Sunday, April 30, 2023

With Truce or Ceasefire remain elusive in Sudan, Clashes continue between the army and the Rapid Support Forces

    Sunday, April 30, 2023   No comments

Today, Sunday, the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan announced the extension of the truce for 72 hours, in response to international, regional and local calls.

The statement issued by the official spokesman for the Rapid Support Forces said: "In response to international, regional and local calls, we announce the extension of the humanitarian truce for a period of 72 hours, starting from midnight tonight, in order to open humanitarian corridors and facilitate the movement of citizens and residents, and enable them to fulfill their needs and reach safe areas."

Simultaneously, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the Rapid Support Forces of carrying out "flagrant and repeated" attacks on the headquarters of diplomatic missions and bodies.

The statement added, "In a flagrant violation of all international norms and treaties, on April 28, these rebel forces attacked the Indonesian embassy," accusing them of stealing a diplomatic vehicle belonging to the embassy.

Witnesses told AFP that clashes took place near the army headquarters in Khartoum, and the city of Omdurman, west of the capital, was bombed.

From southern Khartoum, a witness said, "There is very fierce fighting and heavy shooting in the street every few minutes since early morning."

The arrival of the first aid shipment from the Red Cross by air

On Sunday, the first shipment of humanitarian aid from the Red Cross arrived in the city of Port Sudan, as part of the emergency operations it has been carrying out since the outbreak of fighting in Sudan, according to what officials said in a virtual press conference from Geneva.

A statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross stated that the shipment, which was sent from Amman, weighed eight tons and "contained surgical equipment to support Sudan's hospitals and volunteers of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society who provide medical care to the wounded who were injured during the fighting."

The Red Cross added in the statement that it would "send a second plane carrying additional medical supplies and emergency personnel."

"We were able to fly to Port Sudan from Amman as a medical staff with supplies to deal with war-wounded, enough to stabilize 1,500 wounded," said Patrick Youssef, the ICRC's regional director for Africa, at the press conference.

"We now hope to get them as soon as possible to some of the busiest hospitals in Khartoum," he added.

As the fighting enters its third week, families in the capital, which has a population of about five million, and its suburbs are still suffering from a lack of food, water, electricity, and cash, and many of them are staying at home.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced internally or to neighboring countries, while several foreign and Arab countries are organizing large-scale evacuations.

International and regional powers called for an end to the escalating violence between the two military leaders, but they refused direct talks and exchanged accusations through the media.

Today, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged support for African-led mediation.

"The United Nations is intensifying its efforts to help people seeking safety in neighboring countries," he wrote on Twitter.

The United Nations said that nearly 75,000 people were internally displaced during the first week of fighting, mainly in the states of Khartoum, Northern, Blue Nile, North Kordofan, North, West and South Darfur.

More than 30,000 people have fled to Chad, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Central Africa, according to estimates by the United Nations, which warned that the number of people fleeing could reach 270,000 if the fighting continues.

The continuous battles between the army and the Rapid Support Forces prompted many countries to intensify their efforts to evacuate their nationals or members of diplomatic missions, by land, sea and air.

The Sudanese Ministry of Health said that the fighting affected 12 states out of 18 in the country.

Sudan has plunged into chaos since the bloody struggle for power erupted in mid-April between army commander Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, nicknamed "Hemedti".

The war left at least 528 dead and 4,599 wounded, according to figures announced by the Ministry of Health on Saturday, but the toll is likely to be higher.

The two parties to the conflict exchange accusations of violating the armistice, which was extended for three days under international mediation, and ends, Sunday, at midnight.

Earlier, the Sudanese army accused the Rapid Support Forces of turning a hospital into a heavily armed military barracks and command center for operations.

In the details, a statement issued by the General Command of the Armed Forces said: "The rebels turned the East Nile Hospital into a heavily armed military barracks and a command center for operations and continued hostile action after evacuating patients, including critical cases, in intensive care."

The statement also accused the Rapid Support Forces of continuing "indiscriminate shelling and looting of public and private property, including banks, shops, and citizens' homes."

He said that the army is monitoring the rapid support forces moving from the west to the capital, which confirms the continuation of these forces in violating the declared armistice.

The head of the Human Rights Commission in Sudan, Rifaat Mirghani Abbas, warned that the country's health system is on the verge of collapse, as a result of the ongoing clashes since the middle of this month between the army and the Rapid Support Forces.

Abbas said, "We are now talking about a health system on the verge of collapse. Hospitals have become a battleground for both sides and have not been spared from their fire."

He added that the medical personnel are working in very bad conditions, the necessary medicines have become almost non-existent, and ambulances cannot operate safely, in addition to multiple problems related to the health situation.

It is noteworthy that the ongoing battles in Sudan between the Sudanese army on the one hand and the "rapid support" forces on the other, in separate areas, have resulted in at least 14 attacks on health facilities since the fighting began.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

China's Special Envoy for the Middle East, Zhai Jun: China looks at relations with Syria from a strategic perspective, and within a comprehensive vision for the region

    Saturday, April 29, 2023   No comments

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed, today, Saturday, during his meeting with the Chinese government's special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, the Syrian-Chinese relations, common perceptions of the bilateral relationship, and China's vital role throughout this region.

President al-Assad pointed out that the most important positive change that occurred in the world was represented by the Chinese role, "which is escalating in a calm and balanced manner."

President al-Assad praised the Chinese mediation, which culminated in the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the improvement of relations between them, in a way that will be reflected in the stability of the entire Middle East region, as he described it.

