Short thread, based on chats 1/
Last week, exasperated by the back-and-forth that has paralysed the council, including between China and the United States, nine of the 10 non-permanent members formally requested a meeting featuring a presentation by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Eurogroup is trying to find a compromise between Italy, France and Spain, on the one hand, who want ‚coronabonds‘, and northern deficit hawks like the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland who advocate the use of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), rejecting any mutualizing of debt.
The two sides have been speaking in recent days over Skype, officials have said, as the coronavirus pandemic has curbed international travel.
Pompeo will meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival, ex-Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who also proclaimed himself president after results of the September vote were published with a months-long delay.
The Kabul-Taliban prisoner swap, which is one of the steps outlined in the Doha agreement will allegedly be at the top of the agenda,
CureVac said on its website that CureVac CEO Daniel Menichella met with President Trump and Vice President Pence earlier this month to discuss a coronavirus vaccine. The CEO said at the time he was “very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months.”
According to a statement from Netanyahu’s bureau on Friday morning, the premier stressed to Gantz during their nighttime meeting that „terror supporters“ cannot be part of said government, neither in normal circumstances nor in emergency.
The comment seems to be implicitly refering to members of the Arab-majority Joint List, the third largest party in the Knesset, which Netanyahu heavily vilified during Israel’s numerous election campaigns over the last year.
Talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the European Union over the fate of refugees in his country ended in failure Monday with no clear agreement over what should happen next on an issue that has further strained relations.
Kahol Lavan confirmed Sunday night that party representatives were in contact with Yisrael Beiteinu and the Joint List over efforts to form a minority government with their support.
A source in Kahol Lavan said nothing will be said to the media “until it’s certain and finalized.”
The Joint List of Arab Israeli parties will meet Sunday to discuss the matter of recommending Kahol Lavan chairman Benny Gantz to form Israel’s next government, as well as whether to back a bill that would prevent a criminally indicted candidate from receiving such a mandate.
„Agreed. We need to move forward,“ Gantz tweeted in response a list of demands that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader listed earlier Sunday in a Facebook post.
EU TO HOST SYRIA DONOR CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS ON JUNE 29-30, WILL ALSO INVITE GOVERNMENTS INVOLVED IN CONFLICT – BORRELL
#Ankara #Greece #Idlib #Erdogan #Europe
Fighting in the northwest has triggered a humanitarian disaster and brought Russia and Turkey closer to war
Britain will begin preparations to leave the EU without a trade deal in just four months if Brussels has not agreed to its key demands by then.
A spokesman for Frankfurt’s regional court said judges had ruled Khalili’s extradition to the U.S. was permissible last year, but that the German government hadn’t provided the approval necessary for this to occur. The court then decided that it wouldn’t be proportional to detain Khalili any longer, “despite the flight risk,” and ordered him released Feb. 12, spokeswoman Gundula Fehns-Boeer told The Associated Press.
David Frost says democratic consent would snap if UK agreed to EU alignment
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Laura Kuenssberg claimed Michael Gove could be given the role to look after the last leg of the Brexit trade negotiations in Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle today.
The prime minister will use a speech on Monday to toughen his stance ahead of trade talks following the UK’s formal withdrawal from the bloc.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will also set out his approach to the talks, which are due to start next month.
Boris Johnson is preparing to impose full customs and border checks on all European goods entering the UK after Brexit, in a ramping up of pressure on the coming EU-UK trade talks, the Telegraph has learned.
„We do not have a communique text. Let us hold the conference first and then examine the results, see what steps we can take and then discuss them. Let us see what these will be. „
The draft also recognizes Tripoli-based state oil company NOC as the sole legitimate entity allowed to sell Libyan oil, according to the draft, which will be discussed at the summit.
„As you do that step by step, that’s in essence how you develop some trust that lets you go to the final goal, which is elimination of nuclear weapons and the means to produce them, and integration of North Korea into the community of nations and the international economic system,“ he added.
Hecker was in Seoul to attend a forum on geopolitics and the denuclearization of the North hosted by the Korean National Diplomatic Academy and the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network.
