Author: Philippos Kormopoulos

The European Union and the Republic of Tajikistan held their tenth annual Cooperation Committee meeting on 27 November in Brussels. The meeting took place in an open and constructive atmosphere, reflecting the continued strengthening of relations between the EU and Tajikistan. The Cooperation Committee reviewed the state of play of bilateral relations and addressed political and socio-economic developments, water, environment, energy, trade and investment cooperation, as well as regional and international issues. Both sides exchanged views on the ongoing negotiations for an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), which were launched earlier this year, and Tajikistan’s application for the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preference Plus (GSP+)…

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The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is actively considering financing options with leading commercial banks to facilitate the export of approximately 30 trillion won ($23 billion) worth of weapons to Poland. Officials revealed on Monday that negotiations with major financial institutions are underway to address hurdles faced by local defense firms seeking to secure additional contracts with Poland. Last year, South Korean companies achieved a milestone with major defense deals totaling 17 trillion won, marking the country’s largest-ever arms deal. The agreement included the supply of K2 tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers, FA-50 light attack aircraft, and Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers…

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Rome (16/11 – 57) Sri Lanka is mired in a deep political and economic crisis and the country’s then President Rajapaksa has flown out of the country, days after a huge crowd of protesters stormed his residence in July 2022. Protesters for months have demanded the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose government has been blamed for chronic mismanagement of the country’s finances. The island nation of 22 million people has suffered months of lengthy blackouts, acute food and fuel shortages, and galloping inflation in its most painful downturn on record. Here is how the crisis unfolded: April 1: State of emergency Rajapaksa declares a temporary state of emergency, giving security forces sweeping powers to arrest and…

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Move would target oil and gas infrastructure as well as coal mining The proposal to cut off the biggest foreign source of public finance for fossil fuels is expected to spark heated negotiations at the OECD’s Paris headquarters. The move builds on a commitment by some OECD countries to align public finance institutions with Paris agreement goals to limit global warming to well below 2C and ideally 1.5C above preindustrial levels. But the effort to end subsidies for foreign projects will draw attention to the prevalence of domestic subsidies for oil and gas industries, even as a global deal to…

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Cooperation between Cyprus and Greece is becoming even closer, Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Saturday. Letymbiotis had held a meeting with his Greek counterpart Pavlos Marinakis on the sidelines of the Cyprus-Greece intergovernmental summit in Athens and said “we have common goals and aspirations with Greece.” “Cyprus and Greece, Greece and Cyprus, are connected through the course of history. The two countries are aligned in our common goals and aspirations, with the aim of our cooperation becoming even closer, even more productive,” he said. He added that this cooperation will “benefit our two countries, but also our region at…

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France on Thursday condemned what officials termed a Russian destabilization effort that amplified online the appearance of dozens of Stars of David graffiti on buildings across Paris. According to a press statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, a Russian network associated with online disinformation campaigns, Recent Reliable News (RRN/Doppelgänger), was involved in posting the first photos of the graffiti and in amplifying their circulation on social media. French digital watchdog Viginum detected a network of more than 1,000 bots on X (formerly Twitter), which published more than 2,500 posts on the Stars of David tags last Monday. Four people —…

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The European Union foreign ministers on Tuesday, urged Israel not to cut “water, food, or electricity” to Gaza. The EU also called for humanitarian corridors for those trying to flee the territory, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said. The representatives of the 27 EU countries held emergency talks after the surprise attack by Hamas and as Israel unleashed a reprisal bombing campaign of Gaza. Fears of a regional conflagration have surged amid expectations of a looming Israeli ground incursion into Gaza, the crowded enclave from where Hamas launched its land, air and sea attack on Saturday. The death toll in…

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Cape Town, Wellington, London (9/11 – 27) South Africa has become the unequalled rugby world champion after winning the World Cup for a record fourth time on 28 October 2023. Before the 2023 edition, The Springboks won the Rugby World Cup in 1995, 2007, and 2019. Their closest rival is New Zealand, who has won the title on three occasions (1987, 2011, and 2015). Australia has two titles (1991 and 1999) and England has one (2003). There are some interesting statistics about The Springboks’ success as the only team to have won the Rugby World Cup four times. South Africa…

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Pakistan’s caretaker Minister Shahid Ashraf Tarar met with French Ambassador Nicolas Galey on Monday to discuss matters of mutual interest, including investment opportunities in key sectors such as railways, motorways and shipping. Tarar highlighted the country’s democratic stability and bright future, while Galey expressed confidence in the Pakistani market and pledged to attract more French investment. Tarar further said that the democratic stability in Pakistan had continued since 2008 and its future was bright. Some of the specific investment opportunities discussed included a new railway line from Kohat to Kharlachi to connect with Afghanistan, Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway M-6, and expansion of…

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TotalEnergies will hold 56 percent of the Attentive Energy project, with the rest held by Corio, an offshore wind developer owned by the green investment unit of the Australian conglomerate Macquarie, and the New York Light & Power (Rise). The New York-based electricity producer will manage the project’s connection into the grid at its Ravenswood Generating Station, which will begin retiring its gas generators. The Attentive Energy project is expected to be in operation by the 2030s, and the company says it aims to develop over three gigawatts of wind power. The turbines will be located 54 miles from New…

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