position:foreign secretary

  • UK: Johnson ordered to face accusations that he lied to the public ...

    UK: Johnson ordered to face accusations that he lied to the public

    Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

    “A British court is ordering Boris Johnson to face accusations that while holding public office, he lied in order to sway voter opinion on Brexit. The case was brought by a ‘private prosecutor’ who says Johnson abused the public’s trust while holding official posts. Johnson has quickly emerged as a front-runner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, who is resigning next month. But with today’s ruling, he must also face charges of misconduct in public office. The case was brought by Marcus Ball — who has raised more than $300,000 to fund his effort. Ball says Johnson is guilty of ‘misleading the public by endorsing and making statements about the cost of European Union (...)

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      #UK #EU #UE #Europe #Brexit

      A British court is ordering Boris Johnson to face accusations that while holding on Brexit. The case was brought by a “private prosecutor” who says Johnson abused the public’s trust while holding official posts.

      Johnson has quickly emerged as a front-runner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, who is resigning next month. But with today’s ruling, he must also face charges of misconduct in public office. The case was brought by Marcus Ball — who has raised more than $300,000 to fund his effort.

      Ball says Johnson is guilty of “misleading the public by endorsing and making statements about the cost of European Union Membership, which he knew to be false.”

      Johnson is currently a member of Parliament. He resigned as the U.K’s foreign secretary last summer, in a protest against May’s plans to leave the European Union. He has also served as London’s mayor.

      Johnson has repeatedly made the false claim that Britain paid £350 million each week to be in the European Union. The claim was famously touted on a Vote Leave campaign bus during the run-up to the Brexit vote.

      In 2017, the head of the U.K.’s Statistics Authority sent Johnson a letter expressing his disappointment and telling Johnson it was “a clear misuse of official statistics” to say leaving the EU would free up £350 million (more than $440 million) weekly to spend on national healthcare.

      In 2018, Johnson acknowledged that the figure was inaccurate — but he said it was “grossly underestimated.”

      On his crowdfunding page, Ball stresses that he’s not trying to stop Brexit from happening. Instead, he’s targeting what he sees as the real threat facing society: lying, particularly the falsehoods that flow from those in power.

      “Lying in politics is the biggest problem. It is far more important than Brexit and certainly a great deal older,” Ball wrote. “Historically speaking, lying in politics has assisted in starting wars, misleading voters and destroying public trust in the systems of democracy and government.”

      He added, “When politicians lie, democracy dies.”

      Ball says he wants to set a precedent by making it illegal for an elected official to lie about financial matters. If he’s successful, he says, the case could have a wide ripple effect.

      “Because of how the English common law works, it’s possible that such a precedent could be internationally persuasive by influencing the law in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada and India.”

      In Britain’s legal system, private prosecutions can be started by any person or company with the time and money to do so.

      As the London-based law firm Edmonds Marshall McMahon (which was once involved in Ball’s case) states, “Other than the fact the prosecution is brought by a private individual or company, for all other purposes they proceed in exactly the same way as if the prosecution had been brought by the Crown.”

  • Why Russia is the big winner of the Iran deal fallout - The Washington Post

    Iran announced Wednesday that it would stop complying with certain elements of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, in 60 days if the remaining signatories did not find a way to make the deal more economically beneficial to Iran.


    “We urge the Iranians to think very long and hard before they break that deal,” Jeremy Hunt, British foreign secretary, said Wednesday, referring to Iran’s threat to hold onto excess uranium and heavy water stockpiles. “Today, nothing would be worse than Iran, itself, leaving this accord,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly told France’s BFMTV.

  • Tom Stevenson reviews ‘AngloArabia’ by David Wearing · LRB 9 May 2019

    It is a cliché that the United States and Britain are obsessed with Middle East oil, but the reason for the obsession is often misdiagnosed. Anglo-American interest in the enormous hydrocarbon reserves of the Persian Gulf does not derive from a need to fuel Western consumption . [...] Anglo-American involvement in the Middle East has always been principally about the strategic advantage gained from controlling Persian Gulf hydrocarbons, not Western oil needs. [...]

