Trump Cuts U.S. Ties With World Health Organization Amid Pandemic

Democrats and NGOs slammed the White House decision, saying the U.S. president was ceding influence to China and further undercutting the coronavirus response.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks at reporters asking questions as he returns to the Oval Office after delivering a statement on China at the White House May 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.

On May 19, U.S. President Donald Trump gave the World Health Organization an ultimatum: Start implementing reforms in 30 days or else the United States would halt funding for the international body. But 11 days after the pronouncement, Trump pulled the trigger anyway, abruptly declaring on Friday the United States would be “terminating” its relationship with WHO and cutting off the institution from any U.S. cash.

The move culminates months of growing U.S. anger with the international organization against the backdrop of spiking tensions between Washington and Beijing. It also throws into question the fate of hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. global health funding at the peak of a global pandemic.

Trump Cuts U.S. Ties With World Health Organization Amid…
Democrats and NGOs slammed the White House decision, saying the U.S. president was ceding influence to China and…

“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said in a press conference on Friday. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs.”

Top Trump officials and Republican allies in Congress have criticized WHO for being too friendly with China and providing cover for Beijing in the wake of its initial cover-up and mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak.

But the announcement also drew swift condemnation from public health experts, who said it would undercut WHO’s ability to address the pandemic just as its spread in the developing world picks up. “This is the most counterproductive move in the middle of a world health crisis,” said Megan Doherty, a senior director of policy and advocacy at Mercy Corps and a former White House National Security Council director for North Africa during the Obama administration. “In places with poor health infrastructure that don’t have an existing strong presence, this is creating a gap that we can’t fill.”

Other experts fear the decision will threaten the fate of other public health and vaccination programs around the world, beyond the current pandemic. “What it will do is rupture global vaccine programs, polio eradication, Ebola response, and a thousand other global health tasks that the U.S. relies on WHO to deliver,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, a former senior U.S. aid official now with the Center for Global Development.

Democratic lawmakers slammed the move, asserting Trump was scapegoating the WHO to cover up his administration’s own failings in the domestic pandemic response. This week, the U.S. coronavirus death toll reached a grim milestone, surpassing 100,000.

“Not wanting to take responsibility as the deaths continue to mount, he blames others,” Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a statement to Foreign Policy. “WHO could have been more assertive with China and declared a global health emergency sooner, but it is performing an essential function and needs our strong support, especially now.”

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the move would only hasten the rise of Chinese influence in international institutions. “The big winner today is the Chinese government,” he said. “They will now leap into the void created by the United States withdrawal from the WHO, and seek to become the world’s go-to power for global health. China will now write the global public health rules, not the United States. What a nightmare.”

Trump’s speech on Friday was centered on hammering China as the war of words between the two rival powers heats up. He rebuked China’s plan to impose a sweeping new security law on Hong Kong, declaring the territory no longer autonomous from Beijing and revoking Hong Kong’s special trade and economic status with the United States.

His announcement on the WHO also leaves more questions than answers—including questions the administration hasn’t even sorted through internally yet, according to several officials familiar with the matter. It was not immediately clear whether the United States “terminating” its relationship with the WHO meant it was legally withdrawing from the institution. Trump also gave no additional details on how the United States would reallocate its nearly $450 million a year in annual funding to WHO to other public health programs.
The decision appeared to have taken the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and the world health agency by surprise, several diplomats told Foreign Policy. “I don’t think anybody knew. Nobody ever knows what Trump is going to do,” said Ilona Kickbusch, a global health scholar with Chatham House, a think tank. “You have a president who needs to deflect attention from other problems and WHO seems to be the right organization [to target] right now.”

If WHO is completely cut off from U.S. funding—making up 15 percent of the institution’s budget—it’s largest funder will become not another major global power, but rather the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (China only contributes about 0.21 percent of the budget, around $40 million.)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been a leading critic of WHO, using his agency’s podium and conservative talk shows as a bully pulpit to batter the world body as the pandemic continues to spread worldwide. The former Kansas congressman accused WHO of protecting the Chinese government and failing to help provide samples of the virus from where it originated in Wuhan, China.

“When I see whether it’s the left-wing media or Democrats saying, ‘Well gosh, if you all would just cooperate with the World Health Organization,’ I am astounded,” Pompeo said in an interview with the conservative commentator Ben Shapiro earlier this month. “They failed us. It’s not the first time the WHO has failed the world in the time of a pandemic. You can’t go back to business as usual; we’ve got to fix it.”

Despite the criticisms coming from Washington, U.S. efforts to influence the direction of WHO appear to have fallen flat. Trump’s announcement on Friday follows weeks of efforts by his ambassador to the Geneva-based organization, Andrew Bremberg, to prod WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus into taking a tougher line with China. This includes an unsuccessful U.S. push at an annual WHO meeting this month to get the institution to open an investigation into the origins of the virus in China and invite Taiwan back into the health agency as an observer. China ardently opposes Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, seeing it as a sign of Taiwan’s sovereignty from Beijing.

 

BY ROBBIE GRAMER, COLUM LYNCH, JACK DETSCH | MAY 29, 2020, 6:53 PM

This article taken from foreignpolicy.com

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DEEP SEA RIVALS: EUROPE, TURKEY, AND NEW EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN CONFLICT LINES

The eastern Mediterranean is becoming ever more perilous as geopolitical fault lines steadily enmesh the region. These rifts emerge from the Cyprus ‘frozen conflict’, competition for valuable gas fields, and the increasingly entangled wars in Libya and Syria.

Overview: Fear and loathing in the Eastern Mediterranean

Asli Aydıntaşbaş Julien Barnes-Dacey Cinzia Bianco Hugh Lovatt Tarek Megerisi

In a world of pandemics, forever wars, and great power showdowns, it might come as a surprise that Europe’s next crisis is emerging from disputes over maritime law. In the eastern Mediterranean, a scramble is under way between countries in the region for access to recently discovered gas fields. Conflicting legal claims to the fields are merging with old and new conflicts, and have led to the creation of a new geopolitical front in the eastern Mediterranean that should cause Europeans substantial concern. At the heart of these tensions lies the unresolved dispute in Cyprus and long-standing antagonism between Turkey and Greece, around which a broader front of anti-Turkey forces is lining up. These disputes have also now grown to encompass the civil wars in Libya and Syria, and have drawn in states from as far afield as the Gulf and Russia.

The eastern Mediterranean’s potential for escalation was evident in February 2020, when France deployed its Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to defensively stalk Turkish frigates sailing near to the contested gas fields close to Cyprus. The fact that NATO allies are staring each other down on the European Union’s doorstep should cause all Europeans to pay greater attention to the region. The escalating conflict in Libya and the rivalry between Turkey and its Gulf rivals now directly intersect with the European-Turkish disputes over gas and territory. What happens in the eastern Mediterranean is no longer a peripheral issue for Europe.

The EU has a direct stake in the matter, but remains divided on how to approach it. The bloc has a significant interest in upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus, securing its own energy interests, and advancing a political resolution to the conflict in Libya to manage refugee and terrorism challenges. The anti-Turkey front that has converged in the eastern Mediterranean is led by EU member states Cyprus, Greece, and France. They, in turn, are working with players from further afield, such the United Arab Emirates, whose intensifying competition with Turkey is a defining feature of the strained – and ever-more destabilising – situation in the Middle East. But, collectively, these countries’ activity risks entrenching geopolitical fault lines, with consequences for Europe as a whole, not least the crucial relationship with Turkey.

To address this, the EU and its member states need to change tack and pursue a wider, inclusive deal with Turkey. They will need to incrementally agree on the components of this new bargain and, critically, base it on pragmatic engagement with Ankara rather than escalatory measures against it. Europe’s decision-makers are aware that they cannot afford a complete diplomatic breakdown, much less a kinetic confrontation, with Turkey given the world of trouble already present on their eastern and southern flanks.