„I’d be surprised if North Korea acted hostilely,“ Trump was quoted as telling reporters at the White House. „He knows I have an election coming up. I don’t think he wants to interfere with that. But we’ll have to see.“
The remark came as the North has increased pressure on the United States to meet its demand for a new negotiating proposal by year’s end, strongly suggesting that otherwise, it could restart testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
In the statement, the ambassador, Kim Song, said the United States‘ pursuit of „sustained and substantial dialogue“ was a „time-saving trick“ to benefit a „domestic political agenda.“
„We do not need to have lengthy talks with the US now and the denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiation table,“ he said.
The U.N. bans North Korea from launching satellites because it is considered a forbidden test of long-range missile technology.
After repeated failures, North Korea successfully put a satellite into orbit for the first time in 2012 in a launch from the same site. North Korea had another successful satellite launch in 2016.
Erdogan repeated an expression Macron had used to describe NATO to hit back at the French leader over his criticism of fellow NATO member Turkey’s intervention against Kurdish forces in Syria.
„This is not a statement, these are insults,“ an Élysee official said, adding: „The ambassador will be summoned to the ministry to explain things.“
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has harshly slammed French President Emmanuel Macron over his criticisms of the Turkish military operation into Syria, while urging him to check his own “brain death” before talking about the status of NATO, in reference to the French president’s remarks that the alliance was suffering a “brain death.”
“The president of France, Mr. Macron, I am saying this to you from Turkey and I will say it at NATO as well. You should first check your own brain death,” Erdoğan said at a groundbreaking ceremony for a university complex in Istanbul on Nov. 29.
Mr. Trump is expected to meet one-on-one with a handful of his counterparts, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Angela Merkel. But he is not currently scheduled to meet one-on-one with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is due for another election the week after hosting the NATO summit, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on Friday.
The administration sought to cut its contribution to Nato’s direct budget from 22 per cent to around 16 per cent, CNN reported, citing US defence officials.
It would bring its contribution closer to Germany, which pays 14.8 per cent. The UK pays 10 per cent.
North Korea is no longer interested in holding another summit with the United States that will „bring nothing,“ a former chief nuclear envoy of the communist nation said Monday, urging Washington to drop its „hostile policy“ against Pyongyang.
North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, considered leader Kim Jong-un’s top strategist in nuclear negotiations with the United States, departed for Russia on Monday, the North’s state media reported.
Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert, a Dutch diplomat serving as Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations assistance mission in Iraq since November 2018, visited the Grand Ayatollah Sistani at his home in Najaf. A few days later, Thursday the 14th at 20:00 pm, IRGC-Quds brigade commander Qassem Soleimani landed at Najaf airport and visited Sayyed Sistani to discuss his requests for a solution to the unrest in the country. Soleimani returned to Baghdad the same evening with clear answers: reforms are inevitable within a specific time-table, and the US and Iran should stop intervening because protestors are for the most part sincere and have justified demands.
Earlier on Thursday, a meeting between Blue & White’s representatives and Netanyahu’s Likud negotiating team ended with no major breakthrough, Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 12 reported.
Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz met on Thursday with the leaders of the Joint List, an alliance of four Arab-majority parties, as part of his effort to form a governing coalition after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to do so.
„Yesterday, I held talks with US President Donald Trump. On Tuesday we will be continuing talks with Mr. Putin. In the area of the operation are forces of the regime [of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] under Russia’s protection. We will be tackling the issue with Mr. Putin,“ he stressed.
The mood both in Washington and in the Middle East is that the ceasefire is not the real deal. It expires on Tuesday, October 22, the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recip Tayyip Erdogan will meet in Sochi to discuss the future of Syria. It seems pretty clear: that’s when the world will find out that the real deal will be for the future of this volatile region.
US President Donald Trump’s letter to the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan was widely derided for its stream of consciousness and the unusual tone that discards accepted diplomatic etiquette normally accepted from a national leader.
One thing in the letter stood out in particular.
Gen. Mazloum Kobani, commander in chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces, told NBC News in an interview that he recently spoke to Trump and was assured that „there would not be a massacre against the Kurds“ and that Trump would stop the invasion immediately.
In an official statement posted on Facebook, the General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces said: “Based on the request and approval of the Syrian Democratic Forces, with United States mediation represented by Vice President Mr. Mike Pence, today, an agreement for an immediate ceasefire between the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Turkish state along the front lines extending from Ras al-Ain/Sari Kani from the east to Tel Abyad city in the west was reached.”
