Displaying items by tag: summit

Friday, 18 June 2021 05:24

NATO Summit: China presents a security risk

Nato leaders have declared China presents a security risk at their annual summit in Brussels, the first time the traditionally Russia-focused military alliance has asserted it needs to respond to Beijing’s growing power.

The final communique, signed off by leaders of the 30-member alliance at the urging of the new US administration, said China’s “stated ambitions and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order”.

The Nato leaders declared their concern about China’s “coercive policies” – an apparent reference to the repression of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang – the expansion of its nuclear arsenal and its “frequent lack of transparency and use of disinformation”.

The language, notably stronger than the China remarks contained in the G7 statement agreed on Sunday, follows lobbying and pressure by the Biden administration, seeking to create a counterweight of democratic nations in response to Beijing’s growing economic and military might.

American President Biden is seeking to build an international consensus against China and has used the G7 and NATO summits to support this.  China has issued strong rebuttals, saying “The U.S. is ill and very ill indeed” and that “the G-7 had better take its pulse and come up with a prescription.”

Pray: that our leaders will continue to show strength and courage as they stand up for what is right and good. (1 Tim 2:1-4)

Pray: that the language of diplomacy will bring peace and hope and subdue the language of confrontation and threat.

More / Sources: The Guardian, Bloomberg

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’.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 23 April 2020 22:22

EU summit: members’ solidarity tested

EU leaders met electronically on 23 April to begin tentatively to unlock the nations’ businesses as the immediate health crisis eases. Restarting Europe’s economy has led to divisive debates over grants: ultimately, how should the wealthier north help out the harder-hit south? The argument over solidarity has become a bitter one, with some favouring ‘coronabonds’ or ‘Eurobonds’ and others preferring grants or a 1.5 trillion recovery fund. Let us pray that all decisions made will successfully help those most in need. May the next steps include a huge increase in the EU budget, so that every member state overcomes the crisis together, leaving no nation behind carrying heavy unmanageable debts. Observers note that EU institutions have struggled to get leaders to put aside their national interests.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 07 November 2019 21:56

North Korea / USA / Iran: nuclear programmes

South Korea’s national intelligence service told a closed-door parliamentary audit session that it expected working-level denuclearisation talks between Kim and Trump to resume by early December. As recently as 31 October Kim test-fired two short-range missiles that traveled 350 to 400 kilometres. The tests were believed to be the nuclear-armed country’s 19th and 20th launches since May. Japan’s prime minister condemned the launches as an act threatening the peace and safety of his country as North Korea was refining weapons capable of reaching it. Meanwhile, Iran announced launching a new batch of advanced centrifuges to accelerate uranium enrichment on the 40th anniversary of the start of its Islamic Revolution. However, Tehran has left room for diplomacy by saying that talks are possible if Washington lifts all the sanctions and returns to the nuclear deal. See

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 26 September 2019 22:04

USA: UN general assembly

Ninety heads of state attended the annual UN general assembly this week. Every September kings, presidents and prime ministers fly to New York City and attend the UN headquarters. The top priority at its 74th General Assembly is the world's climate emergency. Country leaders were told not to speak without ‘concrete and transformative plans’ to halt rising global temperatures, achieve carbon neutrality and cut carbon emissions by 45%. But VIPs with proposals only had three minutes to speak. Then the UN will collate speeches and brainstorms into a report. Angela Merkel attended the climate summit, but skipped the rest of the week. Donald Trump skipped the climate summit and attended different sessions. How concrete the summit results will actually be is unclear. Meanwhile an angry Greta Thunberg told global leaders, ‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?’ See

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 23 May 2019 21:30

Bahrain: Trump’s summit (25-26 June)

Donald Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ summit in Bahrain will mark the first phase of the roll-out of US plans for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But a Palestinian Authority spokesman has said that they will not be sending a representative. Some reports indicate that private Palestinian representatives will attend. Bahrain and the United States are hosting the economic leadership ‘workshop’ to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanise support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by the upcoming US peace agreement. Although the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are sending delegations to participate, the spokesman said that any Palestinian who takes part will be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 25 April 2019 22:23

Russia: Kim’s visit

President Vladimir Putin was ‘pleased’ with the outcome of his 25 April meeting in Vladivostok with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying he would discuss the results with his Chinese counterparts when he travels to Beijing later. Many believe that after the diplomatic failure with Trump at Hanoi, Kim wants to prove he is still being sought after by world leaders; he does not want to look too dependent on Washington, Beijing, and Seoul. Also 10,000+ North Korean labourers working in Russia’s logging industry have to leave by the end of 2019, as UN sanctions take effect. The workers provided a revenue stream of hundreds of millions of dollars that Kim’s regime would like to keep flowing. As for Russia, the Putin-Kim summit will reaffirm Moscow's place as a major player on the Korean peninsula, and improve Russian international prestige. See also

Published in Europe
Thursday, 14 June 2018 23:04

Singapore summit - current prayer needs

Donald Trump appears to have succeeded in negotiations with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un where his predecessors failed. However, the lesson of previous deals (in 1994 and 2005) is ‘it is easier to reach agreements than to implement them’. Pray for practical progress towards disarmament and a united Korean peninsula. North Korea state media said Donald Trump had told Kim Jong-un that he would ease sanctions on Pyongyang, in language that suggested a different interpretation from the one put forward by the US president. Pray for clarity of communications and unity of thought and purpose in future decision-making. Trump said the US agreed to suspend military exercises with South Korea. However, US military in South Korea said that they had received no updated guidance on stopping training exercises. The announcement raised fears in South Korea that Washington was making concessions too fast, and a curt statement said that it was trying to figure out Mr Trump’s intentions. For a media report, click the ‘More’ button.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 31 May 2018 23:32

North Korea: summit with USA

Kim Yong Chol, a top lieutenant of Kim Jong-Un, is meeting with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in New York, in one of three sets of parallel talks aimed at salvaging a summit between Kim and Donald Trump. Lower-level officials have been meeting at the inter-Korean border and in Singapore for other pre-summit negotiations. South Korea's president said, ‘Kim Jong-un believes a face-to-face meeting with US President Donald Trump could put an end to the history of war between the two nations.’ Pray that this hope is realised. He also said that Kim had reaffirmed his commitment to ‘complete’ denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula when they had a surprise meeting at the demilitarised zone. Pray for Pyongyang and Washington to agree on a roadmap of talks that will resolve their differences.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 18 May 2018 10:29

North Korea: summit in jeopardy?

On 16 May, President Trump was asked whether his summit with North Korea would still take place after the communist regime had threatened to call it off. ‘We haven't seen anything, we haven't heard anything’, Trump said. When asked if Kim was bluffing when he threatened to cancel the planned summit on 12 June, he replied, ‘We'll see what happens’. Pyongyang’s statement blamed the annual military drills between the US and South Korea that had started two days earlier, adding: ‘The USA must carefully contemplate the fate of the planned summit amid the provocative military ruckus that it is causing. We will keenly monitor how the authorities react.’ China has urged North Korea to go forward with the summit. Its foreign ministry says the two countries should make sure that the meeting runs as planned and yields ‘substantial outcomes’.

Published in Worldwide