This awareness needs to translate into a policy shift in which Europeans remain committed to key policy principles – namely, the sovereignty of Cypriot and, therefore, EU territory – but also recognise the dangers of current tensions with Ankara, as well as the convergence of Middle Eastern conflict lines within areas of their dispute. This approach can only succeed if Turkey also demonstrates its support for it by scaling back its drilling activity and naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean. Europeans should incentivise Turkey to do so by dialling down the recent military and political measures they have put in place. This will help prevent the dispute from slipping into increasingly zero-sum and dangerous positioning, while dispelling the impression that Europe has ganged up on Turkey in a common cause with Arab states.

NEW GAS FIELDS AND THE ANTI-TURKEY CLUB
Cyprus is central to the eastern Mediterranean’s rising tensions. After more than 40 years of frozen conflict, over the past decade hopes rose that the discovery of significant gas reserves could improve the chances of a settlement between the island’s Turkish and Greek communities. In the process, gas exports from Cyprus would help the EU diversify its energy supplies and boost regional cooperation. In time, however, a different impulse took over – one that is now increasing tension between not just Cyprus and Turkey but also between wider regional players.

A collective interest in leveraging eastern Mediterranean gas reserves spurred increased cooperation between Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt, as well as key energy companies from Italy and France. This grouping has grown to encompass Italy itself, Jordan, and Palestine, culminating in the creation of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) in Cairo in January 2019. Noticeably absent is Turkey – despite its overlapping maritime claims, vast domestic market, and potential as a transit route for eastern Mediterranean gas exports. This coalition has received the backing of the United States, whose relationship with Turkey is also strained due to divergences on a growing number of issues, most recently Ankara’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defence systems.

Although the desire to create a geopolitical hub that excludes Turkey was not the organisation’s founding purpose, it has grown to define the emerging coalition. Perceptions of the EMGF as an anti-Turkey club were bolstered when it extended its remit to include regional security cooperation and joint military drills around Cyprus. Greece and Cyprus have sought to leverage the undersea gas reserves and the creation of the EMGF grouping to improve their own political standing – at Turkey’s expense. The forum offers both countries a means to strengthen a broader alliance to counter Turkish influence. Israel and Egypt maintain acrimonious relations with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while the forum’s anti-Turkey slant has also attracted the UAE, which is engaged in an acute regional rivalry with Turkey. Like Egypt, the UAE takes issue with Turkey’s support for Muslim Brotherhood movements across the region.

This fault line is starkest in Libya, where Turkey and the UAE provide military support to opposite sides in the deepening civil war. In November 2019, Ankara and the internationally recognised Libyan government struck a partnership agreement on a maritime boundary, which created an exclusive economic zone that cuts across Greek and Cypriot interests. The move seeks to preclude the proposed EastMed pipeline, which would bring gas to European markets from Israel, Egypt, and Cyprus. Turkey has also recently applied for licences to start drilling off the coast of Libya.

This agreement caused Cyprus and Greece to line up behind Abu Dhabi’s man in Libya, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who France has long supported. But these fault lines also extend into Syria, with supporters of both sides of the civil war hiring Syrian fighters. This draws the Libya and Syria conflicts closer together – and gives Russia a greater opportunity to cement its position in the Mediterranean.

TURKEY: BACKED INTO A CORNER?
The Turkish government has long suffered from a chronic siege mentality, believing itself to be surrounded by hostile forces that threaten its core interests. The formation of the EMGF appears to vindicate such concerns.

Turkey has little room for manoeuvre to its south and west, despite having the longest contiguous coastline in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara also believes that making concessions in this part of the sea would be tantamount to conceding to the Greek position on various maritime disputes between the two countries in the Aegean. Turkey’s difficulties are exacerbated by its failure to discover gas in its local waters. Given its own economic woes, Turkey will not cede the potentially lucrative exploitation rights around Cyprus without representation for Turkish Cypriots. Turkey has long favoured a model that allocates maritime rights based on continental shelves. But this differs from the approach adopted by European states, which is based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), to which Turkey is not a signatory.

From Ankara’s perspective, there are clear links between this eastern Mediterranean coalition – as embodied by the EMGF – and wider regional conflicts, as well as the Emirati-led campaign against Turkey. Turkey believes that a slowly emerging superstructure of political, economic, and security interests will inevitably challenge its regional position. This has transformed an economic competition into an existential struggle. Turkey has responded in its traditional fashion – with escalation: namely, by increasing its military presence in Libya and concluding the maritime agreement with the Tripoli-based government. In parallel, Turkey has deployed naval expeditions to explore gas fields claimed by the Republic of Cyprus and to chase away research vessels operating under Republic of Cyprus licences.

NAVIGATING THE REGION’S CHOPPY WATERS
The EU’s current eastern Mediterranean policy centres on a ‘soft containment’ of Turkey, as marked by its introduction of new sanctions on the country in February 2020. These measures came at the request of Cyprus, Greece, France, and Italy in a bid to curtail Turkey’s predatory drilling expeditions. This dynamic was further highlighted in May 2020 in a joint declaration by Cyprus, France, Greece, Egypt, and the UAE, which “urged Turkey to fully respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of all states in their maritime zones in the eastern Mediterranean … [and] strongly condemned Turkey’s military interference in Libya”. Turkey responded by accusing the states of forming an “alliance of evil” that would create “regional chaos and instability”.

Clearly, the EU is right to stick up for the sovereignty of the Cyprus and its maritime claims: the bloc’s non-recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a pillar of its legal policy on the island. Nevertheless, the exclusionary approach towards Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean has contributed to escalation in Cyprus, as well as Libya, where European interests relating to migration and terrorism are directly under threat. This wider confrontation has also drawn the UAE more deeply into the Mediterranean theatre, a development that should be as much a cause for European concern as Turkey’s widening role. The threat of a confrontation with Turkey on Libya and wider eastern Mediterranean issues risks destabilising the long-standing refugee deal between Ankara and the EU. It could also weaken the EU position on Syria if, as has been mooted, some member states re-engage with Bashar al-Assad as a means of increasing pressure on Turkey, which maintains a military presence in northern Syria. More broadly, unless the pressure eases, this could further worsen Turkey’s relationship with the US, NATO, and the EU more generally.

There is no doubt that the EU needs a more functional relationship with Turkey to protect its core interests in migration, energy, and the Middle East. The EU should now adopt a different approach – one that recognises the need for more constructive engagement with Turkey, and that highlights their shared interests in trade, energy, and regional security. This does not have to involve a miraculous resolution of the Cyprus conflict – or, at the other end of the scale, a move towards the two-state solution supported by hawks in Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. But it might involve the recognition of some Turkish claims around the rights of Turkish Cypriots to the region’s energy spoils. And it should certainly include a rejection of active European participation in the destabilising regional conflict between Ankara and Abu Dhabi. The EU needs to carefully advance the following confidence-building steps that are in sync with core EU principles.

Cyprus
The highly contested, internationalised, and multilayered nature of problems in the eastern Mediterranean makes it impossible to address all sources of tension in one go. Instead, the EU should view the Cyprus conflict as the symbolic heart of the crisis and as a potential way to advance wider de-escalatory measures. While holding firm to its core principles, the EU should explore avenues for addressing technical issues related to gas exploitation. These are easier to engage with and resolve than more ideologically charged political questions around a final resolution of the conflict or maritime law. Besides allowing for meaningful headway on important issues, this approach would build much-needed confidence between the parties.

Firstly, European states should push the Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots towards technical-level discussions, with the goal of ensuring that all Cypriots can benefit from the island’s gas reserves – whether they live in the north or the south. Turkish Cypriots can be represented without needing to recognise the TRNC or legitimise the Turkish military presence on the island. As the EU and the UN already regard Turkish Cypriot leaders as interlocutors on intercommunal issues, they should bring them into discussions on hydrocarbons. This process could be underpinned by a moratorium on gas exploration in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone, while Turkey would need to pull its drilling ships and navy out of the area.

