Around the world on 13 January 2021
A step towards EastMed peace? Greece and Turkey are sitting down later this month for the first time since 2016 for talks on Mediterranean maritime borders, Bloomberg reports. The two countries have been locked in a five-year dispute over East Med energy exploration, with tensions consistently ramping up as Ankara regularly sent out seismic exploration vessels into disputed waters.
Also from the EastMed: Cyprus and the UAE have signed their first military cooperation agreement as the island nation and EU member looks to boost ties with neighboring Middle Eastern countries, the Cypriot Defense Ministry said in a statement cited by the Associated Press. Cyprus already has defense agreements and holds regular military drills with Egypt, Israel and Jordan as a counterbalance to Turkey, which has been engaged in controversial oil and gas operations in Cypriot waters.
Turmoil in Kuwait as government resigns just one month into the job: Opposition lawmakers in the Kuwaiti parliament have forced the resignation of the government just a few weeks after December’s parliamentary elections, Bloomberg reports. The collapse of the government comes as the country prepares to take tough decisions to support its economy battered by low oil prices and the pandemic.
Ethiopia has issued a warning to Sudan over its military build-up in the disputed Al Fashqa area, which saw weeks of clashes late last year, according to Reuters. A spokesperson for the country’s foreign ministry raised the prospect of war if Khartoum doesn’t withdraw units from the region.
IN DIPLOMACY: The Foreign Ministry has condemned Israel’s plan to build 800 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank. The announcement from Tel Aviv came on the same day as Egypt, France, Germany, and Jordan met in Cairo to discuss reviving the stalled Israel-Palestine peace process.