Aylık arşivler: Nisan 2015

Yemen’s Ordeal Continues

28 April 2015

On 24 April Saudi Arabia announced that “Operation Decisive Storm” had achieved its objective and priority would now shift to rebuilding the country and political dialogue. This new phase was to be called “Renewal of Hope”. This led me to be cautiously optimistic because the Saudis through their air campaign had made their point militarily and the UN Security Council Resolution 2216 had given them everything they could reasonably expect diplomatically. Wrong! Hours later the air strikes were resumed. It is now understood that the air campaign had not ended but only entered another, “more limited” phase. Okumaya devam et

Refugee Dimension of the Libya Lesson

23 April 2015
I hold the view that the Libya intervention went beyond the letter and spirit of what was envisaged in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 of 17 March 2011 and caused divisions within the international community (*). The growing loss of migrant lives in the Mediterranean has once again focused attention on the intervention.

Rick Noack, in his Washington Post article of 21 April 2015 gave three reasons why Europe is being held responsible for migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. These were the following:
• The E.U. downsized its rescue mission in a bid to deter refugees from risking crossing the Mediterranean,
• It is nearly impossible to enter Europe legally if you’re a refugee,
• NATO and E.U. member states bombed Libya but failed to rebuild the country. Okumaya devam et

UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2216 on Yemen

17 April 2015
UNSC Resolution 2216 of 14 April 2015 represents a diplomatic victory for Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, in particular the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. In this Resolution, the Security Council remains silent on the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. But it does; Okumaya devam et

Escalation in Yemen

15 April 2015
The fighting in Yemen no doubt reminds Turks of a beautiful but sad folk song (Lament of Yemen) mourning the loss of thousands of Turkish soldiers in this far away part of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Its refrain goes;

“… Those who go there do not return, why…”

They did not return because there was no way that the Ottoman Empire, in steady decline for centuries, could hold on to Yemen. It was a lost cause. As a matter of fact, the end of the First World War also marked the end of the Empire and the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence under the leadership of Atatürk.

Pakistan’s Parliament voted unanimously and wisely last Friday not to get involved in the conflict in the far away Yemen. Instead it called upon the Nawas Sharif government to engage in diplomacy to end the fighting. Indeed, this could only have been the “wrong war” for Pakistan. Okumaya devam et

Middle East Desperate for a Course Correction

10 April 2015
President Obama has again spoken to Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times. Although the interview essentially aimed at reassuring the people of Israel and Congressional opponents that the framework agreed upon in Lausanne represents the best possible solution under the circumstances, what the President said about the root causes of Middle East turmoil was also important.

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on 24 September 2013 the President had said, “The United States will at times work with governments that do not meet the highest international expectations, but who work with us on our core interests. But we will not stop asserting principles that are consistent with our ideals…”

This was before ISIS emerged as an additional threat to stability in the Middle East and beyond.

Okumaya devam et

From Joint Action Plan toward a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Co-authored with Yusuf Buluc (*)

5 April 2015

On 23 November 2013 P5+1 and Iran reached agreement on a Joint Plan of Action which was a road map for the negotiation process that was to follow. Sixteen months later we have a framework for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the last step before a “final deal” which should be in place by 30 June 2015.

As a general assessment we wish to quote from and largely concur with the statement issued by the International Crisis Group on 2 April 2015:
“The International Crisis Group applauds the 2 April agreement on a framework for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached between Iran and the P5+1/EU3+3 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany). This achievement is a triumph of multilateral diplomacy and a testament to the seriousness of purpose, patience and persistence of the negotiators involved in this process.
“… Negotiated outcomes by nature are imperfect. These agreed upon parameters provide Iran with an enrichment capacity higher than the U.S. and its allies preferred, and sanctions relief slower and more circumscribed than Iran desired. But both sides have protected their core interests and rightfully can claim victory – a precondition for any sustainable solution.
“This accomplishment is not final; it is as fragile as the forces against it are formidable. It has serious critics in Iran, the U.S. and the region…” Okumaya devam et