Bring Turkey into the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum
A wider agreement with Turkey would have to include Turkish access to the regional gas network, both in its current form and in future infrastructure developments. The current configuration of the EMGF as a conduit for political and security developments is aggravating regional tensions. For energy, security, and economic reasons, Europe and Turkey have similar imperatives to reach a deal with each other. The EU should propose Turkish access to the EMGF as an entry point to a wider deal. This would also help improve relations between Turkey and Egypt, and ease exploration and development tension between the EU and Turkey.

Linking up Libya
Enhanced European cooperation with Turkey on Libya is another necessary dimension of a more effective EU approach to the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey’s deal with the Libyan government has angered much of Europe. But Europe’s current response risks marginalising it in the region – and will only prolong the war in Libya, given Turkey’s centrality to any resolution there.

Europeans need to adopt an approach that not only presses Turkey to take a seat at the negotiating table but also provides it with incentives to do so. Europe should simultaneously ask the same of Haftar’s external backers, who in many ways bear greater responsibility than Turkey for the recent escalation in Libya.

The EU should use the assets of its recently deployed naval operation and the opening created by Tripoli’s Turkish-backed military gains to press the UAE to agree to a ceasefire and meaningful political talks. Europe should express frustration with not only Ankara but also Abu Dhabi for its role in escalating the regional conflict. This step would help convince Turkey that the EU is not singling it out. A balanced European approach to Libya, including an impartial attempt to monitor arms-embargo violations, would help persuade Turkey that the southern Mediterranean is not turning into another arena to exclude Turkish influence.

Progress on wider maritime talks would also help advance this effort, given that Turkey’s position in Libya is partly driven by concerns that other actors are looking to squeeze it out in the Mediterranean.

The EU can take steps to ease deepening eastern Mediterranean tensions in accordance with European interests. It should adopt a broad-based approach that recognises and seeks to reconcile the complex linkages that now criss-cross the eastern Mediterranean. The EU has the capacity to ensure that the accumulated benefit of a wider deal prevents backsliding elsewhere. Ultimately, a wider EU approach would aim to turn the current situation on its head, taking advantage of the highly interconnected nature of the issues and of shared interests to create a mutually acceptable stabilising track. The depth of the problems means that no single, all-encompassing bargain is possible. But Europeans could stitch together a patchwork of more self-contained deals as they work towards establishing a ‘new bargain’ with Turkey.

Given the potential for instability in the eastern Mediterranean to affect core EU interests – migration, counter-terrorism, energy security, sovereignty, and more – European states not directly involved in the overlapping conflicts should help improve the relationship with Turkey.

Countries such as Germany have highlighted how they could work to support the political process in Libya. Berlin has already provided a neutral forum for all states to try to agree on core principles. But so far it has failed, partly because of a lack of European consensus on broader eastern Mediterranean issues and relations with Turkey. This was demonstrated most recently by Turkey’s recent pressure on Malta to withdraw its support from the EU’s Mediterranean mission, Operation IRINI. As is so often the case, a lack of unity is fatally undermining Europe’s attempts to become a relevant actor, and is creating further space for other actors beyond Turkey and the UAE – namely Russia – to fill the void.

 

This article taken from www.ecfr.eu

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INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM AND TURKISH FOREIGN POLICY

 

Here is the article about that development from turkheritage.org

Depending on the structure of the international system at different time periods, Turkish foreign policy interests, security definitions, alliance relationships, maneuvering capability and diplomatic practices evinced variations. The time period between 1923 and 1939 had a multipolar international and regional environment with none of the great powers having the ability to set the course of international developments, let alone imposing their will onto others through unilateral and coercive means. During this period, Turkey’s maneuvering capability was high and Turkey pursued a multi-directional foreign policy. Developing closer economic and strategic relations with the communist Soviet Union went hand in hand with establishing friendly cooperative relations with western European powers. Turkey’s regional activism was also noticeable in the Balkans and the Middle East. The formation of Balkan Entente in 1934 and the Saadabad Pact in 1937 became possible through Turkish diplomatic efforts. Despite the fact that Turkey had just left behind its war of independence and its material power capabilities were not match of key regional and global powers, the multipolar character of the international system presented Ankara with opportunities to muddle through its way. Turkey’s foreign policy choices during this period mostly reflected internal political concerns, of which completing the radical transformation process at home stands out. Many foreign policy initiatives undertaken during this era aimed at creating a conducive regional environment so that Turkish decision makers could focus their attention on domestic reforms.

During the Second World War, Turkey continued the multi-directional foreign policy stance of the interwar period and pursued the so-called active neutrality foreign policy. Rather than siding with one side of the warring parties, Turkey tried to benefit from the geopolitical rivalries between the axis powers on the one hand and the allied countries on the other. Turkish decision makers, particularly President Ismet Inonu, conducted tough negotiations with their counterparts in both camps and tried to do their best to keep Turkey outside the great war. The multipolar character of the time period allowed Turkey to play one power off against the other.

The time period between 1945 and 1960 corresponds to a bipolar international structure in which a high level confrontation existed between the US-led western liberal democratic countries on the one hand and the communist countries of the Soviet camp on the other. Turkey felt itself under Soviet threat and wanted to join the western international community in such a way to counterbalance the existential threat to the north. Following its admission to NATO in 1952 and given the increasing tension between the two power blocks, Turkey had to pursue a predominantly pro-western foreign policy course. The rigid atmosphere of the early Cold War years did not offer Turkey the ability to adopt neutrality and pursue an independent/non-aligned foreign policy course. Turkey’s maneuvering capability was extremely limited during this era. This era is considered in the literature as the most pro-American era in Turkish foreign policy.

For about twenty years between 1960 and 1980, Turkey shifted to a more multi-directional and multi-dimensional foreign policy stance as the so-called détente caused a softening of the bipolar confrontation between western and eastern blocks. Turkish rulers came to the conclusion that the pursuit of extremely pro-western foreign policy stance of the previous era did not yield expected benefits. As the United States and the Soviet Union began to search for ways to live in peaceful co-existence, Turkey felt more capable of charting its own ways through regional activism. It is within such an atmosphere that an internal debate on Turkey’s membership in NATO ensued. Critics of NATO argued that membership in Alliance carried the risk of turning Turkey into an American satellite as well as antagonizing the Soviet Union unnecessarily. Even Finlandianization was suggested as an alternative foreign policy course.

During the 1980s, Turkey had to discover the importance of the strategic relations with the Western world once again as the change of regime Iran and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan increased the tension between the two blocks. The second arrival of the Cold War era confrontation helped increase Turkey’s geopolitical significance in western eyes. During the 1980s Turkey predominantly followed a pro-western foreign policy stance despite the emergence of some problems in relations with western countries.

Turkey’s maneuvering capability in its foreign policy radically improved with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. No longer feeling the pressure to the north, Turkey could pursue active and assertive policies in the Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East. Even though the evaporation of the Soviet threat contributed to the erosion of the strategic bond between Turkey and its western allies, membership in NATO and the prospective membership in European Union preserved their primacy in Turkey’s strategic thinking. The pro-western stance in Turkish foreign policy was also enabled by the US-led unipolar structure of the international system, the growing appeal of the constitutive norms of the western international community as well as the perception of Turkey in the west as a successful role model for the countries that regained their independence in the post-Soviet geography. The 1990s could be seen as a period in which Turkey tried to strike a balance between pursuing a more independent/multidirectional foreign policy stance on the one hand and increasing its efforts to solidify its presence in the western international community on the other. While the end of the Cold War seems to have increased Turkey’s maneuvering capability, the gradual erosion of Turkey’s strategic value in the eyes of western/European allies absent the common communism threat pushed Turkish leaders to help reassert Turkey’s western/European identity through NATO and the European Union.  This time period between 1991 and 2008 attests to the global primacy of the United States as well as the growing appeal of the US-led globalization process. The appeal of the EU membership was also high in the eyes of Turkish decision makers. Hence, the golden years of Europeanization in Turkish domestic and foreign policies.