He also pointed to the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative in achieving economic development and cooperation, stressing that "confrontation has always been primarily economic. Therefore, liberation from the restriction of dealing in US dollars has become necessary."

He added, "This role is presenting a new model in politics, economy and culture, especially as it is based on the principle of achieving stability, peace and profit for all," noting that "the whole world today needs the Chinese presence, politically and economically, in order to restore balance to the global situation, especially In light of the Russian-Chinese relations, and the strong international space that the BRICS alliance represents, capable of creating a multipolar international system.

He pointed out that the BRICS countries can play a leading role in this field, in addition to the option of adopting the Chinese yuan in trade transactions between countries.

Al-Assad stressed that Syria does not forget that China stood by its side during the war in order to defend Syrian sovereignty, in accordance with international law and the United Nations Charter, and that it appreciates all the assistance provided by Beijing during the earthquake period.

For his part, the Special Envoy, Zhai Jun, conveyed to President Assad the greetings of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and his keenness to achieve greater results in bilateral relations, stressing that China views relations with Syria from a strategic perspective, and within a comprehensive vision for the region.

Zhai Jun expressed his country's satisfaction with the victory achieved by the Syrian people in their battle against terrorism, "because it is a victory for all countries that defend their sovereignty and dignity," stressing that Beijing "will stand with Syria in international forums, in word and deed, in defense of truth and justice, and will support its battle." Against hegemony, terrorism and external interference.

Zhai Jun expressed China's support for the positive developments regarding the rapprochement path between Syria and the Arab countries.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

ISR Weekly Review Bulletin for April 23, 2023

    Sunday, April 23, 2023   No comments

To keep our readers informed about the most consequential events in this fast changing world, ISR researchers cull through current events news, so you don’t have to.

Manage your Subscription; invite a friend to subscribe to ISR’s Weekly Review Bulletin

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Eid Mubarak: Muslims around the world celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan

    Saturday, April 22, 2023   No comments

After a month of fasting, reflection, and prayers, Muslims around the world mark the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan, with prayers, visits to family and neighbors to ask forgiveness, and recommit to a more balanced life.

These are some images of Muslims celebrating Eid 2023.

Friday, April 21, 2023

In The News: Vatican official says the West bears a great responsibility in destabilizing the Middle East

    Friday, April 21, 2023   No comments

The Dean of the Department of Eastern Churches in the Vatican, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, said that the West bears a great responsibility in destabilizing the Middle East, because of its tendency to transfer its culture to the region, and to demand that its peoples adapt their lives to this culture.

The Dean of the Department of Eastern Churches added that they, "as Western Catholics, apologize for their support of this short-sighted vision," adding, "We commend your heroic efforts in being witnesses to our common faith over hardships, of all kinds."

The "Vatican News" website indicated that this statement was made in the presence of more than 250 representatives of the Catholic Churches in the Middle East, who were present at the opening of the "Rooted in Hope" symposium, which is being held in Nicosia until April 23, and is organized by the "ROACO" organization concerned with aid. Eastern churches.

Vatican Radio pointed out that what worries Archbishop Gugerotti is "the dispersion of Christians in the Middle East, resulting from the current tragic situation, which profoundly affects their daily lives."

It is noteworthy that Pope Francis said, last year, that the West cannot be described as an "example to follow" because it took the wrong path, describing it as the greatest graveyard of humanity.

He also said last month that the interests of multiple "empires" are driving the war in Ukraine, not just Russia, adding that the conflict was fueled by "colonial interests, and not only because of the Russian Empire, but because of other empires as well."

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Media review: is France's Macron rebelling against the Western world order?

    Thursday, April 20, 2023   No comments

The Economist thinks so.

The prestigious British newspaper The Economist launched, in its latest issue, a fierce attack on President Macron because of his statements that he made to a very limited number of journalists who accompanied him during his recent visit to China, describing them as very dangerous and at the wrong time.

What angered the well-established magazine, which represents the Western liberal capitalist world in one way or another, and was reflected in its editorial, which is followed by most of the leaders of the Western world in particular, and topped its latest issue, the saying of the French president, whom she described as one of the most experienced European leaders, “It is not the business of the European continent to fall into crises.” It is not our business, and in the name of strategic autonomy, and we should not be in Europe following America in a crisis like the Taiwan crisis.”

Macron, from the magazine's point of view, made two fatal mistakes:

The first: strengthening the ambition of China and its president to divide the European continent and separate the Europeans from America.

The second: undermining the allies' support for Taiwan, because diplomacy alone will not reduce the risks of war, and the West needs to strengthen military deterrence, which requires strengthening the US-European Western alliance in the face of tyranny.

What is certain and indisputable is that Emmanuel Macron is not Charles de Gaulle, the historical leader of France, and it is not possible to compare the two for many reasons that are long to explain, but his recent positions, that is, Macron, are trying to emulate de Gaulle's strategic positions, the most prominent of which is preventing Britain from entering the European market The joint (European Union later) because it does not trust it, and not to join the “NATO” alliance led by America.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Strong reaction by Medvedev to South Korea's readiness to supply Kiev with weapons: What will the South Koreans say if Russian weapons reach their northern neighbor?

    Wednesday, April 19, 2023   No comments

It would seem that Russian leader have a counter-move to every move by Western countries who are increasing or thinking about increasing their support to Ukraine. To this end, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev commented on South Korean President Yoon Sok Yul's statement of his country's readiness to supply weapons to the Kiev regime. He asked: What will the South Koreans say if Russian weapons reach their northern neighbor?

