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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: February 2021, from Wednesday 3  to Tuesday 9

February 2021

From Wednesday 3  to Tuesday 9

MAIN TOPICS:

  • CONFLICTS
  • ALLIANCES
  • DETERRENCE
  • POWER BALANCE
  • STRATEGIC RESOURCES
  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
  • ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
  • TERRORISM

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

SOUTH CHINA SEA: The US has sent the USS ‘John S. McCain’ past Chinese-controlled islands in the South China Sea as a show of strength in the first mission conducted since President Joe Biden took office. The warship had been carrying out operations in the region, having traveled through the Taiwan Strait, an area that divides mainland China and Taiwan.  The South China Sea has been the subject of an ongoing dispute between the West and Beijing, as China secures territory and built military installations on artificial land, which countries, like the US, have claimed is illegal.

SOURCE: RT

 

SOUTH CHINA SEA: Two U.S. carriers conducted a military exercise in the South China Sea. The dual carrier operations come as Biden seeks to send a signal to both U.S. allies and China that the U.S. will continue to patrol the South China Sea, of which China claims more than 80%.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

 

QUAD: US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to strengthen Indo-Pacific security through the Quad grouping of countries that is seen as a way to push back against China’s growing assertiveness in the region. Japan’s Sankei newspaper reported over the weekend that the leaders of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia (members of the Quad) plan to hold a summit, in a further tightening of ties between the four.

SOURCE: SIDNEY MORNING HERALD

 

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea urges U.S. flexibility on sanctions to restart North Korea talks. The new administration of President Joe Biden has not announced any North Korea policy, but Seoul, keen to resuscitate stalled cross-border economic cooperation, has expressed hopes that Biden would restart negotiations with Pyongyang.

SOURCE: METRO US


EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

TURKEY-PAKISTAN: A joint military exercise involving Turkish and Pakistani special forces began. The joint military exercise will further strengthen the bond of two brotherly nations and will help in adapting the emerging trends in military modernization and cooperation, a statement said.

SOURCE: YENI SAFAK


SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

INDIAN OCEAN: Russian, Iranian, and Chinese naval drills will be held in the Indian Ocean in mid-February. A Zionist media outlet described it as a step by Iran to challenge the navies of some Western countries in the region. After the US-French naval alliance in the Persian Gulf, Iran intends to show its strength, the Zionist Jerusalem Post wrote in an analysis.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS

 

MYANMAR: Anti-coup protesters continue taking to the streets, calling for the release of arrested leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s military rulers are blocking social media platforms, alleging they are being used to destabilize the country.

SOURCE: DW

 

MYANMAR: The G7 Foreign Ministers and the High Representative of the European Union condemns coup in Myanmar. Meanwhile, China and Russia block UN Security Council condemnation of Myanmar coup. China, backed by Russia, shielded Myanmar from any significant council action after a 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State sent more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing into Bangladesh, where they are still stranded.

SOURCES: RNZ FRANCE 24

 

MYANMAR: President Biden has vowed to rally the United States’ partners to persuade Asian allies to support sanctions or moves to isolate Myanmar´s regime after military coup. They anticipate it will be no easy task. In Asia, there is a sense that two decades of sanctions in the 1990s and 2000s during Myanmar’s earlier period of military rule simply pushed the junta closer to China.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST


MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

IRAQ: US forces are developing the Al-Harir base in northern Iraq despite a decision by the Iraqi parliament to expel foreign troops from the country, Iraqi sources reported. The military base has recently become the center of US operations management in neighboring areas of northern Syria.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS

 

SYRIA: The Islamic State continues its escalating activities in the Syrian desert, targeting the positions of regime forces and loyal militias, as part of its strong resurgence in Syria.

SOURCE: SOHR

 

YEMEN: President Joe Biden announced the United States was ending support for a grinding five-year Saudi-led military offensive in Yemen. The assurance is seen as part of an effort to persuade Saudi Arabia and other combatants to end the conflict overall. However, the ending of US support for the offensive will not affect any US operations against the Yemen-based al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

SOURCE: OUTLOOK INDIA


EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

NORD STREAM 2: The US may be prepared to enter talks with Germany on easing its sanctions on Nord Stream 2. Biden administration may have resigned itself to the fact that the Russian pipeline will be completed. Washington has been an ardent opponent of Nord Stream 2, causing clashes with Germany and its other European allies that are anticipating economic gains from the project.

SOURCE: BNE ITELLINEWS

 

BALKANS: US President Joe Biden urged Serbia to recognize Kosovo. Reacting to the message, Serbia said is ready to continue dialogue with Kosovo, but it will not recognize it.

SOURCE: YENI SAFAK

 

RUSSIA: Thousands of protesters took to the streets in central Moscow following a court’s decision to sentence anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny to 2.8 years in jail. Meanwhile, the United States said is deeply concerned by Russia’s actions toward Aleksey Navalny, and reiterated their call for his immediate and unconditional release.

SOURCE: INTELLINEWS


AFRICA:

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ETHIOPIA: EU joins the US in calling withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia, says they are “fueling the conflict in Tigray”. Shows that there is a transatlantic consensus regarding Tigray’s armed conflict, which started on November 04/2020.

SOURCE: ADDIS STANDARD


NORTH AMERICA:

2000px-Location_North_America.svg

UNITED STATES: The United States joined Russia in extending the two countries’ last remaining treaty limiting their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, even as the Biden administration has stepped up criticism of Russia over the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, its involvement in a massive hack of U.S. agencies and other issues.

SOURCE: HUFFPOST


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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: January-February 2021, from Wednesday 27  to Tuesday 2

January-February 2021

From Wednesday 27  to Tuesday 2

 

MAIN TOPICS:

  • CONFLICTS
  • ALLIANCES
  • STRATEGIC RESOURCES
  • ENERGY
  • DETERRENCE
  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
  • ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
  • TERRORISM

 

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

CHINA: China intensified its rhetoric directed towards Taiwan and said its independence would result in war. Meanwhile, Taipei accused Beijing of flying a dozen military jets in its airspace in an act of intimidation. U.S. observers said China was intent on testing President Joe Biden, who had been sworn in just days before.

SOURCE: FOX NEWS

 

PHILIPPINES: The United States will defend the Philippines against attacks in the South China Sea, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who stressed the importance of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

SOURCE: NEWSWEEK

 

AUSTRALIA: Australia’s defense minister announced a major investment in developing and procuring new air-defense and anti-ship missiles, advanced torpedoes, and naval vessels. Australia hopes that its new arsenal will prove to be enough to keep belligerents from threatening the Southern Pacific, especially China.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

 

QUAD: The UK is planning joining the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) created to counter China. It may be discussed during Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s planned visit to India.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK


EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

CAUCASUS: Iran is having active diplomatic relations with three neighboring countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) of the Caucasus region and it has gained a better opportunity to play a more influential role in the region following the departure of former US President Donald Trump from office. According to analyst, Iran pursues the foreign policy of resolving disputes of the Caucasus region without the presence of any ultra-regional powers.

SOURCE: IRNA

 

BLACK SEA: The U.S. Navy has sent a third warship into the Black Sea as it steps up its presence in the strategic region. It is the largest U.S. Navy presence in the Black Sea in three years, and comes days after President Joe Biden spoke for the first time with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Black Sea has taken on greater strategic importance for the United States and NATO after Russia illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

SOURCE: RADIO FREE EUROPE


SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

AFGHANISTAN: Taliban delegation is visiting Tehran for talks with Iranian officials on the Afghan peace process. Iran accuses US of stalling Afghan peace talks. Iran has in recent years backed Taliban’s inclusion in Afghanistan’s future political structure, and repeatedly called for the ouster of US forces from the country.

