EU to seek sanctions on Belarus airline over migrant arrivals: EU foreign ministers debated new economic sanctions on Belarus on Monday, including on airlines, to halt what Brussels says is a deliberate policy by Belarus to fly in thousands of migrants and send them across the border. Many EU states now accuse Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of flying in illegal migrants from Iraq, Iran and Africa to send them across the border into the EU to destabilize the bloc. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Lukashenko “is nothing other than the boss of a state-run people-smuggling ring, and we are no longer prepared to watch as companies, such as airlines, also make money from bringing refugees to Germany or other European countries.” Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics: „We need to introduce stricter sanctions … It means to put so-called tourism companies that are organizing flights (under sanctions).“
reuters.com, apnews.com, politico.eu
Ischinger complains that foreign policy has low priority: The head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, has complained about too low a priority of foreign policy in the German election campaign and in the coalition talks. He said this was worrying in view of the upcoming international challenges for the future government and the new parliament. Ischinger pointed out that many of the previous foreign policy certainties were beginning to waver: for example, the US as the perpetual protective power. It could also no longer be taken for granted that Russia would develop into a strategic partner and that China would become more Western through trade, Ischinger said.
The EU as a serious global actor: The most senior foreign policy official in the European Parliament, David McAllister, has urged the EU to get more involved in geopolitics. The Covid pandemic and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan have huge implications for the EU’s common foreign and security policy, he said. A broad majority of EU citizens want the EU to play a stronger role in foreign and security policy matters, according to a draft annual report on the EU’s common foreign policy in 2021, in which the European Parliament calls on the EU to promote alliances of democracies worldwide.
Merkel and Erdogan talk about Ankara’s refugee agreement: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a farewell visit to Istanbul. Their personal bond was instrumental in helping Europe manage a refugee crisis in 2016 and calm simmering tensions in the east Mediterranean last year. „The relationship between Turkey and Germany, with its negative and positive sides, will go on. It will be recognized by the next government,“ said Merkel. The key talking points between Merkel and Erdogan included Ankara’s refugee agreement with the EU. Merkel called on Erdogan to cooperate in dealing with the Taliban in Afghanistan to help prevent another refugee crisis.
North Korea test fires suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile: North Korea on Tuesday fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea in what South Korea’s military described as a weapon likely designed for submarine-based launches. The test marked possibly the most significant demonstration of the North’s military might since President Joe Biden took office. The launch came hours after the US reaffirmed its offer to resume diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program
Turkey accused of chemical weapons attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan morningstaronline.co.uk
Sinologist: „China is massively arming itself“ deutschlandfunk.de
Myanmar frees political prisoners after ASEAN pressure, then re-arrests some reuters.com
US envoy for Afghanistan steps down following chaotic evacuation cnn.com
Polish PM accuses EU of ‚blackmail‘ in escalating dispute over rule of law france24.com
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
Poland is planning to build a border wall costing more than €350 million to prevent migrants illegally entering from Belarus.
Military ceremony in front of German parliament triggers heated debate: The Großer Zapfenstreich („Grand Tattoo“) is a military ceremony performed in Germany. This year the ceremony was held to honor the soldiers returning from Afghanistan. But images of soldiers carrying torches in front of the Reichstag building triggered criticism on the internet. A number of Twitter users felt that the scenes reminded them of dark chapters in German history. Some drew parallels to the Nazi era, when Nazis walked through the Brandenburg Gate with torches in 1933. Other users disagreed, and several defense politicians reacted with irritation.
China denies testing nuclear-capable hypersonic missile: China has denied reports that it tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile earlier this year, insisting instead that it was a routine spacecraft check. The initial report in the Financial Times newspaper prompted concern in Washington, where US intelligence was reportedly caught by surprise. It comes as concern grows around China’s nuclear capabilities. On Monday, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing that a routine test had been carried out in July to verify different types of reusable spacecraft technology.
Germany and Nigeria sign memorandum of understanding on return of Benin bronzes: Nigeria has finally reached an agreement with Germany government on the return of Benin bronzes. A memorandum of understanding on museum cooperation was signed on Wednesday in Abuja between the Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Professor Abba Isa Tijani, and the German Director General, Culture and Communication of the German Federal Foreign Office, Dr. Andreas Görgen, during the visit of a German delegation to Abuja.
„I reject the language of threats and I will not have EU politicians blackmail Poland,“
said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at a heated parliamentary debate in Strasbourg.
Woman is turned down for a job – eight years after her application: A woman was left feeling rather bemused after being turned down for a job at a school – eight years after she applied. Zoe Johnson applied for a teaching assistant vacancy near her home in Canterbury, Kent in 2013 – and was stunned when a reply to her application arrived in her LinkedIn inbox eight years later. Zoe was not too disappointed by the snub – as she’s started her own skincare business since applying for the role.