Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou was recently in Paris to discuss the fight against violent extremism in the Sahel with his French counterpart. The country faces a problematic security environment and must urgently address social, economic and governance challenges.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was scheduled to visit Moscow this week. His trip has now been cancelled, partly because he wishes to intensify diplomatic pressure on Russia, but also because he is keen to persuade the new US administration about the virtues of foreign and security policy coordination.
It is tempting to draw immediate conclusions about the US response to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria. However, the question is whether the launching of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base constitutes Trump’s doctrine for interventions and foreign policy. This is somewhat hard to determine.
The assassination of Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, by a Turkish policeman has brought into focus the hugely deleterious impact of the Syrian war upon neighbouring states and the wider region.
As Turkey has progressively increased its involvement in the war in Syria, the Iranian leadership’s reaction has been mixed – a result of the different views within Tehran about the future direction of the relationship with Turkey. This internal debate will intensify as the possibility of establishing no-fly zones in Syria has been endorsed by the US.
Last Monday a UN aid convoy was targeted and destroyed by what appears to be Russian-made munitions. It is therefore likely that either the Russian Air Force or the Syrian Air Force carried out the attack.