SOURCE: YENISAFAK

 

AFGHANISTAN: European soldiers of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan will not be withdrawn from this war-torn country in May under a conditional peace agreement signed by the Trump administration and the insurgent Taliban in February of last year. There are still some 7,500 NATO troops deployed to Afghanistan.

SOURCE: BUSINESS TIMES

 

INDIA: India had alleged that China and Pakistan were behind the ongoing protests by farmers in India (thousands of farmers have been protesting since November against three laws that the government claims are aimed at liberalizing the agriculture sector). Pakistan rejected New Delhi’s claim.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

 

INDIA: The blast caused on January 29, 2021 outside the Israeli Embassy building in New Delhi is considered by Israeli and Indian authorities a terrorist attack, probably by Iran. The modus operandi suggests the main goal was political/psychological: to inspire permanent fear of more serious revenge attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets worldwide. Iran denied it would do such a thing in India especially when New Delhi is making strenuous efforts, despite disapproval by the US and some European countries, to develop new methods to pay for Iranian oil.

SOURCE: JERUSALEM POST

 

MYANMAR: Myanmar’s military has detained the country’s president and declared one year-state of emergency. The army alleges the recent landslide election win by Ms Suu Kyi’s party was marred by fraud. She urged supporters to “protest against the coup”. The U.S. has threatened to take action against those responsible for the detention.

SOURCES: PREMIUM TIMES BBC


MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

SYRIA: The US forces are setting up a new military base in Al- Yaarubiya area in the east of Al-Hasakah province, near the border with Iraq. In the last few months, the US military has brought thousands of trucks carrying weapons, military equipment and logistics to al-Hasakah to plunder Syria’s oil and other natural resources.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS

 

SYRIA: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed during a press conference with his Iranian counterpart the necessity of finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria and implementing UN Resolution 2254 through a Syrian-Syrian dialogue without any external interference.

SOURCE: SYRIAN OBSERVER

 

SYRIA: Iranian forces are concerned about losing their influence and their members in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province in favor of the formations supported by Russia. The province is particularly important for Russia due to its proximity to the border with Iraq and its vast underground wealth, including oil.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR

 

ISRAEL: Thousands of Israelis demonstrated against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for him to step down. This is the 32nd week that such protests have been held against the Israeli leader, who faces three indictments on corruption and fraud charges.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR


EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

NORD STREAM 2: Russia may file a lawsuit over the hindrances other countries have been posing to the gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2. Believes that the US has not changed its stance essentially and that pressure on the project would go on.

SOURCE: TASS


AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

LYBIA: The United States urged Turkey, Russia and the United Arab Emirates to immediately halt their military intervention in Libya and withdraw military personnel. These latest developments are likely to prompt Turkey and the UAE to focus on how they will deal with the new administration of U.S. President Joe Biden.

SOURCE: AHVAL NEWS

 

SOMALIA: In Somalia, a car bomb exploded at the entrance of a hotel frequented by Somali officials, members of the security forces and community leaders. At least three people were killed. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility. The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab has been waging a violent insurgency across the Horn of Africa country seeking to unseat the internationally backed government in Mogadishu.

SOURCE: FRANCE 24


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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: January 2021, from Monday 18 to Sunday 26

January 2021

From Monday 18 to Sunday 26

MAIN TOPICS:

  • CONFLICTS
  • ALLIANCES
  • STRATEGIC RESOURCES
  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
  • ENERGY
  • ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
  • TERRORISM

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

EAST CHINA SEA: Japan seeks US vow of support in East China Sea, as dispute with China heats up. Chinese ships in the disputed area have become an urgent issue for Tokyo, which also sent a diplomatic note to the UN over China’s activities in the South China Sea.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

 

SOUTH CHINA SEA: China sent warplanes, including fighter jets and bombers, into the South China Sea, breaching Taiwan’s airspace for a second day, provocations that come as a test in the early days of the Biden administration. In recent months, China has ramped up its naval presence in the region and criticized any military operations in the area by the US as “collusion” with Taiwan.

SOURCE: NEW YORK POST

 

CHINA-TAIWAN: China announced imposing sanctions on US officials over enhanced engagements with Taiwan. The move comes days after the US eased restrictions on contacts between American and Taiwanese officials.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

 

CHINA: China´s government assured that none of the key projects involved in China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have been suspended for reasons connected with COVID-19. Assured, as examples, that construction work for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and China-Laos railway are on schedule, and 65 companies have moved into the China-Belarus industrial park, with total agreed investment of $1.22 billion.

SOURCE: GLOBAL TIMES

 

CHINA: China’s demand for oil remained strong last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic which caused reduced demand for fuel elsewhere. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, beat Russia, maintaining its ranking as China’s largest crude supplier in 2020. China is the world’s largest oil importer.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 

EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

HIMALAYAN BORDER: Indian and Chinese troops clashed anew on their contested Himalayan border, highlighting the fraught state of relations between the giant nuclear-armed neighbours.

SOURCE: DIGITAL JOURNAL

 

AZERBAIJAN-TURKMENISTAN: Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan signed a deal on joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources of the Dostlug field in the Caspian Sea. Is the “start of a new stage of energy cooperation” between the two neighboring countries.

SOURCE: YENISAFAK

 

SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

PAKISTAN-CHINA: Pakistan and China are embroiled in their most serious disagreement relating to the Belt and Road Initiative, causing the annual bilateral summit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to be delayed.

SOURCE: NIKKEI

 

INDIA: Iraq’s crude exports to India grew nearly double-digits last year, helping it retain the title of India’s top oil supplier in 2020, but it may struggle to attain similar growth in 2021 if the newly appointed US President Joe Biden resurrects the nuclear deal with Tehran (as expected), which could potentially see the return of Iranian crude, analysts told S&P.

SOURCE: SP GLOBAL

 

AFGHANISTAN: A wave of Taliban attacks and violence has killed dozens across Afghanistan, even as talks are underway between the government and the insurgents in Qatar.

SOURCE: SF CHRONICLE

 

MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

ISRAEL: The Biden administration said it will work closely with Israel on regional security issues and to build on the country’s regional normalisation agreements. Israel is pressing ahead with efforts to expand new relations, following through on last year’s US-brokered agreements to establish full diplomatic ties with a number of Arab countries.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

 

IRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged new US President Joe Biden on the day of his inauguration to return to the 2015 nuclear deal and to lift the sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

SOURCE: TREND AGENCY

 

IRAN: Newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden’s administration will launch an initiative through European mediators to open a direct dialogue with Tehran. New approach will be accompanied by contacts with the allies of the United States in the region, specifically with Gulf countries and Israel.

SOURCE: TIMES OF ISRAEL

 

SAUDI ARABIA: The US military is exploring new bases in Saudi Arabia amid rising tensions with Iran. They already had tested unloading and shipping cargo overland from Saudi Arabia’s port at Yanbu, a crucial terminal for oil pipelines in the kingdom.

SOURCE: TIMES OF ISRAEL

 

TURKEY: Turkey’s presidency submitted a motion extending Turkish forces’ deployment in the Gulf of Aden, Somalia and the Arabian Sea. The Gulf of Aden — near Yemen and close to the world’s fourth-biggest oil transit chokepoint, the Bab el-Mandab strait — is a strategic energy route for Middle Eastern crude oil.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

 

IRAQ: Twin suicide bombings have ripped through a busy market in the Iraqi capital, killing at least 28 people, amid heightened political tensions over planned early elections and a severe economic crisis. Islamic State claimed the responsibility.