This came in a post by Medvedev on his official channel on the “Telegram” application, where he wrote: There are new people willing to help our enemies, as South Korean President Yoon Sok Yul said that this country, in principle, is ready to supply weapons to the Kiev regime.

And this is given that the South Koreans have been asserting strongly, until recently, that the possibility of supplying Kiev with lethal weapons is completely excluded.

What will the people of this country say when they see the latest Russian weapons designs in their closest neighbours, our partners from North Korea?

This is called bartering.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that South Korea's provision of military aid to Ukraine would mean Seoul's participation in the conflict to some extent.

Here is a translation of his statement:

There are new ones willing to help our enemies. South Korean President Yun Sok-yeol said that, in principle, this state is ready to supply weapons to the Kyiv regime. 
Moreover, until recently, the South Koreans ardently assured that the possibility of supplying lethal weapons to Kyiv was completely ruled out.

I wonder what the inhabitants of this country will say when they see the latest designs.
Russian weapons from their closest neighbors - our partners from the DPRK?

What is called 
Quid pro quo…

Renewed clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in Omdurman

    Wednesday, April 19, 2023   No comments

Today, Wednesday, clashes renewed between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces, despite the declared 24-hour truce, and fighting intensified between the two forces loyal to the two rival military leaders, after the truce quickly collapsed.

Continuous gunfire, artillery and air strikes rocked the capital, Khartoum, and the city of Omdurman, across the Nile.

Residents reported clashes around the army headquarters, and near the international airport.

The Sudanese army accused the RSF of not adhering to the implementation of the armistice agreement, which was concluded with international mediation for humanitarian purposes, which led to the continuation of the fighting for the fifth day in a row.

The spokesman for the Sudanese Armed Forces, Brigadier General Nabil Abdullah Ali Musa, also accused the Rapid Support Forces of "violating citizens, looting their property, and burning a sea market in the Khartoum Bahri neighborhood."

In parallel, the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces announced, in a statement today, that "the Egyptian nationals who were at Meroe Airport during the clashes have been transferred to the capital, Khartoum."

The forces said in the statement that "Egyptian nationals will be handed over when the appropriate opportunity arises, according to the conditions the country is going through."

It also announced its agreement to a truce for a period of 24 hours, starting at 6 pm today, Wednesday, and continuing until 6 pm tomorrow, Thursday,” according to the statement.

The Rapid Support Forces affirmed its "full commitment to a complete ceasefire," hoping that "the other side will abide by that."

Monday, April 17, 2023

War News In Review: Is there going to be a Ukrainian spring offensive this year?

    Monday, April 17, 2023   No comments

Since Russian troops pulled back from the Kherson region west of the Dnipro River, Ukrainian politicians built a narrative about a counter offensive that would result in their troops taking back Crimea. It was convincing enough of a sales pitch that many previously hesitant NATO nations decided to supply the Ukrainian government with almost everything they asked for, including advanced tanks, guided missiles, and more ammunitions.

The counteroffensive that was supposed to start late in winter was rebranded as the Spring Offensive. Halfway through spring 2023, and no major Ukrainian troop movement has been detected anywhere in the frontlines except the redirection of elite troops to defend the Russian offensive already underway in Bakhmut and Avdeeva (Avdiivka) fronts. 

From studying the control maps compiled by multiple sources, including Ukrainian activists, over the past three months (not the year), for every square mile reclaimed by Ukrainian forces, Russian forces gained more than 100 square miles. Importantly, the gained territories are cities and towns, including Bakhmut and Avdeeva, turned by the armed forces of Ukraine into shielded fortresses, protective trenches, and secretive tunnels and underground bunkers.

Over the past year, the only zone Russian troops were forced out of because of a Ukrainian offensive was in the northeast region of the Donbass region—Kharkiv front. There, Russian troops were pushed back from areas they wanted to control. Russian generals believed that the loss there was due to their forces being spread too thin over a long active frontline. 

The generals who suffered the loss were rotated out and new generals were appointed, many of whom had experience fighting urban warfare in Syria. Soon after taking over command, they recommended the creation of fortified, defensible frontlines. The plan was approved and troops were pulled to the west side of the major river dividing Ukraine into the Western territories and the eastern territories—Dnipro River. Russian generals did not just use the Dnipro River as a defensive line that separated them from Ukrainian troops, they destroyed the bridges once they moved to the east side; they conducted a similar tactical retreat in the northeast using the Oskil River to limit a massive attack by Ukrainian troops. These moves essentially cut the open active frontlines by about 40%, leaving them with only 60% of contact space, to which they allocated more resources.

In fact, it is conceivable that the gains in Bakhmut and Avdiivka were made possible by the adjustments made in Kharkiv and Kherson Oblasts—thanks to the use of natural barriers, rivers and dams, to make any large-scale attack by Ukrainian troops very risky and manageable by fewer Russian troops while the majority are utilized elsewhere. This worked in favor of Russia since it needed time to train and equip the newly mobilized troops--about 300,000 of them, many are still going through specialized training.

Russian troops have also learned from their mistakes during the early days of the military operation. They realized that drones, though have limited effects compared to fighter jets, they can nonetheless inflict huge damage on troops bogged down in open spaces.

