April 25, 2016
Western media reported that upon arrival in Riyadh on April 20, 2016 for the US-GCC summit President Obama was greeted at the airport by the governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud and the event was not broadcast live on Saudi TV, as is routine with visiting heads of state, quickly generating talk of a “snub” because King Salman personally welcomed the GCC leaders personally on the tarmac.
The previous US-GCC summit was held at Camp David on May 14, 2015. And only four days before the summit Saudi Arabia announced that King Salman would not attend the meeting. This triggered the first round of speculation about a “snub”. The situation was further complicated with the news that only Kuwait and Qatar will attend the summit at head-of-state level. And, this is exactly what happened. UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sultan Qaboos of Oman and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain chose to stay away for different reasons. Nonetheless, on September 4, 2015, King Salman arrived at Andrews Airbase for a bilateral visit to the US. He was greeted there by Secretary of State John Kerry. Okumaya devam et
April 18, 2016
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second largest inter-governmental organization after the UN with 57 Member States, held its 13th Summit Conference in Istanbul on April 14-15, 2016.
Since its establishment in 1969, the OIC has remained under Saudi patronage. Islam’s holiest shrines are there; the King carries the title “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques”; the country’s oil wealth has given Riyadh, at least until now, considerable international leverage and ability to secure allegiances; and, the OIC Secretariat is located in Jeddah. Sponsoring the OIC has provided Riyadh with international clout but this has deprived the Organization of the opportunity to gain solid international status. Arab countries have been OIC’s strongest bloc. Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Pakistan are also a category of influential members because they are regional powers and closer to all the trouble. Others which can make a difference are either far away like Malaysia or Indonesia or have an understandably more limited interest in OIC’s agenda. Okumaya devam et
April 12, 2016
The war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq damaged Washington’s claim to world’s moral leadership, particularly America’s public discourse on spreading democracy. Russia and China did not entertain such claims. This left the world with the EU for inspiration. Democracy promotion, however, depends on a robust foreign policy as well as consistency.
Official website of the EU says that foreign and security policy, which has developed gradually over many years, enables the EU to speak and act as one in world affairs; that acting together gives the EU’s 28 members far greater clout than they would have if each pursued its own policies. It also states that the 2009 Lisbon Treaty has strengthened this policy area by creating:
- the post of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and,
- the European External Action Service (EEAS) – the EU’s diplomatic corps.
Okumaya devam et
April 5, 2015
Russia’s military intervention in Syria was launched on September 30, 2015. On February 22, the United States and the Russian Federation, Co-Chairs of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), issued the “Joint Statement on Cessation of Hostilities in Syria”. On February 27, despite reports of violations, guns fell silent giving rise to cautious optimism. On March 14 President Putin announced that having fulfilled their objectives “the main part” of Russian armed forces in Syria would start to withdraw. In a telephone conversation with President Obama he said that “this will certainly serve as a good signal to all conflicting sides and create conditions for the start of a true peace process.” In a nutshell, the past six months have been the most intense period of the five-year conflict opening a window of opportunity for re-energizing the political transition talks between the regime and the opposition. Okumaya devam et