Germany Considers the Exploratory Talks as a Positive Signal in the Eastern Mediterranean Dispute
The spokesperson of the German government Steffen Seibert, in his last press statement, claimed that they were happy the exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey are going well. He also added that this is an important signal to show the disputes in the Mediterranean are going to be solved via international law and dialogue. When asked about the sanctions against Turkey, Seibert said that it wouldn’t be appropriate to answer this question before the EU Council meeting.
The Libyan Crisis
The Libyan State Oil Company Reopens a New Port
The Libyan state oil company has reopened another port, to resume work in less than a week, as the political truce continues in the civil war between the OPEC members. Additionally, the National Oil Corporation allowed the resumption of exports a few days ago from Hariga and Brega stations. The three eastern ports have been closed since January as part of a wider blockade. Including four other ports which are still closed. The blockade has resulted in more than $9.8bn in lost revenue, exacerbating electricity and fuel shortages.
Armed Non-State Actors
Kurdish parties meet up for unity talks in Syria
The Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) have been negotiating for a joint administration in northeast Syria since November 2019. Unity talks backed by the USA seem to be reached to a certain level, yet various problems are coming from the past. James Jeffrey, US Special Envoy for Syria, met with delegations from both sides in his recent visit to Northeast Syria. The United States plays a conciliating role between the KNC and PYD and has presented a proposal based on the Duhok agreement signed in 2014. However, the KNC and the PYD have many problems waiting to be solved to reach a comprehensive deal. While the KNC blames the PYD for capitalizing on power and threatening its members if they cross into, the PYD accuses the KNC of being linked to Turkey. Moreover, elements that insist on following the PKK leadership within the PYD consider the ongoing negotiations as a threat as the USA is trying to convince the PYD to break ties with the PKK.
Regimes in Transition
US Sanctions on Hezbollah Related Persons and Firms
The US Treasury Department has imposed new sanctions on a Hezbollah official and two Lebanese companies it associates with Hezbollah. The sanctions have become the main political leverage for the USA to put pressure on Hezbollah, especially in a time when it faces severe economic hardships.