    Other parts of the world – the US, Russia, Canada – have large deposits of crude oil, and current estimates suggest Venezuela has more proven reserves than Saudi Arabia. But Gulf oil lies close to the surface, where it is easy to get at by drilling; it is cheap to extract, and is unusually ‘light’ and ‘sweet’ (industry terms for high purity and richness). It is also located near the middle of the Eurasian landmass, yet outside the territory of any global power. Western Middle East policy, as explained by Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was to control the Gulf and stop any Soviet influence over ‘that vital energy resource upon which the economic and political stability both of Western Europe and of Japan depend’, or else the ‘geopolitical balance of power would be tipped’. In a piece for the Atlantic a few months after 9/11, Benjamin Schwarz and Christopher Layne explained that Washington ‘assumes responsibility for stabilising the region’ because China, Japan and Europe will be dependent on its resources for the foreseeable future: ‘America wants to discourage those powers from developing the means to protect that resource for themselves.’ Much of US power is built on the back of the most profitable protection #racket in modern history.


    It is difficult to overstate the role of the Gulf in the way the world is currently run. In recent years, under both Obama and Trump, there has been talk of plans for a US withdrawal from the Middle East and a ‘#pivot’ to Asia. If there are indeed such plans, it would suggest that recent US administrations are ignorant of the way the system over which they preside works.

    The Arab Gulf states have proved well-suited to their status as US client states, in part because their populations are small and their subjugated working class comes from Egypt and South Asia. [...] There are occasional disagreements between Gulf rulers and their Western counterparts over oil prices, but they never become serious. [...] The extreme conservatism of the Gulf monarchies, in which there is in principle no consultation with the citizenry, means that the use of oil sales to prop up Western economies – rather than to finance, say, domestic development – is met with little objection. Wearing describes the modern relationship between Western governments and the Gulf monarchs as ‘asymmetric interdependence’, which makes clear that both get plenty from the bargain. Since the West installed the monarchs, and its behaviour is essentially extractive, I see no reason to avoid describing the continued Anglo-American domination of the Gulf as #colonial.

    Saudi Arabia and the other five members of the Gulf Co-operation Council are collectively the world’s largest buyer of military equipment by a big margin. [...]. The deals are highly profitable for Western arms companies (Middle East governments account for around half of all British arms sales), but the charge that Western governments are in thrall to the arms companies is based on a misconception. Arms sales are useful principally as a way of bonding the Gulf monarchies to the Anglo-American military. Proprietary systems – from fighter jets to tanks and surveillance equipment – ensure lasting dependence, because training, maintenance and spare parts can be supplied only by the source country. Western governments are at least as keen on these deals as the arms industry, and much keener than the Gulf states themselves. While speaking publicly of the importance of fiscal responsibility, the US, Britain and France have competed with each other to bribe Gulf officials into signing unnecessary arms deals.

    Control of the Gulf also yields less obvious benefits. [...] in 1974, the US Treasury secretary, William Simon, secretly travelled to Saudi Arabia to secure an agreement that remains to this day the foundation of the dollar’s global dominance. As David Spiro has documented in The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony (1999), the US made its guarantees of Saudi and Arab Gulf security conditional on the use of oil sales to shore up the #dollar. Under Simon’s deal, Saudi Arabia agreed to buy massive tranches of US Treasury bonds in secret off-market transactions. In addition, the US compelled Saudi Arabia and the other Opec countries to set oil prices in dollars, and for many years Gulf oil shipments could be paid for only in dollars. A de facto oil standard replaced gold, assuring the dollar’s value and pre-eminence.