SOURCES: IRISH EXAMINERMIDDLE EAST EYE

 

IRAQ: More than two years after the end of the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate in Iraq, Iraqi politicians and political factions are engulfed by waves of concerns about Washington’s plot to revive the terrorist group in their country. Reports suggest that the US is transferring to the Iraq-Syrian borders for future terrorist operations the ISIS prisoners who were kept in Hasakah jails in northeastern Syria.

SOURCE: ABNA 24

 

SYRIA: “Pioneering” American entrepreneurs have waded into the “murky” oil business in Syria, according to a report by the Financial Times. The FT article raised speculations over why former US president Donald Trump reversed his decision to keep US troops in the region having threatened twice to pull them out of the north-east Syria.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 

SYRIA: Syria strongly condemned the actions of US occupation forces in the country’s Northeast. In a letter addressed to the UN, Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs renewed the country’s calls for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US forces from the territory.

SOURCE: FARS NEWS AGENCY

 

SYRIA: China called during a UN Security Council session for the cancelling of western unilateral coercive measures against Syria immediately.

SOURCE: SYRIAN OBSERVER

 

EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

MEDITERRANEAN: Turkey and Greece resumed talks aimed at addressing long-standing maritime disputes, ending a five-year hiatus after months of tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. But, despite agreeing to resume talks, Ankara and Athens still appeared to disagree over the topics to be covered in the run-up to Monday’s meeting.

SOURCE: FRANCE 24

 

MEDITERRANEAN: The European Union has decided to hold off on sanctions against Ankara following the positive spirit created by the latest bilateral engagements and exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST EYE

 

THREE SEAS INITIATIVE: Ukraine and Moldova reaffirmed their interest in being part of the Three Seas Initiative, a forum of twelve states in the European Union, along a north–south axis from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea in Central and Eastern Europe, that aims at boosting connectivity and facilitating real convergence among EU Member States, contributing to the strengthening of the transatlantic link.

SOURCE: PORTS EUROPE

 

RUSSIA: Russia intends to deploy newest heavy artillery to Ukrainian border. Russia explains the build-up of its artillery power on the south-western borders by the allegedly increasing NATO’s presence in the region.

SOURCE: UAWIRE

 

RUSSIA: On Saturday, tens of thousands rallied in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, and issued a call for another round of mass-demonstrations this weekend. Russia formally protested to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow over social media posts it said promoted huge anti-Kremlin demonstrations over the weekend.

SOURCE: CBS NEWS

 

AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

EGYPT: Hounded by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after briefly rising to power following the Arab Spring uprising, the Muslim Brotherhood sees a new revolution sweeping aside the current regime. They also expressed little fear at the repercussions of this month’s reconciliations between Qatar and its regional rivals in the Gulf and Egypt, which have branded the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organisation”.

SOURCE: BUSINESS RECORDER

 

ETHIOPIA/SUDAN: Ethiopia reiterated its call for Sudan to pull back from disputed territories its troops have been in since late last year. In late December, Sudanese soldiers reportedly moved up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) into Ethiopian-held territories, including the contested fertile agricultural region of Al-Fashaga.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

 

NORTH AMERICA:

2000px-Location_North_America.svg

UNITED STATES: President Biden halted efforts to drill in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge hastily enacted by the outgoing administration of former President Trump. The order places “a temporary moratorium on all activities of the Government relating to the implementation of the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program”. The order also reinstated an Obama-era policy closing most federal offshore waters in the U.S. Arctic and Northern Bering Sea to oil and gas exploration.

SOURCE: ARTICT TODAY

 

UNITED STATES: An American upstream oil company discovered oil in US Gulf of Mexico, one of the most important regions for energy resources and infrastructure, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gulf of Mexico federal offshore oil production accounts for 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production.

SOURCE: RIGZONE

 


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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: January 2021, from Monday 11 to Sunday 17

January 2021

From Monday 11 to Sunday 17

 

MAIN TOPICS:

  • CONFLICTS
  • ALLIANCES
  • STRATEGIC RESOURCES
  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
  • ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
  • TERRORISM

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

CHINA: The US added Chinese National Overseas Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to a US economic blacklist. It said CNOOC has “repeatedly harassed and threatened offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction in the South China Sea, with the goal of driving up the political risk for interested foreign partners, including Vietnam.”

SOURCE: BUSINESS TIMES

EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

NAGORNO-KARABAKH: Russian President Vladimir Putin brought together the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan for the first time since a war last year over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, an effort to resolve problems that risk undermining the deal that ended the conflict. For Russia, the conflict highlighted the rising influence of Azeri ally Turkey in the South Caucasus, part of the former Soviet Union that Moscow has traditionally seen as its own sphere of influence.

SOURCE: REUTERS

NAGORNO-KARABAKH: The first meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia after their six-week war over Nagorno-Karabakh last year has clearly shown that Russia is rebuilding its leadership in the Caucasus, leaving little room for Turkey, which helped Azerbaijan prevail on the battlefield. According to the joint statement, Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia will establish a joint working group, while Turkey was not even mentioned in the statement.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR

SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

AFGHANISTAN: The US has decreased its number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 2,500, accomplishing a key goal of President Donald Trump as he prepares to leave office next week. Under a plan instituted by Trump the Pentagon is seeking to completely withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by May, but it is unclear if incoming President Joe Biden will continue to implement the policy when he takes office Jan. 20.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

AFGHANISTAN: China has cautioned that an unorganized US departure could open the way for militants to re-establish Afghanistan as a regional hotbed of Islamic terror. China is concerned that Afghanistan, which shares a land border with China’s restive Xinjiang province, could in particular become a breeding ground for Uighur Muslim militants. China is seeking to become more involved in intra-Afghan talks.

SOURCE: ASIA TIMES

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan calls for Iran pivotal role in Afghan peace talks. Foreign ministers of these countries emphasized strengthening and expanding relations between the two countries.

SOURCE: IRNA

AFGHANISTAN: Recent visits by top Taliban leaders to Pakistan ahead of the second rounds of talks that began this month have caused concerns in India about the close ties between the insurgent group and Islamabad. Pakistan has already advised against India’s involvement in Afghanistan, accusing New Delhi of launching terror attacks from the war-torn country.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK

INDIA: India’s Foreign Minister said that trust with China had been deeply impaired after last summer’s border clash which resulted in the first combat deaths in 45 years, and that ties with the United States, on the other hand, were converging and were likely to expand under the new administration in Washington. Together with U.S. allies attempts to balance China’s assertive actions in the region.

SOURCE: REUTERS

MYANMAR: China is planning to expand infrastructure links with the key oil and gas port of Kyaukpyu in Myanmar (Burma) as part of efforts to develop its Belt and Road (BRI) investments in the country. The two governments signed an initial deal.

SOURCE: ARGUS MEDIA

MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

RUSSIA/USA: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Washington is doing everything possible to disrupt the dialogue between Iran and the Persian Gulf states. According to Lavrov, the Russian proposal to create a security strategy for the Persian Gulf is particularly aimed at developing dialogue between Iran and the Arab states.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS AGENCY

IRAN: The governments of France, Germany and the UK have said they are “deeply concerned” by Iran’s announcement it will produce uranium metal, a violation of the 2015 nuclear treaty. Uranium metal can be used as a component for nuclear weapons, and the western governments said in a statement the production of the material has “potentially grave military implications”.

SOURCE: EURONEWS

ISRAEL/PALESTINE: Israel announces new illegal settler homes in occupied West Bank, in last days of Trump’s presidency. Palestinian officials and much of the international community view them as the main obstacle to a viable two-state solution.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

ISRAEL/PALESTINE: Foreign ministers of Egypt, Germany, France and Jordan discussed ways to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, a week before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The Palestinians suffered numerous setbacks under the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump and have complained about what they say were pro-Israeli steps from Washington.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL

ISRAEL: Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Demonstrators have continued anti-Netanyahu protests for 30 weeks.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 JORDAN: US to build new military base in Jordan, in line with the expansion of military cooperation between this country and the United States, and with the US government’s efforts to fight terrorism and strengthen Jordan’s defense capabilities.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS

YEMEN: United States will designate Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels as a foreign terrorist organization. The designation will take effect on Jan. 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden takes offices.

