During the last few months the Eastern Mediterranean Sea became a particularly troubled hot spot with Turkey, Greece, and France being the main conflicting players. On one side we see Turkey, trying to assert its interests as well as those of Turkish-Cypriots. On the other, Greece, together with the strong support of France and of the Republic of Cyprus.
In 2019 and in the first half of 2020, Turkey has sent some drillships in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, in particular in the south of Cyprus, in order to look for new gas and oil fields without asking permission from Cyprus and the EU. The problem is that the area where Turkey has sent its drillships is an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus, an area which cannot be violated by another country and whose resources can be only exploited by the country to which it belongs. It is for this reason that the EU, especially Cyprus and Greece, has strongly condemned Ankara’s incursion. The situation is very complicated and, as well as the never-ending fight for energy resources and the different aims of involved countries, the decennial problem between Cyprus and Turkey has been brought back into the spotlight.
On July 3, 2013, the path to become the new Pharaoh of Egypt begun for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. With a coupe d’état, Mayor General al-Sisi toppled with the support of the Egyptian Army President Morsi, elected around one year before during the first democratic election after decades of dominance by the former “Pharaoh”, Hosni Mubarak.
On the 11th of January 2013, the French President François Hollande launched “Operation Serval”, as the Malian operation is generally called by French officials, which lasted until the July 15th of the following year, when it was renamed Operation Barkhane. Here are some elements to understand the reasons behind this armed intervention.
Nearly a decade after the bloody downfall of Muammar al-Gaddafi, passions of a revolution that once liberated the Libyan people have eventually soured into chaos and bloodshed. Reverberating the Syrian disaster, the promises and aspirations of the Libyan revolution never came to fruition in the form of a functioning, popularly elected central government, brand new national institutions and most importantly reconciliation for war-torn people.
China and Mozambique have somewhat of a symbiotic relationship. China has historically been Mozambique’s largest investor. These investments not only include FDI (foreign direct investment) but also national and governmental investments on infrastructure and other mega-projects, the largest being BRI (belt and road initiative). China’s first partnership with Mozambique was seen in the 60’s when it strengthened Mozambique’s Marxist party fight against Portuguese colonialism. Since then, there have been growing concerns regarding China’s interest in and promotion of Mozambique’s growth. This potentially parasitic symbiosis is called “debt-trap diplomacy” as, it seems relatively inevitable that sooner or later, Mozambique will be infinitely indebted to China, which raises a multitude of issues. China seems to have an extremely powerful grip over several Mozambican sectors, even education! Signs, banners, and billboards are often written in Mandarin even though Mandarin is not an official language in Mozambique.
OPEC is a permanent intergovernmental organization, founded in Baghdad on September 1960. The founding members were Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The founders were later joined by numerous countries, as of today, the organization counts fourteen members, even though Ecuador has announced that it will withdraw on January 2020.
On September 14, a daring drone and cruise missile attack targeted two of the state-owned Saudi Aramco’s major oil processing plants, causing considerable damage to the facilities and disrupting the global energy market. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have been withstanding the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen since 2015, were quick to claim the responsibility for launching the attacks. However, numerous investigations were opened by the United States, Saudi Arabia and various other countries, which produced findings that were seemingly contradictory to Houthi claims. Eventually, these developments led the United States and major European nations to blame Iran for the strike, further escalating the Persian Gulf crisis.
On January 10, 2019, Nicholas Maduro started his new yet controversial six-year term of presidency; then, on January 23, Juan Guaido, who claimed that he did not recognize the legitimacy of the President, received support from the Parliament. The main goal of Guaido and his supporters is to deny the results of the 2018 Election and start a re-election.