President Donald Trump meets with President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, Sept. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

“We signed the agreement because we want to show our friendship to our most important ally, which is the United States,” El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, said in a meeting last week with President Donald Trump during the U.N. General Assembly. Bukele was referring to the “asylum cooperation agreement” struck the week before between his government and Washington. Though its details are still unclear, the deal would require foreign nationals who cross into El Salvador seeking asylum to apply for it there rather than in the United States. It would also give the U.S. the ability to make people with […]

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the Climate Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York, Sept. 23, 2019 (AP photo by Jason DeCrow).

Two big questions about the future of multilateralism surfaced during last week’s United Nations General Assembly. How will the battle against climate change reshape international cooperation in the decades ahead? And will mounting competition between China and the United States render any cooperation impossible? The climate issue dominated the run-up to this General Assembly. Responding to dire warnings about global warming, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres insisted that it must be front and center in New York. He oversaw a masterful bout of diplomatic choreography, as the U.N. welcomed young, superstar activist Greta Thunberg to address a special Climate Action Summit, pushing […]

Prime Minister Saad Hariri and other Lebanese officials attend a rally to mark the 14th anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Beirut, Feb. 14, 2019 (DPA photo by Marwan Naamani via AP Images).

The international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of then-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri unveiled a new indictment last week further implicating Hezbollah in the destabilization of Lebanon in the mid-2000s. On Sept. 15, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a United Nations-backed court based in The Hague, charged Hezbollah member Salim Jamil Ayyash for two assassination attempts on former ministers, Marwan Hamadeh and Elias Murr, in 2004 and 2005, respectively, and the killing of former Lebanese Communist Party leader George Hawi in a car bombing in 2005. Ayyash is one of four Hezbollah members already charged by the tribunal in 2011 for […]

Rohingya refugees at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, April 24, 2019 (AP photo).

Myanmar’s government is pushing for the more than 1 million Rohingya refugees currently in Bangladesh to start returning to the country, in an effort to project an image of peace and reconciliation to the outside world. Yet as grim as the situation is for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, where they live in what is now the world’s largest refugee settlement, their prospects back in Myanmar are even worse. It is little surprise, then, that few if any Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar, have taken up the offer. This is Myanmar’s second attempt at facilitating the repatriation of Rohingya, […]

Newly appointed Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi speaks during a press conference at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo, Sept. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Eugene Hoshiko).

Barring the unexpected, Shinzo Abe will become the longest-serving prime minister in Japan’s history this November. Speculation is already rife among Japanese commentators over who could be next in line for the top job. A major reshuffle of Abe’s Cabinet earlier this month sets the stage for what the Nikkei Asian Review calls “Japan’s post-Abe game of thrones.” The crowded field of potential successors include Taro Kono, who was appointed defense minister after serving a two-year stint as foreign minister, and Toshimitsu Motegi, who replaced Kono at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Motegi has been close to Abe for years, […]

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks at a press conference during an EU summit in Brussels, July 2, 2019 (AP file photo by Virginia Mayo)

MADRID—Spaniards are not happy that their country is headed for its fourth election in four years. According to a recent poll in El Pais, more than 90 percent of respondents said they felt either disappointment, anger or worry at the prospect of another vote. But the parliament that was chosen in April still dissolved Monday at midnight after the leaders of its main parties were unable or unwilling to come to an arrangement that would allow one of them to form a government, triggering an election on Nov. 10. While Sept. 23 was the final deadline for any sort of […]

From left, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japan’s then-foreign minister, Taro Kono, at a press conference in Beijing, Aug. 21, 2019 (pool photo by Wu Hong of European Pressphoto Agency via AP Images).

The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea met in Beijing last month, where they agreed to seek closer economic ties and push for “free and fair trade” amid a climate of rising protectionism. A leader’s summit in China could follow later this year— an opportunity, perhaps, to resolve some festering troubles in a region mired in mistrust. This diplomatic progress in collective ties comes at an inauspicious time. Attempts by Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul to work together have been undermined constantly over the past decade due to various rivalries in Northeast Asia. An inaugural trilateral leaders’ summit was […]

From left, the presidents of Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia at the Mercosur Summit in Santa Fe, Argentina, July 17, 2019 (AP photo by Gustavo Garello).

The rise of populism, President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mercantilism, the worsening U.S.-China trade war and fears of a global recession all point to a new protectionist era. Yet new trade deals are still being signed, perhaps most prominently in Latin America, where at least some politicians remain enthusiastic about free trade. The region reflects the current push and pull over the terms of globalization, and how the ideas that initially drove it are being upended. There are currently over 300 free trade agreements in force around the world. They come in different shapes and sizes, but the […]

The Saudi military displays what it says are an Iranian cruise missile and drones used in a recent attack on its oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 18, 2019 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).

