Global Geopolitical Conflicts News October 2020

The most relevant news related to global geopolitical conflicts in a synthetic and organized way, allowing to detect perspectives and trends in just a few minutes.

October 2020

Just the essential


EURASIA:

  • NAGORNO-KARABAKH:  The fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh resumed Monday morning, with both sides accusing each other of launching attacks. Meanwhile, though Turkey denies playing a military role, it has intensified its anti-Armenian rhetoric.  Turkey has so far disregarded calls for a ceasefire from the U.S., EU, China and, remarkably, Russia. Iran announced it has a plan to bring the conflict to an end.

SOURCE: AP NEWSIRNA NEWS –  MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE

EURASIA:

  • NAGORNO-KARABAKH: Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians fought new clashes before talks at which the United States, France and Russia will discuss how to secure a ceasefire and avert a wider war in the South Caucasus. The talks mark the start of a concerted drive by the three powers to halt fighting, increasing concerns about the security of pipelines in Azerbaijan that carry natural gas and oil to Europe.

SOURCE: REUTERS

EURASIA:

  • NAGORNO-KARABAKH: Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces accused each other of launching new attacks in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, increasing strains on a two-day ceasefire intended to end heavy fighting over the mountain enclave. Russia, which brokered the ceasefire, appealed for both sides to respect it.

SOURCE: REUTERS

EURASIA:

  • NAGORNO-KARABAKH: Both Armenia, Azerbaijan report more fighting despite brokered ceasefire. The cease-fire was agreed after talks facilitated by the United States and came after two failed attempts by Russia. All three cease-fire agreements were immediately challenged by reports of violations from both sides.

SOURCE: GLOBAL NEWS


ASIA PACIFIC

  • The United States and European officials are mulling to create an ‘Asian NATO’ of regional powers to contain communist China’s expansionist ambitions. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said China’s emergence as a rising superpower is “fundamentally shifting the global balance of power” in ways should motivate NATO itself to “become more global.”

SOURCE: BUSINESS WORLD

ASIA PACIFIC

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit Jakarta to persuade Indonesia to align itself more closely to the US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in confronting security threats from China. The Quad is slowly evolving into a mechanism for military cooperation, and the outcome will depend significantly on whether China increases its aggressiveness in the South China Sea.

SOURCE: ASPISTRATEGIST ORG

ASIA PACIFIC

  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will finish up a five-day tour of Asia in which he has harangued partners and would-be partners to push back against China’s increasing political and military inroads in the region. Pompeo made it clear to the government of India that America will support its Asian almost ally. Holds talks with Vietnam’s leadership amid Washington’s push to contain Beijing in South China Sea.

SOURCES: THE DIPLOMAT   NATIONAL INTEREST   SCMP

ASIA PACIFIC

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has accused the United States of “stirring up confrontation” in the Asia Pacific, declaring as a “security risk” Washington’s plan to form an Indo-Pacific alliance, seen as a strategy to counter Beijing’s own growing assertiveness in the region. Urged the Associated of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to work together to prevent “external disruptions.”

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

ASIA PACIFIC

  • China concluded a five-day tour of Southeast Asian nations (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia), intended to shore up crucial relationships and capitalize on points of tension between these nations and Western powers including the United States.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

ASIA PACIFIC

  • SOUTH CHINA SEA: The situation in the South China Sea remains volatile and uncertain amid “aggressive actions” by China and as the U.S. patrols the area to ensure freedom of navigation, the Philippines’ military chief said.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

ASIA PACIFIC

  • SOUTH CHINA SEA: Japan and Vietnam have agreed to sign defence deal with Vietnam. Details were not immediately available. Analysts say is part of Japan’s attempts to stand up to China in the South China Sea, where Beijing is embroiled in territorial disputes with Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

ASIA PACIFIC

  • TAIWAN: China says it tracked a US Navy warship as it passed through the Taiwan Strait and has its forces in the area on high alert, as tensions between the world’s two largest economies and rivals for regional influence continue to simmer. Although the Taiwan Strait is a public waterway, China is extremely sensitive to all US military moves in its periphery amid heightened tensions over Taiwan, the South China Sea, trade disputes and other issues.

SOURCE: ALARABIYA NET

ASIA PACIFIC

  • TAIWAN: The U.S. State Department approved $1.8 billion in new arms for Taiwan in a move aimed at improving the island’s self-defense capabilities against a long-threatened invasion by China. China criticized that sale as “severe interference in China’s internal affairs”, and vowed retaliation including sanctions against the U.S. companies involved.

