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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:

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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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EUROPE:

NORD STREAM 2:

  • 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


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SOUTH ASIA:

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


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EUROPE:

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


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AFRICA:

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, and inject momentum into Africa’s economic development, Foreign minister said.

SOURCE: PEOPLE CN


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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


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EURASIA:

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


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EUROPE:

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


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EURASIA:

TURKEY-IRAN-PAKISTAN:

  • Istanbul, Tehran and Islamabad in 2021. The ITI transnational railroad is expected to enhance connectivity with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by providing a rail connection between China and Turkey. The ITI railroad will connect to China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region through Pakistan’s ML-1 railway line.

SOURCE: NIKKEI


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

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