Opinion: The future of the China-US-Russia triangle after Pelosi's visit to Taiwan
Since February 24, 2022, the international community's focus was concentrated entirely on the war in Ukraine and the growing Russia – West confrontation. It seemed that nothing could change the situation until the end of hostilities in Ukraine. However, on August 2 and 3, almost everyone’s attention shifted from Ukraine to Taiwan. As the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, stated her intention to visit Taiwan, up to half a million people were watching the trajectory of her plane on air flight tracking sites. The negative reaction of China, including the warning of President Xi during his conversation with President Biden that those who played with fire would be perished by it, created hype around this visit. Many were discussing the possibility of Chinese military jets closing the airspace over Taiwan and preventing Pelosi’s plane from landing in Taiwan, while some enthusiasts were even contemplating the possibility of a US-China direct military clash. As Pelosi landed in Taiwan and met with the Taiwanese President, the global social media was full of amateur assessments about the strategic victory of the US and the confirmation of the US global hegemony. However, as the dust settles down, and information noise and manipulation eventually decreases, a more serious assessment is needed to understand the real consequences of this visit.
Thu, 08/04/2022 - 13:52
Biden meets C5 leaders to confirm commitment for Central Asian countries security and prosperity
US President, Joe Biden, on Tuesday (19 September) met in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly, the leaders of the five Central Asian Republics. Attending the meeting were the presidents of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This was the inaugural C5+1 presidential summit.
A readout from the White House said that the leaders discussed a range of issues, including security, trade and investment, regional connectivity, the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, and ongoing reforms to improve governance and the rule of law.
Wed, 09/20/2023 - 09:17
UN Security Council to meet Thursday to discuss Karabakh
Tue, 09/19/2023 - 20:17
The United Nations Security Council will meet on Thursday afternoon (21 September) to discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
France called for the meeting of the Council and it is understood that other Western countries have backed the call. It follows the launch by Azerbaijan of a military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh, where a majority Armenian-speaking population resides. Karabakh is considered part of Azerbaijan and Baku says the military operation is an internal matter.
Biden to meet Central Asian leaders in the first C5+1 presidential summit
For a number of years, the United States has promoted a mechanism for dialogue with the five Central Asian Republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Known as the C5 + 1 these meetings have usually be en held at the level of foreign minister. The first meeting was held in 2015, and the mechanism now also has a secretariat to ensure continuation between meetings.
Today (19 September) in New York, US president Joe Biden will take the relationship further, by upgrading the dialogue to presidential level. This is both symbolic and significant.
For a long time the United States has been accused of abandoning Central Asia, tacitly accepting that this was Russia's back yard. Well if it ever was, it no longer is. China has become an even more important player in Central Asia than Russia, and the Central Asian Republics are desperately trying to open up to the world. A slow, painful but hugely necessary process of reform is taking place in the five countries, in some pursued with more enthusiasm than others.
At today's meeting, President Biden is expected to give encouragement to this reform process, but the key message will be one of support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the five countries - a welcome message in the region given Russia's continued pressures.
Also on the US president's agenda will be Afghanistan, which neighbours a number of the C5 countries. And of course there is the issue of sanctions against Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine. Russia has been trying to use the Central Asian republics to circumvent the sanctions. This is an important issue for the international community and the US president will seek the best way to secure the support of the C5 governments.
Tue, 09/19/2023 - 08:18
Fidan in Kazakhstan as Turkiye consolidates its position in Central Asia
Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan was in Kazakhstan this as Türkiye intensifies its contacts with Central Asia, and the Turkic republics of the region with whom it shares strong historical and linguistic ties.
In Astana, Fidan met with the country's president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Monday (11 September). This was Fidan's first visit to Kazakhstan after his appointment as Turkish Foreign Minister, He was previously head of the country's intelligence service.
The visit is part of the preparations for the next summit of the Turkic States which will take place in Astana in November. The Organisation of Turkic States was established shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union as Türkiye sought to rebuild old historical and ethnic and linguistic ties with the region. But at the time Russian pressure stopped the governments of the region from getting too close to Turkiye. The situation is now very different, and with governments across Central Asia seeking new openings to the rest of the world, the Turkish connection is becoming increasingly important.
Fidan conveyed greetings from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, highlighting that the Turkish side intends to make every effort to promote cooperation between the two countries and take interaction within regional and international structures to a new level. According to Fidan, the Turkish President plans to comprehensively discuss the prospects for strengthening the strategic partnership between the two states during his upcoming visit in November, which is set to coincide with the summit of the Organization of Turkic States.
Tue, 09/12/2023 - 09:55
G20 summit in Delhi turns into India's "coming of age" party as country starts the process of adopting a name-change
The G20 summit opened in India's capital New Delhi on Saturday (9 September) with a speech by prime minister Narendra Modi during which he welcomed the African Union as the 21st member of the grouping, whose name will presumably now change to G21. It seems also that it is not the only name that is changing. The country name-plate in front of Modi during his speech did not say India, but Bharat. Commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that the G20 summit had become a coming of age party for India, as it projects increasing confidence and assertiveness in the international arena. Having recently celebrated the success of having a successful lunar mission, the summit was an opportunity to come down to earth with a bang. The decision of prime minister Modi to speak as the leader of Bharat was a symbolic gesture marking a break between the country and its long and often painful colonial era past. By securing the admittance of the African Union in the G20, India also consolidated its role as one of the leaders of the Global South - a role India actively played in the 1950s and 1960s under prime ministers Nehru and Gandhi, but one which in recent years appeared to take back stage to more immediate urgent issues. For the G20, India has thrown a lavish party. But guests were left under no illusion that this was not also a Modi celebration. The Indian prime minister faces a tough election next year, and appearing as the leader amongst global statesman helps the prime minister's image. A reminder perhaps that in India these things matter, because India is a democracy, and in the end it is the people that have the final word. One reason perhaps why two G20 leaders were conspicuously absent: President Xi of China, and President Putin of Russia. Their absence was noted, although not necessarily missed.