The shift to a more multipolar system over the last decade, particularly following the global financial crisis in 2008, and the spectacular increase in Turkey’s material power capabilities seem to have encouraged Turkish rulers to follow a more multi-directional and multi-dimensional foreign policy stance. During this era Turkey has been in search for more strategic autonomy. The relative decline of western powers, the questioning of the western model across the globe, the concomitant rise of non-western powers in global politics and the onset of the Arab Spring seem to have all caused a shift of axis in Turkish foreign policy away from the West to the East. Turkey acting as a ‘central country’ and pursuing a ‘Eurasianist’ foreign policy stance became quite visible during this era. The multipolar character of the emerging world order will likely continue in the post-Covid-19 era in which Turkey’s search for strategic autonomy and balancing foreign policy practices will strengthen.

By THO Contributor, Tarik Oguzlu

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BORIS JOHNSON WILL FACE COMMON LIAISON COMMITTEE

Following Covid-19 UK Prime Minister has to face common liaison committee to answer the questions. Here is the article about that development from bbc.com.

 

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson to face senior MPs amid Cummings row

Boris Johnson will be questioned by senior MPs later amid continued calls for his top adviser to resign.

It marks the first time he has appeared before the Commons Liaison Committee – the only committee that gets to question the PM – since taking office.

Committee members are expected to ask Mr Johnson about the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

He is also likely to be asked about his aide Dominic Cummings’ controversial lockdown trip to County Durham.

More than 35 Tory MPs have called for Mr Cummings to resign or be fired after his 260-mile journey came to light.
Mr Cummings’ decision in March to drive from his London home to his parents’ farm in County Durham with his wife – who had coronavirus symptoms – and his son has dominated the headlines since the story broke on Friday night.

The PM’s chief adviser gave a news conference on Monday, explaining that he decided to make the trip because he felt it would be better to self-isolate in a place where he had options for childcare if required.

He has received the continued support of the prime minister, who said that his aide had acted legally and with integrity.

But cross-party critics have called for Mr Cummings to leave No 10, while junior minister Douglas Ross resigned in protest.
Mr Cummings has defended his trip to County Durham during lockdown
Sir Bob Neill, Tory MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, is among those calling for Mr Cummings to resign, saying the row had become a “distraction”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Mr Cummings had “real talents and abilities” but “no adviser is indispensable”.

However, in a note to fellow MPs, Danny Kruger, former political secretary to Mr Johnson and now Tory MP for Devizes, said demanding the resignation of Mr Cummings was “basically declaring no confidence in the PM”.

In response, Sir Bob said he didn’t accept this, adding: “This is actually about us wanting to help the prime minister to get back to be able to focus on the key task of pulling the country together.”

The Liaison Committee – a panel of MPs who chair various select committees – is the only Commons committee that can question the prime minister. The two-hour video conference will take place at 16:30 BST.

The committee’s new chairman, Sir Bernard Jenkin, announced the session last week – before Mr Cummings’ controversial trip came to light.

Sir Bernard said the coronavirus crisis had “led to a centralisation of power”, making the prime minister “more personally accountable than usual”.

Mr Johnson had previously been accused of dodging scrutiny after pulling out of an appearance in front of the committee in October last year.
At the time, the prime minister justified the decision by saying he had to “focus on delivering Brexit”.

Sir Bernard was appointed to his new role a week ago – despite a cross-party attempt to block it after a dispute over the procedure.

He had been nominated to chair the committee by the government, even though he no longer chairs a committee of his own.

Sir Bernard, who previously chaired the Public Administration Committee, was a leading member, alongside Mr Johnson, of the 2016 campaign to get Britain out of the EU.

The Liaison Committee, which has held scrutiny sessions with prime ministers since 2002, is made up of 37 Tory, Labour and SNP MPs who head up other committees in Parliament.

Sir Bernard will be joined in his questioning of the PM by Labour MPs Hilary Benn and Sarah Champion, Tory MPs Karen Bradley and Greg Clark, and the SNP’s Pete Wishart.

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood – who chairs the defence select committee – appeared unhappy on Twitter that he was not on the list, and was retweeted by fellow Tory Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the foreign affairs committee.

But a statement from Sir Bernard said the whole Liaison Committee had “unanimously agreed” the members of the working group who would be joining him for the session.

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SAUDI ARABIA AND RUSSIA REACH MAJOR DEAL TO CUT OIL PRODUCTION

Oil prices were at record lows for the past couple of months as the the production increased by Saudi Arabia and Russia. But on 9th of April those two states agreed on a major deal to cut oil production.

Find below the news from axios.com regarding the sucject.

 

OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement Thursday to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: The revival of OPEC+ collaboration patches up the early March rupture between the countries, which had pushed already depressed prices down much further by threatening to unleash even more new supplies into the saturated market.

The outlets, citing anonymous sources in the group, say the emerging OPEC+ agreement calls for cutting 10 million barrels per day in May and June.
That would amount to roughly 10% of global demand levels before the outbreak, which analysts now see cutting around 25 to 30 million barrels per day — or more — from global consumption in the near-term.
How it’s playing: Oil prices rose earlier today in apparent expectation of the agreement, but later fell back.

Prices surged late last week when talk of a very steep cut first surfaced. Today’s limited move suggests traders have already priced the reductions in — and recognize they pale in comparison to demand losses.
The global benchmark Brent crude was trading at around $32-per-barrel as of 2:30 p.m. ET — around $10 higher than they were in the middle of last week but below where they started the day.
How it works: Per the Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia is pledging to curb 4 million barrels per day from April production levels, while Russia will scale back by 2 million barrels daily.

“The tentative OPEC+ plan would see 10 million barrels a day of cuts through June, dropping to 8 million a day from July and then 6 million a day in the first quarter of next year,” Bloomberg reports, citing an anonymous delegate to the meeting.
What they’re saying: “The market’s muted price reaction is a sobering indicator of the headwinds that remain, namely demand destruction,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Tran told Reuters.

“If true, the preliminary production cut of 10 million bpd among OPEC+ members is a good first step, but it would still not be enough given the 20 million bpd+ supply overhang expected for 2Q20,” the consultancy Rystad Energy said in a note when word of the agreement began emerging.
What’s next: Energy ministers from G20 nations are slated to meet remotely Friday, and Russia and Saudi Arabia are hoping for millions of barrels per day in combined cuts from countries outside the OPEC+ group, including the U.S., the world’s largest producer.

The Trump administration has declined to offer firm commitments, but has repeatedly touted upcoming market-driven cuts in U.S. production as low prices prompt oil-and-gas companies to scale back.

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COALITION FORCES DECLARE CEASEFIRE IN YEMEN

After a five year war the Saudi Arabia led coalition declared ceasefire in Yemen.

Please find the article published at bbc.com regarding the subject below,

 

Yemen: Saudi-led coalition announces ceasefire

Smoke billows above a neighbourhoodImage copyrightEPA
Image captionThe UN had called on both sides to end fighting and ramp up efforts to tackle the coronavirus outbreak

A Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting Houthi forces in Yemen has declared a ceasefire, according to officials.

Sources told the BBC the ceasefire will come into effect on Thursday in support of UN efforts to end the five-year-old war.

The coalition, backed by Western military powers, has been fighting against Houthi forces aligned to Iran since March 2015.

It’s unclear if the Houthi forces will also observe the ceasefire.

Last month the UN Secretary General António Guterres called on those in Yemen to cease fighting and ramp up efforts to counter a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.

He called on the parties in the country to work with his special envoy Martin Griffiths to achieve a nationwide de-escalation.

On Wednesday, Mr Griffiths welcomes the ceasefire news in a statement.

He said: “The parties must now utilise this opportunity and cease immediately all hostilities with the utmost urgency.”

Both sides are expected to take part in a video conference to discuss the ceasefire. The proposal calls for the halting of all air, ground and naval hostilities.