If Iran is in fact responsible for the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities, whether directly or through its proxies in Yemen, it suggests that Iranian cruise missiles and drones are getting more sophisticated. Unlike its ballistic missile program, which receives considerable international attention, Iran’s cruise missile capabilities have long stayed under the radar. That may change following the damage done to oil infrastructure in eastern Saudi Arabia. With more accurate strike capabilities, Iran’s cruise missiles have major implications for the military balance of power in the Persian Gulf. Although Iran has one of the largest arsenals of ballistic missiles […]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at a festival at Kevadiya, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, Sept. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Ajit Solanki).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in the United States next week to attend the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly, meet with U.S. officials and business leaders, and address a huge rally of the Indian diaspora. As he embarks on the trip, his government finds itself a target of widespread international criticism after it upended the status quo in Kashmir last month, by revoking the special autonomy of the state of Jammu and Kashmir—the latest move in what is widely seen as an increasingly divisive, Hindu nationalist agenda. Given these recent developments, one might expect the Indian […]

Austrian Interim Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein, center, arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, July 2, 2019 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

VIENNA—Armin Wolf is one of Austria’s most hardened political interviewers. For more than two decades, the journalist and television anchor has been interviewing the country’s top politicians, winning awards and admiration along the way. At once witty and hard-hitting, he has the image of someone who can’t be caught off guard. But in a recent TV interview, Austria’s new interior minister, who is part of an interim government appointed in June in the aftermath of the worst political crisis in the country since World War II, appeared to blindside the usually unflappable Wolf. Wolf had invited the minister, Wolfgang Peschorn, […]

People protesting violence against women in Paris, July 6, 2019 (SIPA photo by Jacques Witt via AP Images).

PARIS—Helene de Ponsay hadn’t heard the word “femicide” until April, when police found the body of her older sister, Marie-Alice Dibon, stuffed in a suitcase, thrown into the Oise River. The 53-year-old Dibon, a pharmaceuticals and cosmetics specialist, was the 51st woman in France to be murdered by her partner in 2019. More than 50 deaths later, the word is hard to miss: in headlines, in presidential speeches, and plastered on buildings in cities across the country. Women’s rights advocates are now calling for femicide to be inscribed into the penal code. “How shameful that it took until now,” de […]

Deforestation caused by gold mining in what was once pristine rainforest along the border between Peru and Bolivia, near the Tambopata National Reserve, Feb. 24, 2016 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).

LA PAZ, Bolivia—Gold mining has surged in Bolivia over the past 15 years, so much that gold is now the country’s third-largest export, trailing only zinc and natural gas. But as mining activities damage more of the environment, the Bolivian government’s ability to keep this boom in check is being tested. The vast majority of the gold mining is small-scale and centered in northern Bolivia, in the Amazon, where the state’s presence thins out rapidly. New mining operations are mostly alluvial, with many involving large boats known as dragas that sit in a river, sucking up the silt beneath them […]

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, watches the test firing of a missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea, Aug. 24, 2019 (Korea Central News Agency photo via AP Images).

As a United Nations report revealed earlier this month, North Korea continues to dodge international sanctions and raise money for its nuclear weapons program, despite attempts to bar it from the global financial system. The report from the panel of experts charged by the U.N. Security Council with overseeing enforcement of U.N. sanctions on North Korea conclusively shows how Pyongyang capitalizes on an old method of sanctions-busting—smuggling—and a much newer one: hacking. In both cases, its tactics are getting more innovative. When it comes to smuggling, North Korea’s use of ship-to-ship transfers continues to circumvent sanctions “unabated,” including through previously […]

Cote d’Ivoire’s president, Alassane Ouattara, following his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2019 (SIPA photo via AP Images).

As Cote d’Ivoire prepares for elections next year, the peace and progress of the past eight years could be at risk. Despite an attempt at security sector reforms, the same failures of governance that caused months of post-election violence in 2010, just three years after the end of the Ivorian civil war, could lead to another crisis in 2020. Just three years after the end of its civil war in 2007, Cote d’Ivoire fell back into conflict when President Laurent Gbagbo rejected the internationally recognized electoral victory of his opponent, Alassane Ouattara, and refused to cede power. Within a span […]

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives his first year’s state of the nation address at the National Palace in Mexico City, Sept. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

In one of his first official acts as president of Mexico late last year, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sold the presidential jet, fulfilling a campaign promise. The populist leader said he would fly commercial instead. But more than nine months later, Lopez Obrador—or AMLO, as he is widely known in Mexico—still has yet to make a state trip out of the country. Of course, selling the presidential jet is not the ultimate reason why. Jesus Cantu, the president’s spokesperson and one of his top deputies, told World Politics Review that AMLO’s domestic policies have taken priority—a combination of austerity and […]

South Korean middle school students march in a rally against Japan in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 28, 2019 (AP photo by Ahn Youg-joon).

Over the past half century, the United States and its two key allies in Northeast Asia, South Korea and Japan, have established a limited yet effective framework for trilateral defense cooperation. That system has largely remained intact despite a history of bad blood between Seoul and Tokyo, specifically over Japan’s brutal occupation of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 until 1945. But regional observers are now increasingly worried that this edifice is beginning to crumble. The latest sign of trouble was South Korea’s decision last month to scrap a 2016 intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. The General Security of Military Information Agreement, […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 221 2 Last