News Articles – April 2013

ARAB LEAGUE:
Israel welcomes apparent Arab League softening of peace plan
Reuters, April 30, 2013 – Israel responded favorably on Tuesday to an apparent softening by Arab states of their 2002 peace plan after a top Qatari official raised the possibility of land swaps in setting borders between the Jewish state and an independent Palestine.

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
The single Gulf currency: Getting it right
Saudi Gazette, April 30, 20213 – The decision on Sunday of Gulf Monetary Council members Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to choose Riyadh as the location for their headquarters is entirely sensible and almost certainly means that the single currency’s central bank will also operate from the Kingdom.

AFRICAN UNION:
Chart of the week: tracking China’s investments in Africa
Financial Times (London), April 30, 2013 – Much has been written about China in Africa – a relationship that has been described as neo-colonial as China’s appetite for African resources has boomed and China has embarked on landmark projects such as the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa

EURASIAN UNION, EUROPEAN UNION:
Moldova weighs up implications of overtures from EU and Russia
The Guardian (London), April 30, 2013 – President Vladimir Putin has been wooing the six post-Soviet republics with a variety of incentives ranging from cheap gas to a customs union. His big idea is the Eurasian Union – a rival integrationist project to the EU, in which Moscow rather than wishy-washy Brussels calls the shots.

ASEAN:
Common ASEAN visa proposed for business mobility, tourism
AsiaOne (Singapore), April 27, 2013 – The statement also said that the leaders are encouraging ministers to support the establishment of both visa-free travel in ASEAN countries for ASEAN nationals and to have ASEAN immigration lanes.

AFRICAN UNION:
East Africa: EAC Heads of State Want Monetary Union By Nov.
AllAfrica, April 26, 2013 – Speaking from Arusha ahead of yesterday’s Summit, Rwanda’s Minister for EAC Affairs Monique Mukaruliza said the issue of single currency, which has been outstanding, was in final stages of conclusion.

EURASIAN UNION:
Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union to include over 70 agreements
Trend (Azerbaijan), April 26, 2013 – When creating the Eurasian Economic Union, the European Union was used as a model, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov said today.

AFRICAN UNION:
Morocco has AU aspirations
Mail & Guardian (South Africa), April 26, 2013 – Tunisia, under new leadership, is said to have lobbied for Morocco to rejoin the AU, amid strong pressure from Algeria to keep Morocco out. With the late Muammar Gaddafi of Libya off the scene, the AU lost one of its major financial backers and it could do with fresh money at a time its chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is desperate to reduce the organisation’s dependence on European funding.

NORTH AMERICA:
The FBI is allowed to operate in Canada
RT, April 25, 2013 – Officers with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced earlier this week that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Department of Homeland Security played an instrumental role in the apprehension of two foreign men suspected of plotting an attack against a Via Rail passenger train going from Toronto, Ontario to New York City.

EUROPEAN UNION:
Euro Zone Crisis Has Increased I.M.F.’s Power
New York Times, April 17, 2013 – The I.M.F. has more say over crisis management than many euro zone members, and Ms. Lagarde has become a quasi head of state, whose views carry more weight than those of many elected leaders. Indeed, without the I.M.F.’s money and advice, the euro zone might have fallen apart by now.

ASEAN:
ASEAN e-Government action plan revealed
FutureGov Magazine, April 16, 2013 – Thai Permanent Secretary of ICT Chaiyan Peungkiatpairote unveiled the update on the ASEAN e-Government strategic action plan to integrate collaboration and government e-services amongst the member nations.

GCC:
GCC force ‘plans headquarters in Bahrain’
Gulfnews (Dubai), April 16, 2013 – An additional permanent headquarters for the Peninsula Shield, the military arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is set to be inaugurated in Bahrain soon, a report has said.

UNASUR:
Evo Morales described Maduro victory as a triumph of Latin America
TeleSur TV, April 15, 2013 – “Chavez was very for integration in Latin America and was driving from organizations such as ALBA, CELAC, UNASUR. We know that Maduro continue this legacy, because it has a revolutionary character, popular, socialist and Bolivarian “said President Morales.
Venezuela ratifies strategic alliance with Russia – Prensa Latina, April 15, 2013 – (Google Translate) – He noted that the top priority is Latin America, Latin American and Caribbean integration, and “we will continue to strengthen our America, UNASUR, CELAC, Petrocaribe and ALBA, these are the main lines of our foreign policy,” said Venezuelan Minister Counsellor.
‘Latin American Spring’ detailed in new book – GreenLeft.org, April 15, 2013 – They detail the significant gains in regional integration in recent years that have weakened US power. These include the formation of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bank of the South (BANCOSUR) and, most significantly, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) that unites all nations in the Americas bar the US and Canada.

