LONDON: How to keep the Irish border free-flowing has proved to be the toughest issue to resolve in negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union. The Brexit deal between London and Brussels – overwhelmingly rejected this month by British MPs – contains a so-called backstop provision ensuring that if all else fails, the border will remain open. The boundary on the island of Ireland between Northern Ireland – part of the United Kingdom – and the Republic of Ireland is currently free from infrastructure. London, Brussels, Dublin and Belfast all want it to stay that way, but making this compatible with Brexit is a circle yet to be squared. Why is this an issue? Both the UK and the Republic of Ireland are EU member states. After the UK leaves, the Irish border will become an EU external frontier. Because the British government aims to leave the EU’s customs union and single market, checks would be required on products coming in and out. Britain, … [Read more...] about Brexit: What is the Irish backstop?
Why is border security important
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is ratcheting up the pressure on Saudi Arabia for the now-admitted killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi – a strategy that threatens the US effort to contain Iran. Instead of letting the United States and Saudi Arabia settle the matter, Erdoğan keeps raising the stakes in the game, unleashing new accusations and leaking purportedly incriminating footage and information. The latest is to suggest that the decision to kill Khashoggi was taken at the highest level of Saudi Arabia’s leadership. “Pinning such a case on a handful of security and intelligence members will not satisfy us or the international community,” Erdoğan said in a speech on Tuesday. Turkey, according to a Saudi source quoted by Middle East Eye, claims to have intercepted 14 phone calls made during the confrontation with Khashoggi inside the consulate, where Saudi Major General Maher Abdulaziz … [Read more...] about Is Erdogan pushing for regime change in Saudi Arabia?
LONDON (AFP) - The main sticking point in Brexit negotiations is how to keep Britain's land border with the Republic of Ireland open after it leaves the European Union. London believes frontier checks can be avoided through a new trade agreement with Brussels, but accepts the need for a fallback plan to address the issue until that deal is agreed. However, the two sides have so far been unable to agree the terms of this so-called backstop. Why is this an issue? After Britain leaves the European Union, the land border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will become an external EU frontier. Britain says it wants to leave the bloc's customs union and single market, meaning checks would be required on people and products crossing from one territory to the other. But both London and Brussels have pledged to avoid any physical infrastructure, or "hard border", worried that it could upset the delicate peace process that ended decades of violence … [Read more...] about What’s holding up Brexit talks? The Irish border issue explained
By Alex Ballingall Ottawa Bureau Alex Boutilier Ottawa Bureau Sat., July 21, 2018 OTTAWA—It’s one of the most sensitive debates in Canadian politics. Thousands of people are crossing into Canada from the United States to claim refugee status at a time when the U.S. president’s anti-immigrant bombast clashes with the #WelcomeToCanada posture of a Liberal prime minister. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has lashed out at conservative critics, labelling their political message that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau naively invited refugees to clog the immigration system as “fear-mongering” and “not Canadian.” New Democrats, meanwhile, charge the federal government is blind to the need to rescind a 13-year-old agreement that declares the U.S. a “safe country” and forces migrants from south of the border to avoid official ports of entry if they want to claim refugee status in Canada. And just … [Read more...] about Is Canada in the midst of a refugee crisis? Experts say it’s important to keep things in perspective
Connecting Pakistan with China and the Central Asian states, the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) region is the starting point of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is also the “flagship corridor” of China’s Belt and Road Initiative mega-project. Locked in by inaccessible terrain, the region was relatively unknown until it was opened up by the Karakoram Highway (KKH) in 1979. Constructed with great difficulty, it took Pakistani and Chinese engineers 20 years to complete the KKH due to the treacherous mountain ranges surrounding it. Apart from this, the region was famous for its heroic contribution to the Pakistani army – one of its most valiant units, the Northern Light Infantry, belongs to this region. Always considered a Pakistani region since the partition of the Indian sub-continent, it is surprising that the status of Gilgit Baltistan is being debated nowadays. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox Historical … [Read more...] about Why Gilgit Baltistan should be a province of Pakistan