In recent months and years we have got used to witnessing attacks on Brussels, the city symbolizing the centre of the European Union that national leaders in government and opposition love to criticize for everything that goes wrong or is unpopular on the European continent. Today, though, 22 March 2016, it was not a metaphoric but a coordinated literal attack on the city of Brussels that dominated the headlines…
This week’s downing of a Russian jet by Turkey near the Syrian border will complicate even more the mess surrounding Syria. Putin has called Turkey an “accomplice of terrorists”, and has denounced that the oil extracted by the Islamic State (ISIS), which is vital for its finances, is sold through Turkey.
The terrorist attacks in Paris, in the night of Friday, 13 November, have shaken France, the rest of Europe and beyond. Although not the first major attack on the French capital in the course of this year, with the Charlie Hebdo massacre only some ten months earlier, this took terrorism to another level, in terms of audacity and coordination on the part of the perpetrators, and number of victims. With more than 120 people dead and almost one hundred more fighting for their lives, several suicide bombers and indiscriminate killings, this was a scene of Baghdad or Beirut enacted in the heart of Europe, like never before…
By Deniz Torcu
Hosting nearly 2 million Syrian refugees and serving as the crossing point into the European Union for many other hundreds of thousands, with unfortunate tragedies occurring on a daily basis, Turkey’s domestic unrest has been out of the spotlight for the past few weeks. Recently, the conflict with the PKK has brought Turkey’s domestic situation back to the spotlight, namely in the city of Cizre in recent days. As strategically important as ever, the current disarray in the country is even more relevant to the rest of the European Union. In the general elections earlier this June, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was dealt some harsh blows. Having lost the absolute…
On 5 August, Turkey formally announced its readiness to step up attacks against the Islamic State during a meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister with his US counterpart. The move came against the backdrop of escalating tensions on the Turkish side of the Syrian border.
On the 7 and 8 of June, leaders of the world’s seven leading advanced economies met in Schloss Elmau, Germany for their annual summit. These meetings are aimed at tackling the most complex challenges of our times and showing that, in the face of adversity, this powerful group of 7 stand together. With the Alpine landscape providing a stunning backdrop for the talks, this year’s gathering was by no means short of noteworthy advances. The G7 is an important political and economic gathering which attempts to address a wide range of the world’s most pressing issues. The advance of ISIS in the Middle East and the crisis in Ukraine dominated this year’s agenda with the earthquake in Nepal, the global economy
Shlomo Ben-Ami is an old hand in Israeli and international politics. He has been Minister of Internal Security and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, and now serves as Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace in Madrid. This is a summary of a 30-minute discussion with him following the 17 March 2015 Israeli election. He talks about Mr. Netanyahu’s reelection, the state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and possible steps by the international community to move things forward under the current circumstances.
Three recent developments, two from the US and one from Europe, give us some reason to believe that a gradual end to hypocrisy and double standards may be coming about in the world of international affairs and diplomacy. They concern Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. In the latter case, you may have heard that the Swedish government decided not to renew a military cooperation agreement with the oppressive kingdom despite protests by the Swedish business community.
The first official visit of the European Union High Representative to New York on 8 and 9 March included a statement made at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding cooperation between the EU and the UN. The speech reflected the current European foreign policy priorities: putting Libya “back on track”, fighting terrorism in all its forms and across regions, and saving the lives of migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe.
The recent beheading of Egyptian Copts working in Libya by ISIS and the subsequent air bombardment by the Egyptian air force of ISIS installations in Libya show how close the war and ISIS have come to Europe. If Syria and Iraq are considered still far from the EU heartland, Libya is only a few hundred nautical miles away from the coasts of Italy, Malta and Greece. This is too close for comfort. What can Europe do to address these emerging threats that are getting closer and closer to its soil? What it can certainly not afford to do is stay idle and wait. In this article I suggest a few measures that should at least be considered by the European leaders and the EU Institutions. One may think that such measures would move the EU closer to integration in defence and security matters, and that would probably be right, but that should not constitute a reason for panicking. On the contrary, one should start to worry about the future of a Europe facing determined enemies that stays fragmented and expects the US and others to do the heavy lifting for its security.