Theme

Conflict and Peace

Stories related to violent conflicts, diplomatic tensions, and conflict prevention, mediation and resolution.

Editor's choice
News
First Summit of the European Political Community opens in Prague

First Summit of the European Political Community opens in Prague

In the historic settings of Prague Castle, leaders from across Europe gathered on Thursday for the first summit of the European Political Community. Apart from the leaders of the 27 EU member states, leaders from non EU member states are also attending, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom With the dramatic consequences of Russia’s aggression war, EU leaders agreed during the European Council meeting in June 2022 to launch the European Political Community with the aim of bringing together countries on the European continent. The ambition is to bring leaders together on the European continent and to foster their cooperation on issues of common interest, revolving around peace and security, the economic situation, energy and climate, and migration and mobility. No formal written outcome of the European Political Community is envisaged. After the traditional family photo, the meeting kicked off with a round table discussion on peace and security in Europe. This story will be updated throughout the day.

Filter archive

Editor's choice
Analysis
Analysis: Origins of the Houthi supremacist ideology

Analysis: Origins of the Houthi supremacist ideology

One of the several, often overlooked, challenges facing Yemen is the supremacist and divisive ideological basis of the Houthi movement. The movement’s ideology has rebellion and violence at its core, a recipe that can perpetuate crises within a society. In this analysis for commonspace.eu, Noman Ahmed and Mahmoud Shamsan shed light on the ideological fault lines that fuel the current conflict in Yemen, highlighting the nature of this ideology, which suggests that Ahl al-Bayt — descendants from the family of the Islamic Prophet — are, by divine decree, considered to be more deserving of the right to greater political and religious rule than other socio-political components. The analysis then looks into the background of the Houthis and argues that the ideology is a catalyst for conflict rather than peaceful political competition, and that so long as the Houthi political goal of Hashemite dominance remains unrealised, Houthi desire for conflict will not recede.
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: One step forward, two steps backward undermines the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process

Opinion: One step forward, two steps backward undermines the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process

"Recent developments underpinning the peace efforts are not insignificant, and were truly unimaginable a few years ago", writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed. Yet, the recent "series of events runs the risk of transforming the peace process into  a 'one step forward, two steps backward' ritual,  indefinitely delaying the negotiations. This  trend should be countered by all means possible. It  needs to be seriously  taken into account by the European Union  whilst exercising its efforts to bring the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to  the negotiating table", he adds.
Editor's choice
News
Russian occupied Crimea under attack

Russian occupied Crimea under attack

A drone strike hit the headquarters of Russia’s Navy headquarters in Crimea, sparking a huge explosion today in another suspected raid by Ukrainian forces. Smoke plumes billowed into the sky following the strike on Putin’s navy HQ. Russian forces tried to shoot down the drone but it detonated. No-one was killed. There were reports of "a powerful explosion" near the Russian Black Sea Fleet's headquarters in occupied Sevastopol at 8.20 on Saturday morning (20 August). The Russian-installed "governor" of occupied Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev said a drone hit the roof of the fleet's headquarters, writing on Telegram: "Unfortunately, [the drone] was not shot down, although they worked on the bay with small arms. [It] went low. There were no victims." It is the latest in a string of blasts, widely believed to be inflicted by Ukrainian forces, deep in the occupied peninsula. Russia considers Crimea to be an impregnable fortress and attacks on the peninsula which is full of military facilities is a serious embarrassment for the Kremlin
Editor's choice
News
Impasse in the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo

Impasse in the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo

High level talks between Serbia and Kosovo, facilitated by the European Union, have failed to unblock the impasse between them.  EU High Representative Josep Borrell hosted the talks between Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Belgrade on Thursday, 18 August. Kosovo declared independence unilaterally from Serbia in 2008, after a long period of tension with Belgrade which had already emerged during the time of Yugoslavia.  Serbia still considers Kosovo an integral part of its territory. Around a hundred countries, including most EU member states, recognise Kosovo's independence. Kosovo has a population of 1.8 million population, which is 90% ethnic Albanian. However 5% are Serbs, and it is the rights of this community that are the present stumbling block, but it is also recognised that differences are more substantial and wide-ranging. A clearly disappointed EU High Representative told the media after the event that the immediate objective of the talks had failed, but that both sides agreed to keep talking.
Editor's choice
News
Historic Lviv hosts meeting between Zelensky, Erdogan and Gutteres

Historic Lviv hosts meeting between Zelensky, Erdogan and Gutteres

The visit of Turkish president Recip Tayip Erdogan and UN Secretary General, Antoniuo Gutteres, to Lviv on Thursday once more opened the possibility of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.  However a lot of the discussions were focused on the more immediate issue of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he has agreed to the parameters of a potential mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, after repeated shelling of the complex raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe.. Speaking at a news conference in Lviv on Thursday following a trilateral meeting with the Turkish president and the UN secretary-general, Zelenskyy said “only absolute transparency and control of the situation” by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), among other bodies, could guarantee nuclear safety. It was not immediately clear if Russia would agree to the parameters. The Ukrainian leader also reiterated a call for Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from the nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine and stop all military activity in the area. Concerns about the plant mounted on Thursday when Russian and Ukrainian authorities accused each other of plotting to attack the site and then blame the other side. Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of multiple recent incidents of shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which Russian troops captured early in the war. 
Editor's choice
News
International community calls on Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

International community calls on Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

EU member states and other countries in the international community have issued a statement on the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and have called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the territory of the plant. In a statement the 42 countries called on Russia to immediately withdraw its military forces and all other unauthorised personnel from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, its immediate surroundings, and all of Ukraine so that the operator and the Ukrainian authorities can resume their sovereign responsibilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and the legitimate operating staff can conduct their duties without outside interference, threat, or unacceptably harsh working conditions. This will also enable the IAEA to carry out its verification pursuant to Ukraine’s safeguards obligations under safe and secure conditions and in a timely manner. The statement said that the international community will hold Russia accountable for its aggression, and Russia must bear full responsibility for its unlawful actions in Ukraine.
Editor's choice
Commentary
Commentary: Ukraine crisis helps Europe re-discover the meaning of the word “solidarity”

Commentary: Ukraine crisis helps Europe re-discover the meaning of the word “solidarity”

Since the start of the Russian invasion, the EU and its member states have given Ukraine billions of euros of budgetary assistance, have welcomed more than 3.7 million refugees, and have extended unprecedented levels of military assistance. Europe has re-discovered the meaning of the word solidarity, even if not all of the solidarity is altruistic but involves also a measure of self-preservation in the face of Putin's Russia naked aggressiveness and expansionist ambitions. Solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainians is also ultimately in the interest of every European Union country and citizen. But this does not in any way lessen the significance of Europe’s support for Ukraine. Can this solidarity be sustained for the months, and probably years ahead, as Ukraine struggles to defeat Russia, and hopefully afterwards, victorious, start the difficult process of reconstruction? The decision to give Ukraine EU candidate status was in this regard significant, and indicates that the EU sees Ukraine as a long term commitment. For sure, as the winter cold starts biting and Putin plays politics with Russian gas supplies, there will be those who will question the value of Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine.  It is important they remain marginalised. For this, European leaders, decision makers and opinion shapers, need to communicate constantly to European citizens the righteousness of the decision to help Ukraine to stand up to Russia, and to help the Ukrainian people in their hour of need.