S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some agreements --


Between other nations, it might happen that some very old conflicts and disagreements could get settled. Enmities could become less severe. Enemies could learn to deal with each other. Some of the world's wars might stop. Don't hold your breath, but it could occasionally happen this year. Herewith is a current list of hopeful examples, not all inclusive, by any means.

Taliban and Afghanistan -- "Secret negotiations are under way to bring troops fighting alongside the Taliban into Afghanistan's political process," Al Jazeera has learned. Further,

With the arrival in Kabul last month of Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, resistance to the idea of holding talks with the Taliban may change . . .

Palestinian factions -- the talks were brokered by Egypt. According to Al Jazeera Feb.20, 2009,

Palestinian factions have agreed to establish five committees to address key issues for unity. . . talks in Cairo between 12 Palestinian factions began on Thursday and follow 18 months of disharmony between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The five committees established at the meeting will deal with issues including the formation of a unity government, rebuilding institutions, establishing presidential and legislative elections, security services, and reconciliation. The immediate release of political detainees in Gaza and the West Bank was also promised.

Afghan-Pakistan talks -- From Al Jazeera (2/26/09):"Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has hailed trilateral talks with Afghanistan and Pakistan as 'in-depth, very specific, open, forthright.' " To quote further,

Clinton held talks on Thursday with the foreign ministers of both countries as part of a US review of policy amid continuing attacks by al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the border area between the two countries.

U.S. and Syria -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that it is too early to tell whether relations between the U.S. and Syria will improve. However, Al Jazeera reports on 2/26/09 that,

US and Syrian diplomats have held talks in Washington in a bid to improve the strained ties between the two nations. Imad Moustapha, Syria's ambassador to the US, met Jeffrey Feltman, the US state department's top diplomat for the Middle East, in the first high-level discussions between the two countries since Barack Obama became US president in January.

Brazil and China -- "Brazil will supply oil to China for loans," says the Financial Times (2/19/09). Quote:

Brazil and China signed a landmark agreement on Thursday that will ensure long-term supplies of oil to China while delivering much-needed financing to help Brazil develop enormous reserves of oil and gas recently discovered in its coastal waters.

AU and Zimbabwe -- The African Union, led by Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, has agreed to serve as guarantor of the new unity government in Zimbabwe, led by President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who will serve as Prime Minister. Supported by

The United Kingdom and G20 Summit -- Great Britain has agreed to extend an invitation to the African Union to attend the next Summit meeting of the G20. Also supported by

UN: Reform Security Council -- The United Nations has agreed to enter into formal negotiations to reform the makeup of the UN Security Council. The International Herald Tribune (2/20/09) reports. To quote:

The Security Council, which is responsible for maintaining international peace and security, has 15 seats. They are filled by nonpermanent members elected for two-year terms that come from all regions of the world, and there are five permanent members with veto power whose support is essential for any reform to be adopted - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.

In 2005, world leaders called for the council to be "more broadly representative, efficient and transparent." The General Assembly's last session, which ended in September, asked the current session to start intergovernmental negotiations on council reform by Feb. 28.

Carol Gee - Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.

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