A Democratic source familiar with how the meeting transpired said it “devolved into the president calling the Speaker a name. He was quite nasty, so she stood up to go. She started to sit back down but Rep. Hoyer got her to go. Pelosi and Hoyer walked out of the meeting.”
The source added that when Pelosi and Hoyer were preparing to walk out of the meeting, Trump said to them: “I’ll see you at the polls.”
President Trump on Wednesday tweeted out photos from his contentious meeting with Democrats and Republicans on Syria, accusing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of having an „unhinged meltdown.“
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 16 that he would meet with U.S. Vice President and Secretary of State, according to a Tweet by communications director.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will join Vice President Pence on a trip to Turkey this week in an attempt to broker a cease-fire in northern Syria.
Pence will lead a delegation on behalf of President Trump that includes Pompeo and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, the vice president’s office announced Tuesday.
Khan will meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. This is Khan’s second visit to Tehran this year. He also had a bilateral meeting with Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN summit in New York last month.
Khan will later travel to Riyadh after his talks with Iranian leaders.
Sources said ambassadors representing the EU member states had given the “green light” to accelerated negotiations, in the hope of agreeing terms by next Thursday’s summit.
The details of Johnson’s latest suggestion to the EU are yet to emerge.
The US should never have been there in the first place (though reading Hillary Clinton’s late-night response to Trump it is clearer than ever that the world dodged more than a bullet when she failed to win the presidency).
The Kurdish people should have never placed their fate in the hands of a far off and thoroughly unreliable US “ally” which has picked them up only to put them back on the shelf so many times before. Syrian Kurds belong to Syria and it is with their Syrian neighbours and government that the SDF should have been in alliance.
“At that time we may hold talks with Damascus or the Russian side to fill the void or block the Turkish attack, so this may develop and there could be meetings and contacts in case of a vacuum,” he added.
A senior Syrian government official, in return, said Damascus is ready to welcome Syria’s Kurds back into the fold after Washington left them to face Turkish military threats alone.
„In order for the AANES to continue to safeguard the people’s rights and play a role in all Syria, an agreement with Damascus is necessary. This is why we have repeatedly tried, either directly or through Russia, to hold dialogue with Damascus and reach a political agreement to end the Syrian crisis and confront the agendas seeking the division of the Syrian territory“, Badran Jiakurd, an adviser to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, said.
Mr Johnson is expected to meet with Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel later this week in a bid to persuade them to urge the European Union to enter serious talks
American officials said they have accepted the Swedish invitation to return to Stockholm in two weeks to continue discussions.
Boris has finally presented his detailed proposals to abolish the Backstop in a letter to the EU. The ERG and DUP are behind the proposals, now over to Varadkar…
Read the proposals in full below…
Boris Johnson’s new Brexit offer to the EU comprehensively rips up the backstop agreed by Theresa May – but it contains one proposal that may upset some Brexiter purists, namely that Northern Ireland should more-or-less remain in the single market for goods, food and agricultural products, subject to rules set by Brussels.
Hopes for a compromise in the envisioned talks have emerged with the ouster of hawkish U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and Washington’s apparent conciliatory gestures.
Netanyahu getting a first nod from the president would land a harsh blow on the center-left’s morale, which could facilitate Netanyahu’s plan to divide the party from within. The nightmarish vision of Netanyahu settling back in the driver’s seat and recklessly pushing the gas pedal to reach his target would make a mockery of his clear-cut defeat in last Tuesday’s election. While Gantz and his colleagues rejoice over sucker Netanyahu supposedly falling into their well-laid trap, their supporters will see them as naive novices who could soon add insult to injury by reneging on their main pledge not to participate in his coalition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz (R) as President Reuven Rivlin looks on, at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, on September 23, 2019.
Jean-Claude Juncker has offered Boris Johnson a Brexit lifeline by saying the „basis of a deal“ is in place.
Jean-Claude Juncker has now claimed ‚We can have a deal‘ in the latest Brexit development.
Speaking to Sky News, he said he was prepared to get rid of the so-called backstop from a withdrawal agreement as long as „the objectives are met – all of them“.
The EU Commission president told Sky’s Sophy Ridge he’d been sent documents by the British PM outlining draft ideas for a new Brexit deal.