SOURCE: NBC NEWS

EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

TURKEY/GREECE: Turkey has offered to resume talks with Greece over the eastern Mediterranean and other issues this month. Greece rejected talks planned for last year after Turkey deployed a seismic exploration vessel to disputed waters.

SOURCE: TRT WORLD

TURKEY: U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will find it difficult to prevent U.S. legislators from imposing sanctions on NATO member Turkey. Erdoğan has angered many politicians in Washington by cosying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, attacking Kurdish militants allied with the United States in the battle against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, and by purchasing S-400 air defence missiles from Moscow.

SOURCE: AHVAL NEWS

NORDSTREAM2: The outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump is reportedly preparing a final round of penalties against Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline that will connect Russia and Germany.

SOURCE: RT

BELARUS: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko instructed the government to impose tit-for-tat sanctions against Western nations that had earlier slapped sanctions on some Belarusian enterprises as punishment for Lukashenko election’s outcome.

SOURCE: TASS

AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

SENEGAL: In an attempt to counter Turkey’s expansion in West Africa, Egypt and the UAE seek to consolidate their ties with Senegal, the gateway to West Africa. The year 2020 witnessed intensive activities on the part of Turkey to consolidate its ties with West African countries, namely Senegal.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR

CONGO-BOTSWANA: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Botswana signed respectively a memorandum of understanding with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, becoming successively the 45th and the 46th African partner countries to participate in BRI cooperation. China will continue to actively participate in Africa’s infrastructure construction in such areas as transportation, energy and communications.

SOURCE: PEOPLE CN

TUNISIA: Violent protests broke out in several Tunisian cities as anger mounts over economic hardship. The demonstrations come as Tunisia marks the tenth anniversary of the revolution that toppled late president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

LATIN AMERICA:

1200px-South_America_(orthographic_projection).svg

CUBA: The U.S. announced a decision to designate Cuba as a “state sponsoring terrorism” once again more than five years after removing the country from the list. Cuba strongly condemned the U.S. decision as a hypocritical move full of “political opportunism.” China firmly opposes the United States imposing political suppression and economic sanctions on Cuba under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

SOURCE: CHINA ORG


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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: January 2021, from Monday 4 to Sunday 10

January 2021

From Monday 4 to Sunday 10

 

MAIN TOPICS:

  • CONFLICTS
  • ALLIANCES
  • STRATEGIC RESOURCES
  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
  • ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
  • TERRORISM

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

HONG KONG: The Chinese mission to the European Union (EU) stressed that Hong Kong police’s recent arrests of activists suspected of subversion are China’s internal affairs, which the EU side has no right to interfere in. The EU urged authorities to respect Hong Kong’s rule of law and democratic principles and called for the immediate release of those arrested.

SOURCE: CGTN

CHINA-TAIWAN: China firmly opposed to the U.S. decision to hold a so-called “political-military dialogue” with Taiwan authorities. The U.S. State Department announced it planned to hold a conference with Taiwan authorities to discuss regional developments, Taiwan-U.S. military cooperation, and arms sales.

SOURCE: CGTN

CHINA: Foreign reporting has China’s BRI being buffeted by geopolitical backlash, excessive debt that needs to be restructured, weak projects, environmental challenges, and various scandals. On the contrary, China´s government assured that “no matter how the global situation changes,” China’s determination to promote BRI international cooperation has not changed. They added that the next stage will feature the Digital Silk Road as a priority.

SOURCE: CGTN


EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

USA-RUSSIA: US Navy is eyeing a tougher posture in the Arctic to push back against Moscow, and top Pentagon officials said that the U.S. could launch “freedom of navigation” operations near Russia’s Arctic coastline. Such operations would resemble Navy exercises in the South China Sea, an area in which American ships regularly contest growing Chinese territorial claims.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST

IRAN-TURKEY-RUSSIA: Iran, Turkey, and Russia are cooperating with one another against the influence and presence of the US in the region, Jerusalem Post wrote. “Libya and Syria as examples where the United States’ reduced involvement has been replaced with those of Turkey and Russia.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS


SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

IRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard announced the opening of a new missile base along the Arabian Gulf.  The reported opening came a day after Gen Salami “warned the enemies of Iran against making the slightest mistake” in the Arabian Gulf region.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL NEWS

AFGHANISTAN: Separate attacks in Afghanistan left at least 23 civilians and security forces dead, even as Afghan negotiators were in Qatar to resume talks with the Taliban aimed at finding an end to decades of conflict. No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack.

SOURCE: GULF TODAY

AFGHANISTAN: The United States has directly accused the Taliban of being behind a recent wave of high-profile assassinations in Afghanistan, urging the insurgent group to stop the violence “for peace to succeed.” Charges came hours after the Taliban accused U.S. forces of launching airstrikes against insurgent-held areas in violation of their 2020 bilateral agreement aimed at ending the long-running Afghan war.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS


MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

SUDAN-ISRAEL: Sudan signed with United States the “Abraham Accords” deal to normalise relations with Israel. The signing came after United States President Donald Trump announced it in October. Sudan signed the deal despite the move being rejected by its political parties when it was first announced in October last year.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

QATAR-NEIGHBORS: Leaders of Iraq, Lebanon, and Libya hail reconciliation between Qatar and its neighbors, after years of feud. Meanwhile, the leaders of the GCC countries as well as Egypt they signed a document that affirmed unity and joint cooperation between their nations.

SOURCE: YENISAFAK

IRAN: South Korea sends warship to Gulf after Iran seizes oil tanker. On Monday, Iran had seized a South Korean-registered tanker, in Gulf waters, as tensions mounted between the two countries over Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks due to US sanctions.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST EYE

SAUDI ARABIA-QATAR: Saudi Arabia opened its borders with Qatar for the first time in three years, a leap toward easing a dispute that split the energy-producing region and complicated US efforts to isolate Iran. The steps were pushed through as President Donald Trump prepares to leave office and his successor, Joe Biden, vows to renew diplomacy with Tehran.

SOURCE: HINDUSTAN TIMES

EU-IRAN: The European Commission said it regretted that Iran has resumed 20% uranium enrichment at an underground nuclear facility, breaching a 2015 nuclear pact. The move is the latest Iranian contravention of the accord, which it started violating in 2019 in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018 and the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions that had been lifted under the deal.

SOURCE: REUTERS

ISRAEL-GREECE: Israel and Greece sign biggest defense agreement, reflecting the excellent and developing relations between Israel and Greece, and a long term partnership that will serve the interests of both countries, according to Israel government.

SOURCE: DEFENCE BLOG

YEMEN: Several explosions rocked Yemen’s Aden airport as new power-sharing government officials arrived from Saudi Arabia. The bombs killed roughly 22 people and injured dozens more. Saudi Arabia jumped to place blame on the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, however, the group has not claimed responsibility as of late.

SOURCE: ODA LOOP


EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

POLAND: Poland sees threat as Russia reinforces its Baltic Fleet stationed in Kaliningrad. Russia claims that it has strengthened its forces in the region with new ships, tanks and missiles due to increased NATO presence in the Baltic States

SOURCE: REMIX NEWS

TRANS ADRIATIC GAS PIPELINE: Azerbaijani gas has reached Italy through the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP). TAP transports natural gas from the Shah Deniz field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea to Europe. The project played a significant role in Europe’s energy security and diversification.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

TURKSTREAM PIPELINE: Russian energy giant Gazprom has begun delivering natural gas to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through the TurkStream pipeline and a new route crossing Turkey and Bulgaria. With the addition of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, a total of six European countries are now receiving Russian gas supplies via the TurkStream pipeline.