Ukrainian troops were able to inflict some losses using Turkish drones; Ukrainians even made a song about the Bayraktar TB2 Drones. From that experience, Russians learned that cheap drones can in fact change the outcomes of battles and they can inflict crippling damage on exposed troops marching on the offense. Russian leaders not only reached out to allies to purchase drones, which was quickly used, but they ramped up production of their own drones and guided ammunition.

When all this is taken together, it becomes clear that moving heavy war machines to retake territories, in the presence of cheap drones and guided missiles that can be launched from afar, is very risky. Even if Ukraine receives enough of the promised tanks from US, EU, and NATO, these tanks will be vulnerable especially when they have to be moved across river and open spaces.

For Ukrainian troops to retake Crimea, they will have to use a large number of armored vehicles and tanks and they have to be able to cross the mentioned natural barriers. This makes the Zaporizhzhia frontline the likely path for launching an attack southward.

Ukrainian politicians may have set the bar too high for themselves. Perhaps they had to do so to be able to get more weapons from their NATO allies. However, now that they have received the weapons they asked for, they must show that they can deliver on their promises.

From what is known from the data in the public domain, if they do undertake a massive counteroffensive, they will lose the battle and such a loss may decide the outcome of the war. But because of the rhetoric they put out, and the support they received, it is possible that they know that the outcome of the war will be decided this year one way or another. That does not mean that the war will end this year; but the direction of the war will be decided this year. If a pridiction must be made, then it can be concluded that there will be no Ukrainian spring offensive this year that will result in Ukrainian forces taking back Crimean or any other major regions; and if Ukrainians muster one, they will lose the war because of it.



Sunday, April 16, 2023

In a move that gives meaning to "borderless" partnership, the Kremlin announces Putin's meeting with the Chinese Defense Minister in Moscow

    Sunday, April 16, 2023   No comments

 Russia's Tass news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu in Moscow on Sunday.

Beijing announced Li's visit to Moscow last week, saying he would meet defense officials, but made no mention of his meeting with Putin.

Peskov told TASS news agency that details of the meeting would be published later.

On Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister Li Changfu praised relations with Moscow during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

"We have very strong relations," he said, in translated remarks carried by Russian television. It transcends military and political alliances during the Cold War era.. It is very stable.”

Russia and China announced a "borderless" partnership and tended to consolidate their economic, political and military relations since Moscow sent tens of thousands of its forces to Ukraine in February 2022.

A senior official in Kiev said on Friday that Ukrainian forces were finding an increasing number of components from China in Russian weapons used in Ukraine. China has repeatedly denied sending military equipment to Russia.

Translation of Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu statements after the meeting with Putin: 

“We have a very strong relationship. They are superior to the military-political alliances of the Cold War, built on the principles of non-alignment, non-opposition to a third party. They are very stable. Under the strategic leadership of you and Xi Jinping, we are developing cooperation in practical areas, and our relationship has already entered a new era. And we understand the responsibility that lies with our powers. Especially considering that the biggest change in a 100 years is now taking place. We stand shoulder to shoulder and work to improve the well-being of our peoples. Whereas the economic recovery is very slow. The world is very restless, peace and peaceful relations between countries are in great demand.”

A Translation of Putin's response: 

“You arrived in Russia after a visit to our country by our great friend, my friend, President of the People's Republic of China Comrade Xi Jinping. I want to emphasize once again that the visit was very productive. We also touched upon, of course, cooperation between military departments. There is a very good development of relations between our countries in all areas, in the economy, social, cultural and educational sectors. Through the military departments, we are working actively, regularly exchanging information useful to us, cooperating in the field of military-technical cooperation, conducting joint exercises, moreover, in different theaters: in the Far East region, and in Europe, both at sea and on land, and in the air. I think that this is, of course, another important area that strengthens the exclusively trusting, strategic nature of relations between Russia and China.”

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Updates on the clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces

    Saturday, April 15, 2023   No comments

The Sudanese army announced today, Saturday, that the Air Force is carrying out qualitative operations to "resolve the irresponsible behavior of the rebel Rapid Support militia."

This comes after clashes broke out between the Rapid Support Forces and the army in separate areas of Khartoum, the vicinity of the Marawi airport base, and Nile Street, earlier today.

The official spokesman for the Sudanese Armed Forces said that the forces "did not start the aggression, and what happened is that our forces were attacked by the rebel forces."

He added, "The army personnel do not seek any personal gain," stressing that they "will continue their work with efficiency, professionalism, and patriotism."

He continued, "We will confront any irresponsible attempt, and we regret that our country has reached this stage because of the personal ambitions of the rebel leadership," stressing that there is no future for the country "except under one army under a disciplined military command."

The armed forces indicated that Sudan "would not have reached this stage had the rebel forces of Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti) abandoned their personal ambitions."

Concurrently, former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok sent messages to the Sudanese army, the Rapid Support Forces, the people of the country, and the international community, in which he called for an immediate cease-fire and the rejection of the fighting, warning against expanding the scope of the conflict into a regional war.

Hamdok said in a video speech broadcast on Twitter: "My first message is to the President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, to the leaders of the Sudanese army, and to the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo. The bullets must stop immediately, and the voice of reason must prevail, as the loss will be." It belongs to all, and there is no victor over the corpses of his people."

He added, "My second message to the Sudanese people is that they become more cohesive, that there is cohesion between the components of society, and the discourse of rejecting war is prevalent, and that the voice of fueling war is not allowed to dominate."

Hamdok continued: "My third message to the regional and international community and lovers of global peace is to do their duty to resolve and calm the warring parties. War in Sudan means war in the region, and a peaceful solution is still possible."

