who still think that peace is a "moment" are mistaken. It is a process that needs to develop step by step. The meeting in Brussels this weekend was certainly a step in the right direction.
Di Maio arrives in the Gulf on first trip as special envoy of the EU for the GCC
European Union diplomacy is often criticised for not giving enough attention to the countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). In a signal that things are about to change, in June it appointed its first Special Representative for the region. The EU has a number of these Special Representatives, know as EUSRs, usually dealing with regions or topics that cannot be addressed through the bilateral delegations that the EU has in most countries of the world. But the announcement that the EU was going to appoint former Italian Prime Minister, Luigi Di Maio, as its first EUSR for the Gulf countries came as a bit of a surprise. Too senior, some said; too much political baggage from his time in Italian politics, said others. But after a brief moment of hesitation the 27 member states finally agreed Di Maio's candidature. This week he finally arrived in the Gulf on his first visit in this role, ahead of an important EU-GCC foreign ministers meeting expected to take place in Oman in October. “I think that the world is changing and there are new partnerships to build,” Di Maio said during an interview on Thursday with the Saudi newspaper Arab News, that touched on topics ranging from the Russia-Ukraine conflict to the economic empowerment of women and young people in the Kingdom.
dennis2020 Fri, 07/14/2023 - 06:22
Turkey agrees Sweden NATO membership as summit begins in Lithuania
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to Sweden's membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), hours before the military alliance's summit is due to get underway in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on Tuesday (11 July). The NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday evening (10 July) that President Erdogan would forward Sweden's bid to the Turkish parliament in Ankara and "ensure ratification". He described it as a "historic step" but stressed that a "clear date" for Sweden's formal accession to the organisation could not yet be given as this relies on both the Turkish parliament as well as Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and the Hungarian parliament. Hungary and Turkey remain the only two NATO members who are not yet to retify Sweden's membership. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday that ratification of Sweden's bid is now "only a technical question". Reacting to the news, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said: "I am very happy, it is a good day for Sweden."
patrickn97 Tue, 07/11/2023 - 09:46
UN warns of "full-scale civil war" in Sudan after air strike on residential area kills at least 22
The United Nations (UN) has warned that Sudan risks descending into a "full-scale civil war" after an air strike was launched on a residential area in the city of Omdurman near the capital, Khartoum, on Sunday (9 July). The Deputy Spokesperson of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that he condemned the air strike that killed at least 22 people, adding that he "remains deeply concerned that the ongoing war between the armed forces has pushed Sudan to the brink of a full-scale civil war, potentially destabilizing the entire region." He said that "there is an utter disregard for humanitarian and human rights law that is dangerous and disturbing." Fighting broke out between two rival generals in Sudan on 15 April after talks between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces, over a transition to a civilian government broke down, and fighting erupted. Since then approximately 3,000 people are confirmed to have been killed in the conflict, although the true death toll is likely to be much higher. Widespread sexual violence, targeted ethnic violence, and looting have been reported, as well as food and water shortages especially in the capital city of Khartoum.
patrickn97 Mon, 07/10/2023 - 07:36