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EU Deputy Secretary General Helga Schmid, Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Margaret Ashton, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Mohammad Zarif, and Iranian ambassador to Austria Hassan Tajik attend a meeting at the so called EU 5+1 talks with Iran at the UN headquarters in Vienna, on July 3, 2014.

Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”

Middle East Briefing N°40, 27 August 2014

November’s deadline could be the last chance to avoid a breakdown in the Iran and the P5+1 nuclear talks. Compromise on Iran’s enrichment capacity is key to ending the impasse, requiring both sides to walk back from maximalist positions and focus on realistic solutions.

Conflict Alert: Protecting Pakistan’s Threatened Democracy
A supporter of Imran Khan, cricketer-turned-opposition politician and chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, sits on a barricade as he listens to his speech during the Freedom March in Islamabad August 16, 2014. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

21 August 2014: A little over a year ago, Pakistan entered an unprecedented second phase of democratic transition, with one elected government handing power to another by peaceful, constitutional means. This fragile transition will be gravely threatened unless a fast-escalating political crisis is urgently defused. The protests rocking Islamabad threaten to upend the constitutional order, set back rule of law and open the possibility of a soft coup, with the military ruling through the backdoor. Renewed political instability at the centre would imperil any progress that has been made in addressing grievous economic, development and security challenges. The government’s moves, supported by the parliamentary opposition, to accommodate some of the protestors’ demands – particularly as regards electoral reform – are welcome. It is worrying, however, that protest leaders appear adamant in rejecting such outreach. Crisis Group calls on the political and military leadership to continue adherence to the constitution and enforcement of the rule of law, while permitting the right to peaceful protest.

No Such Thing as a Free Ride?
Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are launched during a successful intercept test, 10 September 2013. U.S. Missile Defense Agency

Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are launched during a successful intercept test, 10 September 2013. U.S. Missile Defense Agency

29 July 2014: In a previous post, we examined South Korean intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities as they relate to larger alliance dynamics and the issue of the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) military and wartime operational control (OPCON). South Korea also seeks to improve its missile defense (MD) capabilities. While ISR and MD are interrelated, the latter presents its own distinct set of regional and alliance-based issues.

Civil Society and the South Sudan Crisis
CRISIS GROUP/Jérôme Tubiana

14 July 2014: The inclusion of civil society in efforts to defuse the South Sudan crisis has so far been fraught. The parties to the conflict (see our recent report South Sudan: A Civil War by Any Other Name) all have their own ideas about what civil society is; and each party tends to believe the most legitimate civil-society representatives are those that think just as it does. Most recently, unresolved questions of what civil society is and what role it should play helped cause the suspension late last month of talks between the major warring parties.

Global Briefing 2014

Global Briefing

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