Last Friday, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced he would not seek reelection, leaving the country’s wide-open presidential race even more uncertain. Both the Peronist camp and the center-right opposition are now without a clear candidate, but whoever becomes Argentina’s next president will have their work cut out for them.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa created confusion about the country’s relationship with the International Criminal Court when he suggested that Pretoria would withdraw from the court. But the larger debate about the ICC’s relationship with Africans is the prism through which Ramaphosa’s remarks must be viewed.
A rarely seen occurrence happened in Europe this week: a humbled China apologized to Europe, after the country’s ambassador to France questioned the sovereignty of post-Soviet countries. It has renewed the conversation about what could happen if Europe, armed with a unified China policy, went toe-to-toe with Beijing.
In a rare move, China’s Foreign Ministry has publicly distanced itself from statements made by a sitting ambassador after the PRC’s top envoy in Paris, Lu Shaye, suggested that none of the former Soviet republics are recognized under international law. His remarks sparked outrage in several European countries.
Tunisian opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi was arrested last week and remains in detention, as part of an ongoing crackdown against critics of President Kais Saied. Ghannouchi’s arrest and Saied’s clampdown on political freedoms have major implications for Tunisia’s domestic affairs as well as its foreign relations.
More than 300 people have been killed and thousands more wounded in the week since intra-regime fighting among Sudan’s military rulers broke out in Khartoum. In addition to creating a humanitarian crisis in Khartoum, the conflict now risks drawing in regional actors, with potential fallout for neighboring states.
A week of fighting in Sudan between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group, has left more than 300 people dead and thousands more injured. The violence is now spreading to other parts of the country, raising fears of a wider conflict that could destabilize the already delicate Horn of Africa region.
Tensions are mounting in Brussels after four EU member states unilaterally banned grain imports from Ukraine. The moves are technically illegal, as trade policy can only be set at the EU level. But the Eastern European countries in question are panicking over a glut of grain that is starting to have domestic political consequences.
Bahrain and Qatar announced last week that they will restore diplomatic relations after more than five years of estrangement, marking the final major milestone in the normalization of ties among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to which both belong. But despite the thaw, a lack of trust is likely to persist.
African delegations flew to Washington this week for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank’s annual spring meetings. But those seeking a breakthrough on their key priorities—including inflation and debt distress—are likely to leave town disappointed at the lack of concrete gains made.
Observers across Europe reacted furiously to remarks French President Emmanuel Macron made last week imploring Europe not to behave like “vassals” of the U.S., amid its intensifying geopolitical competition with China. But the reaction by European capitals to Macron’s statements are more revealing than his original remarks.
French President Emmanuel Macron embarked on a three-day state visit to China last week, during which the war in Ukraine, Europe’s ties with Beijing and trade between France and China topped his agenda. But Macron’s messaging during the trip was confusing and raised questions about his vision of European strategic autonomy.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s gradual emergence from diplomatic isolation has gained further momentum with his country’s reestablishment of official relations with Saudi Arabia. But Syria’s isolation may not be over quite yet, despite the seeming progress Damascus has made in engagement with its regional neighbors.