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Showing posts from March, 2017
Putin is Not Russia Two US senators—one a Republican and the other a Democrat—and a Russian opposition activist who has survived two apparent attempts on his life made a call for greater international pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to respect human rights. Speaking at the Atlantic Council on March 30, all three stated quite clearly that even as this pressure is applied, care must be taken not to hurt the Russian people in the process.
Rwandan President Kagame Seeks Transformation in US Ties The United States needs to shift its relationship with Africa from a predominantly humanitarian focus to “productive partnerships,” especially in business, strategic development, and security, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said at the Atlantic Council on March 27.

“For decades, the United States has adopted a monolithic approach to Africa,” said Kagame. “It’s time for fresh thinking.”
Fighting ISIS in Libya Amid concern that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is regrouping in Libya, Mohamed Taher Syala, the foreign minister in Libya’s internationally recognized, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), said the United States must remain committed to defeating the terrorists in his country.
Russia’s Support for the Taliban Leaves Kabul Feeling Uneasy Russia’s support for the Taliban—a terrorist group with which the United States has been at war for more than fifteen years and that is dedicated to overthrowing Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government—is causing considerable unease in Afghanistan where officials worry it will undermine efforts to make peace in their war-torn country.
Despite Sen. Rand Paul, Montenegro’s Foreign Minister is Confident of NATO Membership Montenegro’s Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic is confident that, despite a procedural setback, the US Senate will ratify a protocol that will allow his nation to become the twenty-ninth member of NATO. This, he said, should happen before the Alliance’s summit in Brussels in May.
US Engagement in the Balkans Seen as Vital It is critical for the United States to deepen its engagement in the Balkans—a region that faces threats from terrorists as well as Russia, Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati said in Washington on March 21.
In February, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama warned that the Balkan peninsula is in danger of slipping under the influence of Russia if it is ignored by the new administration of US President Donald Trump.
A ‘Strange Allegation’ About UK Spying US President Donald J. Trump’s support for an unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor, Barack Obama, asked Britain’s spy agency to eavesdrop on him is a “strange allegation” that “calls into question very important elements of our intelligence relationship,” said Sir Peter Westmacott, a former British ambassador to the United States and a distinguished ambassadorial fellow at the Atlantic Council.
Merkel Puts Europe First German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a tough re-election battle in September and a meeting with US President Donald J. Trump is perhaps not the best way for her to burnish her credentials with the German electorate. The fact that she is making the trip across the Atlantic is an indicator of her determination to shore up the US-German and US-European relationships that have been buffeted by often controversial rhetoric from Trump.
A Roadmap for Economic Growth in Europe A new Atlantic Council report provides a roadmap for the European Union to stimulate economic growth, and, by doing so, safeguard the European project and reinvigorate the transatlantic alliance.

The report, Charting the Future Now: European Economic Growth and its Importance to American Prosperity, was launched by the Atlantic Council’s EuroGrowth Initiative in Washington on March 10.
Is Reunification Within Reach in Cyprus? Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, as well as the leadership in Athens and Ankara, are committed to ensuring the success of a protracted process aimed at the reunification of Cyprus, a top United Nations (UN) official said at the Atlantic Council on March 8.
British Official Calls for Greater NATO-EU Cybersecurity CooperationIn the aftermath of Russian cyberattacks during the US presidential election last year and amid concerns about a repeat of such a strategy in Europe as Germany, France, and the Netherlands go to the polls this year, British officials are calling for greater cooperation on cybersecurity between NATO and the European Union.
Trump’s ‘Disastrous’ Proposal to Cut Foreign Aid US President Donald J. Trump’s proposal to ramp up defense spending at the cost of foreign aid is attracting flak from within his Republican Party and retired generals who believe such a move is not in the United States’ best interests.