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Conflict and Peace

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

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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.

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Chad government and opposition groups sign peace pledge after talks in Doha

Chad government and opposition groups sign peace pledge after talks in Doha

Chad’s military government and opposition groups signed a pledge on Monday (8 August) in Qatar ahead of planned national reconciliation talks, though the deal did not include the country’s main opposition group. Qatar has been mediating between the different sides since last March. Under the terms of the deal in Doha, those who signed have agreed to a cease-fire ahead of the talks scheduled for 20 August in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena. Chad’s military government also agreed to “not take any military or police operations against the signing groups” in neighbouring countries. However, the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, the main rebel group in the country, did not sign the pledge. We hope “other groups will join the march of reconciliation and peace, with a view to achieving the aspirations and dreams of the Chadian people,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told those gathered for the signing ceremony. “The initial peace agreement we are celebrating today will be an important turning point toward stability and prosperity for the Chadian people.”
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War anniversary reminds the world that Russia has seriously violated Georgia's territorial integrity

War anniversary reminds the world that Russia has seriously violated Georgia's territorial integrity

Georgia on Sunday marked the 14th anniversary of the start of the 2008 Georgia-Russia War which lasted five days.  2,232 Georgians were killed or injured during the fighting, of whom 1,045 persons were military personnel. After the August war, Russia recognized the independence of two regions of Georgia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. Only a handful of other countries followed, and most nations continue to strongly support Georgia's territorial integrity. The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and a number of other countries issued statements on the occasion of the anniversary, once more reiterating their support for Georgia's territorial integrity. In a statement, the Georgian Foreign Ministry called on the Russian Federation "to cease illegal and provocative steps against Georgia, to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, to fulfil the obligations under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, to withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia and to reverse the illegal decision on recognition of the so-called independence of the occupied regions."
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Three ships loaded with Ukrainian grain arrive in Istanbul

Three ships loaded with Ukrainian grain arrive in Istanbul

Three grain-loaded ships from Ukraine anchored at the Black Sea entrance of Turkey's Istanbul Strait en route to Ireland, the Turkish National Defence Ministry said on Saturday (6 August) The first ship, the Panama-flagged Navi-Star, which departed from Ukraine's port of Odesa on 5 August, is carrying 33,000 tons of corn under a recent grain shipment deal signed by Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the U.N. On July 22, those countries and the U.N. signed a deal in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian ports for exports of Ukraine grain. A team from the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, consisting of representatives from all four sides, are inspecting the ship. After the inspection, it is expected to proceed on its way.
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Commentary: War or Peace in the South Caucasus?

Commentary: War or Peace in the South Caucasus?

In their report “The South Caucasus from war to peace: 30 measures between now and 2030”, published last April, Armenian and Azerbaijani experts made a stark statement: “All the ingredients for peace exist in the South Caucasus. All the ingredients for war exist too. What is in front of us is a choice.” Never have these words sounded so pertinent as in these last days when in Armenia and in Azerbaijan the sounds of war and the sounds of peace competed with each other, with little sign of compromise. Yet neither war, nor peace, is inevitable. It is a choice, and one that both sides can neither make lightly nor take for granted. This week has once more shown that Armenia and Azerbaijan, and Armenians and Azerbaijanis, face a choice between war and peace. The death and injury of yet more Armenians and Azerbaijanis should focus minds, and increase mutual determination to work for lasting peace and to avoid any steps that can bring another war nearer.
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G7 warn China over Taiwan

G7 warn China over Taiwan

The G7 countries have called on China not to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the Taiwan Strait and beyond, and to resolve cross-Strait differences by peaceful means. In a statement, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, reaffirmed their shared commitment to maintaining the rules-based international order, peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and beyond. The statement added: We are concerned by recent and announced threatening actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), particularly live-fire exercises and economic coercion, which risk unnecessary escalation. There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally. The PRC’s escalatory response risks increasing tensions and destabilizing the region.
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Kosovo-Serbia tensions defused after a flurry of overnight diplomatic activity

Kosovo-Serbia tensions defused after a flurry of overnight diplomatic activity

A flurry of diplomatic activity on Sunday night helped defuse tensions between Kosovo and Serbia which saw both sides mobilising military forces. The crisis revolved around a decision of the government of Kosovo that would introduce new rules requiring Serbs in Kosovo to swap their Serbian-issued car number plates for Kosovan-issued ones. The rules were due to come into force at midnight on Monday. But on Sunday ethnic Serbs in the north barricaded roads and armed men fired shots in protest. The rules' implementation has now been delayed for a month following consultations with the US and EU. NATO described the situation as "tense" as hundreds of ethnic-Serbs parked trucks, tankers and other vehicles near two key border crossings with Serbia in protest over the new rules, forcing the police to close the two crossings. The mission led by the alliance in Kosovo, KFOR, said it was "prepared to intervene if stability is jeopardised, in accordance with its mandate, coming from UNSC resolution 1244 of 1999."
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Ukrainian grain looted by Russia shipped to Lebanon

Ukrainian grain looted by Russia shipped to Lebanon

A Syrian cargo ship, sanctioned by the United States and carrying what Ukraine says is stolen barley from the war-torn country, has docked in Lebanon, the Ukrainian diplomatic mission in the Mideast nation said on Thursday (28 July). According to the Ukrainian Embassy in Beirut, the cargo vessel Laodicea docked in the port of Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city. It was carrying 5,000 tons of flour and 5,000 tons of barley, the embassy said. Ukraine has accused Russia of plundering grain and steel from its territory since Moscow invaded the country in late February. Earlier Thursday, Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Ostash met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and warned the Lebanese leader that purchasing stolen goods from Russia would “harm bilateral ties,” according to the embassy statement. Kyiv had previously praised Lebanon for condemning Russia for its war on Ukraine. Ukraine has promised to export wheat to Lebanon, currently experiencing a crippling food security and economic crisis.