President Barack Obama will wrap up his Asia tour in Seoul, sending amessage to North Korea that he is holding firm on the U.S. relationshipwith the South. Talks are expected to focus on the possibility ofopening up free trade between South Korea and the U.S., a sensitivetopic between the two nations in the past. Voice of America’s KurtAchin reports from Seoul.
President Barack Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during an Asia Pacific summit in Singapore. Though in Asia, the leaders took time out to discuss the persisting standstill in nuclear negotiations with Iran. “We are now running out of time,” Obama said, referring to Iran’s current tacitness. Both leaders say they are prepared hold a tougher line on the matter.
Al-Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reports on the continuing violence on the Saudi-Yemeni border. Citizens on the northern border are caught in the crossfire while the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. With no sign of the conflict in Northern Yemen abetting anytime soon, Saudi Arabia is hoping that a naval blockade will prevent Yemeni rebels from acquiring weapons.
From Ukraine’s ongoing payment issues to a new gas pipeline that would circumvent a number of Central-Eastern European countries, Russia continues to use gas as a way to strengthen some relationships and cause fissures in others. As Russia warns Europe that Kiev may have a particularly cold winter, EU citizens are feeling the burden of picking up the tab for their Ukrainian neighbors.
Voice of America’s Ravi Khanna reports on the miscommunication betweenIslamabad and Washington. As Washington is coming closer to adefinitive strategy in Afghanistan, foreign policy experts look at someof the fundamental differences between the Pakistani and United Statesgovernments’ view of their enemy. While the United States sees theirenemy in the Taliban, Pakistan continues to view India as the majorthreat.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton provides the context for thecurrent standstill in Iran with regards to nuclear negotiations. Shesaid that the United States and the rest of the international communityexpect a favorable response to the proposed enrichment deal soon. Shecontinued by saying that she understands the domestic complications inIran that are stalling a decision, but sees this as merely a setback.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Secretary of State Hillary RodhamClinton says that nation-building in Afghanistan is not the goal, butrather a possible byproduct of fighting terrorism in the region. Shealso explains, what she feels to be, is the difference betweenappropriate uses for counter-insurgency versus counter-terrorismtactics.
World Politics Review Contributing Editor David Axe provides this footage of U.S. Air Force mentors and Afghan airmen based at Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. The group is flying a mission on AfghanNational Army Air Corps Mi-17 helicopters. The footage provides a look into the mentor programs that are helping to create an independent Afghan military force.
Al-Jazeera interviews South-East Asia Expert Larry Jaga in light of rising tensions between Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodia refuses to extradite former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to Thailand, citing political motives as the reason for extradition. But political reasons, Jaga notes, could be motivation on both the part of Thailand and Cambodia. Jaga believes Thailand would prefer to keep talks bilateral, while he thinks Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen may enjoy the attention of the South East Asian community if talks should become multi-lateral.
WSJ’s Jerry Seib takes a deeper look into what Iran’s indecisivenessregarding a nuclear deal says about the cohesiveness, or lack thereof,of the Iranian government. Seib believes the waffling to be indicativeof conflicting thoughts in Tehran, specifically reformers, youth andintellectuals pitted against traditionalists and older clerics. He saysAhmadinejad would like to do a deal with the West to gain the supportof intellectuals and Iran’s influential youth, but is facing resistancefrom those who want nothing to do with the West.
“This government is a relfection of the current Lebanon,” said Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri after almost five months of negotiations with his opposition in order to create a national unified government. Some Lebanese citizens hope that the unity government will promote security and stability in the region while others are concerned about the concessions made in order to create the union. Al-Jazeera’s Rula Amin reports from Beirut.
NewsHour’s Margaret Warner speaks with Hamid Karzai, re-electedpresident of Afghanistan whose opponent Abdullah Abdullah refused torun in the scheduled run-off election last week. Karzai, whose winbrings into question his regime’s involvement in the rigged election,faces serious skepticism from outsiders who question the legitimacy ofhis government. The Afghan leader says that the United States and hisgovernment share a common goal in fighting terrorism and a common enemyin fighting corruption.
As protesters take to the streets of Tokyo to voice their disapproval of the U.S. Marine base in Okinawa in light of President Obama’s impending visit, one thing becomes clear — there will be no quick fix to this problem. As Obama visits Japan for the first time, he is facing a newly elected government, the Deomcratic Party of Japan, and their campaign promise to reduce troop presence on Okinawa. Though Obama is focusing on strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship with his visit, it is clear that a decision on Okinawa will not be made just yet. WSJ’s Akiko Fujita reports […]
Many Iraqi cities have been enclosed in blast walls, making citizensfeel like prisoners and reminding the international community thatviolence in Iraq is still a reality. Though many Iraqis find the wallsconfining and inconvenient, recent violence has shown that it may betoo early to tear them down. Al-Jazeera’s Omar Al-Saleh reports fromSamara.
Panelists discuss the extraordinary impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall the day it happened in 1989 on PBS’ NewsHour.
WorldFocus’ Daljit Dhaliwal speaks with Gideon Litchfield, deputy editor of The Economist online in New York, about the British sentiment toward the war in Afghanistan. Litchfield says that some experts are espousing a new strategy for fighting terrorism — tighten up control on the homefront, not in Afghanistan.
Vineet Nayar the CEO of HCL Technologies, discusses challenges and triumphs of the relatively new Indian government with the Wall Street Journal’s Niraj Sheth.