KW 45: EU eyes more Belarus sanctions, Merkel receives gold medal for outstanding foreign policy achievements, EU warns London


EU eyes more Belarus sanctions: The EU is planning to boost sanctions against Belarus over actions that are creating a growing migrant and humanitarian crisis on the bloc’s eastern frontier. The move comes after Polish troops used tear gas to prevent migrants ushered to the border by Belarus from storming a barbed-wire fence along the two countries’ border on the EU’s eastern edge. The standoff risks turning increasingly deadly as thousands of people from the Middle East are stuck in the forests along the EU border with temperatures dropping below zero. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement late Monday that “the Belarusian authorities must understand that pressuring the European Union in this way through a cynical instrumentalization of migrants will not help them succeed in their purposes.”

US: Waging war alone is not enough: The end of the United States‘ Afghanistan mission led to a wave of incomprehension about what Tony Blair called this „moronic“ implementation of policy. A comprehensive work on the „Grand Strategy“ of the US shows: America would have far more to offer in foreign policy than the disorienting Iraq and Afghanistan debacle, where the US talked about reducing the threat of terrorism, supporting a viable peace and reconciliation process and improving regional stability until the very end. Obviously, this didn’t succeed.

Merkel receives gold medal for outstanding foreign policy achievements: German Chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded the Walther Rathenau Prize in Berlin in recognition of a lifetime achievement in foreign policy. “We must never let up in our commitment to achieving peace and understanding and combating hatred, violence, nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism,” said Merkel. In awarding the prize, the Walther Rathenau Institute paid tribute to the chancellor for her “tireless commitment to a world order based on mutual understanding”. In particular, Merkel’s committed advocacy for the expansion and strengthening of European structures had earned respect for German European policy, it was said.

Ethiopia: Escalation of war and struggle for negotiations: The civil war in Ethiopia continues to escalate. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s opponents are forging an alliance for a „safe transition“. But a possible dialogue seems a long way off – and increasingly difficult. So much so that the US‘ fear of escalation prevails, prompting it to pull its citizens out of the country.

Change of power in northern Macedonia „devastating news for Europe“: The resignation of the head of government of northern Macedonia is „a heavy blow“ for the European project in the Balkans, said Nils Schmid, foreign policy spokesman of the SPD parliamentary group in the German parliament. Schmid called for an end to the accession blockade in the EU.

Ethiopia: Missionary pleads for peace
Report: Belarus organizes more flights with migrants from Middle East
Remembrance Day in Germany: Laying of wreaths for victims of war and tyranny on 14 November 2021
Afghanistan withdrawal: NGO appeals for donations for Afghan passports
The great rift: China-US conflict divides world economy


Belarus‘ dictator Alexander Lukashenko brings 800 to 1000 migrants to Belarus every day to send them on to the EU.


Taliban rule in Afghanistan: At the United Nations, Afghanistan is currently still listed under the name „Islamic Republic of Afghanistan“. Its new rulers, however, don’t want to know anything about a republic and have given the country a new name that is not internationally recognized: „Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan“. This means that the country is not only in fact, but also in name, where it was from 1996 to 2001, namely under the rule of the Taliban. This is painfully felt above all by the women in the country, whose rights suffer massively.

EU warns London against ending Northern Ireland talks: The EU has cautioned London against triggering emergency unilateral provisions in the Brexit deal. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiator David Frost ruled out immediately triggering such provisions, a move that would sour ties with the EU, concern the United States and anger Ireland. But Frost made clear he wanted Brussels to offer more. Maros Sefcovic, a deputy head of the bloc’s executive European Commission, said the EU had „seen no move at all from the UK side.“ „We hear a lot about Article 16 at the moment,“ Sefcovic said after talks with Frost. „Let there be no doubt that triggering Article 16 to seek the renegotiation of the Protocol would have serious consequences.“

German Turk Altayli sentenced in Ankara: The German Turk Enver Altayli has been sentenced to more than 23 years in prison on charges of military and political espionage. In addition, the 76-year-old was convicted of membership in a terrorist organization. This refers to support for the so-called Gülen movement, which the Turkish judiciary holds responsible for the coup attempt in 2016. Altayli denies the charges. He has already been in custody since 2017. His daughter criticized the court for allowing statements that were forced through torture. The verdict would punish her father for his criticism of the government.


„Of course he can continue to call,“
said Germany’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel of French President Emmanuel Macron. She went on to say that she would be happy if there was contact with him from time to time.


Johnson and Trudeau cause amusement during G20 group photo: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were late for a group photo at the start of the G20 summit in Rome, providing an entertaining scene for all those in attendance. The group photo was almost taken without them – their counterparts had already lined up for the photo on Saturday morning and smiled into the cameras when it was noticed that two seats on the podium were empty. It was only then that Johnson and Trudeau joined them. „Boris! Booorrris!“ shouted Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi to his colleague from Great Britain with a smile, as Johnson and Trudeau scurried past the waiting and amused other leaders.

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