Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agree to resume GERD negotiations
On June 26, the African Union organized a “mini-summit” with leaders from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, South Africa, Kenya, DR Congo and Mali. As a result of negotiations on GERD – Ethiopia’s Blue Nile HPP – Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan decided to form a legal and technical committee to work out a final agreement. The committee will also include representatives of the African Union, US, EU and South Africa.
After the summit, Egyptian President spokesman Bassam Radi hastened to say that the parties have agreed to “refrain from taking any unilateral measures, including filling the reservoir until such an agreement is reached”. In addition, he said, the hydropower plant will be discussed at the UN Security Council meeting on June 28.
The issue of filling the reservoir is currently an obstacle to an agreement between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan – Ethiopia has until recently stated that it will start filling the reservoir in July in any case, which Egypt could not agree with.
Arrests of Kata’ib Hezbollah members in Iraq
Members of an Iraqi Shia paramilitary group ‘Kata’ib Hezbollah’ which is part of the Popular Mobilization Forces were arrested in Bagdad on June 25-26. The counter-terrorism apparatus issued an arrest and detention order. According to the order, 120 people in 20 Humvee cars were involved in the operation, and the detention operation was led by Division General Hussain Rada Muhammad.
The formal reason for the detention was the involvement of Kata’ib Hezbollah in the firing of rockets at American military installations and the Green Zone in Baghdad. The sources of uwidata.com in Iraq report that 23 members of Kata’ib Hezbollah were detained. Kataib Hezbollah subsequently stated that detainees had been released, but the Government did not yet confirm this information.
The arrest can symbolize the appearance of the new anti-Iran policy of Iraq’s government under the direction of Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Experts propose that his policy will be more orientated towards the USthan his predecessor’s. That will cause the certain tensions between Iraq and Iran.
‘The death of NATO-2: conflict between Turkey and France
French President Emmanuelle Macron declared that an incident which took place between Turkish and French frigates is further proof of NATO’s “brain death”. Earlier, on June 10, a French frigate off the coast of Libya tried to sail to a Turkish ship, suspecting the crew of arms smuggling. At that moment, three other Turkish warships pointed a gun at the frigate and refused to comply with the requirement to inspect the ship. The incident deepened the contradictions between countries and led to the further development of the conflict.
At the same time, a spy network working for France was exposed in Turkey. Metin Özdemir, one of the four suspects, allegedly received intelligence training in France and worked for the French government in Georgia. The suspects were gathering information about the internal work of conservative Turkish foundations, religious groups and the Directorate of Religious Affairs and its staff.
Özdemir, a key figure in the French spy network in Turkey, was trained for eight months in France on surveillance and counter-espionage, as well as other subjects such as escape tactics. Ozdemir traveled to France in 2017, organized by his French curator under the code name Virginia. In the same year, he went to Georgia to spy for France.