Parliamentarian Aymen Odeh told Army Radio Wednesday morning he would consider supporting Netanyahu’s chief political rival as official results trickling in continued to solidify a strong showing for the coalition of Arab parties.
The chairman of the Joint List of Arab parties, Ayman Odeh, said Wednesday that he may recommend Blue and White leader Benny Gantz as the next prime minister when he meets with President Reuven Rivlin.
Gantz has already reached out to him, Odeh said, adding that “on Wednesday afternoon, we will decide which path to take.”
As of Wednesday morning, Gantz had already reached out to Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, the conglomeration of four Arab parties that scored remarkably well in Tuesday’s election, securing 12 seats.
Der britische Regierungschef Boris Johnson kommt heute in Luxemburg zu Gesprächen über den Brexit mit dem scheidenden EU-Kommissionspräsidenten Jean-Claude Juncker zusammen. Geplant ist ein Arbeitsessen. Auch der EU-Chefunterhändler für den Brexit, Michel Barnier, ist dabei.
U.S. oil prices dropped more than 2% on Wednesday after Bloomberg News reported that President Donald Trump discussed easing sanctions on Iran in order to reopen negotiations.
WTI crude oil futures fell 2.9% to $55.75 a barrel, while Brent crude fell 2.28% to $60.96 a barrel.
A meeting between the U.S. and Iranian presidents is just about a done deal. That is the growing conclusion in Israel’s security establishment after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Asper in London Thursday. As always, one caveat must be added: This summit will happen unless the less predictable member of the pair, Donald Trump, changes his mind at the last minute.
During a separate interview on NBC, Pompeo noted Camp David’s history in peace negotiations, “sometimes with some pretty bad actors.”
“The president ultimately made the decision that … if we could get commitments and then put in place a verification regime that would give us confidence that we could observe that those commitments were being honored, that … it was a useful effort to try and get all of those parties in one place so that we could have serious conversations.”
U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to abruptly cancel talks with the Taliban may have set back the Afghan peace process, but it came as a relief to the government in Kabul.
President Ashraf Ghani’s administration, which has been excluded from the negotiations, has distrusted the process from the beginning.
„Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday,“ Trump tweeted Saturday night.
Trump claimed that before traveling to the US on Saturday evening, „Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to……an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people.“
„I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,“ Trump added.
On Tuesday Mattarella will phone his predecessor Giorgio Napolitano, then will receive Senate Speaker Elisabetta Casellati at 16:00, and House Speaker Roberto Fico at 17:00.
Meetings with the parties will follow, first with the smaller ones on Tuesday and following with the larger ones on Wednesday like Brothers of Italy (FdI), Forza Italia (FI), the League and the Democratic Party (PD), before lastly the M5S.
– Boris Johnson said EU does ‚tend to come to an agreement right at end‘ of talks
– PM said he would not ‚walk away‘ from talks until the Halloween deadline expires
– Mr Johnson said negotiations will be ‚difficult‘ but still hoped a deal will be done
– Comments came at end of the G7 summit in the French coastal town of Biarritz
– World leaders are signalling power, authority and control at the crucial G7 summit, body language expert said
– Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Tusk sought presented an air of ‚intimidation‘, Judi James said
– The body language expert told MailOnline Britain’s representative Boris Johnson had an ‚air of happy oblivion‘
– She said: ‚With his hands clasped behind his back and a big, irreverent grin on his face he looks like the eternal naughty schoolboy who is having fun rather than wilting under the gaze of the others‘
– Johnson will tell Trump the NHS is off the table for trade talks when they meet
– The pair will have breakfast on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France
– US officials suggested series of mini trade deals post-Brexit, but Johnson said to prefer one comprehensive agreement
– The PM will also meet Donald Tusk and tell him to reopen backstop negotiations
Key background: The meeting will be Boris Johnson’s first major appearance on the international stage since he became prime minister in July. It will be a chance for him to discuss the U.K.’s exit from the European Union. He is also expected to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss trade between their two countries.
Thursday’s talks followed a five and a half hour meeting on Wednesday, suggesting negotiators were making last-minute efforts to reach some agreement when Japanese and U.S. leaders meet on the sidelines of a weekend Group of Seven summit in France.
Motegi said he will fly straight to France and may join the meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, where the two will likely discuss trade among other topics.
President Sergio Mattarella wants a government deal in the coming days.