A statement from the coalition forces said: “On the occasion of holding and succeeding the efforts of the UN envoy to Yemen and to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people and work to confront the corona pandemic and prevent it from spreading, the coalition announces a comprehensive ceasefire for a period of two weeks, starting on Thursday.”

The situation in Yemen has long been described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The war has cost many civilian lives and left the country on the brink of collapse.

The UN has brokered talks in the past, but this will be the first that the coalition has announced a countrywide ceasefire.

Mohammed Abdulsalam, spokesman of the Houthi movement said his group had put forward a vision to the UN which includes an end to the war and to “the blockade” on Yemen.

A significant move

This is Saudi Arabia’s most significant move to try to find a way out of its costly military campaign in Yemen.

The coalition statement suggests its unilateral ceasefire was sparked by the very real threat posed by the coronavirus in a country whose health system is barely functioning.

But another wake-up call dates back to last September when the Kingdom’s vital oil facilities came under fire in a spectacular attack blamed on Iran.

Saudi Arabia shifted gear, embarking on secret talks with senior Houthi officials to secure their border, end Houthi missile strikes on its territory, and try to pull them away from Iran.

But in recent months, Houthi forces have kept advancing militarily, encouraging more hawkish Houthi elements.

Sources say senior Houthi leaders support a negotiated end to this war. But they’re also digging in.

Even if UN talks begin, it will be a long time before they end with the political solution Yemen desperately needs.

Visits: 187

WHICH PRODUCTS RISE AND FALL DURING THE STAY HOME PERIOD

Following the Covid-19 pandemic almost all countries of the world have taken severe measures and the most effective one is stay home campaigns. That situation affected several business branches very negatively but also affected some them in a positive way. Here is the tables which shows the percentage of rise and decline of the commodities.

 

100topf top100d

Visits: 321

THINGS RETURNING BACK TO NORMAL IN CHINA

Following a very strict administered mnths Chinese people finally is out of lockdown and enjoy the situation. This will be an example for the rest of the world and a good news that the corona hysteria shall end in a couple of months. Find below the article prepared by cnn.com

 

Chinese tourist sites packed as country comes out of lockdown, but experts say risk still high

By Ben Westcott and David Culver, CNN

 

Hong Kong (CNN) Large numbers of people flocked to popular tourists sites and major cities across China over the country’s holiday weekend, despite warnings from health authorities that the risk posed by the coronavirus pandemic remains far from over.

Images from the Huangshan mountain park in Anhui province on Saturday April 4 showed thousands of people crammed together, many wearing face masks, eager to experience the great outdoors after months of travel restrictions and strict lockdown measures.
Such was the rush to get into the popular tourist spot, that at 7.48 a.m., authorities took the unusual step of issuing a notice declaring that the park had reached its 20,000 person daily capacity, and would not be accepting any more visitors, according to state media Global Times.
Meanwhile in Shanghai, the famous Bund waterfront was once again packed with shoppers and tourists, after weeks of being near deserted. Many of the city’s restaurants that were shuttered only days ago also appeared to be doing a brisk trade, with several requiring reservations to enter.
Visitors pack Anhui province's Huangshan mountain park on April 4, exceeding the visitor limit of 20,000.
Visitors pack Anhui province’s Huangshan mountain park on April 4, exceeding the visitor limit of 20,000.
A similar story played out in the capital Beijing, with locals flocking to the city’s parks and open spaces.
The abrupt return to apparent normality comes more than three months after the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The outbreak, which has since spread around the world infecting more than a million people, saw much of China brought to a near standstill in an effort to contain transmissions.
At its peak, thousands of new cases were recorded in China everyday. However, in recent weeks the rate of infection has slowed significantly. On Monday, China reported just 39 new cases, all but one of which were imported. To date, China has recorded 82,641 cases and 3,335 deaths.
But while the government is slowly relaxing restrictions, Chinese health experts have urged the public to continue to practice caution.
Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Health Times on Thursday that China had not seen the end of the epidemic.
“China is not near the end, but has entered a new stage. With the global epidemic raging, China has not reached the end,” he said.
Too much, too soon?
With the number of new infections in China reportedly falling, the government has tentatively begun efforts to restart the country’s manufacturing and service industries.
The collapse in activity has affected every sector of the country’s economy, leading to concerns of long term damage.
In recent weeks, however, there have been signs that the government has been wary of opening up too quickly and sparking a second wave of infections in the country.
Plans to re-open movie cinemas were canceled in late March, less than two weeks after they had been told to restart, according to state media. While numerous tourist attractions in Shanghai were open for just 10 days before they were shut again on March 31.
How Chinese businesses are adjusting to coronavirus outbreak 01:25
After pictures of the crowds at Huangshan emerged on social media, the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, issued a stern reprimand on social media warning tourists: “Do not gather!”
In a commentary published on the newspaper’s website, one opinion writer said while it was understandable people would want to get out after being shut up in quarantine, now was not the time to stop being “vigilant.”
“If there are asymptomatic carriers present during large-scale gatherings, the consequences would be severe,” the article said.
According to the paper, Huangshan has since announced it will stop receiving tourists.

Third wave
Concerns around whether China is relaxing its coronavirus restrictions too soon have led Hong Kong experts and authorities to warn of the possibility of a “third wave” of infections in the city.
Speaking to local journalists Sunday, Hong Kong epidemiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said that there could be a “new wave” of cases in mainland China, off the back of imported infections from Europe and the US.
“So in Hong Kong, we might have a third wave of cases coming from the mainland after a second wave …The epidemic is still serious in the society. At this stage, it is still not optimistic. What worries me the most is inadequate testing on patients with mild symptoms, which prevents us from cutting off the chain of transmission,” he said.
The global financial hub is still trying to contain a second wave of imported cases after returning citizens and expatriates from Europe and the United Kingdom led to a new outbreak in late March.
In just under two weeks, the number of local infections has risen from 317 to almost 900.
The convenor of Hong Kong’s Executive Council, Bernard Chan, told public broadcaster RTHK Sunday that the city’s government still had stricter measures it could bring in to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
Such measures could include restricting restaurants to “take-out only” or even a citywide lockdown.
“It could also risk spreading panic but we have to accept that it may be necessary if the alternative is the risk of something worse,” he said.
CNN’s Shawn Deng, Isaac Yee, Eric Cheung and Steven Jiang contributed to this article.

Visits: 229

FPI PRESIDENT INTERVIEWS WITH XINHUA.NET ABOUT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Foreign Policy Institute President Prof.Dr. Hüseyin Bağcı talked about the importance of the international cooperation at an interview done by Xinhua.net. Find the interview below taken from the xinhua.net web page;

Interview: Int’l cooperation “a must” for fighting COVID-19, says Turkish expert

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26 12:37:08|Editor: huaxia

ANKARA, March 26 (Xinhua) — International cooperation on a global scale is a must when fighting the coronavirus pandemic and China can play a big role in this process, a Turkish expert said Wednesday.

“Because of its efforts and knowledge in tackling this crisis and its success in doing so, China can play a locomotive role in establishing a common understanding in the Group of 20 (G20),” said Huseyin Bagci, president of the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute and professor of international relations at the Middle East Technical University (METU), in an interview with Xinhua.

The founding mission of the G20 is to lead and coordinate other nations in times of crisis and tackling this global pandemic requires international cooperation and collaboration, the expert said.

“The outbreak is global and doesn’t differentiate the West from the East, nor the rich from the poor. The G20 cannot stay indifferent to this global crisis which needs global responsibility,” Bagci said.

A special G20 leaders’ virtual summit on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be held on Thursday, hosted by Saudi Arabia, the current G20 presidency.

Despite their differences in approaching the crisis, major governments should coordinate their policies and measures in the fight against the pandemic and promote stability at the virtual summit, Bagci noted.

Facing such challenges, the international community should focus more on international cooperation and motivate regional organizations, such as the African Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to promote regional coordination.

