Daily Memo: Gulf Thaw, Trade Talks Progress, Turkey Pushes Boundaries

There are promising signs on the diplomatic front in the Qatar-GCC dispute and in eastern Ukraine. Turkey, not so much.

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Progress in GCC-Qatar dispute. There are promising signs at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia that Gulf tensions are easing. Qatar sent its prime minister to the summit – the highest-level official dispatched by that country to the summit in two years – and indicated a possible warming of relations with GCC countries after their diplomatic rift in 2017. Separately, a former foreign minister of Kuwait, the country at the forefront of mediation efforts between the bloc and Qatar, is slated to be unanimously approved as the council’s next secretary-general. A complete resolution of the dispute is not expected at this meeting, so both sides have downplayed Qatar’s participation. However, these first steps can lay the groundwork for future negotiations and a possible resolution to the GCC crisis. Progress in Ukraine talks. The results are in from the latest meeting in Paris between the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine to resolve the crisis in Ukraine’s Donbass region. A joint communique was released announcing that Russia and Ukraine would implement a cease-fire before the end of the year, expand the mandate of monitoring missions and engage in a prisoner exchange. Ukraine withstood Russian pressure to make the […]

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