    For the people of the region, the effects of a century of AngloArabia have been less satisfactory. Since the start of the war in Yemen in 2015 some 75,000 people have been killed, not counting those who have died of disease or starvation. In that time Britain has supplied arms worth nearly £5 billion to the Saudi coalition fighting the Yemeni Houthis. The British army has supplied and maintained aircraft throughout the campaign; British and American military personnel are stationed in the command rooms in Riyadh; British special forces have trained Saudi soldiers fighting inside Yemen; and Saudi pilots continue to be trained at RAF Valley on Anglesey. The US is even more deeply involved: the US air force has provided mid-air refuelling for Saudi and Emirati aircraft – at no cost, it emerged in November. Britain and the US have also funnelled weapons via the UAE to militias in Yemen. If the Western powers wished, they could stop the conflict overnight by ending their involvement. Instead the British government has committed to the Saudi position. As foreign secretary, Philip Hammond pledged that Britain would continue to ‘support the Saudis in every practical way short of engaging in combat’. This is not only complicity but direct participation in a war that is as much the West’s as it is Saudi Arabia’s.

    The Gulf monarchies are family dictatorships kept in power by external design, and it shows. [...] The main threat to Western interests is internal: a rising reminiscent of Iran’s in 1979. To forestall such an event, Britain equips and trains the Saudi police force, has military advisers permanently attached to the internal Saudi security forces, and operates a strategic communications programme for the Saudi National Guard (called Sangcom). [...]

    As Wearing argues, ‘Britain could choose to swap its support for Washington’s global hegemony for a more neutral and peaceful position.’ It would be more difficult for the US to extricate itself. Contrary to much of the commentary in Washington, the strategic importance of the Middle East is increasing, not decreasing. The US may now be exporting hydrocarbons again, thanks to state-subsidised shale, but this has no effect on the leverage it gains from control of the Gulf. And impending climate catastrophe shows no sign of weaning any nation from fossil fuels , least of all the developing East Asian states. US planners seem confused about their own intentions in the Middle East. In 2017, the National Intelligence Council described the sense of neglect felt by the Gulf monarchies when they heard talk of the phantasmagorical Asia pivot. The report’s authors were profoundly negative about the region’s future, predicting ‘large-scale violence, civil wars, authority vacuums and humanitarian crises persisting for many years’. The causes, in the authors’ view, were ‘entrenched elites’ and ‘low oil prices’. They didn’t mention that maintenance of both these things is US policy.

    #etats-unis #arabie_saoudite #pétrole #moyen_orient #contrôle

  • Assad will remain in power ’for a while’, says Jeremy Hunt | World news | The Guardian

    The British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has admitted for the first time that Russian support for the Syrian regime means Bashar al-Assad will remain in power for some time.

    The UK has been at the forefront of calls for the Syrian president to leave office as part of a transition to a new government, but over the past year British diplomats have acknowledged that Assad would have to be allowed to stand in any UN-supervised democratic elections in Syria.

    Messieurs les Anglais, tirez les premiers ! aurait dit le ministère des Affaires étrangères français !...

    #syrie #tout_ça_pour_ça #normalisation

  • Matthew Hedges: jailed British academic pardoned by UAE | World news | The Guardian


    Faudra juste qu’il change de sujet de thèse.

    #Matthew_Hedges, the 31-year-old British academic jailed for life on espionage charges last week by the United Arab Emirates, has been granted a presidential pardon by the country’s rulers.

    His release once formalities are completed follows intense lobbying by the British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, amid an international outcry that left the UAE scrambling to produce evidence to justify claims that Hedges was a spy.

    #émirats_arabs_unis #droits_humais #golfe

  • British academic accused of spying jailed for life in UAE | World news | The Guardian


    Les terrains de thèse les plus risqués au monde : les Etats du Golfe.

    A British academic who has been accused of spying for the UK government in the United Arab Emirates after travelling to Dubai to conduct research has been sentenced to life in jail.

    Matthew Hedges, 31, has been in a UAE prison for more than six months. The Durham University student who went to the country to research his PhD thesis, was handed the sentence at an Abu Dhabi court in a hearing that lasted less than five minutes, and with no lawyer present.

    Hedges was detained in May at Dubai airport as he was leaving the country following a research trip, and was held in solitary confinement for five months.

