KW 48: Values-based foreign policy, Bitterness in South Africa, Israel warns against concessions to Iran


Values-based foreign policy criticized by China: The new German coalition has decided that foreign policy should become more values-based. One of the first reactions to this idea came from China. Government representatives from Beijing said they wished for continuity in Germany’s China policy. „One is allowed to wish. But it won’t work,“ said Reinhard Bütikofer. The former federal leader of the Green Party is one of the pioneers of the new, value-based foreign policy. Germany is still prepared to cooperate with China – but only on the basis of human rights and international law.

Germany and US warn Russia: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Tuesday that the US-led military organization must prepare for the worst as concern mounts that Russia could be preparing to invade Ukraine. “We are very concerned about the movements we’ve seen along Ukraine’s border. We know that Russia often combines those efforts with internal efforts to destabilize a country. That’s part of the playbook, and we’re looking at it very closely,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “Any renewed aggression would trigger serious consequences,” Blinken warned. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said “Russia would have to pay a high price for any form of aggression.”

Bitterness in South Africa over Omicron: Amidst concerns over the new Omicron variant, an increasing number of countries are banning international flights from the affected Southern African countries. South Africa is disappointed about the increasing travel restrictions worldwide. The tourism industry is once again in crisis, with foreign visitors leaving the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) advised countries to always follow scientific recommendations when making decisions. Travel restrictions may help to marginally contain the spread of COVID-19, but place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods, according to a recent WHO press release.

Israel warns against concessions to Iran: While efforts to revive the nuclear deal with Iran have continued in Vienna since this Monday, Israel has already made its rejectionist position clear. Even if a renewed agreement is reached, Israel will not be bound by it, said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. After all, the country is not part of this agreement. Israel is very concerned about the willingness to grant Iran sanctions relief and access to billions in assets (frozen abroad) in return for insufficient restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.

Kavala case: Turkey faces expulsion from Council of Europe: The famous activist and cultural promoter Osman Kavala has been in Turkish custody since 2017. Now the dispute is going into the next round: a Turkish court decided on Friday to keep Osman Kavala in prison. In doing so, it overruled the demand of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to release Kavala. The Council of Europe, which has described the case as „politically motivated“, is protesting in the strongest terms.

Security policy: NATO considers reaction to Russia’s military maneuvers
Memorial event in Kleve: Soldiers hike for peace
Russia: Court hears case on dissolution of Memorial International
Yazidi trial: Life imprisonment for Isis fighter
Pandemic: More and more travel restrictions worldwide because of Omicron


According to a report on „Children at War“, 450 million children live in conflict areas. Millions of girls and boys know nothing but violence. And more and more children worldwide are becoming combatants as a result, warn experts from Save the Children.


Green foreign policy in the Western Balkans: No government in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany has paid as much attention to the Western Balkans in advance as the new coalition that is set to take over. The goals for the region were formulated in the coalition agreement. The contract paper literally states: „We support the EU accession process of the six states of the Western Balkans region and the reforms necessary for this to fulfil all Copenhagen criteria.“

5 years of peace in Colombia: Colombia’s impassable rivers were war zones. Now former guerrillas are inviting tourists for rafting boat tours. It’s a success story after five years of peace process. But violence is once again on the rise. Today there are new conflicts: Mainly about the control of regions that are strategically important – for mining and cattle breeding, as cultivation areas for coca or for drug and weapons smuggling. The violence against environmentalists and social activists is also worrying.

With Annalena Baerbock, foreign policy is set to change: Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook is convinced that Annalena Baerbock will be an excellently prepared foreign minister for Germany. Because unlike other foreign ministers before her, she knows what she doesn’t know. Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook is a political scientist and Director of the German Council on Foreign Relations. With Annalena Baerbock, foreign policy is to become more feminist, according to Ashbrook. This is first of all a policy of equality. In conflicts, for example, this means that in the search for solutions, all parties are involved in negotiations – regardless of gender or perspectives.


„We want peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, not aggression,“
said Reinhard Bütikofer. China’s government has become more authoritarian and aggressive, and the policy under Germany’s Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will take this into account. This could have concrete consequences in the Taiwan issue.


Mausoleum as proof of love: An Indian businessman gives his wife a replica of the Taj Mahal as a gift. The private Taj Mahal, which is about one third the size of the original, stands in Burhanpur in the state of Madhya Pradesh and reportedly cost the equivalent of 235,000 euros. Anand Prakash Choukset calls his gift a „monument of love“, reports the BBC. He built it not only for his wife, but for the whole city and its inhabitants.

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