SYRIA/CEASEFIRE – The Russian/American brokered ceasefire appears to have mostly held since being introduced early on Sunday. over the weekend. It’s only in effect in the south-west, but they hope to build on it during this week’s U.N. peace talks. (See Diary).
QATAR/GCC – Qatar’s government may seek compensation for damages arising from its recent isolation by 4 Arab countries due to its alleged links with terrorist groups. ‘International mechanisms’ would be used.
VENEZUELA/OPPOSITION – The opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, has been released (under house arrest) after 3 years in prison. He was jailed for leading anti-government protests. The Government says he was being released on health grounds.
SOMALIA/KENYA – Kenya accused the Islamist group al-Shabaab of being behind cross border raid into a Kenyan village in which 9 villagers were beheaded. Kenya is due to hold a Presidential election next month.
There’s not much on the diary but the N Korea story hasn’t gone away and the Americans, and others, will still be considering their options following last weeks ICMB test launch by Pyongyang.
The Syrian peace talks (see Diary) are unlikely to result, this week, in peace, but are worth keeping an eye on given that the Russian/US brokered ceasefire for Southwest Syria is mostly holding and the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa is close to falling. UN envoy Staffan De Mistura has expressed high hopes for the talks.
The marching season in Northern Ireland may be even more tense than usual. The power sharing agreement between Sinn Fein deal between the DUP has broken down. The DUP have agreed to prop up the UK’s Conservative government, and with Brexit looming the question of the border between N Ireland and Ireland is on everyone’s minds. The annual Orange Day Parade on the 12t is when Protestants sometimes march through the Catholic areas to mark the victory of Protestant William III over Catholic James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Mon – 7th round of UN-sponsored indirect Syrian peace talks in Geneva. Scheduled to last all week.
Tues – 9 day NATO annual military exercise begins in Eastern Europe involving 25,000 troops. ‘Saber Guardian’ will take place in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.
Tues – Japan hosts meeting of negotiators of all the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries except the USA which is withdrawing from TPP
Tues – Presentations for bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics held in Switzerland. Top 2 contenders – Paris and Los Angeles. President Macron to attend. Continues Weds.
Weds – King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia on state visit to the UK thru to Sat. First Spanish state visit for 31 years. Gibraltar will be mentioned.
Weds – Manchester City Council to discuss if Ariana Grande should be made honorary citizen of the city for organizing the concert, which raised $4 million for families of Manchester bombing victims. Don’t bet against it.
Weds – Orange Day Parade: Northern Ireland.
Thurs – Chancellor Merkel and President Macron meet in Berlin. Greater EU military co-operation on the agenda.
Fri – President Trump in Paris for the annual July 14th Bastille Day parade.
Sat – Mauritania – Referendum to, among other things, add 2 horizontal red banners to the nation’s flag and more patriotic words to the anthem.
Sun – I scream, you scream, we all scream about ‘National Days’. It’s National Ice Cream Day in America.