BAHRAIN/LEBANON – Bahrain has ordered all its citizens in Lebanon to “leave immediately” after the country’s Prime Minister Saad al -Hariri resigned while in Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Ministry also said its citizens are banned from traveling to Lebanon.
RUSSIA/DEMONSTRATIONS – The Russian security services arrested 263 people in Moscow city centre yesterday. Those held were said to be supporters of the radical opposition activist Vyacheslav Maltsev who has called for a “People’s Revolution” and an immediate end to Mr Putin’s rule.
CATALONIA/POLLS – Two polls suggest pro-independence parties will win the most seats in next month’s snap election, but may fall short of a majority. Yesterday former Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont turned himself over to police in Brussels.
DRC/ELECTION – The long awited election to replace President Joseph Kabila has been scheduled for December 2018. It was supposed to have taken place a year ago but Kabila refused to step down.
EGYPT/RAPE – A lawyer appearing live on Egyptian TV has condemned women who wear ripped jeans saying that “when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her”. Mr Nabih Wahsh is still practising. You can see the clip here – Mr Wahsh shouts.
Barring unexpected ‘events’ the international news this week is likely to be dominated by President Trump’s travels. At 11/12 days this is the longest Asian trip an American president has made since 1992. (See diary). N Korea may mark the week with the launch of ‘something’.
We should get some clarity on what’s going on in Saudi Arabia. Over the weekend the Lebanese PM resigned whilst there, a ballistic missile was launched at Riyadh from Yemen, and several senior princes and officials were removed from their posts.
Monday’s meeting of EU Chiefs of Defence Staff sounds dull enough… they will discuss the formation of PESCO – Permanent European Structured Cooperation… dull indeed. Except that PESCO also might spell ‘Military Alternative to NATO?’ Alarm bells are ringing in London and Washington.
Mon – President Trump finishes the Japan leg of his Asian tour.
Mon – EU Chiefs of Defence Staff meet in Brussels and will discuss increased military cooperation.
Tues – Turkish PM Binali Yildirim in USA. Relations are currently strained.
Tues – OPEC publishes annual World Oil Outlook.
Tues – New York Mayoral election. Incumbent Bill de Blasio (D) overwhelming favourite to win.
Tues – President Trump in S Korea and will address National Assembly.
Weds – President Trump in Beijing. N Korea top of the agenda.
Weds – French President Emmanuel Macron visits UAE.
Thurs –Trump still in China.
Thurs – EU chief negotiator and UK’s David Davis continue Brexit talks.
Fri – EU Foreign Ministers meet in Brussels.
Fri – APEC – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Vietnam. Donald Trump attending
Sat – Trump still in Vietnam.
Sun – President Trump in Philippines.
Sun – France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Norway expected to extend border controls until May.