TURKEY/EU – President Erdogan has suggested Ankara may not change its anti-terror laws in order to meet EU requirements for the EU migrant deal. If so then the EU will have a tough decision to make – does it go ahead with allowing visa free travel for Turks? The deal was negotiated by Prime Minister Davutoglu who is being forced from office by Erdogan.
AFGHAN/TALIBAN – The Taliban spring offensive continues. They police checkpoints on the outskirts of Helmand’s main city Lashkar Gah yesterday overrunning two of them. The government is losing in Helmand.
IRAN/SYRIA – At least 2 more Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers have been killed in fighting near Aleppo according to Iranian media. At least one of them was in a Special Forces unit. Fighting continued around Aleppo over the weekend and there were multiple Syrian air raids yesterday near Khan Touman. The Turkish military said it had killed 55 ISIS fighters in shelling north of Aleppo on Saturday.
SAUDI/TERROR – Another Saudi police officer has been shot dead in a terrorist incident. He was killed while on duty at a police station in the Mecca region. There has been an increase in such incidents this year, some involving Sunni terrorist organizations, some involving the Shia population in the east of the country.
RUMANIA/BMD – The American Ballistic Missile Defence system (BMD) is now operational in Rumania after being integrated into a wider NATO framework. It is intended to defend against multiple long range missile attacks. Moscow views it as an aggressive move in its backyard.
COMING UP – The end (may) be nigh! We’ve been saying that for weeks but on Wednesday the Brazilian senate will decide if President Dilma Rousseff should be removed from office during impeachment proceedings. If so Vice President Michel Temer will step in. All a bit embarrassing ahead of the Olympic Games…(see diary)
Keep an eye on Moldova’s (WWII) Victory Day parade today… not a sentence often written, but worth it this time to see if the USA joins the parade with a few military vehicles, and if so, if pro-Russian demonstrators rain on the parade at what is a delicate time politically.
May 9 – International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will release Panama Papers.
May 9 – Philippines Presidential election. Favourite to win is Rodrigo Duterte who has joked about gang raping a nun and who justifies extra judicial killings by the police. His nickname – Duterte Harry’ should win him some international headlines. He is from outside the traditional political elite.
May 11 – Brazilian Senate votes on impeachment of President Rousseff
May 11 – Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov will be in Berlin for the ‘Normandy Group’ meeting on Ukraine which includes German, France, Ukraine, and Russia. It’s the last such meeting before the EU decides in July if it will lift sanctions on Russia
May 12 – This is the European Commission deadline for a proposal to the European Council on internal border controls.
May 13 – German controls on border with Austria end.