N KOREA/USA – N Korea has threatened to “counter the U.S.” if it holds joint military exercises with South Korea which are set to begin next month. Pyongyang said the military activity would harm reconciliation efforts on the Korean Peninsula.
N KOREA/S KOREA – A 10-member delegation of South Korean is scheduled to fly to North Korea today for a 2 day visit to open talks on the North’s nuclear weapon programme. From there they will go to Washington to report on any progress.
TURKEY/SYRIA – A Turkish airstrike in the northern Syrian region of Afrin has killed at least 36 pro-Syrian government soldiers according to a monitoring group.
EGYPT/SAUDI – Egypt’s Supreme Court has dismissed all outstanding legal challenges to a deal transferring 2 islands which sit at the mouth of the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia. The relatively narrow Red Sea has several chokepoints and the deal helps Riyadh’s ability to control the passageway.
EU/US – The EU has fired a warning shot against the possibility of President Trump imposing a 25% and 10% tariff on steel and aluminum products. Brussels is hinting it will respond with a 25% tariff on US exports.
By now we should know the result of the Italian elections, what will become clearer today and during the week is the make-up of the coalition government. All Italian governments are coalition, but the volatility of the voting patterns recently make this one very hard to call.
The National People’s Congress should agree to remove limits on the number of terms a Chinese President can serve (2) thus allowing President Xi to, theoretically, be President for life.
Mon – UK PM May reports to Parliament on her vision for Brexit negotiations and the future of a post-Brexit UK.
Mon – Formal Brexit talks resume in Brussels.
Mon – President Trump meets Israeli PM Netanyahu in Washington.
Mon – French foreign minister Jean Yves Le Drian expected in Tehran to discuss the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. This may herald a visit by President Macron later this year.
Mon – China’s National People’s Congress begins annual 10-day congress to rubber stamp whatever President Xi says should be rubber stamped.
Tues – President Trump meets Swedish PM Lofven in Washington.
Tues – EU defence ministers continue talks on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) ideas for an EU military. They will also meet NATO Sec Gen Jens Stoltenberg.
Tues – U.S. Sec of State Rex Tillerson visits Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria on week long trip.
Weds – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in London for talks with UK PM May. Leaves Friday.
Weds – Egypt’s appeals court verdict on potential Presidential candidate, Khaled Ali after he was sentenced to 3 months for a hand gesture. If the guilty verdict is upheld, he’ll be barred from running for office later this month.
Weds – Pakistan’s Gwadar port begins shipment of goods.
Thurs – Czech President Milos Zeman sworn in for 2nd term.
Thurs – Chile’s Sebastian Pinera is inaugurated as president, taking over from Michelle Bachelet.
Fri – Paralympic Games begin in S Korea.
Fri – French President Macron arrives in India for talks with PM Modi. Is unlikely to wear full Indian national dress.
Sat – France’s Front National meets to discuss whether to change the party’s name.
Sun – Columbian general election. FARC taking part for the 1st time and is guaranteed 10 seats regardless of the vote.