Displaying items by tag: international relations
Leaders arrived at the summit with a global pandemic crisis raging around them, but the hard truth is that they left Cornwall having failed to take the real action needed to end the pandemic. G7 leaders said their commitments are just the beginning- a foundation on which they can build but there was little detail on how. UNICEF said, ‘This G7 commitment is the beginning of the action required to end this pandemic. However, the urgent need immediately to share more vaccines with the world remains.’ Pray for the richest countries, with the power to do something, to deliver vaccinations globally and quickly. These nations pledged to spend $100bn a year to help poor nations deal with cutting emissions and global warming, but only two nations came up with firm promises to stump up the cash. Pray for every nation which made the pledges on climate change to honour them.
Before talking in Geneva relations between the USA and Russia were at rock bottom. After talking, both presidents praised their talks but have made little concrete progress at the first such meeting since 2018. Disagreements were stated, said Joe Biden, but not in a hyperbolic way, and he said Russia did not want a new cold war. Vladimir Putin said Mr Biden was an experienced statesman and the two ‘spoke the same language’. They agreed to begin a dialogue on nuclear arms control and said they would return ambassadors to each other's capitals. However, there was little sign of agreement on cyber-security, Ukraine, or the fate of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence in a penal colony. Mr Biden said there would be ‘devastating consequences’ for Russia if Navalny died in prison. Mr Putin hinted at a possible deal on exchanging prisoners, saying he believed compromises could be found.
US president Joe Biden and Russia's president Vladimir Putin will hold their first summit on 16 June in Geneva, setting the stage for a new chapter in their fraught relationship. The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, seeking to restore predictability and stability to the US-Russia relationship. The Kremlin said that Putin and Biden would be discussing ‘issues of strategic stability,’ as well as ‘resolving regional conflicts’ and the Covid-19 pandemic. Biden, making his first international trip as president, will go to Geneva immediately after separate summits with his key Western allies in the G7, NATO, and the EU. To prepare the ground, US secretary of state Antony Blinken and veteran Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov met last week in Reykjavik. After their meeting, a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that repairing ties ‘will not be easy’, but he saw ‘a positive signal’.
Just days before he leaves office, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo asserted, ‘Al-Qaeda has a new home base in Iran.’ He said ties between Tehran and al-Qaeda vastly improved in 2015, when the Obama administration finalised the deal that saw Iran limit its nuclear enrichment in exchange for lifting international sanctions. In his speech Pompeo urged more international pressure on Tehran, but stopped short of calling for military action, saying, ‘If we chose to do that, there’s a much greater risk in executing it’. The speech could represent an escalation in the US’s ability to use force against Iran; the Trump administration could say it already had congressional approval for an attack on Iran, if al-Qaeda were proved to be on Iranian territory. Several incidents have brought Iran and the USA to the brink of conflict during Trump’s term. The Iranian foreign minister accused Pompeo of ‘warmongering lies’.
Many believe the Russian government hopes that a TV interview with the two men suspected of being spies and using Novichok in the UK will generate sympathy at home (see ). Putin says they are sports nutrition salesmen, not assassins. But the risk for Russia is that the interview raises more questions than it answers and offers more details for sceptics to unpick and challenge. The two suspects accused of carrying out the nerve agent attack claimed they had travelled to Salisbury to see its famous cathedral. The BBC reported that one of them said, ‘Maybe we did approach Skripal's house, but we don't know where it is located.’
Last summer saw terrorist attacks. Do we still pray during holiday periods? We need recreation, but the enemy doesn’t take holidays - let’s stay alert, continuing to intercede during holidays. Recent events show how quickly alliances between nations can become uncertain. Nations often enter into alliances for economic reasons. Every agreement and negotiation with another nation comes with spiritual consequences. Much wisdom is required for alliances with Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and Africa. Israel must be continually ‘watched over’ in prayer. Pray for Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel as he settles into his new office.