    The UAE attorney general, Hamad al-Shamsi, said Hedges was accused of “spying for a foreign country, jeopardising the military, political and economic security of the state”.

    Hedges has denied the charges, and maintains that he was in the country to research the impact of the Arab spring on the UAE’s foreign policy.

  • From refugees to entrepreneurs: How one family started over

    With just 30 days notice, the Rawas family was plucked from their temporary home in Jordan, where they’d fled the Syrian civil war, and resettled in Oakland. As refugees, they knew no one, had no job prospects and didn’t speak a word of English.

    Three years later, Mohammed Aref Rawas, Rawaa Kasedah and their four children are running a budding catering business that serves authentic Syrian food such as smoked basmati rice, falafel and fattoush salad. They’ve hired their first employee. Their clients include big tech companies. And the days when starting over seemed impossible are far behind them.

    They are among a large population of refugees who, after fleeing a homeland overrun by violence and political turmoil, started a business in the U.S., integrating quickly into the economy and life of a country that gave them a second chance. The family’s entrepreneurial approach is common among immigrants, studies show.

    An estimated 11 percent of all Syrian immigrants in the labor force are business owners — nearly four times the rate of U.S.-born business owners, according to a study by the New York-based Fiscal Policy Institute and the Center for American Progress. A significant part of that success has been the ability to master the English language, the report said.

    Meanwhile, a 2016 study by the Institute that followed Bosnian, Burmese, Hmong and Somali refugees nationwide found that they too moved up the occupational ladder and started businesses after settling in the U.S. Thirty one out of every 1,000 Bosnian refugees in the labor force are business owners, compared with 26 out of every 1,000 Burmese, 22 out of 1,000 Hmong and 15 out of every 1,000 Somalis, the study found.

    “There’s a hunger for dignified work,” said Dr. Thane Kreiner, executive director of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. Kreiner launched an accelerator program known as Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins, which helps businesses and organizations around the world run by refugees, migrants or victims of human trafficking. “There’s this element of launching businesses, but also of integrating with the new host community so the refugees become part of the community rather than the ‘other.’”

    The Rawas family started Old Damascus Fare casually, by happenstance last year though the family has entrepreneurship in their blood. Rawas owned a successful clothing factory in Syria, where he oversaw about 50 employees. The family lived comfortably in a suburb in their native Damascus. But increasing gunfire, kidnappings and the presence of military groups forced them to leave, and their temporary escape to Jordan in 2012 soon became permanent.

    More than 500,000 Syrians have died and nearly 6 million have fled during a civil war that began seven years ago with an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Since the Trump administration’s ban on travel from seven Muslim nations, including Syria, only a handful of Syrian refugees have been resettled in California in the past fiscal year.

    As the Rawas family settled into the Bay Area, new friends and acquaintances in the Arab community asked Kasedah to cater birthday parties and other events. By then, the family had noticed the absence of authentic Syrian food, even in Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods. Soon they were catering events for local tech companies such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

    “We got to the point where we realized it’s not only about food,” said Batool Rawoas, one of the couple’s daughters. “We are making new friends, we are hearing about new opportunities. It’s a way to share our culture with the people here.”

    They’re a powerful example of the American dream, said David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, which resettled the Rawas family in 2015. “They show that these are people who want to work and not be reliant on welfare,” he said.

    Miliband visited the family recently at their catering kiosk on the UC Berkeley campus before he gave a speech, ordering the falafel sandwich and munching on appetizers that the family excitedly prepared for him. Because refugees like the Rawas’ often have to reinvent their lives, he said, that makes them resilient entrepreneurs.

    “In a way, being a refugee, having to flee for your life, having to figure out who to trust, having to figure out new ways of survival … there could hardly be a more effective job training program,” he said. “Those qualities of cooperation, determination, courage, trust are important for any entrepreneur. I don’t want to trivialize it, but it makes the point.”

    The family admits they’re still struggling. Their expenses regularly exceed their income, and they’re overwhelmed by the painstaking details of operating a business.