PIF:
Former defence chief Cosgrove calls for EU-style ‘Pacific Union’
Australian Times, April 12, 2013 – Australia is currently a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, an organisation designed to increase social and economic cooperation between sixteen nations in the region. In 2003 the Australian Senate proposed the evolution of the Pacific Islands Forum into a ‘Pacific Union’ which, like the European Union, would have a common currency and a collective political charter.

AFRICAN UNION:
US Africa Command welcomes new Commander
defenseWeb (South Africa), April 8, 2013 – Rodriguez is Africom’s third commander since the command was established in 2008 to co-ordinate US military relations and activities with African nations, regional organisations and the African Union.

ASEAN:
Thai Central Bank Official Sees Asean Unity
Wall Street Journal (blog), April 5, 2013 – Thailand’s central bank Deputy Governor Krirk Vanikkul says Southeast Asian countries are eager to integrate their financial systems into what will be known as the Asian Economic Community but face challenges as they aim for closer economic ties by end of 2015.

EURASIAN UNON:
Kremlin confirms that Russia might move in Afghanistan
PKKH (Pakistan), April 4, 2013 – One of Mr. Putin’s key policies is to knit together former Soviet lands in a new Eurasian Union that would be driven by economic synergies rather than political domination. As Russia pivots eastward, the resource-rich but politically unstable former Soviet republics of Central Asia – which abut Afghanistan – are taking on a whole new significance.

NORTH AMERICA:
Former Goldman Sachs exec in line to be next U.S. envoy to Canada
Globe and Mail (Canada), April 3, 2013 – Bruce Heyman, a Chicago-based Goldman Sachs executive and one of Barack Obama’s top fundraisers, is in final talks to become the next U.S. ambassador to Canada, according to sources.

AFRICAN UNION:
African Union troops suspend hunt for warlord Joseph Kony in Central African Republic
FoxNews, April 3, 2013 – Uganda’s top military official says African Union troops have suspended the hunt for the fugitive warlord Joseph Kony in Central African Republic because the new government there is not cooperating with the mission.

EU, EAU:
Armenia continues balanced policy with EU, Eurasian Union
PanARMENIAN.Net, April 3, 2013 – Armenia continues talks for the EU free trade agreement as well as negotiations for joining the Eurasian Union and affiliation with the Customs Union, a member of standing parliamentary committee on financial affairs said.

ASEAN:
ADB pushes for reforms for ASEAN bank integration
Rappler, April 3, 2013 – “ASEAN’s banking market has so far seen little integration. Although the ASEAN 5 states have taken steps to open up their banking industry, cross-border banking and the cross-border penetration of ASEAN-based banks within ASEAN have been slow to develop,” ADB said.

ARAB LEAGUE:
Kuwaiti minister urges closer coop among Arab financial institutions
Kuwait News Agency, April 2, 2013 – Kuwait’s deputy prime minister and minister of finance Mustafa al-Shemali…stressed the vital importance of joint Arab investment in various sectors to implement Arab League resolutions for launching the Arab common market

GCC:
The GCC Countries in a Multipolar Currency System: Is a New Currency Emerging?

North Africa Post, April 1, 2013 – “The financial crisis in the US underscores the region’s need for common structures and without a common stock market and a single currency, the region may not be able to weather financial storms in the future.”

ASEAN:
Low awareness of 2015 Asean integration noted
Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 1, 2013 – Citizens of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members generally don’t know much about or are uninterested in the regional grouping even as the 2015 threshold for building an integrated economic bloc approaches.

AFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS:
US plans new trade, investment deal with ECOWAS
Ghana Business News, April 1, 2013 – Acting US Trade Representative, Demetrios Marantis, on March 29, 2013 said the US is looking at the possibility of a new Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)….The US says it has been using these bilateral and regional TIFAs to support regional integration….

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