NEWS ARCHIVE – Sept-Oct 2013

GCC flagGCC:
GCC looking to set up Gulf police
GulfNews (Dubai, UAE), Oct 30, 2013 – The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) could set up a unified police force to protect the member countries from organised crime and terrorism, the GCC secretary-general has said. “The GCC countries are looking into a project to set up a Gulf police similar to Europol, the European police,” Abdul Lateef Al Zayani said.

nafta-flagNORTH AMERICA:
North America’s Future: Center for North American Studies Responds to Vice President Biden’s Call for a Blueprint for a North American Strategy
PR Web (press release), Oct 28, 2013 – American University’s Center for North American Studies (CNAS) is holding a high-level two day conference, The NAFTA Promise and the North American Reality: The Gap and How to Narrow It, to detail the specific steps necessary to achieve the North American agenda that Vice President Biden challenged the United States, Mexico and Canada to undertake on September 20, 2013, in Mexico City…..“What distinguishes this conference from most other conferences on NAFTA or North America,” Dr. Robert Pastor, professor at American University, and founding director of the CNAS, said, “is that it responds – in three distinct ways directly to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s North American agenda on competitiveness, security and judicial reform, energy and the environment, immigration, and governance.”

EU’s Malmstroem pushes for tougher, unified European gun laws
Deutsche Welle, Oct 20, 2013 – The EU’s home affairs commissioner wrote that one problem with the open-border bloc was “the danger that criminals try to get hold of their guns in the countries with the most lax laws” on gun ownership. Malmstroem therefore proposed that the European Commission should examine “whether it’s possible for all of Europe to legally decide which weapons should be permitted for civilian usage, and who should be granted permission to acquire a firearm.”

Gaddafism: An African hero’s legacy lives on
New Zimbabwe, Oct 20, 2013 – Despite Libya being a small nation, Gaddafi paid one quarter of the African Union’s bills. Now the African Union has been reduced to begging the European Union for funds to keep the lights on….Perhaps, Gaddafi’s greatest crime, in the eyes of NATO, was his desire for a strong and United States of Africa. In fact, in August 2011, President Obama confiscated $30 billion from Libya’s Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of the African IMF and African Central Bank.
EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY: EAC joint military exercises open in Burundi – IPP Media, Oct 21, 2013 – The EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera, said cohesion among EAC governments, particularly harmonised defence training and military cooperation, sends a strong message to the enemies of peace and in this regard he spoke of the recent terrorist attack in Kenya, saying, “…terrorists thought this was an attack on Kenya but it was an attack on all of us.”
SADC: SADC-PF now regional legislative assembly – Daily News (Tanzania), Oct 21, 2013 – History was made in Arusha on Sunday when the former Southern African Development Community’s Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) was upgraded to a full-fledged regional legislative assembly.

Poll says 86% of Armenia’s residents support accession to Customs Union
ARKA (Armenia), Oct 21, 2013 – Despite the fact that Armenia’s elites are of different opinion about the accession to the Customs Union, yet the mass support shows the decision about accession is justified, director of EurAsEc, member of Scientific Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences for Eurasian economic integration Vladimir Lepyokhin said.

ECOWAS Chief Commends Nigeria’s Support Towards Regional Integration
Leadership Newspapers (Nigeria), Oct 16, 2013 – The ECOWAS President disclosed that the organisation was set to approve the commencement of the implementation of a Common External Tariff (CET) for the region. “As you all know, a Customs Union, based on a CET, is a necessary condition for the establishment of a free trade area between West Africa and Europe within the framework of a regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA),’’ he said….

nafta-flagNORTH AMERICA:
Gov. Christie Voices Support For In-State Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants
Fox News Latino, Oct 14, 2013 – Gov. Chris Christie said at a Latino gala over the weekend that New Jersey should allow undocumented immigrants to attend public colleges at the same tuition rates as other residents of the state.

Morales says Pacific Alliance is part of conspiracy against Unasur
Terra Argentina, Oct 14, 2013 (Google Translate) – The president of Bolivia , Evo Morales , said today that the Pacific Alliance, formed by Colombia , Chile , Peru and Mexico , is part of a conspiracy concocted ” from the north ” for the division of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR ). ” I want to say that America is dividing Unasur. The countries of the Pacific Alliance are part of a conspiracy that comes from the north to divide and Unasur no progress towards final liberation ,” Morales said in a press conference in La Paz.