Sat, 09/09/2023 - 09:54
Greece and Turkiye hold talks amid hopes for a new and positive era in relations
Türkiye has entered a new and positive era in its relations with Greece, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said Tuesday at a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Giorgos Gerapetritis in Ankara.
“Ankara and Athens have differences of opinion in the Aegean and Mediterranean. The sides now must bring a new approach to solving their problems,” Fidan told reporters after talks with Gerapetritis on issues that have troubled relations between the two countries for decades. Tuesday’s meeting was held ahead of the one on September 18 between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York
The Greek newspaper, Kathamerini said that the meeting in Ankara on Tuesday " was seen as a window of opportunity that could lead to progress on low-policy issues which in the long run could lay the groundwork for both countries to agree to resort to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The friendly environment on Tuesday was in stark contrast to a meeting two years prior when the previous Greek and Turkish foreign ministers essentially argued at a joint news conference in Ankara.
The newspaper said that one of the results of Tuesday’s meeting is that responsibility for direct communication in case of crises has been transferred to the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers.
Another takeaway was the extension of the moratorium both on the ground and in rhetoric, if possible. Both sides also agreed that by the time the High Cooperation Council convenes, tangible and deliverable results at various levels will be achieved, especially from the rich list of the positive agenda.
The Turkish newspaper, Daily Sabah, agreed that Tuesday’s meeting "took place in a friendlier climate triggered by Greece sending assistance to Türkiye following two devastating earthquakes and Türkiye offering condolences after a deadly train crash in Greece earlier this year.
It also followed a rare meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Vilnius in July, which was hailed as a positive milestone by both countries.
Wed, 09/06/2023 - 07:00
Sochi Summit exposes limits of Russian-Turkish entente
Turkish President, Recip Tayip Erdogan visited Sochi on Monday, 4 September, to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin. Erdogan had sought this meeting for some time, hoping that in a face-to-face encounter he could persuade his Russian counterpart to restore the so called Black Sea Grain Deal, which enabled Ukraine to export its grain products to international markets safely, despite the ongoing war with Russia. "Erdogan failed in this primary mission", writes commonspace.eu political editor in a comment
"There were of course other issues under discussion in Sochi - both related to bilateral relations, as well as issues concerning the international and regional situation. There were no new breakthroughs, no new agreements signed, nor new initiatives announced, except for one related to the supply of Russian grain to African countries via Turkey, a side issue of the main Grain Deal.
In many ways, Sochi showed the limits of the Turkish-Russian entente. It has always been built on mutual convenience as both sides try to show the world that they are independent players in a complex international system. But Russian hopes to lure Turkey away from NATO have failed miserably. Russian disappointment at Turkey's overt support for Ukraine in military as well as political spheres, is a sore point for President Putin. The Russians have also learnt that the Turks drive a hard bargain when it comes to economic issues. Reeling under heavy western sanctions the Russians need to keep the Turks on board, but the cost is high. For Turkiye too the limits of the friendship with Russia are obvious. Opinions differ on a range of issues - from the South Caucasus to Syria to Central Asia. Turkiye has tried to lure Russia into negotiations with Ukraine. Moscow politely but firmly said no. For Turkiye the war raging in the Black Sea poses a huge threat. All its efforts so far to stop it have failed, and Sochi has not brought this objective any nearer. After Sochi, Turkiye will once more have to evaluate how to position itself in the war for its long term interests.
For the moment the Turkish Russian relations, which are of huge consequences for the security of the Black Sea region, remain at face value, good. But Sochi has shown signs of cracks on a number of issue, cracks that polite words and expressions of friendship in the press conference following the Summit, failed to hide."
Tue, 09/05/2023 - 09:49
Grain deal dominates talks between Putin and Erdogan, but there are other issues on the agenda too
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday (4 September) is holding a long-awaited summit meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Central to the discussions is the question of export of Ukrainian grain to world markets. Türkiye and the United Nations seek to revive a key agreement that allowed Ukraine to export grain and other commodities from three Black Sea ports despite the 18-month war.
The visit comes more than one month after Mosow suspended the deal, which was brokered by Türkiye and the U.N. and was seen as vital for global food supplies, especially in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other goods that developing nations rely on.
President Erdoğan said the grain deal was the headline issue at the daylong talks between the two leaders. But whilst the grain deal may be the centre-piece of today's discussions there are other issues on the agenda too. Turkiye and Russia have an extensive and complex bilateral agenda which the two presidents are bound to review.
There are also issues related to regional peace and security, including the situation in Syria, where Russian and Turkish interests have often clashed, and the situation in the South Caucasus, where on-going tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan mar the prospects of a peace deal.
The trip to the Black Sea resort city marks a rare visit by a leader of a NATO country to Russia amid Moscow's all-out war in Ukraine. Erdogan has kept open his lines of communication with Putin
Mon, 09/04/2023 - 15:23