    “The main challenge for any refugee family is navigating how to survive in the Bay Area because it’s so expensive,” said Rawoas, who is attending community college and hopes to transfer to a four-year university to study psychology and public health. “We lived in Syria, we were from the middle class and we had a very comfortable life. We owned our own house, our own land.”

    “But we’re hoping, in the future, this will be a good thing to support us financially,” she added.

    Their next goal: to own a restaurant.

    #entrepreunariat #entreprenariat #USA #Etats-Unis #réfugiés #asile #migrations #travail #intégration_professionnelle #réfugiés_syriens #économie

  • Vidéo - Sur France 24, Emmanuel Macron juge l’affaire Khashoggi « très grave » - Boursorama

    Dans une interview exclusive à France 24 et RFI, Emmanuel Macron s’est exprimé pour la première fois sur la disparition du journaliste Jamal Khassogi au consulat saoudien d’Istanbul. Le président français estime les faits « très graves » et attend « que la vérité et la clarté soient établies ». Il aura une discussion à ce sujet avec le président turc, le prince héritier et le roi d’Arabie saoudite « dans les prochains jours ».

    11 jours après la disparition du type : une diplomatie frileusement réactive !!!

    Par comparaison :


    UK officials have begun drawing up a list of Saudi security and government officials who could potentially come under sanctions pending the outcome of investigations into the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a source close to both Riyadh and London told The Independent.

    The list being drawn up by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office could be used in case the UK decides to invoke the “Magnitsky amendment,” passed this year, which allows Britain to impose sanctions on foreign officials accused of human rights violations, or to apply restrictions on Saudi trade and travel in coordination with the European Union.

    Asked to confirm or deny the drawing up of the list, the Foreign Office said it “had nothing to add” to the Khashoggi matter other than comments the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, made on Thursday.


  • Men Only: Inside the charity fundraiser where hostesses are put on show

    The gathering’s official purpose is to raise money for worthy causes such as Great Ormond Street Hospital, the world-renowned children’s hospital in London’s Bloomsbury district.

    Auction items included lunch with Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, and afternoon tea with Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

    But this is a charity fundraiser like no other.

    It is for men only. A black tie evening, Thursday’s event was attended by 360 figures from British business, politics and finance and the entertainment included 130 specially hired hostesses.

    All of the women were told to wear skimpy black outfits with matching underwear and high heels. At an after-party many hostesses — some of them students earning extra cash — were groped, sexually harassed and propositioned.

    • Ici aussi en français https://seenthis.net/messages/662887
      J’aime leur concept de soirée fermée à la presse et uniquement réservée à la gent masculine comme ils écrivent. Dans ce cas ils auraient pu mettre uniquement du personnel masculin également.
      Par contre ce qu’il faut reconnaître c’est qu’en Grande Bretagne (et dans d’autres pays européens aussi) généralement quand on est mis en cause on démissionne, ce qui est n’est quasiment jamais le cas en France.

  • Which countries recognise Palestine? | indy100


    A century on from the Balfour Declaration, these are the countries that currently recognise Palestine as a state.

    On 2 November 1917, the then Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued a declaration which has been a central document in the Palestinian-Israeli statehood conflict.

    It contained a letter to Lord Rothschild, who was then advocating a Jewish homeland in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire.


  • #Cambodia: Appeal Court should overturn unfair conviction of land rights defender #TepVanny, say international CSOs