Meanwhile, the Rapid Support Forces announced the control of military sites in El Fasher, in the west of the country, including the Signal Corps, the Medical Corps, and the airport.

Al-Mayadeen correspondent reported that the Rapid Support Forces arrested a number of Egyptian forces inside the Marawi base.

Likewise, the Rapid Support Forces announced their control of the command of the 1st Infantry Brigade, noting that they had "closed all the ports south of Khartoum."

The Rapid Support Forces had announced their control of the Republican Palace, the guest house, Khartoum airports, Meroe, Al-Obeid, and sites in the Sudanese states.

The Sudanese Medical Association reported that 3 civilians were killed in the battles in Sudan, including two in Khartoum.

And Saudi Airlines stated that one of its planes was exposed to gunfire at Khartoum Airport while it was preparing for the return flight, with the crew and passengers on board.

Clashes are taking place now between the two parties around the state-affiliated media building with the aim of controlling it, while television transmission was cut off after it remained weak for some time.

The United Nations, the Arab League, Washington and Moscow demanded an "immediate" halt to the fighting in Sudan. As for the powerful neighbor, Egypt, it called on both sides to "exercise the greatest degree of restraint."

In the context, a member of the Political Bureau of the Sudanese National Umma Party, Muhammad Markaz Khareef, expected the continuation of the clashes because "the conflict has reached the stage of breaking the bone."

In their statements, the Rapid Support Forces and the army exchanged accusations of attacking each other's bases.

The Sudanese army accused the armed Rapid Support Forces of attacking many of its bases in Khartoum and other areas, shortly after those forces announced the army's attack on its camps.

Sudanese websites quoted the Sudanese army spokesman as saying, "The situation is calm at the headquarters of the General Command, and the fighting is taking place around some strategic facilities."

The sources added, "Khartoum is now besieged from all sides, which means that food supplies will be difficult for the population to enter."

A few days ago, the Sudanese army warned of the deployment of the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum and some cities, pointing out that these movements took place without the approval of the Armed Forces Command and without any coordination with it.

In contrast, the RSF, which operates under the command of Hemedti, the vice president of the military council, has confirmed that it is deployed throughout the country as part of its normal duties.

The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change in Sudan announced the postponement of the signing of the final political agreement between the Sudanese parties, known as the "framework agreement", which was scheduled for April 6, until the end of the talks between the military technical committees to formulate final recommendations regarding security and military reforms.

The current political process in Sudan aims to resolve a prolonged crisis since October 25, 2021, when the army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, imposed exceptional measures, including dissolving the two sovereign councils and declaring a state of emergency.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

media review: German companies expand their investments in China

    Wednesday, April 12, 2023   No comments

The New York Times reported that some German companies are expanding in China and are reluctant to leave the huge market they need to finance operations in Berlin.

The newspaper added, "At a time when Washington seeks to stifle economic relations with Beijing, two powerful engines of the German economy, Volkswagen and the chemical company (BASF), are expanding their huge Chinese investments."

Volkswagen, which has more than 40 factories in China, has announced a new effort to design models according to the wishes of Chinese customers, and will invest billions in local partnerships and production sites.

And BASF, with 30 production facilities in China, is pushing ahead with plans to spend €10 billion on a new chemical production complex that would rival in size its huge headquarters in Ludwigshafen.

As the American newspaper pointed out, "Across Germany, executives know that these investments run counter to efforts by the United States to isolate China economically. They argue that revenue from China is essential for their businesses to thrive and grow in Europe."

"The profits from China have allowed the company to offset losses from Europe's high energy costs and strict environmental rules," said Martin Brodermüller, CEO of BASF.

According to the New York Times, close trade relations are now under scrutiny in Berlin, at the behest of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, knowing that there was a political proposal to reset the country's relationship with China, its largest trading partner.

According to the newspaper, a study conducted by the Kiel Institute showed that “separation from China would be very costly for the whole of Europe, but in particular for Germany.” About 131 billion euros, and it may cost more, if China responds with other steps.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had said earlier that Germany should "learn its lesson" from Russia's war on Ukraine. The lesson is that "we have to reduce our dependence on others, wherever we can". "This is especially true of China," he added.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

The President of the Political Council of Sanaa Government meets the delegations of Saudi Arabia and Oman in Sana'a

    Sunday, April 09, 2023   No comments

 The head of the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, Mahdi Al-Mashat, met with the delegations of Oman and Saudi Arabia in the capital, Sanaa, according to Yemeni media.

During the meeting, Al-Mashat stressed his country's firm position on a just and honorable peace, which the Yemeni people seek and achieve their aspirations for freedom and independence.

He also expressed the gratitude of the Yemeni people for the mediation efforts undertaken by the Sultanate of Oman, its positive role in bringing points of view closer, and its efforts to achieve peace.

For his part, the head of the Saudi delegation expressed his thanks to the Sultanate of Oman for their important role and great efforts in the framework of bringing peace to Yemen, and their keenness to support peace and stability in Yemen.

The meeting was also attended by the head of the national delegation, Muhammad Abdel Salam, the deputy head of the national delegation, Lieutenant General Jalal Al-Ruwaishan, the head of the Security and Intelligence Service, Major General Abdul Hakim Al-Khaiwani, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hussein Al-Ezzi, the member of the national delegation, Abdul-Malik Al-Ajri, and the head of the Military and Security Committee, Major General Abdullah. Yahya Al-Razami.

