Berlin Libya Conference (II)

Experts voice skepticism about the results of the Berlin Libya Conference. Oil blockade escalates in Libya.


BERLIN/TRIPOLI (Own report) - Experts voice skepticism about the results of the Berlin Libya Conference. In the German capital, the heads of states and governments of the major countries involved in the Libyan war adopted a resolution yesterday providing, in particular, for a ceasefire, the implementation of an arms embargo and initial steps toward the reestablishment of the Libyan state. However, a formal ceasefire and a mechanism to enforce the arms embargo are absent, according to the Clingendael Institute, a Dutch think-tank. The Berlin Conference took place "in a sort of parallel reality to what is actually happening in Libya," Wolfram Lacher, a Libya scholar at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) noted. New indications of a military escalation were reported yesterday and it appears that nearly the entire oil production is being throttled. German foreign policy politicians are discussing an EU military intervention involving also the Bundeswehr. more…

Europe's Global Footprint

German foreign policy advisors are calling for a more offensive EU foreign policy and warn of the EU's decline


BERLIN (Own report) - German policy advisors are calling for a more offensive EU foreign policy and discuss strategies for dealing with the possibility of a global polarization between the USA and China. With Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's "geopolitical" commission the EU must strengthen its "global footprint," according to the current edition of "Internationale Politik," Germany's leading foreign policy journal. This not only pertains to foreign policy but to the economy as well. The Union must particularly seek to establish an independent IT sector and should take measures to ensure that the euro can play a stronger international role. Skeptics point out that in recent years the EU had not succeeded in enhancing its global political clout, even though it was considered a "nascent global power" at the turn of the new century. If this stagnation continues, "the only question" will be "whether Europe will become a satellite of the United States or of China." more…

The German-Russian Treasure

Merkel negotiates with Putin over Libya. Berlin announces International Libya Conference

BERLIN/MOSCOW/TRIPOLI | | libyenrussische-foederation

BERLIN/MOSCOW/TRIPOLI (Own report) - The German government can no longer implement important foreign policy projects in the Arab world without Russia's support, as the results of Saturday's negotiations between Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin demonstrate. Moscow will, in principle, support the "Berlin Process", with which the German government would like to take on the role of an influential mediator in the Libyan war. Without Moscow, Berlin did not succeed in holding the International Libya Conference, which was designed to become the first highlight in the "Berlin Process." In the run-up to Merkel's Moscow visit, German foreign policy experts lavished unhabitual praise on the influence Russia has gained over the past few years. If you wanted to achieve anything in Syria, "you had to call Washington," according to Bijan Djir-Sarai, FDP foreign policy parliamentarian, "today you have to call Moscow." Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, member of the Bundestag (FDP) calls German Russian relations "a treasure." more…

Relegated to the Role of Spectator

EU powers warn of external interference in Libya. Russia and Turkey are contemplating a process to end the war


BERLIN/TRIPOLI (Own report) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warns against foreign countries interfering in Libya. "Continuing outside interference is fueling the crisis," according to yesterday's joint statement, signed by Maas and his counterparts from France, Italy, Great Britain and the EU's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, "to the detriment of the country's national interests." In 2011, France and Great Britain had been the driving forces behind the war on Libya. Germany and Italy have been intervening in the country for years - to ward off refugees. The sudden warning against foreign interference must be seen in the context of the fact that Russia and Turkey have gained a strong position within the country by cooperating with parties engaged in the civil war. Observers reported that, similar to the "Astana Process" in Syria, Moscow and Ankara are now seeking to end also the war in Libya - under Russian-Turkish leadership. This would be a further blow to Western hegemony. Berlin is trying to prevent this with its own International Libya Conference. more…

An Assassination and its Consequences

Conflict over Iran escalates. Iraqi parliament demands the withdrawal of the German Bundeswehr


WASHINGTON/TEHRAN/BERLIN (Own report) - Following the USA's assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and other high-ranking Iraqi and Iranian military personnel, demands are being raised in Baghdad to expel the foreign troops, including the Bundeswehr. The Anti-IS Coalition troops, stationed in Iraq, must leave the country, the Iraqi parliament ruled yesterday. The German government insists on keeping German troops in Iraq to be able to maintain its options for gaining influence in that country. Berlin had earlier already rejected calls to end its deployment for security reasons. Camp Taji near Baghdad, where 27 German soldiers are currently stationed, had already come under missile fire in June. The camp could become a possible target for retaliatory strikes by Iran or pro-Iranian militias. Whereas the German government euphemizes the assassination of Soleimani as "a line of action undertaken by the United States", the chairman of the SPD parliamentary group officially called it a “violation of international law." A government advisor spoke of "state terrorism." more…