The effective way that China has dealt with the outbreak is recognized by the international community, Bagci said, adding that countries at the summit will be keen to benefit from China’s medical experience and knowledge.

Bagci said this could also be an opportunity for all countries to put aside their differences and pull together.

On the economic front, the expert said the G20 should also play a leading role in helping the world ride out the aftershocks of the disease, as “the G20 is a group that produces ideas and solutions towards a common ground and despite different opinions.”

Visits: 991

OIL WAR BETWEEN SAUDI ARABIA AND RUSSIA

It is enjoyable for non oil producer countries to see the historic low prices of oil but of course people are worried about its after effects and what waits us in the future.

Here is an analysis by Sam Meredith from cnbc.com

 

An oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia will most likely accumulate over the course of the year, energy analysts have told CNBC, with no end in sight until 2021 at the earliest.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $26.01 Wednesday, down around 9%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $22.73, more than 15% lower.

Brent fell to its lowest level since September 26, 2003 on Wednesday, while WTI slumped to lows not seen since March 6, 2002.

It comes as the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide and amid an ongoing price war between OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC leader Russia.

Analysts at Eurasia Group believe the price war between Riyadh and Moscow is likely to last throughout 2020.

“The Gulf countries see Moscow as an important power that can play a broader security role in the region over the long term. The relationship between Mohammad bin Salman and President Vladimir Putin probably took a hit but the strategic imperatives have not changed,” analysts at the risk consultancy said in a research note.

“Extensive pain from the oil price shock will accumulate over the course of 2020 and create the necessary conditions for negotiations, compromise, and probably a new production restraint agreement,” they added.

“Saudi policy will now revolve around inflicting pain on other producers over the short term, but its long term objective is to be the predominant market manager and price setter,” analysts at Eurasia Group said.

How did we get here?
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco said it would likely continue with a planned oil production hike from April into May, reportedly suggesting it was “very comfortable” with an oil price of $30 a barrel.

Aramco plans to increase its output to 12.3 million barrels per day (b/d) from April, with the United Arab Emirates also pledging to raise output from next month.

“The Saudis have a potent weapon at their disposal, namely spare production capacity,” Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said in a research note.

“As the long-time purveyor of global spare capacity, Saudi Arabia is reopening the oil spigots after having done most of the heavy lifting in curbing supply.”

“Put simply, the Saudis are in for the long haul,” Brennock said.

Russia, which refused to sign up to OPEC’s proposal of deeper production cuts earlier this month, has claimed it can withstand lower oil prices for as long as a decade.

Nonetheless, Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management, said in a research note that the timing of this price war was “really horrible” for Russia.

“Putin wants to deal now — why else would he risk the much improved relationship with Opec+ and the Saudis, and even his popularity at home going into the vote next month.”

“For Putin, I think it is now or never,” Ash said.

Oil surplus could ‘overwhelm’ global storage
Meanwhile, analysts at Bank of America warned Wednesday that an OPEC+ supply surge and crumbling oil demand had raised concerns about a surplus that could overwhelm global storage.

“In our base case, inventories would rise by an almost unprecedented 4 million b/d in (the second quarter), but this number could be as high as 10 million b/d in a severe surplus,” analysts at Bank of America said in a research note.

“In a severe scenario, if the market struggles to find a home for surplus barrels then oil prices might have to trade down into the teens in order to shut in oil production,” they added.

Visits: 451

US TAKES SERIOUS MEASURES FOR THE CORONA VIRUS

As we all know things get different when its related with US. After not taking the virus as a serious threat for a while US government and institutions declared some heavy measurements to fight with the infection. US stopped the flights from Europe to US as Europe especially Italy is now the hot point of the corona virus. They have included militarey forces to fight with the virus. National Basketball Association suspended the NBA league for an indefinite period of time. It is sure that other sports associations will act similarly especially for the indoor sports. These are really strict measures and we will see if there will be a lock down similar to Italy’s in the near future.

In the mean time the effects of virus in China has almost been neutralized. New infected cases dropped close to zero and there are news that the production shall begin soon in the Wuhan region where the virus originated. In all around the world most of the countries are taking measures and for sure some of the nations are in an unnecessary panic.

Visits: 339

WORLD ECONOMY IS GOING INTO A SERIOUS CRISIS

Economists very often warn people about a global crisis, however that does not always become a reality. But following the effects of Corona virus in China first signs of a global crisis clearly appeared in front of us. A giant producer stopped most of its productions with a fear of further spreading the infection to the workers. One may think that other countries shall immediately replace this lack of production  thus having more profit. But as the days are passing we see that, this is not the scenario in front of us. First of all China’s own economy shall be affected negatively and it will consume much less from all around the world, many of its companies shall be out of business and recession may start. Secondly the virus did not stop within Chinese borders and quickly spreaded all around the world.

Italy has declared a complete lock down of the country. Its results shall be very negative for Italy and for the Europe. So nobody shall be immune for the economic effects of the corona virus. To overcome the slow down of the global economy or to cut the influence of Russia around the world, Saudi Arabia decided to increase its oil supply and that decision immediately showed its effects. The oil prices are now at the lows of several decades. It dropped 30% in a single day. That may be a good thing for the end users but a disaster for the countries whose main income are from the carbon based fuels. Very quickly stock exchanges all around world reacted to this situation and they suffered heavy losses and that situation continues. NYSE had to shut down the buyings and sellings to overcome the shock.

It is clear that in the close future things shall not be better. There may be other countries who will join Italy for a lock down of the country thus stopping the production lines and lose a lot of money. If the coming summer at the northern hemisphere doesn’t miraculously help to cure the infection we may say that the world wilde economic crisis shall be deepened very soon.

 

Visits: 223

SINGLE DAY PRESIDENCY AT GUINEA-BISSAU

Following a single day at the office being the President of Guinea-Bissau, Capriano Cassamo quits his job after taking death threats. Please find article of bb.com about the subject;

Guinea-Bissau’s Cipriano Cassamá quits amid ‘death threats’

Cipriano CassamáImage copyrightDAN SANHA
Image captionCipriano Cassamá was speaker of parliament until he briefly became president

One of the two men declared president of Guinea-Bissau has resigned from the post after just one full day in office, saying his life was in danger.

Cipriano Cassamá was chosen by lawmakers as president following disputed elections in December.

This was despite the fact that former army general Umaro Cissoko Embaló had already been sworn in as president at a hotel in the capital, Bissau.

Guinea-Bissau has had nine coups or attempted coups since 1980.

A former Portuguese colony in West Africa, it has also become a key trafficking point for drugs from South America on their way to Europe.

This has led to it being dubbed a “narco-state”.

What is happening today?

By Ricci Shryock, Bissau

Ministries are closed and surrounded by armed guards, as the country lurches through a protracted crisis that some parliamentarians are calling a coup.

A truck of soldiers from a regional force, deployed to Guinea-Bissau about eight years ago, are guarding the home of Aristides Gomes, one of two men laying claim to the post of prime minister.

The soldiers are perched on their white truck, with a mounted machine-gun pointed outward and at the ready.

Soldiers from the Economic Community of West Africa States's (ECOWAS) security mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) wait in their truck outside the presidential palace in Bissau on November 24, 2019Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionRegional troops have been in Guinea-Bissau for years to prevent conflict

Mr Gomes’ home is just a few hundred metres from the presidential palace.

On the same street, the Ministries of Finance, Justice and Fisheries are all closed and guarded by armed officers.

But residents appear to be continuing with their daily lives – cashew vendors are still on the streets, and residents are still withdrawing money from cash machines along Avenue Amilcar Cabral, named after the revolutionary who led Guinea-Bissau’s campaign for independence.


Why did Guinea-Bissau have two presidents?

The poll was intended to draw a line under the past, but it has triggered a new political crisis in a nation where the military wields huge political influence.

The national electoral commission declared that Mr Embaló had beaten his main rival, Domingos Simoes Pereira, by 54% to 46% in the 29 December run-off election.