Power play in South Asia to energise India’s hold among Saarc countries
Financial Express (India), Oct 14, 2013 – After finding favour with energy resource-rich countries such as Nepal and Bhutan, India’s proposal for a common power market in South Asia is now gaining traction with power-deficit countries of the region like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan….A smooth take-off of NTPC project is expected to give an impetus to Powergrid’s plan to lay an under-sea power transmission line between India and Sri Lanka, according to industry experts.

Russia’s trade warfare against Lithuania is a challenge to the European Union
Lithuania Tribune, Oct 14, 2013 – Russia is currently imposing (and threatening to impose more) arbitrary restrictions on trade with the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. These countries are set to conclude association, free-trade, and travel visa liberalisation agreements with the EU at the Eastern Partnership’s summit on 28-29 November 2013 in Lithuania. The Kremlin seeks to derail that process by demonstrating its capacity to damage the economies of countries that choose association with the EU, rather than joining Russia’s Customs Union and Eurasian Union projects.

African heads of state mull independent judiciary body
Daily News (Tanzania), Oct 14, 2013 – The pledge comes in the wake of a joint communiqué issued on Saturday at the end of an extra-ordinary meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the auspices of the African Union (AU) whereby, among other deliberations, member states expressed reservations on the operation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague, Netherlands.

EU on Cusp of Approving ECB Oversight Plan as U.K. Deal Emerges
Bloomberg, Oct. 14, 2013 – The U.K. reached a draft deal with its European Union partners to lift its objections to turning the European Central Bank into a supervisor, according to two EU officials, in a move that paves the way for the end of over a year of negotiations on the proposals.

GCC flagisrael-flagGCC & ISRAEL: Report: Israel eyes anti-Iran security pact with gulf states
UPI, Oct 3, 2013 – Senior Israelis have held meetings with prominent figures from a number of Persian Gulf and other Arab states in recent weeks in an attempt to muster a new alliance capable of blocking Iran’s drive, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported Wednesday….Although Channel 2 did not specify which Arab states Netanyahu was dealing with, the most likely candidates are Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, which make up the Gulf Cooperation Council….The monarchies and Israel share an abiding hatred of the Islamic jihadists now operating across the Arab world.

GCC flagGCC:
Syria Rebels, Gulf Backers Warn of Blood After U-Turn

Bloomberg, Sept 11, 2013 – The Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes nations that have helped organize and arm the rebel Free Syrian Army, demanded immediate international action against Assad at a summit last night. The call came hours before Obama said no armed strike by the U.S. is imminent and he’ll pursue a Russian initiative for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to international control.

Arab League flagARAB LEAGUE:
How strong is Arab League support for striking Syria?
Al Arabiya, Sept 11, 2013 – Despite what may be an emerging, high-stakes, diplomatic dialogue to address the suspected use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, there are still preparations for assembling a workable coalition of Arab League member states with the United States for a punitive strike against Syria in the near term.

EU concerned by Armenian plans to join Russia’s Customs Union
News AZ (Azerbaijan), Sept 12, 2013 – The unpredictable decision by Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan that Yerevan will join a customs union with Russia has raised doubts over Armenia’s EU integration path and caused concern in Brussels about Europe’s relations with its eastern neighbours.
Interview: Georgian PM Still Aiming For EU, But Doesn’t Rule Out Eurasian Union
Radio Free Europe, Sept 9, 2013 – He told Koba Liklikadze from RFE/RL’s Georgian Service that he will not exclude the possibility that his country could one day join the Eurasian Union, an economic and political body proposed by Russia that would bring together some former Soviet nations.
If Ukraine opts for EU, Customs Union will slam its door shut – Russia & India Report, Sept 12, 2013 – Faced with a stark choice – if it should be with the European Union or with Russia – Ukraine has long managed to sit on the fence. Now the moment of truth appears to be round the corner. Moscow looks very resolutely minded: if Kiev chooses the EU, Ukraine will have to say good-bye to its chances of joining the Customs Union.

EAC to draft constitution for political federation
New Vision (Uganda), Sept 12, 2013 – The East African Community (EAC) is to name a team to draft the Constitution for the regional political federation….The three-day meeting which opened on Sept 10, 2013, with Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania attending, is intended to fast track of the East African political federation.

Speed up integration, Asean companies told
Manilla Standard, Sept 11, 2013 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is calling for increased involvement and investments from the private sector to facilitate the transition from a multistate economy to a single economic bloc by 2015 under the Asean Economic Integration scheme.

15-nation Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) pact wins U.S. support to aggressively combat climate change
Raw Story, Sept 8, 2013 – A new Pacific regional pact calling for aggressive action to combat climate change has achieved a “major accomplishment” by gaining US support, officials said Sunday. The Majuro Declaration, endorsed by the 15-nation Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) at their summit last week, contains specific pledges on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

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