Erdogan, Putin, Rouhani negotiations
The Presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran held a trilateral virtual summit on Syria. As a result of video negotiations, the leaders of the states – Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Vladimir Putin, and Hassan Rouhani – adopted a joint resolution.
During the video call, the leaders discussed humanitarian, economic and security issues.
The leaders paid special attention to the violations by Israel, which entail violations of Syrian sovereignty in the Golan Heights.
The parties discussed the fight against international terrorism and the neutralization of terrorist groups still in operation.
The Iranian President proposed to hold a new face-to-face meeting in Tehran as soon as conditions are suitable.
These talks show that the Astana format is working despite US efforts to divide Syria. It is indicative that all three countries have managed to find common ground, expressed in a joint declaration, about which UWI wrote earlier.
One of the important points of the statement we mentioned in our analysis of the meeting was the preservation of the territorial unity of the state and general non-recognition of the structures of the pro-American Kurdish autonomy. Another common interest was the fight against terrorism.
US military forces are still in Eastern Syria. In this area, the Americans are holding oil fields and supporting illegal management structures established by the YPG-PYD militant organizations associated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party. The US is putting pressure on the opposition to the YPG-PYD political structures, conducting negotiations on “Kurdish unity. Thus, they are attempting to create a springboard for separatists in Eastern Syria, who threaten the integrity not only of Syria itself, but also of Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
The Ankara-Moscow-Tehran axis remains the main guarantee of stability in the region. The most important thing today is not only mutual assurances of friendship, but also concerted efforts to fight anti-Syrian forces – those who are trying to split the country (on the one hand, the Islamists in Idlib, creating their own governance structures, on the other – the so-called “left-wing” pro-American and pro-Israeli Kurdish separatists). In the long term, support for the separatists can only lead to destructive consequences for Syria, already devastated by the war.
Protests in the US and the fall of monuments
Protests continue in the United States after the murder of African-American George Floyd. On Saturday, a group of predominantly black armed protesters marched through Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta, calling for the removal of the Confederacy’s giant rock carvings at what civil rights activists consider a monument to racism. Many of the protesters were carrying rifles, including military weapons.
At the same time, monuments continued to be demolished in the US. For example, in Baltimore, a crowd of protesters threw the Columbus monument from a pedestal, rolled it out to the bay and threw it into the water. The navigator’s monument had previously been demolished in Minnesota as well. In Boston, the Black Lives Matter activists cut the head of another statue of Columbus.
Another statue of Christopher Columbus was also demolished and thrown into the lake in Richmond, Virginia.
Against this backdrop, Donald Trump authorized the federal government to arrest all those who demolished and damaged monuments and imprison them for ten years.
We wrote earlier that the problem of racism in the United States is really relevant.
But the problem is not just the confrontation between black and white, and not only about the fundamental inequality that underlies the socio-political system of the United States. The protests in some sense have served to further encourage the establishment, which is not going to solve social and economic problems in the United States and is trying to reduce the struggle to confrontation between the conventional “confederates” from the past and the democrats from the present. Thus, the opponents of President Trump hope to defeat him in the presidential elections by pushing Joe Biden into office on a wave of protests.
The Hong Kong Security Act has been adopted
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved the National Security Bill in Hong Kong.
It is reported that all 162 Standing Committee members unanimously approved the document.
The document sets out the main obligations of the central government of China on matters related to national security, as well as Hong Kong’s constitutional responsibility for its maintenance.
In addition, the document punishes crimes that threaten national security: separatist activities, attempts to undermine State power, terrorism and conspiracy with foreign States or anti-Chinese forces abroad.
In more detail, among the innovations:
– punishment ranging from 3 years to life imprisonment for overthrowing the Hong Kong system, separatism, terrorism and conspiracy with other States
– stirring up hatred for Beijing
– damage to Hong Kong transport could be considered an act of terror.
– Those found guilty of these crimes may not hold public office.
– A new security structure is being established in Hong Kong, reporting directly to Beijing.
– particularly dangerous cases will be tried in closed court in China
First round of elections in Poland
The first round of presidential elections was held in Poland. The current president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, with the ruling Right and Justice Party behind him, could not win the first round with an absolute majority (43.7%), and his main rival was the mayor of Warsaw and the candidate from the main opposition liberal party “Civic Platform” Rafał Trzaskowski (30.3%).
The second round is scheduled for July 12.
To a large extent, the outcome of the final depends on who the votes of other candidates will go to – for example, journalist and TV presenter Shimon Golovni, who collected almost 14% of the votes. He criticizes both Duda and Trzaskowski.
However, as we wrote earlier, the problem is not the actual rivalry between two people with different views, but the pro-American guidelines of both. The American president de facto rules American colonies like Poland, and the main candidates are circles associated with centers competing for power in Washington. Therefore, the Polish election is nothing more than a maneuver before the US vote.
The scandal in Ethiopia
This week the killing of popular singer Haacaaluu Hundeessaa caused instability in Ethiopia, leading to protests and clashes. He was shot dead by unknown gunmen in a killing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said was “an evil act”.
The motive for killing Haacaaluu remains unclear, but the singer was also known as a civil activist. His songs focused on the rights of the Oromo ethnic group and became anthems in the wave of protest that led to the departure of the previous prime minister in 2018.
Many demonstrators (ranging from 81 to 160+ according to various sources) were killed during anti-government protests in Ethiopia last week, while the capital and other hotspots remained under close scrutiny by security forces. Several police officers have also been killed.
The military, intent on suppressing the protests, took to the streets of cities in the Oromia region, two residents of Adama and another of Shashemene told Reuters. This was accompanied by a complete internet blackout on day six.
Police reported that at least 35 people, including prominent politician Jawar Mohammed, were arrested.
Jawar Mohammed is an influential media businessman, a US citizen and a leading organizer of protests in Ethiopia in 2016. He led calls for the empowerment of the Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group that has been politically marginalised by previous governments.
In 2018, he brought Abiya Ahmed (also Oromo) to power and is now in opposition with a former colleague. Last year, the Government violently repressed protests by supporters of Jawar Mohammed, which resulted in 86 deaths.
Thus, Ethiopia’s problems lie deeper than local clashes and killings. First and foremost, it is the internal problems of inter-ethnic conflicts that are ripping the country apart. Taking into account Jawar Mohammed’s ties with the United States, we can assume that the murder of the singer was a deliberate provocation to destabilize the domestic political situation and further change of power.
At the same time, the country has long faced a serious economic crisis, including a shortage of electricity in homes, which is only more clearly demonstrated by the Coronavirus Pandemic. It is possible that the rush to build the GERD is directly related to the attempt to solve its problems faster, even at the expense of Egypt, which protests against such initiatives for fear of losing access to water resources.
Elections in Australia
Australia held its by-election for the 46th Parliament (for the division of Eden-Monaro), in the House of Representatives, under the most difficult conditions in a century: the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the most difficult economic conditions since the Great Depression and a region still traumatized by summer fires. This election was viewed in many ways as a referendum on how Prime Minister Scott Morrison handled the fires and the coronavirus.
As a result, Australian opposition candidate Kristy McBain of Centre-Left Labour Party claimed a minor victory over Fiona Kotvojs of the Morrison Conservative Party in the Eden Monaro constituency.
McBain won 50.4% of the vote and Kotvojs 49.6%, according to the Australian Electoral Commission website.
If Kotvojs won, it would have been the first time in 100 years that the current federal government had been able to secure a seat from the opposition in a by-election.
It was not foreign policy issues that affected the ratings of politicians in Australia, but specific domestic issues, especially the on-going wild fires and economic turmoil.