Stories in this section cover various issues and stories from all around the world.

Slovenia beats Belarus to UN Security Council seat

Slovenia is set to take a place at the UN Security Council for the second time since gaining independence from Yugoslavia, beating Russian ally Belarus in a vote at the United Nations on Tuesday (6 June).

The race between the two members from the UN's Eastern Europe bloc was the only contested election for five seats on the UNSC. In the secret ballot election in the 193-member General Assembly, Slovenia received 153 votes while Belarus got 38 votes.

patrickn97 Wed, 06/07/2023 - 10:25 UAE withdraws from joint naval patrols with the US

An announcement on Wednesday (31 May) that the UAE had withdrawn its participation from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) coalition is supposed to have caught the US by surprise. 

patrickn97 Tue, 06/06/2023 - 13:16

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President Xi hosts first ever China-Central Asia summit in Xi'an
The President of China Xi Jinping is hosting the first ever China-Central Asia summit on Thursday and Friday (18 and 19 May). President Xi will host the presidents of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in the historic city of Xi'an, which once marked the beginning of the Silk Road trade route stretching from China to Europe. It will be the first in-person meeting between the presidents of the six countries after they held an online summit in January 2022 marking 30 years of relations. Chinese officials have said that the meeting will mark "a new era of cooperation" as Central Asia looks to expand ties both to its east and west as Russian influence in the region wanes as a result of its ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to the Chinese government newspaper Global Times, the presidents of the six countries will "exchange views on establishing mechanisms, cooperation and international, regional issues with respective concerns, as well as signing a slew of important political documents on trade, investment, connectivity and other areas".
patrickn97 Thu, 05/18/2023 - 08:28
Editorial: China wags the finger at the West ahead of its summit with Central Asian States

This editorial first appeared in the 16 May 2023 issue of our newsletter, Central Asia Concise. If you would like to subscribe to Central Asia Concise, or any other of our newsletters, please click here.

patrickn97 Tue, 05/16/2023 - 15:36
Anakonda-23 NATO exercises underway in Poland

The Anakonda-23 NATO military exercises in Poland began on Saturday (6 May).

Polskie Radio reports that around 13,000 Polish servicemen are taking part in the exercises in southeastern Poland. These exercises take place every three years, with this year's focus on defence and deterrence in the Baltic Sea region.

patrickn97 Mon, 05/08/2023 - 08:54
Editor's choice
Syria readmitted to the Arab League 11 years after suspension

Syria readmitted to the Arab League 11 years after suspension

Syria has been readmitted to the Arab League 11 years after its membership was suspended over the government's violent crackdown of pro-democracy protests in 2011 that led to the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War. In a meeting of 13 out of 22 foreign ministers at the Arab League's headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Sunday (7 May), they agreed 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 Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit also told journalists on Sunday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could participate in the upcoming Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia if he is invited and if he wants to attend. In the statement released after the vote to readmit Syria, which was reportedly not unanimous, the Arab League said that the "resolution of the Syria conflict is a step-by-step matter", of which Syria's readmission to the group was only a first step. The statement added that the Arab League supports Syria's territorial integrity and the "withdrawal of all foreign forces" from the country.
Editor's choice
Armenia and Azerbaijan meet in Washington D.C. for a week of talks

Armenia and Azerbaijan meet in Washington D.C. for a week of talks

On Monday (1 May) the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the first day of talks understood to be taking place until latest Friday (5 May). AFP have reported that the talks will last four days. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, along with their delegations, are meeting at the George P. Schultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, a short distance south-west of Washington D.C. Mirzoyan, Bayramov and Blinken are understood to have sat down for negotiations at 09:45 local time yesterday, after both foreign ministers had their own individual meetings with Blinken beforehand. Statements issued by both Armenia and Azerbaijan said that issues of the security situation in the region and the process of normalisation of relations between the two countries were discussed in the meeting hosted by Blinken. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Armenian Service report that the talks are more aimed at "an agreement on the normalisation of relations" rather than a peace treaty, citing a U.S. official speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity.
European Commission and European Investment Bank announce €18bn in Global Gateway investment fund

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced a funding package worth €18bn to boost investments in climate action and sustainable economies, the European External Action Service (EEAS) reports.

In a press release, EEAS say that, "this will boost investment in Global Gateway's priority areas – climate action, clean energy and connectivity – in Europe's partner countries around the world. In particular, these projects will aim to help bridge the global climate finance gap and support prevention, adaptation and mitigation."

patrickn97 Fri, 04/28/2023 - 09:23
China-Central Asia trade grows by almost 32% in 2022

Trade turnover between China and Central Asian states grew by 31.9% in 2022, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration Serik Zhumangarin announced on Tuesday (18 April).

Mr Zhumangarin was speaking in an online meeting leading up to the upcoming China+Central Asia (C+C5) Summit in the Chinese city of Xi’an in May.

The online meeting was also attended by the trade and economy ministers of China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

patrickn97 Fri, 04/21/2023 - 10:27