    We, the undersigned, call on the Court of Appeal to overturn the unjust conviction of Ms. #Tep_Vanny on charges of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances based on her peaceful activism at a 2013 protest, for which she received a draconian sentence of two years and six months’ imprisonment on 23 February 2017. The Court of Appeal will hear Ms. Tep Vanny’s appeal against conviction tomorrow, 27 July 2017. On 15 August 2017, Ms. Tep Vanny will have spent one year in detention; her imprisonment is a clear attempt to silence one of Cambodia’s most fearless and outspoken defenders of human rights ahead of the national elections in July 2018.
    Tomorrow’s appeal is one of three previously dormant years-old cases punitively reactivated against Ms. Tep Vanny. In August 2016 the prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court reactivated the long-
    dormant charges of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances against Ms. Tep Vanny while she was in pre-trial detention prior to her spurious conviction on other charges for taking part in a “#Black_Monday” protest to call for the release of the “#Freethe5KH” detainees,1 who were being held in arbitrary
    pre-trial detention at the time.2 The case under appeal dates back to Ms. Tep Vanny’s participation in a 2013 peaceful protest in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house, during which a group of #Boeung_Kak_Lake activists called for the release of a detained fellow community member. This protest had ended in violence against protesters at the hands of Daun Penh security guards, in which Ms. Tep Vanny herself was injured.
    On 23 February 2017, Ms. Tep Vanny was convicted on these charges and sentenced to 30 months in prison and a fine of five million riel (about US$1,250), as well as being ordered to pay compensation totaling nine million riel (about US$2,250) to the plaintiffs, two Daun Penh security guards.
    Ms. Tep Vanny’s trial did not comply with international standards for fair trial rights: no credible evidence was presented to justify the charges against her and neither the plaintiffs nor any prosecution witnesses gave live testimony at either of the two hearings; instead only written statements were provided, preventing cross-examination. Community members outside the court faced unprovoked violence from para-police and, following delivery of the verdict, riot police entered the court room and physically restrained a number of defense witnesses.3
    The re-opening of these charges appears to be a politically motivated attempt to restrict and punish Ms. Tep Vanny’s work as a land activist and human rights defender, as part of the Cambodian authorities’
    ongoing crackdown on dissenting voices. Peaceful assembly and free expression are not crimes, and human rights defenders should not be penalized for peacefully exercising their fundamental freedoms. We call on the Court of Appeal to exercise its independence and rectify the injustice of Ms. Tep Vanny’s flawed trial by overturning her conviction and sentence. We call on the Cambodian authorities to cease their judicial harassment of Ms. Tep Vanny, as well as other Boeung Kak Lake activists, and to release her from prison.

    #Cambodge #droits_humains #détention #détention_arbitraire #répression #résistance

  • Britain’s new aircraft carriers to test Beijing in South China Sea | UK news | The Guardian

    Boris Johnson has committed the UK’s two brand new aircraft carriers to freedom of navigation exercises in the fiercely-contested waters of the #South_China_Sea.

    In a pointed remarks aimed squarely at China - whose island-building and militarisation in the sea has unnerved western powers - the Foreign Secretary said that when the ships are in service they would be sent to the Asia-Pacific region as one of their first assignments.

    One of the first things we will do with the two new colossal aircraft carriers that we have just built is send them on a #freedom_of_navigation operation to this area,” Johnson said in Sydney on Thursday, “to vindicate our belief in the rules-based international system and in the freedom of navigation through those waterways which are absolutely vital for world trade.

    Le Royaume-Uni se met aussi aux #FONOPS


  • Do we all have a right to cross borders?

    n early December, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson was forced to deny reports that he’d told a group of ambassadors he was personally in favour of the free movement of people across the European Union.

    Given his previous negative public statements on the issue, reports of his private support for the principle, which allows all EU citizens to move freely around the bloc, came as a surprise. Speaking to a Czech newspaper in mid-November, he had rubbished the idea that free movement is a central principle of the EU and denied that “every human being has some fundamental God-given right to move wherever they want”.

    #frontières #murs

  • Le psychodrame du moment en Angleterre : Boris Johnson a dit du mal de l’Arabie séoudite. On te fait savoir qu’il fallait pas.
    Boris Johnson’s remarks about Saudi Arabia ’not the government’s view’

    Boris Johnson was not representing the government’s views on Saudi Arabia when he accused the state of abusing Islam and acting as a puppeteer in proxy wars, Downing Street has said.

    The foreign secretary was setting out his own views on Saudi Arabia and Iran at a conference in Rome last week, the prime minister’s spokeswoman said on Thursday, but would be sticking to the government’s line when he visited Saudi ministers this weekend.