Yesterday, Saturday, the Omani and Saudi delegation arrived in the Yemeni capital, in order to complete the talks to extend the armistice, after expanding its terms and conditions.

For his part, the head of the Sana'a negotiating delegation, Muhammad Abd al-Salam, announced Sana'a's demands represented in "stopping the aggression, lifting the blockade completely, and disbursing salaries from oil and gas revenues." In addition to these demands, "the exit of foreign forces from Yemen, compensation and reconstruction."

As for the member of the Political Bureau of the Ansar Allah movement, Muhammad Al-Bukhaiti, he revealed, in an interview with Al-Mayadeen, that "there is an understanding with Saudi Arabia," without going into details.

Earlier, a member of the political bureau of the "Ansar Allah" movement, Abd al-Wahhab al-Mahbashi, confirmed that "the Iranian-Saudi agreement is positive, and it will have an impact on the Yemeni file."

A few days ago, Iran welcomed the relative openness resulting from the ceasefire on April 2, 2022, and the limited peace that Yemen witnessed after a long war launched by the United States, whose direct and indirect consequences affected civilians, women, and innocent people.

A sudden meeting between Saudi and Iranian officials in Muscat to discuss important files, on top of which are relations and developments in the region

Today, Sunday, the Saudi ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, Abdullah bin Saud Al-Anzi, met with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Al-Najafi, in Muscat.

And the Iranian Student Agency, ISNA, reported that “at this meeting, they discussed bilateral relations, developments in the region, and the latest developments in the return of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Last Thursday, the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a joint statement, at the end of their talks in the Chinese capital, Beijing, which stipulated the start of arrangements to reopen embassies and consulates and expand bilateral relations and cooperation.

According to the statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian agreed with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, to resume the exchange of visits by officials and private sector delegations.

Venezuela aiming to insolate its economy from western sanctions builds new ties with Iran and Russia

    Sunday, April 09, 2023   No comments

A year after the inking of the cooperation agreement between the CEO of Iran’s SAIPA Automotive Group Mohammad Ali Teimouri and Venezuelan Minister of Transportation Ramón Velásquez at the venue of SAIPA Company in Tehran in order to produce Iranian cars in this country as joint venture (JV), Russia signs a transport deal with Venezuela.

Russia and Venezuela intend to create a shipping company to strengthen ties between Latin America and Russia. As part of the initiative, Moscow and Caracas plan to establish two transportation hubs to increase cooperation and establish a logistics chain. An intergovernmental commission has already decided to create such a company, which will be financed from public and private sources. The company could be registered in Sevastopol, St. Petersburg or Novorossiysk, and joint construction of ships is also planned.

New trade routes will greatly facilitate Russian exports to Latin America, since the region is actively interested in grain, sunflower oil and agricultural machinery from Russia. In turn, Russia will be able to import seafood and fruit at bargain prices. Venezuela will play the role of an operational center.

Why and how is Beijing becoming the Mecca of Geopolitics?

    Sunday, April 09, 2023   No comments

Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira says Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lulu will meet with his Chinese counterpart in a few days, to exchange views on the war in Ukraine in particular.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula will head to China on Tuesday, after his visit was postponed due to pneumonia, to restore his country to the international arena.

This official visit of the Brazilian president to his country's largest trading partner was scheduled to take place between March 25 and 31, but doctors recommended that it be postponed due to "mild pneumonia" from which he has now recovered.

On Friday, Lula will meet his counterpart Xi Jinping to "exchange views on the war in Ukraine" in particular, Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira told AFP and other international news agencies.

This official visit to China is the fourth for the Brazilian president, who began his third term in January, after being president from 2003 to 2010.

The Brazilian president promised to return his country "to the heart of the new global geopolitics", after the isolation it experienced during the rule of his far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.

In Beijing, Lula hopes to play again the role of mediator who contributed to reaching the nuclear agreement between Iran and the United States during his second term (2007-2010).

Brazil, like China, refused to impose sanctions on Moscow, and at the end of January it had drawn up a still vague proposal regarding the mediation of several countries in the war in Ukraine.

The Brazilian president said at the time that he was "confident" of the chances of success of this proposal, expressing his hope to "establish" the group of countries after his return from China.

On March 25, Celso Amorim, the Brazilian president's senior adviser on international affairs, met in the Kremlin with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is visiting Brazil on April 17.

"To say that the doors are open (to peace talks) would be an exaggeration, but to say that they are closed is also not true," Amorim told CNN Brasil, on Monday, when asked about the outcome of the meeting with Putin.

However, the Kremlin ruled out "any prospect of a political settlement" mediated by China, despite the consensus expressed by Putin and his counterpart Xi during the latter's visit to Moscow at the end of March.

Before his meeting with Xi on Friday in Beijing, Lula will head to Shanghai on Thursday to attend the inauguration of former leftist President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016) as head of the New Development Bank, also known as the "BRICS Bank".

In 2006, during his first term, the "BRICS" group of emerging economies was created, which includes Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa.

Lula's visit to China will mainly deal with international political issues, as the economic aspect was dealt with a week ago, during the date previously set for the visit, when more than 500 Brazilian company heads, from most of the industrial agricultural sector, traveled to the Asian country.

More than 20 cooperation agreements have been signed, one of which allows their trade deals to be conducted directly, exchanging the yuan for the riyal and vice versa instead of relying on the dollar. Bilateral trade volume reached 150 billion dollars last year, with 89.7 billion dollars of Brazilian exports to China.

On his way back to the country, Lula will head to the UAE on Saturday for a one-day official visit.