Supporters of newly elected President Umaro Cissoko Embalo celebrate on 1 January, 2020.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionSupporters of Mr Embaló celebrated after he was declared the official winner

Outgoing President José Mário Vaz handed power to Mr Embaló at a ceremony at a luxury hotel on Thursday.

But Mr Pereira’s PAIGC party, which led Guinea-Bissau to independence and was the only legal party until 1990, rejected Mr Embaló’s inauguration, saying the election was marred by fraud.

It then used its parliamentary majority to swear in Mr Cassamá, the parliamentary speaker, as interim president, until the Supreme Court ruled on its bid to annul Mr Embaló’s victory.

What did Mr Cassamá say?

Mr Cassamá said he had no choice but to give up the post because he had received death threats.

“I have no security… My life is in danger, the life of my family is in danger, the life of this people [nation] is in danger. I cannot accept that, that is why I took this decision,” he told reporters.

Mr Cassamá did not say who had threatened his life.

Election workers start the counting of ballots during the second round of Guinea Bissau's presidential election in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau December 29, 2019.Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionElection officials deny the poll was rigged

Guinea-Bissau still has two rival prime ministers.

On Sunday, one of them, Aristides Gomes, said military officers had invaded his private home in Bissau in a bid to force him to resign.

“They threatened to kill the security officers in my service if they do not resign, and threatened to kill me if I do not resign from the office to which I was legally appointed,” he said.

Mr Gomes has refused to recognise a decree by Mr Embaló, which replaced him with Nuno Gomes Nabiam, a former presidential candidate who threw his weight behind Mr Embaló in the run-off election.

The West African regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), has called for an end to the turmoil, and has warned that a military force is on standby to “re-establish order” in the event of a coup.

Mr Embaló has said he wants to resolve tensions and modernise Guinea-Bissau – one of the world’s poorest nations, which is home to some 1.6 million people.

Visits: 798

CHINESE AIR BECOMES CLEAN THANKS TO CORONA VIRUS

For the last decade one of the China’s biggest problems is the air pollution. There is huge production in the country, factories are non-stop working and there is very heavy traffic on the roads with all types of transportation. Naturally that leads to a very problematic air polution problem. However, by the fatal corona virus threat, China went to a country wide lock down of the factories, schools and public places. Those measures solved the air pollution problem for now. Here is an article from bbc.com regarding the subject;

 

Coronavirus: Nasa images show China pollution clear amid slowdown

  • A map released by Nasa shows how air pollution levels have reduced in China this yearImage copyrightNASA
Presentational white space

Satellite images have shown a dramatic decline in pollution levels over China, which is “at least partly” due to an economic slowdown prompted by the coronavirus, US space agency Nasa says.

Nasa maps show falling levels of nitrogen dioxide this year.

It comes amid record declines in China’s factory activity as manufacturers stop work in a bid to contain coronavirus.

China has recorded nearly 80,000 cases of the virus since the outbreak began.

It has spread to more than 50 countries but the vast majority of infections and deaths are in China, where the virus originated late last year.

Nasa scientists said the reduction in levels of nitrogen dioxide – a noxious gas emitted by motor vehicles and industrial facilities – was first apparent near the source of the outbreak in Wuhan city but then spread across the country.

Nasa compared the first two months of 2019 with the same period this year.

An image released by Nasa shows how pollution levels have dropped in Wuhan this yearImage copyrightNASA
Presentational white space

The space agency noted that the decline in air pollution levels coincided with restriction imposed on transportation and business activities, and as millions of people went into quarantine.

“This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement.

She added that she had observed a decline in nitrogen dioxide levels during the economic recession in 2008, but said that decrease was more gradual.

Nasa noted that China’s Lunar New Year celebrations in late January and early February have been linked to decreases in pollution levels in the past. But it said they normally increase once the celebrations are over.

“This year, the reduction rate is more significant than in past years and it has lasted longer,” Ms Liu said.

“I am not surprised because many cities nationwide have taken measures to minimise spread of the virus.”

Visits: 387

PROF. DR. HÜSEYİN BAĞCI IS THE NEW PRESIDENT OF FOREIGN POLICY INSTITUTE

Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Bağcı became the new President of Foreign Policy Institute. Founder of the Institute Seyfi Taşhan will continue with the Institute as the Founder President.

 

A short cv of Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Bağcı is as follows;

Education: 

M.A. Bonn University; Ph.D. Bonn University

Research Interests: 

Contemporary Issues in International Security, The New Order and The Security of Europe, Foreign Policy of Germany, Foreign Policy of Turkey.