    The spokeswoman insisted Downing Street had “full confidence in the foreign secretary” but said Saudi Arabia was “a vital partner for the UK, particularly on counter-terrorism and, when you look at what is happening in the region, we are supportive of the Saudi-led coalition which is working in support of the legitimate government in Yemen against Houthi rebels”.

  • Cyprus nears end to 40-year conflict but ancient enmities and property disputes linger - Telegraph

    Cyprus nears end to 40-year conflict but ancient enmities and property disputes linger
    Foreign Secretary confirms hopes of imminent rapprochement between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, but billions of pounds’ worth of property remain to be argued over


  • Security Council ‘Unequivocally’ Condemns ISIL Terrorist Attacks, Unanimously Adopting Text that Determines Extremist Group Poses ‘Unprecedented’ Threat | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases

    #nosra et similaires clairement nommés aux cotés de #ISIS

    The full text of resolution 2249 (2015) reads as follows:

    “The Security Council,

    “Reaffirming its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1368 (2001), 1373 (2001), 1618 (2005), 1624 (2005), 2083 (2012), 2129 (2013), 2133 (2014), 2161 (2014), 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2195 (2014), 2199 (2015) and 2214 (2015), and its relevant presidential statements,


    Recalling that the Al-#Nusrah Front (ANF) and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with #Al-Qaida also constitute a threat to international peace and security ,


    “5. Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups , as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;


  • The climate of war: violence, warfare, and climatic reductionism

    The fashion for reducing war to climate has had a remarkable resurgence in recent years stimulated in part by the proclivities of funding agencies and the priorities of national governments. Not least is this the case with national security agencies. As the British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, put it in 2007 in her presentation to the UN Security Council first-ever debate on the impact of climate change: the consequences of climate change “reach to the very heart of the security agenda.” A few years earlier in their report to the United States Department of Defense, on abrupt climate change and “Its implications for United States National Security,” Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall insisted that in the near future “disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life.” Once the preserve of classical thinkers, Enlightenment philosophers, and turn-of-the-century geo-historians, “the allure of a naïve climatic determinism is now seducing” − in Mike Hulme’s words − “those hard-nosed and most unsentimental of people… the military and their advisors.” And it is seducing other publicists too. Drawing on the neo-Malthusian analyses of Thomas Homer-Dixon, whom he credited with officiating at the marriage of “military-conflict studies and the study of the physical environment”, Robert Kaplan announced that “We all must learn to think like Victorians… Geographical determinists must be seated at the same honored table as liberal humanists.” This reductionist impulse, however, has not met with universal approval.

    A team of research ecologists based mostly at Colorado State University, for example, has challenged the suggestion that warming has increased the risk of civil war in Africa. They argue that attributing such causal powers to climate “oversimplifies systems affected by many geopolitical and social factors.” And they point out that “unrelated geopolitical trends” − most notably decolonization and the legacy of the Cold War − which “perturbed the political and social landscape of the African continent” tend to be ignored in climate reductionist agendas. Halvard Buhaug, a political scientist at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, together with colleagues also have serious reservations about what might be called climatic supremacism. Reworking a range of models used by advocates of climate’s determining role in civil wars, Buhaug contends that “Climate variability is a poor predictor of armed conflict” and that civil wars in Africa are far better explained by such conditions as “prevalent ethnopolitical exclusion, poor national economy, and the collapse of the Cold War system.” The prehistory of a particular violent episode is relevant too for, as he puts it, “recent violence may affect the likelihood of a new conflict breaking out”.

