Political turmoil in Egypt and Syria, along with Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, revealed the vulnerability of Gulf Cooperation Council nations to supply disruptions, Chatham House said in a study this month.
Gambia has become the latest African country to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Swaziland, however, continues to hold out despite the potential cost to its desperately weak economy. 'Swaziland's long-standing ties with Taiwan are likely to continue, preventing the emergence of closer relations with China and the investment this could bring,' says a report by Chatham House.
'The Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe, Pakistan, South Africa, but they haven't managed to build consensus and take a decision on Sri Lanka. What's happening in Sri Lanka is certainly an assault on democracy and fundamental rights and human rights indeed,' Charu Lata Hogg told CNN.
Three factors — a lingering economic crisis, immigration concerns and a collapse of trust in the established political elite — have combined to create something of a perfect storm for far right and Euroskeptic populists, writes Matthew Goodwin.
The institution rated most corrupt across the whole continent was the police. 'Policing across much of Africa is in crisis. So you get informal police forces in place of the official ones which aren’t doing their job. Vigilante policing provides the protection that the police fail to do,' said Alex Vines.
Alluding to the many different reasons for Cameron's visit, Gareth Price put the visa issue at the top. 'The timing of the announcement that the visa bond is to be scrapped would seem to be linked to the visit. It’s also increasingly obvious that there is a major problem here that threatens to impede positive progress elsewhere, with falling numbers of Indian students to the UK, for instance,' said Price.
While there is little doubt that David Cameron is committed to enhancing relations with India, domestic politics — in both India and the UK — often gets in the way. The divergent approaches of the UK and India towards the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka highlight one of the difficulties in developing a true partnership, writes Gareth Price.
Israel and Saudi Arabia's shared concerns over Iran won't be enough to develop pragmatic ties without Israel defusing the biggest obstacle between them: the Palestinian issue, writes Sir Tom Phillips.
GCC countries face tiny water supplies and desert heat that make agricultural self-sufficiency unsustainable. GCC food imports meanwhile remain vulnerable not just to any trade-disrupting regional conflicts and price shocks, but climate change and what will be Gulf countries’ own increasingly uncertain revenues from oil, says Chatham House.