SOURCE: OFF SHORE ENERGY

NORD STREAM 2: The German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern plans to set up a foundation to help the completion of the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline to bring Russian gas to Germany and to fend off the threat of increased U.S. sanctions that halted work last year. It will be far harder for the United States to target a state-backed foundation with measures such as freezing funds.

SOURCE: REUTERS


AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

EGYPT: ExxonMobil Egypt in partnership with Tharwa Petroleum Company signed a new agreement with the state-run Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS). The agreement enhances the research and exploration activities of Exxon in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean region.

SOURCE: AMWAL AL GHAD

MOZAMBIQUE: French oil and gas multinational Total has evacuated employees from a major gas site in northern Mozambique after a string of jihadist attacks nearby. In recent weeks there have been intensifying attacks near the gas site on the Afungi peninsula, home to the 16.5 billion-euro ($20 billion) project.

SOURCE: ALL AFRICA

CONGO: China cancels Democratic Republic of Congo loans as it joins belt and road. Beijing writes off US$28 million in matured loans and pledges US$17 million of support in a country where Chinese firms already dominate mining sector.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST


SOUTH AMERICA:

1200px-South_America_(orthographic_projection).svg

VENEZUELA: Russia announced that country will cooperate closely with the new National Assembly of Venezuela. The statement came a day after the inauguration of the new lawmakers who were elected on December 6, 2020, when the forces of the Left, led by the Simon Bolivar Great Patriotic Pole, achieved 91 percent of the parliamentary seats. The European Union, the U.S., and Canada have so far refused to recognize the election results.

SOURCE: TELESUR

VENEZUELA: The European Union will continue working with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, the European Commission’s chief foreign affairs spokesman said. The EU expressed regret that the new Venezuelan national assembly assumed its mandate on the basis of non-democratic elections.

SOURCE: YENISAFAK


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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: December 2020, from Monday 21 to Friday 25

December 2020

from Monday 21 to Friday 25

MAIN TOPICS:

  • CONFLICTS
  • ALLIANCES
  • STRATEGIC RESOURCES
  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
  • ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
  • TERRORISM

MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

  • SYRIA: The United States slapped fresh sanctions on Syria in a continued effort to cut off funds for President Bashar al-Assad’s government. It marked another round in a US campaign to push Assad’s government back into UN-led negotiations to end the country’s nearly decade-long war.

SOURCE: ALGEMEINER

  • ISRAEL: A US-Israeli delegation signed agreements with Morocco, cementing a Washington-sponsored normalisation of relations between Israel and the North African country. The US plans to open a consulate in Sahara region, and pledged investment that Moroccan media described as colossal.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL NEWS

  • ISRAEL: Financial incentives reportedly offered to Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority nation, to recognise Israel, as Morocco, Sudan, UAE and Bahrein recently did.

SOURCE: JEWISH NEWS

  • ISRAEL: Pakistan said that Islamabad cannot recognize Israel until a “concrete and permanent settlement” of the Palestinian issue, rebuffing reports about pressure on Islamabad to recognize Israel.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

  • ISRAEL-LEBANON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced regret over a stalemate in maritime border talks between Israel and Lebanon and offered Washington’s mediation. The two nations, which remain technically at war, opened negotiations in October after quiet US diplomacy seeking to clear the way for offshore oil and gas exploration sought by both.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

  • IRAQ: At least three rockets were launched at the US embassy in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone causing the embassy to activate its defense system. So far no group has claimed the attack.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL NEWS

  • IRAN:  Iran agreed with Russia to boost technical cooperation in the oil and gas sectors. In the current situation, given the imposition of US sanctions on Iran and Russia, strengthening the convergence and cooperation of the 2 countries is very important.

SOURCE: NEFTEGAZ RU

  • IRAN: Iran and China started drilling operations in Iran’s supergiant South Pars non-associated natural gas field officially. This comes as the long-stalled Phase 11 development supposedly saw the withdrawal of all Chinese involvement in October 2019.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

  • STRAIT OF HORMUZ: An American nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine traversed the strategically vital waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula, through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow passageway through which a fifth of the world’s oil supplies travel, the U.S. Navy said, a rare announcement that comes amid rising tensions with Iran.

SOURCE: ECONOMICTIMES

AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

  • CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Russia has sent an extra 300 military instructors to the Central African Republic at the request of the country’s leadership to help counter a surge in violence by rebel groups ahead of Sunday’s election. The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the opposition and armed groups were trying to destabilise the situation with the help of external forces.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • SUDAN: The United States is continuing to work with the Sudanese Armed Forces to strengthen bilateral military relations, after US President Donald Trump removed Khartoum from the American terror list.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

  • ETHIOPIA-SUDAN: Ethiopia-Sudan talks to start after border clash. Negotiations open a week after Ethiopian forces reportedly ambushed Sudanese troops on the border, killing four. The area borders Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region, where fighting broke out last month.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL NEWS

  • EGYPT: Egypt worried about Qatari moves in South Sudan. Qatar is trying to compensate for the decline of its influence in Khartoum by turning its attention to its rival Juba, as it wants to keep a finger in the pie in a region that is becoming increasingly dynamic on many levels. The Qatari move comes also in the midst of escalating tensions in Ethiopia due to the Tigray crisis.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

  • LIBYA: Turkey discusses maintaining army in Libya for an additional 18 months. In Libya, Turkey supports the internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in confronting renegade General Khalifa Haftar’s militia, which is supported by Arab and European countries, and seeks to unseat the GNA in the oil-rich country.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

  • LIBYA: Russian oil company TATNEFT intends to resume production and exploration operations in Libya, after a near decade long suspension.

SOURCE: NEFTEGAZ RU

  • TUNISIA: Italy is ready to double its investments in the energy and renewable energy fields in Tunisia, and exerted pressure on Tunisia regarding the protection of the Algerian gas pipeline owned by ENI to Italy, which passes through Tunisia.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

  • NIGERIA: The Financial Times has reported that Nigeria is at risk of becoming a failed state. According to an editorial, the spate of insecurity in the country shows that the Nigerian “the government is no longer in control.”

SOURCE: TRIBUNE ONLINE

EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

  • RUSSIA: Russia sees US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, expected to pump gas from Russia to Europe, as a sign of a hybrid war.

SOURCE: FARS NEWS

  • WESTERN BALKANS: The attempt of the German Presidency to unlock membership negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania as part of EU enlargement ended unsuccessfully, sending a negative message to the Western Balkans countries when it comes to the EU accession process.

SOURCE: EUROPEAN WESTERN BALKANS

EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

  • ARMENIA: Opposition supporters rally to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, over his handling of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan. The Russian-brokered peace agreement obliged Armenian forces to surrender large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and hand over the territories around the separatist region they had controlled for more than a quarter-century.

SOURCE: THE GLOBE AND MAIL

  • TURKEY-PAKISTAN: Turkey and Pakistan reaffirmed the resolve to further strengthen defense cooperation, focusing on security and counter-terrorism.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

  • TURKEY-UKRAINE: Turkey and Ukraine resolved to further develop and strengthen the strategic partnership, and called for exploring new avenues of cooperation between the two naval forces.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

  • INDIA: Russia said implementation of its ongoing defense deals with India including the supply of a batch of S-400 missile systems is advancing well, despite the threat of US sanctions.

