From Monday 4 to Sunday 10
- STRATEGIC RESOURCES
- INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
- ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.