New wine into old wineskins

New wine into old wineskins

NDO – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently wrapped up his official trip to three Northeast Asian countries, including China and the US’s two key allies, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan. The visit aimed to redefine Washington policy in the strategic region under President Donald Trump.  (Mar 21, 2017)

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Ally struggle

  Mar 08, 2017
NDO - The world is witnessing new strains in relations between Turkey and Germany after a 'war of words' erupted between Turkish leaders and the member countries of the European Union (EU). The tension runs the risk of damaging the awkward relations between Ankara and the key member of NATO after the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July of last year.  

Saudi Arabia moving in a new direction

  Mar 06, 2017
NDO - Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is more than halfway through his month-long tour to Asia. In addition to reaching economic targets and extending the country’s influence, the tour also reflects Riyadh’s new direction of diplomacy at a time when concerns have arisen about its relations with its closest ally – the US. 

A drastic decision

  Mar 03, 2017
NDO—The Pentagon has delivered a draft plan to defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) to the White House. Accordingly, US military officials made strategic adjustments, calling for more drastic action in the war against terrorism, as the plan provided a framework for a broader plan and looked at the IS around the world, not just in Iraq and Syria. 

A short step in a long-term roadmap

  Feb 27, 2017
NDO—After a 10-month hiatus, talks between the Syrian government and rebel factions officially resumed in Geneva, Switzerland with the United Nations as an intermediary. The negotiations are taking place as the conflict on the ground has undergone numerous transformations with adjustments made to the military strategies of both Russia and the United States; however, the viewpoints of these two opposition parties in the Middle Eastern country seemed to remain at a “standstill.” There has yet to be any sign indicating the “light at the end of the tunnel” ignited in the arduous roadmap to seek a solution to the Syrian crisis.  

Not an easy commitment to implement

  Feb 21, 2017
NDO—At the recently concluded Munich Security Conference, the US has reassured other states that it will be unwavering in its commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance and strongly support the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), at the same time as it has sent a message expressing willingness to cooperate with Russia. In response, the European Union (EU) and Russia have delivered constructive words as well as affirmed their appreciation of their relationships with the US. However, it is not difficult to see that behind those commitments and messages, many differences and even disputes still remain. 

New page in US-Israel relations

  Feb 17, 2017
NDO – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently paid his first visit to the United States since Donald Trump took office as US President. The leader of the US’s close ally in the Middle East was warmly welcomed by the White House boss. In reply, the Israeli PM also pledged to be a close US ally under the new administration. 

Unsteady “American dream”

  Feb 14, 2017
NDO—Immediately after taking the oath of office on January 20, US President Donald Trump started working towards his objective of “making America great again” through a series of decrees concerning both domestic and foreign affairs. 

Greece – a victim of disagreements

  Feb 13, 2017
NDO – Greece is becoming a victim of the disagreement between the Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the handling of its debt crisis. Due to conflicting assessments about the economic situation in the “land of Gods”, the above creditors could "freeze" bailouts for Greece. That could lead to the situation where Athens would be unable to pay nearly EUR7 billion in debt next July, resulting in the declaration of default and rupture of the Eurozone.  

Europe at the risk of division

  Feb 10, 2017
NDO – Populism is developing vigorously in Western countries and played a major role in the controversial ‘Brexit’ of the UK as well as the victory of Donald Trump’s Presidential election in the US. Western countries are now facing the risk of facing a new political shock as France's far-right National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen who has an anti-EU stance has taken dominance in French election polls.  

Doubts turning up in Middle East

  Feb 08, 2017
NDO – The waters off Yemen’s coast are witnessing developments that threaten to increase tensions in the region. A US destroyer has recently arrived in the waters to protect Yemen under the threat of attacks from insurgent Houthi rebels against government troops. Meanwhile, tensions in US-Iran relations are also unearthing latent doubts in axis of relation, heating up the atmosphere in the region affecting interests among concerned parties. 

Message of peace

  Jan 18, 2017
NDO—A conference on peace in the Middle East took place on January 15 in Paris with the attendance of diplomats from over 70 countries, igniting international efforts seeking to terminate the prolonged conflict between Israel and Palestine. As the international community was concerned about the possible outbreak of a new spell of violence in the Middle East, the conference issued a joint statement in favour of a peaceful solution to the problems between the two states, claiming it was the only way to bring peace to the region.  

Door of peace ajar

  Jan 12, 2017
NDO - Nearly six years since the 'Jasmine Revolution' in Tunisia permeated into Libya, creating a wave of insurgency to oust the regime of the Libyan leader Gaddafi, the North African country is still struggling to find way out of political crisis.  

EU faces major challenges ahead

  Jan 11, 2017
NDO – The European Union (EU) has left behind a turbulent year and has entered 2017 with confidence and hope for better things. But Europe still faces major challenges ahead including increased risks of terrorist attacks, severe migration crises, unexpected elections and the UK’s final separation with Brexit. 

Ceasefire gives hope to Syria peace process

  Jan 07, 2017
NDO - A cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey and upcoming peace talks in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, offer a glimmer of hope for the key to Syria’s peace process. The moves have illustrated the growing role played by Russia and Turkey on the Syrian chessboard while the US seems to have reluctantly become an observer.