SOURCE: OUTLOOK INDIA

  • PAKISTAN: A group of Russian Gazprom-led energy companies seek to invest $14 billion in the gas infrastructure in Pakistan, with two gas pipelines and underground storage facilities to be built. The energy cooperation between these two is part of better ties between Moscow and Islamabad.

SOURCE: WARSAW INSTITUTE

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

  • CHINA: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says many the Belt and Road Initiative projects have kept running throughout the pandemic and Beijing is increasing its investment.  Assured that  China’s determination to promote [belt and road] international cooperation has not changed,”.

SOURCE: SCMP

NORTH AMERICA:

2000px-Location_North_America.svg

  • CANADA: Canada rejected China’s Shandong Gold Mining’s bid, amid concerns about a Chinese state-owned entity operating in the country’s sensitive Arctic region. Ottawa’s decision could further strain Canadian-Chinese relations, already damaged by Canada’s December 2018 arrest of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.

SOURCE: REUTERS

SOUTH AMERICA:

1200px-South_America_(orthographic_projection).svg

  • VENEZUELA: Venezuela ships crude oil to China despite US sanctions as part of a push by the Trump administration to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Chinese companies stopped loading crude and fuel at Venezuelan ports in August 2019 after Washington extended its sanctions on PDVSA.  

SOURCE: THE STANDARD

Categories
Alliances Anti-Goverment Protests Geopolitical conflicts Infraestucture Projects Stategic Resources terrorism

GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: December 2020, from Monday 14 to Friday 18

December 2020

from Monday 14 to Friday 18

 

MAIN TOPICS:

  • Conflicts
  • Alliances
  • Strategic Resources
  • Infrastructure Projects
  • Anti-government Protests
  • Terrorism

EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg
http://www.wikipedia.org
  • TURKEY: US imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of a Russian air defence system, setting the stage for a further confrontation between the two nations as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office. The move comes at a delicate time in relations between Washington and Ankara, over Turkey’s acquisition from Russia of the S-400 missile defence system, along with Turkish actions in Syria, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and in the eastern Mediterranean.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

  • MEDITERRANEAN: The US accused Russia of working to destabilize the Mediterranean region, pointing to a series of actions from Libya to Syria. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Moscow “continues to threaten Mediterranean stability using a variety of techniques to spread disinformation, undermine national sovereignty, and sow chaos, conflict, and division within countries throughout the region.”

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

  • MEDITERRANEAN: The United States confirmed is backing the construction of a subsea pipeline that would supply Europe with natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean, and help Europe diversify its energy resources away from Russia, an objective strongly supported by Washington. They are going to work with Israel, Greece and other interested countries.

SOURCE: UK REUTERS

  • GREAT BRITAIN: UK Chief of the Defense Staff warned that Russia assembled 10 or so warships and combat aircraft from the northern Baltic and Black Sea fleets in a show of force in the waters off the British and Irish coasts, in a way not seen since the Cold War.

SOURCE: IRISH HEXAMINER

  • RUSSIA: The European Union formally prolonged for six months economic sanctions against Russia over the country’s failure to live up to commitments to the peace agreement in Ukraine. The measures target Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes.

SOURCE: AL ARABIYA NET

  • SWEDEN: Sweden has announced a sweeping rearmament project that will see its defense budget skyrocket over the next few years. The military spending boost was triggered by “the actions of the Russian side”. Russian Foreign Ministry has stated in response to Sweden’s initiative that the country’s “anti-Russian phobias” are “a result of pressure on Stockholm from the outside”, in particular from NATO.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK

  • BELARUS: The European Union has brought in fresh sanctions against senior figures in Belarus, including Deputy Prime Minister Anatoli Sivak, accused of politically motivated actions against peaceful protestors following August’s election.

SOURCE: POLITICO

  • BULGARIA: Since July, Bulgarians have been protesting government corruption and demanding its resignation almost daily. Some experts assured the anti-government protests in Bulgaria are likely to continue, despite a new pandemic lockdown.

SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST

  • CZECH REPUBLIC: The activity of Chinese intelligence in the Czech Republic is becoming increasingly visible, according to the Czech Security Information Service, that highlights that Czech Republic has been a target of cyber activities conducted by groups related to China, and that Chinese intelligence officers used social media, to find ways to influence public opinion, and present a positive image of the PRC.

SOURCE: WARSAW INSTITUTE

MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)
http://www.wikipedia.org
  • ISRAEL: Israel has approved the construction of thousands of illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, on Palestinian land. According to the PLO, several indicators on the ground show that Israel is going ahead with its annexation plan even though it had announced that it had been postponed.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

  • SAUDI ARABIA/QATAR: The media started hyping the possibility of reconciliation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia after US visited Riyadh and Doha at the end of last month. Saudi Arabia cut their relations with Qatar in June 2017 after it failed to commit to a previous agreement stipulating that it stop supporting terrorist groups and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbours.

SOURCE: AHRAM ORG

  • SAUDI ARABIA: A ship was hit by an explosion at the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah. The incident comes just three weeks after an oil tanker was damaged at the Saudi terminal of Shuqaiq and Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed a missile strike on a Saudi Aramco fuel depot in Jeddah. Tensions in the area have risen as the U.S., a Saudi ally, ramps up sanctions on Iran, which backs the Houthis in Yemen’s civil war.

SOURCE: WORLD OIL

  • IRAQ: Two oil wells of the Iraqi North Oil Company and the national oil companies in Iraq’s Kirkuk province were set ablaze by Islamic State (IS) terrorists. Iraq’s oil installations and pipelines have been frequently attacked by extremist IS militants despite the improvement of the security situation in the country after the government declared the full defeat of terror group throughout the country late in 2017.

SOURCE: ASIAN LITE

  • TURKEY-IRAQ: Turkey and Iraq agreed to continue fighting terrorists trying to disrupt stability in their common region, the Turkish president announced. Erdoğan said terror groups such as Daesh as well as the PKK and FETÖ, were “common enemies” of both sides and underlined that separatist terrorist aims had no future in Turkey, Iraq or Syria.

SOURCE: HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

 

AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg
http://www.wikipedia.org
  • SUDAN: It was confirmed that Russia is planning to build a naval base in Sudan (see also GGN from last week). It will let Moscow increase its influence in the Red Sea and in the Horn of Africa, provide access to the Indian Ocean, and support for Russian ships of the Black Sea and Pacific fleets. It would open up the potential for Russia to expand its military and political influence in East and Central Africa.

SOURCE: ASIA TIMES

  • SUDAN: The US has officially removed Sudan’s classification as a state sponsor of terrorism. The move saw Sudan follows the country’s normalization of ties with Israel in another Trump-brokered deal, known as the ‘Abraham Accords’, that recognize Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates’ normalized relations with Israel.

SOURCE: RT

  • SUDAN: Experts warn Sudan is now at a critical juncture as tensions have flared between the military and civilian leaders who share power in a fragile transitional government. At the same time, an economic crisis with skyrocketing inflation, exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic, is bringing yet more pain to the country.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

  • SOMALIA/KENIA: Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with Kenya amid rising tensions between both nations, after Somalia expelled Kenya’s ambassador to the country and ordered its ambassador to return home.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL

  • NIGERIA: Boko Haram had seized students from an all-boys boarding school in Katsina, northwest Nigeria, to punish them for “un-Islamic practices.” 333 were missing and assumed captive. Boko Haram claim of responsibility, surprising some analysts, marking a departure from the extremist group’s usual area of operation in the country’s northeast.