Saturday, April 08, 2023

China's Taiwan Strategy is about Isolating the island and claiming the space around it for China

    Saturday, April 08, 2023   No comments

Aware of the cost of war experienced by Russia, China seems to have a different strategy for taking back Taiwan: it is about isolating the island and claiming the space around it for China.

China seems to be methodically increasing its preparedness to isolate Taiwan and subdue it without military invasion

China practiced maneuvers to encircle Taiwan during military exercises near the island. 

The military also conducted exercises to seize dominance at sea and in the air.

This was announced by the command of the People's Liberation Army of China.

Meanwhile, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said it had detected 71 Chinese aircraft approaching the island as PLA military exercises were taking place around the island. They will last until April 10th.


Friday, April 07, 2023

Without including a condemnation of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, a statement by Macron and Xi urge the “return of peace” in Kiev

    Friday, April 07, 2023   No comments

Without including a condemnation of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, a statement by Macron and Xi urge the “return of peace” in Kiev

Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged in a joint declaration on Friday to "support all efforts aimed at restoring peace to Ukraine."
The joint declaration was issued at the end of the French President's visit to China.
The declaration stressed that the two countries “oppose armed attacks on nuclear power plants and other peaceful nuclear facilities” and support the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency “to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear plant.”

The text did not mention Russia, nor did it include a condemnation of its invasion of Ukraine.

The joint declaration stressed the “importance” that “all parties to the conflict” respect international humanitarian law “strictly”.

On Thursday, the French president urged his Chinese counterpart to "bring Russia back to its senses" with regard to Ukraine, and implored him not to supply Moscow with weapons, in a meeting at which the two presidents called for peace talks.

According to Paris, the Chinese president expressed, during his meeting with Macron, his readiness to contact Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the appropriate time.

None of the Chinese reports or the French-Chinese joint declaration mentioned this initiative.

In February, Beijing published a 12-point document urging Moscow and Kiev to enter into peace negotiations.

China did not recognize Moscow's unilateral annexation of four Ukrainian regions to the Russian Federation in September, nor did it recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Thursday, April 06, 2023

Russia is now planning for long lasting war

    Thursday, April 06, 2023   No comments


The images coming out of Russia suggest that Russian leaders are now convinced that the conflict in Ukraine is going to drag for years and to sustain that, they are allocating resources to the production of modern weapons systems, most of which are designed for the kind of war that is fought in a place like Ukraine.

This must be bad news for NATO nations that have complained recently about their weapons’ supplies running low; some even complained that the Ukrainian military is being careless with the weapons and systems they are receiving. Images of western equipment destroyed or abandoned in the battle field has raised concerns.

Shamkhani’s February activities are now being revealed: directing a foreign policy linked to long term economic security

    Thursday, April 06, 2023   No comments

Media reports are now revealing that Iran’s top security official Ali Shamkhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin had extensive talks on de-dollarization of trade between the two sanction-hit countries during Shamkhani’s visit to Moscow earlier this year.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency covered the report after it was released late on Wednesday and said that the hours-long, off-the-record meeting between Shamkhani and Putin early February was mostly focused on initiatives to offset the impacts of Western sanctions on Iran and Russia, including efforts to ditch the US dollar from bilateral trade.

 It said the two had agreed that Iran and Russia could increase the share of other major currencies, including the Chinese yuan, the Emirati dirham and the Indian rupee, in their foreign exchange reserves.

 The report said that the agreement was a base for Shamkhani’s following consultations in China, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq to boost Iran’s access to international trade.

 Shamakhani had traveled to Moscow to attend a regional summit on Afghanistan. The former navy commander, who leads Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, then reached a deal in early March in Beijing with his Saudi counterpart Musaad bin Mohammed Al-Aiban to revive diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

 Shamkhani also traveled to Abu Dhabi and Baghdad last month in visits that many said were aimed at boosting Iran’s economic ties with its two Arab neighbors.


media review: CIA Director expressed dissatisfaction with Saudi Arabia's rapprochement with Iran

    Thursday, April 06, 2023   No comments

According to media reports, the CIA chief complained US was blindsided by Saudi outreach to Syria and Iran. Similar reports appeared in the Wall Street Journal. According to the newspaper, William Burns told Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the United States is shocked by Riyadh's rapprochement with Iran and Syria, which are still under the influence of Western sanctions.

The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns, during an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia, expressed dissatisfaction with the decision of the kingdom's authorities to establish relations with Iran and Syria. This was reported on Thursday with reference to sources by The Wall Street Journal.

Earlier, Al Arabiya TV channel reported, citing a source, that the CIA director visited Saudi Arabia this week to meet with representatives of the kingdom's authorities. According to the interlocutor of the TV channel, Burns confirmed Washington's desire to strengthen cooperation with Riyadh on security issues and the fight against terrorism. The representative of the administration did not specify with whom exactly the head of the CIA met and how long he was in the kingdom.

On March 10, Tehran and Riyadh agreed to restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies within two months. Representatives of the two countries held talks in Beijing for several days, following which a trilateral statement was prepared.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Media Review: The world of the dollar reserve system is coming to an end

    Wednesday, April 05, 2023   No comments

The American magazine "The National Interest" reported that "the American president said that the ruble will turn to rubble, and the French finance minister said that the Russian economy will collapse, but despite these statements, the sanctions did not result in any major tsunami of regime change."