Otherwise Italy faces new elections.
The next formal step in the government crisis is Premier Giuseppe Conte’s address to the Senate Tuesday, after which he may go to President Sergio Mattarella and resign rather than facing a League no confidence motion, which may not now be filed. Meanwhile two-time former centre-left premier Romano Prodi, a PD grandee, called for a „long-lasting coalition government“ possibly also including Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party.
The M5S’s minister for relations with parliament, Riccardo Fraccaro, described the notion as „the fake news of the summer which the League is spreading after bringing the government down.
„I want to say this clearly, we will not do deals with Renzi and Boschi“. The M5S’s justice minister, Alfonso Bonafede, was just as emphatic.
„The M5S will never sit down with Renzi and/or Boschi“, he said.
Former Tory former cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson claimed the leak of documents on ‚Operation Yellowhammer‘ was an example of the ‚establishment‘ plot to ’sow fear in people’s minds‘.
In a joint statement, they said: ‚This Operation Yellowhammer leak is the version of what the contingency executive put together. We remember attending a briefing on privy council terms which they said was not worst case but reasonable worst case. Theresa May had asked for this to be done. It was obviously Project Fear dressed up.
Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada was not in the mosque near Quetta when a bomb went off but his younger brother, Hafiz Ahmadullah, was leading Friday prayers and was among four people killed, several Taliban officials have said. There was no claim of responsibility for the blast that came after both Taliban and US officials have reported progress in talks on an agreement centered on a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban security guarantee.
DEFIANT Boris Johnson will meet the leaders of Germany and France this week with a stark message: MPs won’t stop Brexit.
The PM will use a two-day trip to the continent to insist the referendum result will not be delayed again beyond October 31.
The US has delayed the imposition of a 10 percent tariff on significant portions of Chinese imports until December 15 as top negotiators from the two countries spoke by phone for the first time since US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.
Discussions are expected to start in August, and he estimated that a conference report would be finalized by Oct. 1.
Two sources with knowledge of the talks said an agreement on the withdrawal of foreign forces in exchange for security guarantees by the Taliban is expected before Aug.13
About 20,000 foreign troops, most of them American, are now in Afghanistan as part of a U.S.-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces.
Das Treffen zeigt offenbar, dass die Kooperation zwischen den drei Ländern in der Frage der Denuklearisierung Nordkoreas ohne Einschränkungen fortgesetzt wird, obwohl Japan heute die Streichung Südkoreas aus seiner weißen Liste der bevorzugten Exportziele beschloss.
Lee Do-hoon and his U.S. counterpart, Stephen Biegun, met Wednesday in Bangkok on the sidelines of a series of multilateral meetings involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The Pentagon said Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, will meet later on Monday with the top American military officer, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.
The president added that Afghanistan would be “wiped off the face of the earth” in 10 days if he chose to bring a quick end to the nation’s longest war, which he called “ridiculous” and said has helped turn the U.S. into the world’s “policemen.”
“I don’t want to go that route,” Trump said.
The United States has decided not to impose sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for now, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, in a sign Washington may be holding a door open for diplomacy.
Japan said last week it would end expedited shipments of chemical compounds used by South Korean companies in the manufacture of microchips and smartphones.
Tokyo is angry at South Korean court rulings that Japanese firms must compensate forced laborers from Japan’s 1910-1945 rule of the peninsula.
According to sources, the UNC is seeking to include Japan as one of the UNC’s „sending states,“ a move likely to inflame public sentiment in South Korea amid renewed historical tensions with Tokyo.
Should Japan obtain the membership, it would pave the way for its military involvement in the event of an armed conflict on the Korean peninsula — a scenario unthinkable for many Koreans who harbor grievances stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.
There has been plenty of earnest talk since the financial crisis about reform and facing up to the challenge from the populist and authoritarian right. The appointments have shown that most of it was hot air
Thank you, Eurocrats, for being yourselves. The best cure for Europhilia is always to observe the EU’s big beasts at their unguarded worst, wheeling and dealing in their natural habitat, unencumbered by any attachment to democracy, accountability or even basic morality.
The spectacle of the past few days made for compulsive watching: we witnessed rare footage of the secretive process that propels so many retreads and second-rate apparatchiks into positions of immense power in Brussels and Frankfurt, utterly disregarding public opinion.