Global Geopolitical Conflicts News September 2020

Daily, the most relevant news related to global geopolitical conflicts in a synthetic and organized way.

September 2020

Just the essential



EURASIA

  • Armenian and Azeri forces exchanged fierce fire for a second day over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the heaviest since 2016, have rekindled concern over stability in the South Caucasus region, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets. Turkey said it would support Azerbaijan, its traditional ally.

SOURCE: REUTERS

 

EURASIA

  • India announced that it will not participate in the Kavkaz-2020 military exercise to be held under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) — a Eurasian multilateral grouping led by China and Russia, which also has Pakistan as a member – in southern Russia.  India’s decision once again brings to question why India decided to join the SCO as it deepens its strategic relationship with the United States and allied powers in the Indo-Pacific.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

EURASIA

  • Germany announced a set of Indo-Pacific policy guidelines, to allow Germany to make “an active contribution to shaping the international order in the Indo-Pacific.”  Germany recognizes that the growing strategic uncertainty in the Indo-Pacific—due both to China’s increasing assertiveness in the region and the American push back that this has engendered—is likely to have direct impact on Germany’s future prosperity and security.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

EURASIA

  • Russia has begun efforts to increase his homeland’s military presence in the Far East along the border with China and the wider Asia-Pacific. Russia wants to make contingencies through sufficient military capabilities in a region which could be severely affected because of a potential conflict, mainly due to brewing tensions between the navies of the US and China.

SOURCE: EURASIANTIMES


ASIA PACIFIC:

  • Tensions are continuing to escalate between China and Taiwan, stoked by the United States provocative maneuvers in the region. Beijing has responded by sending dozens of fighter jets and bombers on multiple flights near Taiwan this month, with some travelling beyond the median line separating the mainland from the island.

SOURCE: WSWS

 

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • Malaysia will not follow United States in imposing sanctions on 24 Chinese companies, while tensions are escalating between China and the US over South China Sea issues, and countries in the region are being pressured by the US to pick sides.

SOURCE: STRAITS TIMES

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • The tiny Pacific nation of Palau has urged the United States military to build bases on its territory, which lies in a region where Washington is pushing back against growing Chinese influence.

SOURCE: ASIA TIMES

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • US Secretary of State Pompeo has urged top diplomats from Southeast Asia to cut ties with Chinese companies helping build islands in the South China Sea, weeks after Washington blacklisted two dozen firms working in the disputed waters.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • India and Japan last week concluded their Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), agreement that shows strategic convergence between two major swing powers in the Asia-Pacific. The two countries have found much to agree on insofar as their geopolitical interests in the Indo-Pacific region, with growing concerns about China.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States, Australia and India -collectively known as “the Quad”- will meet next week to affirm their countries’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The meeting comes amid China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

SOURCE: NIKKEI


SOUTH ASIA

  • The United States and the tiny Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives concluded recently a defense agreement. The decision was taken in consultation with India, which has long expressed discomfort with the idea of extra-regional powers -especially China– meddling in its backyard.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

SOUTH ASIA

  • New clashes broke out between Indian and Chinese troops along disputed eastern Ladakh region (region administered by India as a union territory, and constituting a part of the larger region of Kashmir). India and China have been in a border stand-off since the last week of April.

SOURCE: ALMASDAR NEWS

SOUTH ASIA

  • China and India have accused each other of firing shots on their flashpoint Himalayan border in a further escalation of military tension between the nuclear-armed Asian rivals.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

SOUTH ASIA

  • Indian, Chinese Soldiers exchanged ‘heavy fire’ during clash over critical heights near Pangong Lake, despite ‘peace talks’ between China and Indian External Affairs Ministers. China deploys over 10,000 Soldiers at the dispute border.

SOURCE: EURASIANTIMESEURASIANTIMES

SOUTH ASIA

  • India woos Iran to keep China away from Chabahar (which connects India to Afghanistan, where India’s presence is linked to its rivalry with neighboring Pakistan). India has been worried about China gaining foothold in Chabahar, after Iran dropped New Delhi from the rail project and started negotiating a long-term deal with Beijing. The worry comes at a time of heightened tensions between India and China following a series of clashes between the two armies in the border region of Kashmir.

SOURCE: YENISAFAK

SOUTH ASIA

  • Pakistan’s government is putting the finishing touches on plans to “provisionally” make the Gilgit-Baltistan region of disputed Kashmir part of the country, risking another high-stakes showdown with India. Pakistan’s move would feed Indian apprehensions that it might have to fight a high-altitude, two-front war against both China and Pakistan, analysts said. The region is also of key strategic importance to China.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

SOUTH ASIA

  • Pakistan and Afghanistan have reaffirmed their commitment to closer ties and the Afghan peace process. Afghanistan appreciated Pakistan’s help in the peace process and stand out the need for a new era of bilateral relations, which have often gone through periods of deep mistrust.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA


EUROPE

  • The United States don´t consider Lukashenko the legitimately elected leader of Belarus and is considering sanctions against the country (see also GGN Anti-government protests news). The European Union has already said it doesn’t recognize Lukashenko as president, and it has prepared a list of individuals to be sanctioned over last month’s election fraud.