SOURCE: WALL STREET JOURNAL

  • NIGER: At least 27 killed in an attack in the Diffa region, while many others are wounded or reported missing. Boko Haram claims attack.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg
http://www.wikipedia.org
  • INDIA-IRAN-UZBEKISTAN: India, Iran, and Uzbekistan have held their first trilateral meeting for possible joint use of Chabahar port, for transit purposes as well as strengthened regional connectivity into Eurasia. For India, the use of Chabahar port is a geopolitical move aimed at countering growing Chinese influence in the region. India is planning on cashing in on existing projects to expand its reach and linkages so that the Central Asian republics have an alternative to China’s BRI.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

  • RUSSIA: Russian energy giant Rosneft has announced the discovery of a “unique” gas deposit in the Kara Sea, in the Artic, containing an estimated 514 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The discovery could establish a new cluster for oil and gas production in the area. It ensures that Russia’s massive offshore discovery could dwarf Gulf of Mexico & Middle East’s energy reserves.

SOURCE: RT

  • RUSSIA-CHINA: The Russian government has approved the participation of the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) in a large petrochemical project, in accordance with Moscow’s strategy of establishing closer economic relations with Beijing.

SOURCE: NEFTEGAZ

SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg
http://www.wikipedia.org
  • PAKISTAN: Pakistan has “opened secret normalisation talks” with Israel about normalising relations in order to help in relations with India, while taking advantage of the atmosphere resulting from the normalisation of relations between Israel and the UAE and talks of a similar step by Saudi Arabia, according to some Hebrew´s media.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

  • PAKISTAN: Pakistan recently cleared a bill in Parliament that will virtually give the powerful army sweeping control over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Greater involvement of the army will serve to address China’s security concerns vis-a-vis Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan. Beijing is worried about terrorism in Balochistan, where separatists have stepped up attacks on Chinese targets in recent years.

SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA

  • PAKSITAN: Gwadar fencing project kick-starts as part of security measures to protect belt and road projects from potential terrorist attacks. Balochistan said the decision will be challenged in the Balochistan High Court and province-wide strikes will be held too.

SOURCE: BRECORDER

  • PAKISTAN: China has agreed to bail out Pakistan by providing it with $1.5 billion to help to repay a $2 billion debt to Saudi Arabia, with whom Pakistan has deteriorating relations.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

  • AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN: The Islamic State (IS) most potent branch IS-Khorasan Province (IS-KP) continues to display its violent presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, fiercely withstanding the unremitting onslaughts from government and rival Taliban forces. The crisis within the Taliban created an opportunity for IS to rebuild and expand its network in the region.

SOURCE: EERADICALIZATION

  • AFGHANISTAN: Peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents will resume in early January. Despite the peace process, violence in Afghanistan has not ended. There are regular clashes in various parts of the country and bomb and rocket attacks in Kabul.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • AFGHANISTAN: The top United States general met Taliban representatives this week in Qatar, urging them to reduce the level of violence and move more swiftly towards a political solution in Afghanistan.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

  • INDIA: India agreed with UK on roadmap to broaden ties, to boost cooperation in Indo-Pacific. They focused on defense and security, among others. They also reviewed the situation in Afghanistan, and developments in the Middle East besides discussion on shared concerns over challenges posed by terrorism.

SOURCE: NEW INDIAN EXPRESS

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation
http://www.asianaviation.com
  • CHINA/JAPAN: The defense ministers of China and Japan discussed tensions in the disputed East China Sea. Japan expressed concerns over the Chinese ships “repeatedly sailing close to and entering the waters” around the Senkaku Islands, a major stumbling block in the bilateral relationship.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

  • INDONESIA: Indonesia has dismissed Israeli media allegations that the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country is seeking to establish diplomatic ties with the Tel Aviv regime, after Israel and Morocco agreed last week to normalize relations in a deal brokered by the United States. Indonesia has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and statehood and has refused to communicate with Israel.

SOURCE: ABNA 24

SOUTH AMERICA:

1200px-South_America_(orthographic_projection).svg
http://www.wikipedia.org
  • BOLIVIA: New Bolivia president puts re-establishing ties with Iran top of his agenda (damaged by the previous de facto government, led by interim president Jeanine Anez). He also wanted to re-connect with Venezuela, which already boasts economic ties with Iran.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

  • SURINAME: ExxonMobil and Petronas discover hydrocarbons in Block 52 off Suriname. The discovery extends ExxonMobil’s leading position in South America.

SOURCE: OFF SHORE TECHNOLOGY


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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: December 2020, from Monday 7 to Friday 11

December 2020

from Monday 7 to Friday 11

MAIN TOPICS:

  • Conflicts
  • Alliances
  • Strategic Resources
  • Infrastructure Projects
  • Anti-government Protests
  • Terrorism

MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

  • ISRAEL-EGYPT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing to visit Egypt in what will be the first official visit by an Israeli leader in a decade. Would cover strengthening security and diplomatic ties.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

  • ISRAEL-UAE: Israel and the United Arab Emirates held talks to discuss cooperation in the oil and gas sector, months after the two nations agreed to normalize ties. The countries have also started talks over an oil pipeline linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, whose operations Israeli officials treat as top secret.

SOURCE: WORLD OIL

  • UAE-SAUDI ARABIA: The Indian Army chief has proceeded on a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, in the context of growing relationship between India and Gulf countries, especially in defense relations.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

  • IRAQ: China is stepping into the vacuum in Iraq, targeting the oil industry. Iraq is poised to sign a multibillion-dollar contract with China ZhenHua Oil Co. At the same time, China’s CNOOC and CNPC oil giant are believed to be considering acquiring Exxon’s 32.7% stake in Iraq’s supergiant West Qurna oilfield

SOURCES: SHAFAQ – OIL PRICE

  • IRAQ: Two wells in a small oilfield in northern Iraq were set ablaze by explosives in a “terrorist attack”. At the moment, no organization has claimed responsibility, but Iraqi media said that the Islamic State was behind the bombing.

SOURCE: NEW EUROPE

  • SYRIA: Syrians in the occupied Golan Heights protest against Israel’s plans to install wind turbines on their agricultural land. The company in charge obtained approval from the Israeli government and not the local population living under Israeli occupation.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

  • AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan officials continue to conduct strikes against Taliban forces even as they continue negotiations coupled to a drawdown of the number of troops in Afghanistan.

SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST

  • IRAN-AFGHANISTAN: Iran, Afghanistan inaugurate first Rail Link in key infrastructure Project, that would help enhance trade across the region. Iran seeks to become a regional transport hub, allowing Afghanistan and other landlocked countries in the region to ship goods to its ports on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

SOURCE: GANDHARA

  • INDIA: India and Qatar will be setting up a task force on energy, to identify specific projects in India’s energy sector for Qatari investments.

SOURCE: THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE

EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

  • RUSSIA: Russian state-owned oil & gas producer Rosneft has discovered a large new gas field in the Arctic Kara Sea. Rosneft is playing a key role in Russia’s Arctic strategy, which aims to capitalize on warming temperatures to transport the remote region’s huge oil and gas resources.

SOURCE: NEFTEGAZ

  • INDIA-CHINA: India to expedite dam construction after China announces project in Tibet. The plan is to build a 10-gigawatt hydroelectric dam in the country’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which shares a border with China.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

  • ARMENIA: Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, claiming him to step down. Mass protests against Pashinyan have been ongoing in Yerevan since the signing of a ceasefire deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan, brokered by Moscow.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK

EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

  • NORD STREAM 2: Russia has resumed construction of the politically-charged Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, laying pipes after a one-year hiatus prompted by U.S. sanctions. The pipeline, which Washington says compromises European energy security, has become a flashpoint in relations between Russia and the West that have sunk to post-Cold War lows.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • THREE SEAS INITIATIVE: US government has approved support for the Three Seas Fund, amounting to USD 300 mln. The Three Seas Initiative contemplate the development of infrastructure in the field of energy production, transport and digital services, in 12 EU countries located between the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea.

