France and Britain announced Tuesday a defence deal that would create a joint military taskforce, share aircraft carriers and bring their nuclear research closer. Economic necessity seems to have pushed the historic rivals to cooperation in a way that diplomacy could not.
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met his Greek counterpart, George Papandreou, on the margins of the Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative conference near Athens last week. The positive reporting of the Erdogan-Papandreou meeting marks the deepening rapprochement between the two countries, after their normalization slowed down in the second half of the 2000’s.
There's a lot of fresh news on the EU foreign policy front, so here's a roundup of salient headlines.
Tougher U.S. and European sanctions against Iran might be hitting its economy, leading to fears of looming inflation and cuts in food and gas subsidies. But that doesn't mean the Islamic Republic is out of friends — far from it. Even the U.S.'s close allies in Europe have stopped short of cutting their relations with Iran, allowing it to continue its trade in oil and gas.
During the meeting between Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Guido Westerwelle on 2 November in Vilnius, the head of Lithuanian diplomacy highlighted the goal to continue close cooperation of the two countries.
The United States used to call wayward members of NATO back to the reservation with a whistle or a shout. It decided what was deviation from doctrine, and that decision was pretty much law.
On October 28, Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement strongly contradicting the Russian government’s views on the bilateral gas trade and on Turkmen gas export policy in general. The statement follows six days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and a governmental delegation held talks with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov in Ashgabat.
Turkey is not a partner, but an owner of NATO, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Saturday, adding that an agreement within the multi-national alliance is as important as an accord within the European Union.
President Viktor Yanukovych’s foreign and security policy is controlled by Russia and coordinated with Moscow. The same conclusion is already appearing among European elites after seeing first-hand how Ukrainian foreign policy personnel work closely with Russia.
On 25 October at the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers exchanged opinions on the discussion that was initiated by the European Commission regarding the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, which would be carried out in order to shape future relations of the EU with its southern and eastern neighbours.
Participants in a high-level event marking the 20th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe today stressed the significance of the document for the history of the OSCE region and its importance for the future of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security.
Ukrainians vote Sunday in local elections that are viewed as a test of President Viktor Yanukovych's commitment to democracy. Already, his critics are crying foul.