TURKEY/IRAQ – President Erdogan has warned that his government will begin a military operation in Sinjar unless fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leave the area at once.

US/KOREA – The annual US/South Korea military exercises will begin on April 1st but will run for about a month – half their usual duration. They had already been delayed because of the Pyeongchang Olympics and Paralympics. The shortened duration is thought to try and help avoid a raising of tensions ahead of bi-lateral talks between South and North Korea.

ISRAEL/S. ARABIA – Last week an Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner made a historic first flight to Israel through Saudi airspace before arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport. This ended a 70-year ban on flights en route to and from Israel through Saudi airspace and suggests the two countries are edging closer together due to a shared concern over Iran.

DIARY

Mon – Voting begins in Egyptian presidential election to vote President Sisi back in. 3 days.

Mon – Turkey’s President Erdogan attends a working dinner with EU officials in Varna, Bulgaria.

Mon – Start of new Brexit talks by UK, Ireland, and EU Commission on Irish border issue.

Mon – Uzbekistan hosts Afghan peace conference in Tashkent.

Tues – Spanish government to approve the 2018 budget.

Tues – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Moscow to see Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. 2-day trip.

Thurs – S Korean and N Korean officials expected to meet in Panmunjom to prepare for inter-Korean summit in late April.

Fri – ‘Great March of Return’ in Palestinian territories.

Sun –  US and S Korean forces scheduled to begin ‘Foal Eagle’ military exercises.

 

 

 

 

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