SOURCE: POLANDIN

  • EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN: European Union leaders are set to agree sanctions on Turkish individuals over a energy exploration dispute with Greece and Cyprus.

SOURCE: METRO US

AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

  • MOROCCO: Morocco has become the latest Arab League country to agree to normalize relations with Israel in a deal brokered with US help. Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain issued statements welcoming the deal between Morocco and Israel. Russia condemned the agreement. Palestinian also, saying it encouraged Israel’s denial of their rights.

SOURCE: BBC – NEWS 18

  • SUDAN: Russia has signed an agreement with Sudan to build a naval base on the country’s Red Sea coast, in Moscow’s latest push into Africa as it seeks to renew its geopolitical clout. They agreed to build a modern port, along with Russia’s base in the Syrian city of Tartus, that will strengthen its military presence in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Russia’s navy will be allowed to keep nuclear-powered vessels.

SOURCE: THE DEFENSE POST – IM RUSSIA ORG

  • SUDAN: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister visited Sudan for the first time since Sudan’s military overthrew former autocratic leader Omar Al Bashir last year. After the overthrow, Saudi Arabia and the UAE immediately support the new leaders of Sudan.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL NEWS

  • SOMALIA: As the Trump administration orders the withdrawal of the remaining 700 American troops in Somalia, the U.S. military has continued to target Al Qaeda’s network in the country. The U.S. military has claimed Shabaab is “contained,” however the reality is much different. Shabaab still controls much of southern Somalia, while it regularly contests vast swaths of the central part of the country.

SOURCE: LONG WAR JOURNAL

  • SOMALIA: The withdrawal of US troops and African peacekeepers from Somalia, already decided, could spur the fall of the Mogadishu government, destabilizing the whole Horn of Africa, as Al-Shabaab movement intensified bloody attacks and Islamic State group strengthened its presence in Somalia.

SOURCE: AHRAM ORG

LATIN AMERICA:

1200px-Latin_America_(orthographic_projection).svg

  • VENEZUELA: Venezuela’s Economy and Oil Minister Tarek El Aisami announced that the Bolivarian security forces thwarted a terrorist act aimed at destroying the El Palito refinery and an oil pipeline.”The attack was prepared from Colombia by FANB deserters who enjoy protection from the government of Ivan Duque”.

SOURCES: TELESUR – REUTERS

Categories
Alliances Expert Comments Geopolitical conflicts Stategic Resources terrorism

GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS DEC 4

Just the essential

December 4, 2020

 

SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

ALLIANCES:

  • INDIA-SRI LANKA-MALDIVES: India-Sri Lanka-Maldives returned to the trilateral maritime security dialogue, a demonstration of the Indian intent to push subregional diplomacy, while China is expanding its military presence in the Indian Ocean and has been developing serious inroads into the region through bases and other strategic networks. Both Sri Lanka and the Maldives are critical maritime neighbors to India in the Indian Ocean region and there have been continuous efforts by both India and China to win friends and favors in Colombo and Male.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

 

TERRORISM:

  • AFGHANISTAN: Former Afghan intelligence chief turned politician Rahmatullah Nabil reaffirmed the claims of the UN report that Al-Qaeda still maintains close ties with the Taliban, and as the Taliban continues to maintain strategic ties with the Al-Qaeda, their alliance remains the bone of contention in adhering to the terms of the US-Taliban deal. Military engagements of the group alongside the Taliban in various provinces of the country are likely to result in increased violence.

SOURCE: ORFONLINE ORG


MIDDLE EAST: Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

CONFLICTS:

  • IRAN: Israel worries that Biden will re-adopt Obama’s Iran policy. Israel believes Iran will accept a US proposal, if one is made, that would include a lifting of some sanctions and a full return by Iran and the United States to the nuclear agreement. Israel’s security agencies would give a lot for an opportunity to change the next administration’s views on Iran. The two sides are already exchanging messages mostly through various think tanks and media monitoring.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR

 

EXPERT COMMENTS:

  • IRAN : U.S. shouldn’t reenter Iran Nuclear Deal, according to James Jay Carafano (Vice President, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute), that criticized former Secretary of State John Kerry—the great architect of the deal—, because he claimed the Iranian regime would act more responsibly after it, and it didn’t. Iran fueled insurgencies, wars and terrorism in Syria, Yemen, Israel and Iraq, and remains the world’s most dangerous sponsor of terrorism. Kerry, according to Carabano, claimed that the Iranians after the deal would stop pursuing nuclear weapons but again, they didn’t.

SOURCE: HERITAGE ORG


ASIA PACIFIC:Sino-Federation

STRATEGIC RESOURCES:

  • CHINA: The Pentagon added CNOOC to its list of companies with alleged ties to China’s military, blocking US investment in the firm from next year. The company has no known direct ownership links to the Chinese military. Its inclusion may be linked to its activities in the South China Sea, where Washington has been pushing back more strongly against Beijing’s disputed territorial claims.

SOURCE: ARGUS MEDIA


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Categories
Alliances Geopolitical conflicts Infraestucture Projects Stategic Resources terrorism

GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS DEC 3

Just the essential

December 3, 2020

 

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS:

  • CHINA: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 20% of BRI projects had been “seriously affected” by the virus, with up to 40% being “somewhat affected”. All countries involved in the BRI have seen construction and supply chains halted or slowed by the pandemic. The largest decline in BRI investments was in energy investments.

SOURCE: INVESTMENT MONITOR


EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

ALLIANCES:

  • CHINA: China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang said his nation is ready to share development opportunities with Russia and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

SOURCE: TELESUR ENGLISH

STRATEGIC RESOURCES:

  • CHINA: China has started operations at the second section of a gas pipeline link to Russia, boosting its supplies through the Power of Siberia 1 pipeline.

SOURCE: ARGUSMEDIA


MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

CONFLICTS:

  • IRAQ: Skirmishes between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and forces from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have raised fears of a full-blown conflict in northern Iraq. The PKK has come under growing pressure from Turkey, who has built a close working relationship with KRG, with an oil pipeline allowing Iraqi-Kurdish authorities to market their oil exports independently of the federal government in Baghdad.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

ALLIANCES:

  • QATAR AND SAUDI ARABIA: Qatar and Saudi Arabia are close to striking a preliminary agreement to end a dispute that has pitted the Gulf neighbours against each other for more than three years. The expected deal comes after United States visit to the Gulf region, before the Trump administration leaves office in January.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

  • BAHRAIN AND ISRAEL: Bahrain -fourth Arab country to form diplomatic relations with Israel- signed with Israel several agreements and assured that stands with Israel against an Iranian threat.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY


EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

CONFLICTS:

  • EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN: EU warns Turkey of quick sanctions if dialogue over Eastern Mediterranean drilling and Cyprus fails

SOURCE: EURO NEWS

  • EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN: Outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took aim at Turkey, decrying Ankara for compounding tensions with other allies in the Mediterranean (and for buying a Russian-made anti-aircraft system).

SOURCE: EURO NEWS


AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

TERRORISM:

  • NIGERIA: The Nigerian Army denounced that “there is an international conspiracy to cut Nigeria to size and compromise national renegades making attempts to destabilize and dismember Nigeria, if possible, in subservience to the international paymasters, who are the owners of Boko Haram”.

SOURCE: RIPPLES NIGERIA


SOUTH AMERICA:

1200px-South_America_(orthographic_projection).svg

STRATEGIC RESOURCES:

  • BRAZIL: Brazil’s Petrobras could expand its operations into neighboring Guyana, whose production is quickly expanding after a series of blockbuster offshore finds.

SOURCE: REUTERS


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