And it reported that “the movement to (Eurasian) resource-backed currencies was accelerated by the United States’ recognition of the trend and its attempt to reverse it, ostensibly through the war in Ukraine,” noting that “the revolution in the economy is not Bitcoin, but rather resource-based currencies.”

She explained, “With the Russians capping the price of their gold, Russian investors were stuck with an undervalued ruble, forcing it to appreciate against the dollar. In the past six months, the ruble has strengthened steadily. Then Putin added the double whammy that buyers of Oil can be bought with rubles or gold.

According to her, "If they buy oil with gold, they actually get a discount on oil, which leads to increased pressure on the supply of gold, which raises the price."

Therefore, "the West's commitment to burning the ruble backfired, and the strengthening of oil prices had a reinforcing effect on the ruble. As a result, in the land of paper, Russia and China are now able to control gold and oil prices," she says.

"The world of the dollar reserve system is coming to an end, as domestic funds were artificially inflated by the West in order to buy the assets of the East cheaply, and now it is payback time for the East," The National Interest confirmed.

The magazine concluded: "The dollar is still the reserve currency. This seismic change will not happen overnight, but the seeds were sown," stressing that "the current banking crisis is a symptom of the weakness of the monetary system, and what is happening in the West is the gradual death of paper currencies."

China's time to become a global powerhouse is now, how will it manage its new role?

    Wednesday, April 05, 2023   No comments

The West’s unlimited military support to Ukraine, its unbalanced Middle East relations, its ambiguous stance on the status of Taiwan, and its failure to honor its nuclear deal with Iran are propelling China to become a global leader. These three news stories should make the case for the role China will play in this decade.


How China sees the expansion of NATO? 

This editorial in a Chinese media outlet close to the ruling class of China provides the answer.

Finland joins NATO; Europe's overall security landscape more 'precarious'

With a Finnish flag rising first time outside the NATO headquarters, the Nordic nation officially became NATO's 31st member country at a meeting of the US-led bloc's foreign ministers, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Tuesday in Brussels, a historic shift away from the Nordic nation's traditional policy of neutrality, which Chinese experts believe now pushes Finland to the forefront against Russia and may spur Moscow to boost its nuclear deployment, thus making Europe's overall security landscape even more precarious.


Political division in Taiwan regarding the position of Beijing and Washington

While Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was visiting the United States, her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou was in China, where the country's two main parties were debating which superpower would side with her.


During a long overseas trip to the United States, the Taiwanese president delivered a consistent and blunt message about countering Chinese threats: Taiwan needs the United States to be supportive, the newspaper reported.


But while she was garnering American support, her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, was working on a very different agenda, and is currently on a tour of China, the first former president to ever make such a visit, according to the newspaper.


She noted that the symbolism of Ma Ying-jeou's visit to China was "amazing" and stood in stark contrast to Tsai's travels.


"Strongly echoing the rhetoric used by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Ma Jiu invoked the memory of China's past humiliation at the hands of foreign invaders, during a visit last week to the mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China who overthrew the last emperor in 1911," she added.


Speaking of a delegation of Taiwanese youths he was accompanying, Ma Jiu said that they "will strive peacefully to revitalize the relationship with China, and sincerely hope that the two sides of the Strait will make joint efforts to achieve peace and prevent war."


According to the newspaper, the conflicting flights indicate that the question of Taiwan's belonging in the world may reach a point of crisis, amid the most intense hostility between China and the United States.


Earlier in the day, the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration in Fujian announced that military authorities had begun patrolling the Taiwan Strait, following reports of a meeting between Taiwan's President and US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy.


And Tsai arrived, on Tuesday evening, in Los Angeles, USA, to hold this meeting, after a diplomatic tour in Central America.


McCarthy had planned to follow the example of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat who visited Taiwan last August, angering China.


Yesterday, Chinese diplomacy saw that the meeting between the two parties would "cause more damage" to relations between Beijing and Washington.




Macron: China can play a major role in achieving peace in Ukraine


French President Emmanuel Macron said today, Wednesday, at the start of a three-day state visit to China that Beijing can "play a major role" in finding a "path leading to peace" in Ukraine.


Macron told the French community in the Chinese capital: "China has proposed a peace plan, thus showing a will to take responsibility and try to forge a path leading to peace."


Macron added, "This war has trampled many of the principles of the United Nations Charter, which we, as members of the Security Council, must firmly defend."

He continued, "I see that defending it also means progressing together, and trying to find a path that leads to peace."


Last February, China proposed its plan for peace in Ukraine, which consists of 12 clauses that include calls for a cease-fire, respect for the legitimate interests of all countries in the field of security, and a settlement of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.


It is noteworthy that French President Emmanuel Macron arrived, today, Wednesday, in China for a 3-day visit, according to what was announced by the Elysee Palace, on his first trip to this country since 2019.


Macron will hold talks, tomorrow, Thursday, with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will participate in part, and will move to Canton in southern China on Friday.


Before leaving for China, the French President held a telephone conversation with his American counterpart, Joe Biden. During which they expressed their hope that "China will engage in joint efforts to accelerate an end to the war in Ukraine and establish a sustainable peace," according to French officials.


Reuters: The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran will meet in Beijing tomorrow

An Iranian official and a Saudi-owned newspaper reported that the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran will meet in Beijing tomorrow, as the two regional powers seek to arrange the next steps for their diplomatic rapprochement, under a Chinese-brokered deal.

 "The two chief envoys agreed to meet on April 6 in Beijing, because China facilitated the agreement," a senior Iranian official told Reuters.



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