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Diplomacy

Terrorist attack against Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran
At least one security officer was killed and two others injured when a man armed with a Kalashnikov attacked the Azerbaijani Embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran. The incident happened on Friday morning as the man tried to force his way into the diplomatic mission. Azerbaijan has strongly condemned the attack and criticised Tehran for not protecting its diplomatic mission. The Iranian Ambassador was summoned to the Azerbaijani foreign ministry in Baku and told that the attack was the consequence of a systematic anti-Azerbaijan campaign. There have been outbursts of anti-Azerbaijani sentiment in some sections of the Iranian media which appear to have the blessing of at least some elements of the Iranian regime. There has been widespread condemnation of the attack by the international community, including the EU, the US and many European and Middle East governments.  commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that the attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran is the latest in a series of unfriendly or hostile acts towards Azerbaijan originating from Tehran that seem to be encouraged by at least some elements of the Iranian Shia clerical regime.
dennis2020 Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:27 Deployment of the EU monitoring mission to Armenia: A view from Azerbaijan

On January 23, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed to establish a civilian monitoring mission in Armenia’s border areas in order to “ensure an environment conducive to normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan”. The deployment of the mission has caused mixed reactions in the two countries and frustrated Russia, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.

patrickn97 Thu, 01/26/2023 - 14:53

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EU seeks new enhanced partnership agreement with Tajikistan as it pursues a more assertive role in Central Asia
The Council of the European Union on 8 December adopted guidelines for the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) with Tajikistan. Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It has an area of 143,100 km2 and an estimated population of 9,749,625 people. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. Like other Central Asian republics, Tajikistan is currently seeking to diversify its international relations, including by strengthening its relations with the European Union. A statement posted on the website of the Council of the European Union said that the EU is determined to deepen its relations with the Central Asian countries, even more so in the current geopolitical environment. The negotiation of an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Tajikistan will be a significant step forward in this regard. It will provide a platform for improved political cooperation, trade and investment between the EU and Tajikistan, incentivising and supporting reforms. Progress in these negotiations will also depend on tangible improvements in Tajikistan’s human rights situation, including with regard to the freedom of expression, media and assembly.
dennis2020 Tue, 12/13/2022 - 15:31
Opinion: The complexities of the current world order

 "The current confusion in global geopolitics is quite different from the original Cold war. In the second part of the 20th century, the world was bipolar, as the US and Soviet Union were fighting each other. Many countries sought to avoid this confrontation through membership in the Non – aligned movement, but it never became a third pole. Now the situation is much more complicated. As the US and Russia are facing each other in a new rendition of a Cold war, the world is far from being bipolar.

dennis2020 Mon, 12/12/2022 - 06:06
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Monday Commentary
The free market in foreign policy on display as Xi meets the Arabs

The free market in foreign policy on display as Xi meets the Arabs

It appears that the principles of the free market now dominate the international system, not only in areas of trade, but also in defence, security and foreign policy, writes Dennis Sammut in today's Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu. Bigger countries are wooing smaller countries, unashamedly displaying their goods, and dismissing those of others. China’s president Xi was in Saudi Arabia last week, to seal China’s new partnership with the Arabs. This week, it will Joe Biden’s turn to host African leaders at the White House. "For the moment small countries are making the most out of this new free market atmosphere in the international system. But they must also keep in mind that, as in the market, demand sometimes slumps abruptly. It is at this point countries will not need just customers, but also friends."
Problem? What problem?
Vladimir Putin attended the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union that was held in Bishkek on Friday (9 December), and was upbeat afterwards when addressing a press conference before he departed back for Moscow. Answering questions from mainly Russian journalists Putin shrugged off all concerns, and expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Russian economy, the Russian Army and the Russian judicial system.  Perhaps the most striking comment came when Putin was asked about the war in Ukraine, which he insists on calling a "special operation". "The special operation is going on normally, everything is stable there with us - there are no questions there and there are no problems today. As you can see, the Ministry of Defense is behaving quite transparently. Everything that happens in reality, on the ground, everything is reflected in the daily reports of the Ministry of Defense. So everything is actually objective and the situation is, I have nothing to add here. As for the settlement process as a whole, yes, it will probably not be easy and will take some time. But one way or another, all participants in this process will have to agree with the realities that are taking shape on the ground." The summit brought together the leaders of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia. A number of agreements were also signed by the five countries during the summit. The next formal summit will be held in Moscow in the Spring. But Mr Putin, always keen to keep his allies in his sight, will be meeting the leaders of the EEAS countries together with those of the other CIS countries in St Petersburg before New Year.
dennis2020 Sat, 12/10/2022 - 06:25
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News
UAE and Saudi Arabia instrumental in prisoner exchange between US and Russia

UAE and Saudi Arabia instrumental in prisoner exchange between US and Russia

The governments of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia confirmed on Thursday a joint role in facilitating the prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia, leading to the release of US basketball star Brittney Griner after nearly nine months in detention.  Griner, 32, who was arrested in Russia in February on drug charges, and Viktor Bout, 55, who was serving a 25-year sentence in a US prison, were exchanged at an airport in Abu Dhabi. In a statement, the UAE and Saudi foreign affairs ministries said the mediation was led by UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.  "The success of the mediation efforts was a reflection of the mutual and solid friendship between their two countries and the United States of America and the Russian Federation," the statement read.  The statement confirmed that following her release by Russia, Abu Dhabi received on Thursday Griner by private plane from Moscow. Another plane arrived from the United States to the UAE carrying Russian citizen Victor Bout, an arms dealer convicted in the United States. Officials from the UAE and Saudi Arabia were present at the airbase. The source confirmed that Abu Dhabi and Riyadh facilitated the "details of the exchange," but stressed that the negotiations on the release were strictly handled by Moscow and Washington. US President Joe Biden thanked the UAE on Thursday for helping Griner return home from Russia.  “I also want to the thank the UAE for helping us facilitate Brittney’s return, cause that’s where she landed,” the US president said. 
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News
Xi in Saudi Arabia as China woos Gulf Arabs

Xi in Saudi Arabia as China woos Gulf Arabs

China's president Xi Jinping on Wednesday (7 December) starts a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia where he will meet Saudi and other Arab leaders in a series of summits. Three summits will take place during his trip: the Saudi-Chinese Summit, the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, and the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development. The participants will include more than 30 leaders and officials, highlighting the importance of the gatherings and their high regional and international profile, the Saudi Press Agency reported. Xi’s visit reflects the desire of the leaderships of Saudi Arabia and China to strengthen the bilateral relationship, enhance their strategic partnership and realize the political and economic potential it offers to serve their common interests, the SPA added. Reporting the visit, the New York Times said the trip sends a message that Beijing’s clout in the region is growing at a time when U.S. officials say that they want to make the Middle East less of a priority, focusing diplomatic and military resources on Asia and Europe.
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Türkiye warned Greece to stop militarizing the Aegean islands

Türkiye warned Greece to stop militarizing the Aegean islands

Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has warned Greece on Tuesday (6 December) to stop militarizing the Aegean islands, or Ankara “will take the necessary steps on the ground.” He said Türkiye had sent a letter to the United Nations in July 2021 laying out its arguments against Athens, which he said had violated the agreements of Lausanne and Paris. Greece denied these accusations, saying it has not provoked its neighbour nor amassed a large landing fleet on its shores.