SOURCE: FOREIGN POLICY

EUROPE

  • Turkey has announced that Russia will hold live-fire naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean, amid escalating tensions between Turkey and its coastal neighbors Greece and Cyprus over rights to search for energy resources in the region. The move could clearly be a message from Moscow that it remains a major regional player whose influence won’t be diminished by Washington.

SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST

EUROPE

  • The Mediterranean countries allied under the cover of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (Egypt, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Jordan and Israel) announced the transformation of this project into a regional organisation that aims to counter Turkish harassment and officially turn Egypt into the natural gas capital of the region. France had already requested to join the forum, and the United States has become a permanent observer, which gives the forum important international weight.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY


MIDDLE EAST

  • Following recent altercations, Russia and the US have strengthened their forces in northeastern Syria, to secure their positions and prevent further clashes. Most of northern Syria is under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are mainly supported by the US-led International Coalition.  Northeastern Syria is a strategic region, as it is close to Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and the Mediterranean, in addition to the presence of oil fields.

SOURCE: SYRIANOBSERVER

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • The United States announced fresh sanctions and measures against entities and individuals related to Iranian nuclear and conventional weapons programs. This latest move came shortly after the Trump administration’s claim that all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran had been restored according to the “snapback” mechanism under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The United States unilaterally invoked the “snapback” after its failed and isolated attempt in the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo against Tehran.

SOURCE: GLOBAL TIMES

MIDDLE EAST

  • The United States has conditioned Sudan’s removal from a list of states sponsors of terrorism on its normalisation of diplomatic ties with Israel. Sudan has been widely tipped to be the next Arab country that would normalise ties with Israel after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to do so as part of a US-brokered agreement in mid-August.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • After the peace agreement signed recently, Israel will propose that the UAE help promote the construction of a land pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Israel for oil and distillates for shipping from the Mediterranean coast onto Europe and North America using the existing infrastructure of the EAPC pipeline. Such plan would be cheaper and safer by bypassing the dangerous and costly Straits of Hormuz and Suez Canal shipping routes.

SOURCE: GEOPOLITICS NEWS

MIDDLE EAST

  • Turkey urged Kosovo against opening an embassy in Jerusalem, saying doing so would undermine UN resolutions and hurt the Palestinian cause. Turkey’s response came after Serbia and Kosovo signed separate agreements with the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem and normalise relations with Israel.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

MIDDLE EAST

  • UAE and Bahrain sign normalization deal with Israel at White House. The agreement merely formalized ties between the nations that had been thawing anyway, and that all three share an interest in opposing Iran’s influence in the region. Iran, Turkey and Palestinian authorities have condemned the agreements. Saudi Arabia issued a statement supporting the Palestinian position.

SOURCE: DW

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran and Turkey should take a unified stance on a recent normalization deal between the UAE and Israel, president Rouhani told his Turkish counterpart Erdogan. They already agreed that the deal is definitely against the interests of Muslim nations and the Palestinian cause (see also GGN August 2020).

SOURCE: TEHRAN TIMES

MIDDLE EAST

  • Prompted by Arab states normalising relations with Israel (see GGN August-September 2020), fractured Palestinian political factions are working diligently in multilateral talks to restore unity. Palestinian groups led by Hamas and Fatah agreed on a “unified field leadership” that will lead “comprehensive popular resistance” against the Israeli occupation.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

MIDDLE EAST

  • Progress may be made within weeks to end a three-year blockade of Qatar by Arab states. The dispute dates from 2017 when the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorism”.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA


AFRICA:

  • SUDAN: Sudanese authorities and several rebel movements signed an historic peace agreement to end a 17-year war in Sudan, where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed.

SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS

AFRICA:

  • The United States has suspended financial aid to Ethiopia over the lack of progress in talks with Egypt and Sudan about a massive dam Addis Ababa is constructing on the Blue Nile River. Ethiopia considers the hydropower dam essential for its electrification and development but downstream Egypt and Sudan view it as a serious threat to vital water supplies.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA


LATIN AMERICA:

  • US Secretary of State Pompeo realized a trip to four Latin American Countries –Suriname, Guyana, Brazil and Colombia– which is interpreted of being another move to contain China, after his anti-China lobby in Europe and the Middle East. Some observers said it is also a US attempt to create governing problems for Venezuelan authorities.

SOURCE: BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE


CENTRAL AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN

  • Great Britain accused China of placing pressure on Barbados to remove the Queen as its head of state (Barbados announced last week that it would become a republic in 2021) and ordered diplomats to launch a new drive against Chinese ‘expansionism’. The island is one of dozens of countries which form part of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

SOURCE: DAILYMAIL