CATALONIA/SPAIN – Nationalists regained control of Catalonia’s government on Saturday and said they will continue to seek independence for the region.

SAUDI ARABIA/RESHUFFLE – King Salman has reshuffled his cabinet and established a Ministry of Culture. The country has set off on an unprecedented reform program and the Culture Ministry will help oversee the gradual expansion of events. This year cinemas have opened in the Kingdom.

ISRAEL/RUSSIA – Haaretz newspaper reports that Russia has given Israel the green light to hit Iranian targets in southwest Syria so long as the sites are not linked to President Assad’s government. Russia and Iran pretend to be allies in Syria, but both hope to be dominant there when the wars eventually end.

CHINA/USA – U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing on Saturday for talks on China’s promise to buy more American goods. China has a massive trade surplus with America. Ross is expected to leave today.

COMING UP

The big set piece is the G7 summit in Canada at the end of the week where trade deals and President Trump’s recent tariff decisions should figure…

A busy week for President Putin: On Tuesday he’s in Austria continuing to try and pull Austria and Germany into Russia’s sphere of influence. On Thursday he has the annual Q&A session at home live on TV  – these can go on for hours. Then on Friday, it’s off to China.

This week NATO begins patrolling the airspace of its newest member – Montenegro. Italy and Greece will do the flying.

Wednesday’s union strike in Jordan is worth watching given that there has been sporadic violence in the Kingdom in recent days over rising prices and work conditions.

DIARY

Israeli PM Netanyahu

Mon – Israeli PM Netanyahu travels to Berlin and Paris to discuss Iran with Chancellor Merkel and President Macron.

Tues – Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Austria.

Tues – Italy and Greece begin patrolling Montenegro’s skies as part of NATO’s air policing missions.

Tues – Taiwan holds live-fire drills in the Bashi Channel. China will not be pleased.

Tues – The 2 chambers of Italy’s Parliament hold separate votes of confidence on the government of new PM Giuseppe Conte. (Today and Weds)

Weds – Jordan. 33 trade unions plan to hold a general strike amid unrest.

Thurs – Netanyahu due in London to see PM May.

Thurs – Russia’s President Putin holds annual Q & A session on TV.

Thurs –  Japan’s PM Abe meets President Donald Trump ahead of Trump’s summit with N Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Thurs – Turkish citizens abroad cast votes for national elections, scheduled to take place June 24.

Fri – Russia’s President Putin visits China.

Fri – G7 summit is held. Quebec, Canada.

Fri – Corruption case resumes against former South African President Jacob Zuma.

Sat –  Iran’s President Rouhani visits China to meet President Xi Jinping.

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