    Empirical inquiries like these, which challenge the assumption that climate and climate change are prime causes of violence, raise troubling concerns about the ease with which an ideology of climate reductionism has infiltrated its way into national security consciousness. Critics of this determinist turn, and particularly of the Malthusian assumption that increased environmental scarcity and migration “weaken states” and “cause conflicts and violence”, express grave concerns about the lack of attention devoted to ascertaining “the ways that environmental violence reflects or masks other forms of social struggle” and about the too comfortable means by which “forms of technological engineering… reduce “solutions” to matters of purely technical concern.” For one thing such scenarios take outbreaks of violence as merely the natural consequence of social evolutionary adaptation. Climate reductionism thus facilitates the sense that war can be readily “naturalized and depoliticized” in markedly similar ways to earlier climatic readings of the American Civil War. As one group of researchers observe: “Some studies in environmental security are in danger of promulgating a modern form of environmental determinism by suggesting that climate conditions directly and dominantly influence the propensity for violence among individuals, communities and states.” When analysts “neglect the complex political calculus of governance” and the remarkable ways in which human societies actually do cope with challenging environments, they reach “conclusions that are little different from those ascribing poverty to latitudinal location or lessened individual productivity to hot climates, as was common in European and American scholarship about a century ago.”

    #climat #réductionnisme_climatique

  • Britain to build first permanent Middle East military base in four decades | UK news | theguardian.com

    Foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the deal with Bahrain would guarantee the Royal Navy’s presence in Bahrain well into the future. He said: “The expansion of Britain’s footprint builds upon our 30-year track record of Gulf patrols and is just one example of our growing partnership with Gulf partners to tackle shared strategic and regional threats.”

    Defence secretary Michael Fallon said Britain would now be based in the Gulf again for the long term. The rise of Islamic State, fears over Iran and ongoing instability in the region contributed to the decision to establish the new naval base, which is adjacent to a more substantial US facility, home to the fifth fleet. Bahrain will contribute most of the £15m cost of construction, with the UK picking up the ongoing costs.

    Chief of the defence staff, general Sir Nicholas Houghton, said the deal was symbolic and strategically important. “Rather than just being seen as a temporary deployment to an area for a specific operational purpose, this is more symbolic of the fact that Britain does enjoy interests in the stability of this region,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

    “And the fact that the Bahraini authorities and government agreed to fund infrastructure within the country to base our maritime capability forward, both is a recognition from their perspective of the quality of the relationship with the United Kingdom, but also of our interest over time in maintaining the stability of this very important area.”

  • #Britain to reopen embassy in Tehran

    Britain plans to reopen its embassy in #Iran, Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Tuesday. The British embassy in Tehran closed nearly three years ago after it was stormed by a mob angry at sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program. “The circumstances are right to reopen our embassy in Tehran. There are a range of practical issues that we will need to resolve first,” Hague said in a written statement to parliament. “However, it is our intention to reopen the embassy in Tehran with a small initial presence as soon as these practical arrangements have been made.” read more


  • Kenya signs pact for refugees return to Somalia

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – Kenya and Somalia have signed a tripartite agreement that paves the way for the repatriation of one million refugees to Somalia.

    The agreement was signed on Sunday by Kenya’s Foreign Secretary Amina Mohamed, Somalia’s deputy premier and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


    #Kenya #Somalie #accord_de_réadmission #renvoi #réfugié #migration #asile #UNHCR #HCR

  • 10 reasons not to trust claims national security is being threatened by leaks


    ...in 1984, the Thatcher government banned trade unions at GCHQ describing the move as “essential in order to safeguard national security”. Geoffrey Howe, the foreign secretary, claimed that industrial action a few years earlier had threatened national security, threatened intelligence-gathering during the 1982 Falklands conflict, and could have endangered lives.

    None of these claims was true. Asked by the BBC after the ban was imposed how the action had affected national security, Howe replied: “We cannot prove a single example.”

    John Nott, the then defence secretary, said after the end of industrial action in 1981 that the dispute with trade unions had not “in any way affected operational capability in any area”. It emerged that GCHQ staff had been praised for their work during the Falklands crisis.

  • Edward Snowden’s NSA surveillance revelations strain China-US relations | World news | guardian.co.uk

    On a visit to Washington where he met the US secretary of state, John Kerry, [the British foreign secretary William] Hague said: “No two countries in the world work more closely to protect the privacy of their citizens than the United Kingdom and the United States.”