The significance of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Russia on March 27-28 goes far beyond the bilateral relationship. Iran is one of the main actors in Syria and Iraq. It has an importance place in the geopolitical plans of US President Donald Trump. Its relationship with Russia is an important factor of international politics. The future of the entire Middle East depends to a great extent on what Russia and Iran do and how effectively they coordinate their activities.
Turkey has been a NATO ally since 1952, and US aircraft have used Incirlik Air Base in the south during the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The base is home to a stockpile of US tactical nuclear weapons. A perusal of media reports leads to the conclusion that Turkey and NATO are heading for a major rift or even a breakup – a problem the North Atlantic alliance hasn’t experienced in its nearly seven decades of existence.
Turkey’s relationship with the EU and NATO appears to have plumbed new lows. Ankara’s agreement with the EU to help hold back a flood of migrants is about to end. On March 13, Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus announced the freeze amid an escalating row over Turkish officials' access to the Netherlands. Another Deputy Prime Minister, Nurettin Canikli, also said steps would be taken to reevaluate Ankara’s agreement with Brussels to prevent refugees and migrants from crossing into the EU after they transit Turkey...
There are different views on the significance of the Senate’s conformation of Daniel Coats as Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on March 15. The DNI is charged with facilitating smoother information sharing between the 16 agencies comprising the US national intelligence community, coordinating and integrating intelligence and breaking down stove-pipes. Some believe the appointment is routine, others think it’s an event of great significance. It all depends on how serious the US president is about his pledge to reform the national intelligence community...
President Donald Trump is considering delegating more authority to the Defense Department to conduct anti-terrorist operations overseas, which at the moment require the White House approval. The commanders have the authority to take their own decisions only in declared war zones, but not outside. They must go all the way up to the president to launch a drone strike or a raid by a Special Operations team in the countries hit by crisis, like Yemen, Somalia and Libya.
Hit by a wave of crises, the European Union is urgently searching a new model of functioning in order to survive in one form or another. The need to balance between unity and diversity is a dilemma faced currently by the bloc. Currencies, politics and interests differ to make a new pattern of European integration a reality.
The United States said on March 7 that it had the (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea. The action was prompted by North Korean missile tests on March 6 supervised personally the nation’s leader Kim Jong Un. It was announced that the test was conducted in preparation for delivering a strike against US bases in Japan as American forces hold military drills with South Korea. The four ballistic missiles fired by North Korea landed in the sea off Japan's northwest, angering Seoul and Tokyo. The launchings led South Korea to call for the accelerated deployment of THAAD.
Normally, a new US president is treated benevolently by Congress, with lawmakers opening a wide leeway for initiatives coming from an administration. It’s different in the case of Donald Trump. He enjoys no honeymoon period, with all his activities obstructed in each and every way.
The situation in the Middle East is changing at an incredible speed. The things unbelievable yesterday, become reality today. Each of the events becomes part of a bigger picture, with the region gradually moving away from abyss to become a better place...
On February 16, Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, called out the HRC for «breathtaking double standards» and «outrageously biased resolutions» against Israel, during a press conference after her meeting with the UN Security Council. She lashed out at the council for failing to discuss the buildup of illegal Hezbollah weapons, provided by Iran; strategies for defeating the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group; or holding Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for the alleged crimes against civilians.