Post-Brexit Cooperation

Berlin Needs Great Britain for its Global Policy Plans

LONDON/BERLIN | | grossbritannien

LONDON/BERLIN (Own report) - Following the electoral victory of Britain's Conservatives under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the German government is now urging a continuation of its close cooperation with that country. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed his hopes that the United Kingdom "remains a close partner." Chancellor Angela Merkel is "looking forward to our continued cooperation, for friendship, and a close partnership between our countries." Berlin needs Great Britain's political and military capabilities for implementing Germany's European global policy projects. The British armed forces are still considered to be the most powerful in Europe and London still has considerable influence on global policy. Political and economic examples show that disregarding Britain's interests can push London into direct rivalry to Berlin. This factor is now all the more important, because Brexit provides the United Kingdom economic and political alternatives to cooperation with the EU. more…

The Global Judges

EU Prepares Global Sanctions Regime


BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - The EU is preparing a new sanctions regime and wants to impose coercive measures on human rights violators - both presumed and real - throughout the world. It will be equivalent to two US sanctions laws Washington uses to penalize undesirable persons from Russia and other countries. Those listed under the US law can no longer travel to the United States and any assets they may have in the USA would be frozen. During a conflict with Turkey, the Trump administration enforced one of those laws, the "Global Magnitsky Act", to impose sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers. The EU foreign ministers have now instructed the European External Action Service to prepare a corresponding law for the EU, the 'European Magnitsky Act". 'This will be a tangible step reaffirming the EU's global lead on human rights," the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell declared. An EU diplomat was quoted saying that the aim is to show that "we have muscles." It is therefore an instrument of power draped in a humanitarian disguise. more…

The Western Armament Community

SIPRI Documents the West's Leading Role in Global Arms Build-Up


BERLIN (Own report) - The largest arms producers in the USA and Western Europe, including German companies, have further increased their already predominant share of global arms production, as can be seen in the analysis published yesterday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SIPRI. SIPRI analyzed the sales of the world's Top 100 arms-producers and concluded that 83 percent of their output comes from 70 companies headquartered in countries of the self-proclaimed community of western values. Whereas the combined sales of the Top 100 arms companies have increased by 4.6 percent, compared to the preceding year, those of the US and West European companies have increased by around 5.2 percent. Currently the production of military hardware is also massively expanding in Germany. The armaments division of the Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Group was able to boost its sales by 11.8 percent in the first nine months of this year. The increase of defense budget is promising business in the billions. German arms exports are also rising dramatically. more…

Rearmament despite Dissentions

NATO Increases Operational Readiness and Targets China

BERLIN/BRUSSELS | | chinatuerkei

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - In spite of fierce internal conflicts, NATO is enhancing its operational readiness, is preparing its next expansion and is setting its sights on China as a new "challenge." These are the main results of the war alliance's anniversary summit, which ended in London yesterday, with the participation of the heads of states and governments of the member countries. As early as next year, NATO will be able deploy 30 army, air force and naval units in a war within a 30 day maximum. At the London summit, North Macedonia, which is about to join the Alliance, was represented for the first time. In the future, NATO will extensively concern itself with China, however not exclusively confrontational, as Washington would have wanted. The conflict with Turkey did not escalate, even though the dissentions between Ankara and various other allied states, by no means, had been resolved. In fact, the Turkish government has implicitly been given a blank check for its heavily criticized activities in the occupation of Northern Syria. more…

No Peaceful Coexistence

Pressure on China with respect to Xinjiang


BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - Applying pressure on China is the top priority for the newly elected German EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. She announced that, on Sunday - her first day in office - she plans to call Beijing to discuss "human rights." The People's Republic of China is being accused of human rights violations in the context of its "war on terror" against jihadism in Xinjiang province. The German chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McAllister (CDU) announced that the EU Parliament also plans to discuss the situation in Xinjiang, in its upcoming plenary session (December 16 - 19). In Berlin, the transatlantic-oriented opposition plans to call for sanctions to be imposed on either Chinese politicians or Chinese high-tech-companies, already affected by US sanctions. Commentators in the USA, as well as in Germany, are equating China with Nazi Germany. According to a former liberal-oriented German daily, "there can be no long-term peaceful coexistence" with the People's Republic of China. more…