Publications: 
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin; Gaudino, U. (2020). Involving Turkey in EU Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policies. Eurasian Research Journal , 2 (1) , 7-27
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Uçan Profesör”ün Anıları. Orion Kitabevi, Aralık 2019.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Türkische Sicherheitspolitik Mittelpunkt des neuen geopolitischen Kordi- natensystems”.  Internationale Politik, 111/198, pp. 29-34.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Erdurmaz, Serdar. “Die Türkei als friedensmacheroderordnungsbrecher im syrischen Bürgerkrieg” in Türkei – Schlüsselakteur für die EU? Eine schwierige Partnerschaft in turbulenten Zeiten, Schriftenreihe des Arbeitskreises Europäische Integration. (Band 103, Nomos, Baden-Baden 2018. ISBN 978-3-8487-4497-8)
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, Yeni Güvenlik Politikalari ve Risk Analizi Çerçevesinde Balkanlar 1991-1993. Dis Politika Enstitüsü, Mart 1994, 141 sayfa, ISBN 975-7832-06-5. (New Security Policy and Risk Analysis in the Case of the Balkans 1991-1993, Foreign Policy Institute Publications, March 1994,141 pp. Ankara.)
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, Almanya: Yeni Bir Dünya Gücü, Dis Politika Enstitüsü Almanya Arastirmalari Çalisma Grubu Yayini, No.1, Mayis 1992. 22 s. (Germany: A New World Power?, Foreign Policy Institute Research Group Germany Publication.) Number 1, May 1992, 22 pp.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, Demokrat Parti Dönemi Dis Politikasi 1950-1960. Imge Yayinevi Kasim 1990. Ankara. 184 s. (Turkish Foreign Policy During Menderes Government 1950-1960, Imge Publishing House, November 1990, Ankara, 184 pp.)
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, “Demokratik Bir Arnavutluk: Türkiye için Yeni Bir Ortak” Strateji, No.1, Ocak 1995, Ankara, s.35-46. (“A Demokratik Albania: A New Partner For Turkey”), Strateji, Number 1, January 1995, Ankara, 35-46.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, “Turken in Duitsland: Wegbereiders van een Multiculturele Maatschappij?” (Turks in Germany, the Peacemaker for a Multicultural Soceity?) in Zicht op Duitsland edited by J. De Piere and D. Rochtus (red.) Leuven-Apeldoorn. 1994, pp.193-201.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, “Bosna-Hersek: Soguk Savas Sonrasi Anlasmazliklara Giris,” DTCF Dergisi, Cilt XVI, Sayi 27, Ankara 1994 s.257-279. (“Bosnia-Herzegovina: Introduction into the Conflicts After the Cold War,” Publication of Faculty Letters,Ankara University, D.T.C.F.Journal, Vol. XVl, Number 27, Ankara,1995.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, “Demokrat Partinin Ortadogu Politikasi”, in: Faruk Sönmezoglu Türk Dis Politikasinin Analizi, Der Yayinlari, Istanbul 1994, S.89-121 (The Middle East Policy of Democrat Party from 1950 to 1960)
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, Balkanlardaki Gelismeler ve Türkiye, Türk Demokrasi Vakfi Bülteni, Mart 1993, Ankara, Sayi.14, s.26-32 (The Developments in the Balkans and Turkey).
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, Integration ohne Assimilation, Im Gespräch, Herausgegeben von der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, 3.Vierteljahr 3-1993, Sankt Augustin, Ss.24-25.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, “Turkey’s Foreign Policy Options” in the New International Security Environment, Folk Ogforsvar- Kontaktblad Nr. 1, 1993, Oslo, Pp.13-16 (Translated into Norwegian Language)
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, & Kaymakçılar, Murat. “Privatization of Security and Its Impact on National and International Security”, Biannual Journal of the Foreign Policy Institute, Temmuz 2016, 43 (1). 31-56.
  • Bağci, Hüseyin. “Die Probleme der Türkischen Grand Strategy in einer sich verändernden Sicherheitsumwelt: Gestern und Heute”. na, 2000.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Changing geopolitics and Turkish foreign policy”. Internat. Inst. für Liberale Politik Wien. 2009.
  • Bagci, Hüseyin. “Türkische Außenpoltik nach dem Luxemburger EU-Gipfel vom Dezember 1997: Europäisch ohne Europa?.” Jahrbuch für internationale Sicherheitspolitik. 1999. 579-603.
  • Bagci, Hüseyin. “Die Turkei und die NATO-Osterweiterung: Innen und Aussenpolitische Reaktionen”. Die Debatte über die Kosten dr NATO-Osterweiterung. 1998. 133-141.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “11 Eylül Sonrası Dönemde Türk Dış ve Güvenlik Politikalarındaki Gelişmeler ve Yeni Parametreler.” (Eds. İçli, Tülin Günşen, & Karaosmanoğlu, Fatih). Uluslararası Polislik ve İç Güvenlik . 2006. 939-945.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Aydın, Aziz. “Dünyada ve Türkiye’de Düşünce Kuruluşu Kültürü.” Türkiye’de Stratejik Düşünce Kültürü ve Stratejik Araştırma Merkezleri: Başlangıcından Bugüne Türk Düşünce Kuruluşları. (Eds. Karaosmanoğlu, Hasan Ali, & Kanbolat, Hasan). Ankara, Nobel (2009): 57-124.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Reaction by Hüseyin Bağcı to Turkey’s identity and strategy–a game of three-dimensional chess by Baran, Zeyno, and Ian O. Lesser ” Powers and Principles: International Leadership in a Shrinking World. (Eds. Schiffer, Michael, & Shorr, David). 2009. 197-224.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Kurç. Çağlar. “Turkey’s strategic choice: buy or make weapons?.” Defence Studies 17, (1). 2017. 38-62.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Açıkalın, Şuay Nilhan. “From Chaos to Cosmos: Strategic Depth and Turkish Foreign Policy in Syria.” Chaos, Complexity and Leadership 2013. Springer, Cham, 2015. 11-25.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Strategic Depth in Syria from the Beginning to Russian Intervention”. Valdai Papers 37. December 2015.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Kardaş, Şaban. “Post-September 11 Impact: The Strategic Importance of Turkey Revisited.” CEPS/IISS for the European Security Forum, Brussels, Belgium. 2003.
  • Bagci, Hüseyin, and Erdurmaz, Serdar. “Libya and Turkey’s expansion policy in Africa.” JANUS. NET, e-journal of International Relations 8.2 (2017).
  • Bagci, Hüseyin, and Erdurmaz, Serdar. “Turkey-Russia Relations in the Era of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). From Honeymoon to Separation and Reconciliation Again.” Security Narratives in Europe. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, 2017.
  • Günay, Mehmet, et al. “Die Türkei zwischen Europäischer Union und Mittlerem Osten. Diskussion mit Mehmet Günay, Christiane Schlötzer, Hüseyin Bağcı.” (2017). 63-84.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “11 Eylül Sonrası Dönemde Türk Dış ve Güvenlik Politikalarındaki Gelişmeler ve Yeni Parametreler.” 21. Yüzyıl’da Türk Dış Politikası. (Ed. İdris Bal). 2006. 939-945.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. Zamanın ruhu: Küresel Politikalar ve Türkiye Yazıları. Orion Yayınevi, 2007.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. Zeitgeist: Global Politics and Turkey. Orion Kitabevi, 2008.
  • Bağcı,Hüseyin. “Türkiye’ye Soğuk Savaşta Biçilen Elbise Artık Dar Gelmektedir”. Mülakatlarla Türk Dış Politikası. Cilt 4. USAK. 2011. 1-16.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Kurç. Çağlar. “Nur Probleme: Wie die Türkei wieder zu einem ehrlichen Makler im Nahen Osten werden kann”. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung: Aufstieg und Fall regionaler Mächte. 3. 2016. 36-47.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Hüseyin Bağcı’nın Değerlendirmeleri ve Konuşması”. Ortadoğu’da Yaşanan Gelişmeler ve Yansımalar: Yuvarlak Masa Toplantısı. Türkiye Barolar Birliği Yayınları, 2016. 125-127.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Turkish Reaction to the EU Approach”. Looking into the Future of Cyprus-EU Relations. (Ed. Susanne Baier-Allen). 1999. 39-50.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Die Türkische Aussenpolitik 1945-1956”. Nationale Aussen-und Bündnispolitik der NATO-Mitgliedstaaten.(Eds. Wiggershaus, Norbert, and Heinemann, Winfried). Vol. 2. Oldenbourg Verlag, 2000.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Güllü, Hasan Hilmi. “Year 2015: the moment of truth for the “Resolution Process” of the Kurdish issue in Turkey.” JANUS 2015-2016-Integração regional e multilateralismo (2016): 82-83.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “The Prospects for the Future Turkey-European Union Relations”. Die Türkei, der Deutsche Sprachraum und Europa. (Eds. Arntz, Reiner, and Gehler, Michael, and Öncü, Mehmet Tahir). 2014. 403-418.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. “Turkish foreign policy in post cold war era: New Problems and Opportunities.”  Turkish foreign policy in post cold war era. (Ed. and İdris Bal.). 2004. 97-118.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin. & Sinkaya, Bayram. “The Greater Middle East Initiative and Turkey: the AKP’s Perspective”. The Importance of Being European. (Eds. Goreni, Nimrod, and Nachmani, Amikam). 2007. 165-177.
  • Whelan, Richard. “El-Kaidecilik, İslam‟ a Tehdit, Dünya‟ ya Tehdit.” Çev: Hüseyin Bağcı, Bayram Sinkaya ve Pınar Arıkan. Ankara: Platin Yayınları. 2006.
  • Kühnhardt, Ludger. Devrim Zamanları. Çev: Hüseyin Bağcı, Ankara: ASAM Yayınları. 2002.
  • Kinder, H., and W. Hilgemann. “Dünya Tarihi Atlası”. (Ed. Hüseyin Bağcı). Çev: Leyla Uslu.” Ankara: ODTÜ Yayıncılık. 2006.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin., & Erçetin, Şefika Şule. (Eds.). Handbook of Research on Chaos and Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences. Information Science Reference. 2016.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Kardaş, Şaban. “Exploring Turkey’s role in peace operations: Towards a framework of analysis.” Contemporary Issues in International Politics: Essays in Honour of Seyfi Tashan. 125-145
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, “Turken in Duitsland: Wegbereiders vaneenMulticulturele Maatschappij?” (Turks in Germany, the Peacemaker for aMulticulturalSoceity?) in Zicht op Duitsland edited by J. De Piere and D. Rochtus (red.) Leuven-Apeldoorn. 1994, pp.193-201.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, “EuropasiehtDeutschland: Türkei und Deutschland – Nachbarn, Partner, Freunde?” in Neue Fragen and den Rechtsstaat edited by R.Rollinger and H.Buch, V&R Uni Press,2009, pp. 117-126.
  • Bağcı, Hüseyin, and Erdurmaz, Serdar, “Die Türkei als ‘Friedensmacher’ oder ‘Ordnungsbrecher’ im  syrischen Bürgerkrieg in Türkei – Schülüsselakteur für die EU? Edited by B.Neuss and A.Nötzold (eds.), Baden – Nomos, 2018, pp.275-290.
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