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Venezuela’s Support For Palestine:A Model For Third World Diplomacy PDF Print E-mail

By Nikhil Shah

19 September, 2008

ImageAt a time, when the international community has turned a blind eye to Israel’s crimes towards the Palestinians, Venezuela has been one of the few nations who has the courage to openly condemn Israel for its crimes and express support for the Palestinian people. Most members of the non-aligned movement professed support for the Palestinian cause during the cold war and severed relations with Israel as they saw the Palestinian struggle as part of the same anti colonial struggle that they were a part of. Other commentators have stated that the non-aligned support for the Palestinian cause was not formed out of any genuine concern for the Palestinian people but as a way to align their foreign policy to that of the former Soviet Union for strategic purposes or to gather favor from several oil producing Arab nations used for their development.

Turkey's Top Foreign Policy Aide Worries about False Optimism in Iraq PDF Print E-mail

Interviewee:  Ahmet Davutoglu, Ambassador, Chief Advisor to Turkey's Prime Minister
Interviewer:  Greg Bruno
September 19, 2008
Council on Foreign Relations


ImageAhmet Davutoglu, the chief foreign policy aide to Turkey's Prime Minister, says he fears recent optimism on Iraq in the United States overlooks significant, dangerous problems which remain unresolved. In an interview in Ankara with CFR.org and other visiting American journalists, Davutoglu said that ethnic and religious differences among Iraq's leadership are bound to flare again. He also said Turkey, due to the importance of trade with Russia, cannot afford to adopt a policy of isolating Moscow or its other neighbors.

The foreign policy agenda that you've laid out may be reaching a fork in the road, in terms of economic relations with Russia. Might Turkey have to choose one over the other, either the East or West?

No, we have already chosen our place. We don't have such a question of identity. Turkey's a member of NATO. Turkey's a candidate for EU. Therefore, in our foreign policy orientation, our place is clear. But, the difference is how to deal with these questions. For example, Turkish-Russian relations: Turkey is a member of NATO. Turkey is a candidate for EU [membership]-part of Western bloc, there is no doubt about it. But you can't say that Turkish-Russian relations can be like Danish-Russian relations, or Norwegian-Russian relations, or Canada-Russian relations. ... Any other European country can follow certain isolationist policies against Russia. Can Turkey do this? I ask you to understand the geographical conditions of Turkey. In principle, we are against isolation. We were against the isolation of Syria. We were against the isolation of Iraq, because isolation creates economic stagnation. Isolation creates a barrier.

The conflict in Georgia - THE BACKGROUND PDF Print E-mail

'This is no longer about the future of a tiny far-away country but about the nature of the world order in the 21st century'


By Rob Parsons, former BBC Moscow correspondent

THERE NEEDS TO BE CLARITY ABOUT one thing: the South Ossetian war has nothing to do with Russian support for the rights of ethnic minorities in Georgia. It has nothing to do either with keeping the peace or the issues of self-determination and territorial integrity. This is about hubris, anger and resentment. Georgia is paying the price for its pro-Western foreign policy and its insistence on the right to choose its own friends.

ImagePutin's pretext for Russia's actions - and one has to assume he is still the man taking the key decisions - was that Georgian forces had killed Russian peacekeepers and Russian citizens during an operation launched on Thursday night to reassert Georgian control over South Ossetia. It made no difference to Moscow that those Russian citizens were South Ossetians issued with Russian passports over the past 10 years in defiance of the Georgian government's frequently stated objections.

Big Oil and the War in Iraq PDF Print E-mail

by Derrick Z. Jackson

It took five years, the deaths of 4,100 US soldiers, and the wounding of 30,000 more to make Iraq safe for Exxon. It is the inescapable open question since the reasons given by President Bush for the invasion and occupation did not exist, neither the weapons of mass destruction nor Saddam Hussein’s ties to Al Qaeda and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

ImageThe New York Times reported last week that several Western oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, BP, and Chevron, are about to sign no-bid contracts with the Iraqi government. Western oil had a significant stake in Iraqi oil for much of the last century until the government nationalized the industry in 1972. The Associated Press quoted Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Fadel Gheit as saying he believed the contracts were a first step toward production-sharing agreements. “These companies are in it for the money, not to make friends,” Gheit said.

Thousands rally in Istanbul to protest coup attempts PDF Print E-mail

Thousands of people held a silent rally on Saturday in İstanbul to protest recent coup attempts by the military through several institutions that have resorted to anti-democratic practices.

ImageMore than 20,000 people gathered in İstanbul's historical Tünel neighborhood at 5 p.m. on Saturday to raise their voices against anti-democratic initiatives. The rally, which came in the wake of a ruling by the Constitutional Court that annulled constitutional amendments that would have lifted a long-standing ban on the Muslim headscarf on university campuses, was planned in cooperation with such nongovernmental organizations as the Young Civilians, Küresel Eylem Grubu (Global Action Group), the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER), Irkçılığa ve Milliyetçiliğe Dur De (Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism), Lambda -- a gay rights association -- and the Movement for Political Horizons (SUH).

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