SOURCE: JAPAN TIMES

ASIA PACIFIC

  • HONG KONG: China opposed and strongly condemns the so-called Hong Kong Autonomy Law concocted by the US which targets Beijing over national security law imposed by China on the semi-autonomous region. The law criminalizes any anti-China activity in Hong Kong, and it was prompted by year-long anti-government protests that rocked Hong Kong last year.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

ASIA PACIFIC

  • TIBET: Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the United States is seeking to destabilize Tibet by appointing the so-called special coordinator for Tibetan issues, calling the move an interference in China’s internal affairs.

SOURCE: CGTN

ASIA PACIFIC

  • Japan’s newly appointed Prime Minster Suga Yoshihide is considering state visits to Vietnam and Indonesia in mid-October in a bid to shore up relations with two key Southeast Asian partners. Vietnam and Indonesia are important for Japan given their important positions within ASEAN and the fraught relations that both have with China.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

ASIA PACIFIC

  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Japan to rally support from Washington’s closest allies in AsiaJapan, India and Australia– as a bulwark against China’s growing regional influence. China has already denounced the Quad as an attempt to contain its development.

SOURCE: METRO US


SOUTH ASIA

  • KASHMIR: Indian security agencies are concerned about Turkey’s growing political and cultural influence in Kashmir. It began with the visit of Pakistan Army generals to Turkey last year, and “funds have also started to slowly trickle into Kashmir from Turkey through some NGOs and businessmen”.

SOURCE: AHVAL NEWS

SOUTH ASIA

  • INDIA: India is closing in on an agreement with the United States that will give it access to satellite data for better accuracy of missiles and drones, as it tries to narrow the gap with the powerful Chinese military.

SOURCE: REUTERS

SOUTH ASIA

  • INDIA: India and the United States signed a new defense agreement, the so-called Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), to facilitate the exchange of high-end military technology, geospatial maps and classified satellite data between their armies.

SOURCE: PRENSA LATINA ENGLISH

SOUTH ASIA

  • INDIA-CHINA: China and India agreed not to further escalate tensions after a series of violent Himalayan border clashes led to a heavy military build-up in the region.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

SOUTH ASIA

  • INDIA-CHINA: Senior Indian and Chinese military commanders were holding fresh talks aimed at ending a months-long standoff along their disputed border in the remote Ladakh region.

SOURCE: ALARABIYA.NET

SOUTH ASIA

  • INDIA-CHINA: China said it does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory “illegally set up by India”, a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh opened 44 new bridges, seven of which are in Ladakh.

SOURCE: SCROLL

SOUTH ASIA

  • SRI LANKA: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Sri Lanka against its tightening ties with China, as his tour of South Asia this week put a spotlight on the growing rivalry between the U.S. and China for influence in the region. Mr. Pompeo arrived in Sri Lanka just as it is ratcheting up its relationship with China with new loans, multibillion-dollar construction projects and even new laws to cement that partnership.

SOURCE: WALL STREET JOURNAL

SOUTH ASIA

  • BAY OF BENGAL: India announced that Australia will join annual naval exercises scheduled with the United States and Japan, in a move that could raise concerns in China, which has previously criticised any joint drills as destabilising. India is hosting the Malabar drills in the Bay of Bengal.

SOURCE: REUTER

SOUTH ASIA

  • AFGHANISTAN:  The US special envoy to Afghanistan warned that “distressingly high” levels of violence threaten to derail ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. This comments come as renewed fighting for days has plagued Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, a longtime Taliban stronghold.

SOURCE: HINDUSTAN TIMES


MIDDLE EAST

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exhorted Saudi Arabia to join the “changing dynamic” in the region by recognising Israel after normalisation moves by two other Arab Gulf states (Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates). Washington and Riyadh underline common resolve against Iran.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

MIDDLE EAST

  • Underpinned by the United States, Sudan normalise ties with Israel, shortly after Bahrain and UAE did, and after President Trump announced the remove of Sudan from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list. Sudan has agreed to designate Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist organization as part of the deal.

SOURCES: AXIOS ALARABIYA

MIDDLE EAST

  • Hezbollah -Iran’s main proxy and ally in Lebanon– has condemned that Israel and Sudan normalized ties. Incite the Sudanese against the current government and seeks Sudanese people to get them to protest any normalization with Israel. Iran has done the same threatening Bahrain and the UAE.

SOURCE: THE JERUSALEM POST

MIDDLE EAST

  • U.S. unveils more sanctions on Iran, including sanctions for Iranian oil sales. The sanctions are part of a maximum pressure campaign that so far has failed to achieve its goal of getting Iran to halt its missile development program and stop supporting militant groups in the region.

SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST

MIDDLE EAST

  • IRAQ: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned recently that the US would close the embassy in Iraq if Baghdad does not prevent Iran-backed Shi’ite militias from firing rockets at the heavily fortified compound in the Green Zone. It would reverse 17 years of US policy, leaving Iraq more vulnerable to Iranian influence, analysts say. Iraq’s $8 bil with US energy companies also seen at risk if Baghdad embassy closed.

SOURCE: JERUSALEM POST  – S&P GLOBAL

MIDDLE EAST

  • IRAQ: Turkey plans to set up more military bases in Iraq after stepping up its strikes against Kurdish militants there (Turkey’s military bases are active now in several states including Libya, Qatar, Syria, Northern Cyprus, and Iraq).

SOURCES: SHAFAQ

MIDDLE EAST

  • SYRIA: The United States has reiterated its opposition to Turkish military operations against Kurdish-led forces in northeast Syria, extending emergency powers to counteract the move.

SOURCE: AHVALNEWS

MIDDLE EAST

  • SYRIA: The United States has started construction of a new military base in Syrian oil rich Deir Ez-Zor governorate near the Syrian-Iraqi border. The new base will be the fourth in the governorate, and the ninth in eastern Syria.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

MIDDLE EAST

  • WEST BANK: Israel’s Higher Planning Council (HPC) of the Civil Administration that operates the West Bank is expected to approve plans to construct 4,430 new housing units in settlements in the West Bank. It will make 2020 the biggest year since 2012 for the construction of new settlement units.

SOURCE: FOREIGN POLICY

MIDDLE EAST

  • JUDEA AND SAMARIA: Five European countries – UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain– issued a joint statement condemning Israel’s decision to approve the construction of thousands of new housing units in Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria. They said the expansion further imperils the viability of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

SOURCE:: ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS


EUROPE

  • BELARUS: EU leaders broke a diplomatic deadlock and imposed sanctions on Belarus. It´s against about 40 officials accused of rigging August’s presidential election (see also GGN September 2020).

SOURCE: NEW EUROPE

EUROPE

  • BELARUS: Russia is planning to recruit Syrian mercenaries to deploy to Belarus to protect dictator Alexandr Lukashenko, a Syrian news outlet has reported. It would do it through the Russian military contractor and mercenary Wagner Group.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

EUROPE

  • BELARUS: Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for Belarus’ long-time ruler Aleksander Lukashenko to be included in the bloc’s list of individuals under EU sanctions for his violent crackdown on protesters after the “rigged” elections.

SOURCE: NEW EUROPE

EUROPE

  • UKRAINE: Ukrainian delegation initiates an urgent meeting of the security subgroup of Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) due to aggravation in Donbas, as the illegal armed formations of Russian occupants violated the ceasefire twice, killing two Ukrainian servicemen. The TCG is a group of representatives from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe that was formed as means to facilitate a diplomatic resolution to the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine

SOURCE: 112 WA

EUROPE

  • CYPRUS: Turkey provoked a new crisis with Cyprus with plans to extend its illegal occupation of part of the island to include an area called Varosha, a beach area that has been abandoned after Ankara expelled Greek Cypriots from the northern part of the island. The move has been condemned by Russia, the EU and UN. The provocation is of importance to the region, as Israel is becoming a key ally of Cyprus and Greece with a new gas deal (that collides with the interests of Turkey).

SOURCE: JERUSALEM POST


AFRICA

  • US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper visited Africa in a trip aimed in part at pushing back on Russian and Chinese influence in the region.  The US has accused China of seeking to expand its influence in the region via predatory loans and the US military has accused Moscow of deploying Russian mercenaries and fighter jets in Libya.

SOURCE: CNN

AFRICA

  • LIBYA: Turkey will continue to support Libya’s government with training, consultation, and other support, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said. It added that an agreement signed “determining the maritime jurisdictional zones between Turkey and Libya registered by the UN” its case for claiming its fair share of energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, against Greece’s maximalist claims flouting international law.

SOURCE: YENISAFAK

AFRICA

  • LIBYA: The United States has looked to increase the pace of cooperation with Egypt to control some of the main joints in the eastern region of Libya, where oil is abundant. Washington’s increased involvement is linked to American reports on the influx of foreign mercenaries in Libya and wariness about Russia’s growing proximity to the oil crescent area.  Egypt has for many years been closer to Moscow than Washington in dealing with the Libyan crisis.

SOURCE: THE ARABWEEKLY