The African Union Mission in Somalia’s UN mandate is nearing its end. Despite the mission’s mixed record, its withdrawal could allow Islamist Al-Shabaab insurgents to take over the country. A mandate extension would allow Somalia, donors and partners to agree on a reconfiguration and funding.
Originally published in World Politics Review
[Iranian President] Raisi’s harsh denunciation of the United States doesn’t suggest that Iran is prepared to demonstrate the kind of flexibility that is needed to restore the JCPOA.
China and Russia are arguing for a pragmatic approach in dealing with Taliban [in Afghanistan]. For them, regional security interests come first.
The US and other Western countries welcome Qatari mediation because of their [own] limited interactions with the Taliban [in Afghanistan].
At the end of the day, the Chinese and Russians aren’t going to sacrifice their relations with the Taliban on the altar of Western states’ concerns about human rights in Afghanistan.
Tehran and Washington will remain at daggers drawn, and under those circumstances, Iran-Saudi de-escalation is unlikely, if not impossible.
There is a realization by both sides [of the Iran nuclear deal] that restoring the status quo ante is not entirely possible.