Interoperability (International)

The Nordic case for NATO membership

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said today that he is determined to meet the terms of a deal aimed at overcoming Turkey's objections to his government’s bid to join NATO along with Finland. “We are working very hard to fulfill what Sweden is supposed to do,” he said after a meeting in Helsinki with his Finnish counterpart, Sanna Mirella Marin. Turkey wants both Nordic countries to stop being havens for expatriate critics it sees as terrorists. [node:read-more:link]

ISIS adherents arrested in Canada

One of two Canadian women repatriated from a Syrian detention camp for families of Islamic State was charged with terrorism-related offences shortly after arriving earlier this week in Montreal. RCMP said Oumaima Chouay, 27, had been the focus of an international investigation into terrorist activities. A lawyer representing the second woman, Kimberly Polman, 50, said authorities are seeking a peace bond for her. [node:read-more:link]

Role for Canada in Haiti?

Ahead of today’s visit to Ottawa by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a senior official in his department voiced optimism about creating an intervention force to help Haiti deal with gang violence which has crippled the country’s already fragile economy for months. President Joe Biden’s administration has said it has no desire to send troops but Brian Nichols, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, said October 26 that “a number of countries” are capable. [node:read-more:link]

Australia and Japan increase cooperation

Australia and Japan have signed a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation to share more intelligence and increase military cooperation amidst a growing Chinese presence in the region. Among other things, Prime Ministers Anthony Albanese and Fumio Kishida agreed October 23 to combined military training exercises in northern Australia. [node:read-more:link]

Champagne optimistic about Nexus deadlock

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne is confident that a dispute with the U.S. over the Nexus trusted-traveller can be resolved within a matter of weeks. In Washington for talks with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo October 21, he said it’s in both countries’ interests to resolve the issue. U.S. Nexus enrolment centres in the U.S. are open but the 13 in Canada remain closed because the U.S. won’t post agents until they have the same legal protections as Canadian agents at ports of entry and border crossings. [node:read-more:link]

G7 playing long game in Ukraine

As Russia ramped up missile attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine, Canada and its partners in the G7, backed by NATO, promised today to support Ukraine with “financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support for . . . as long as it takes.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said the latest attacks were in retaliation for a strike on a key bridge to Crimea, which he annexed in 2014. [node:read-more:link]

Russia predictably vetoes UN resolution

A draft resolution to condemn Russia’s annexation of four regions in eastern Ukraine was predictably vetoed by Russia when put to the UN Security Council. China and India, along with Brazil and India, abstained as the U.S.-Albania resolution was approved by all other council members. [node:read-more:link]

China endangering safety in space?

Sharing information about space traffic is generally acknowledged as a critical international safety issue but a recent international meeting in Hawaii was told that China is uncooperative. “They’re just simply not sharing information,” said Richard DalBello of the U.S. National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration, echoed by a European Commission delegate. “We cannot safely operate in space if a major space participant isn’t actively engaged.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. wins telecommunications scrap

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, a New Jersey native and 30-year veteran of the UN’s International Telecommunication Bureau, has been elected Secretary General of the UN agency, putting her on the frontline of the ITU’s campaign against authoritarian states’ efforts to censor the Internet and social media. Her nearest challenger, Rashid Ismailov, a Russian deputy minister, managed 25 votes [node:read-more:link]

Major cross-border drug bust

Fifteen people and a Calgary company have been charged following a cross-border $55-million drug bust. The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, an umbrella agency, said September 27 that the investigation which began in 2020 also involved police in B.C., Saskatchewan and Ontario as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. [node:read-more:link]

Iran nuclear talks resume

Talks have resumed between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency about the discovery of man-made particles years ago at several Iranian sites. “Dialogue has restarted with Iran on clarification of outstanding safeguards issues,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi confirmed September 26. Neither side divulged details. [node:read-more:link]

Russian-controlled Ukraine regions plan referenda

Plans by Russian-installed leaders in four Ukrainian regions to hold September 23-17 referenda on whether to join the Russian Federation were dismissed as a stunt today by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmuytro Kuleba. An President Vladimir Putin optimistically predicted that the voting in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia would alter the geopolitical landscape. [node:read-more:link]

UN official urges lifting Iran sanctions

Alena Douhan, a Belarussian professor of international law who is the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, is calling for the removal of unilateral sanctions on Iran, first imposed in 1979 when the Islamic revolution drove the Shah from power. In a report released September 12, she said among other things that delivery of medicines and medical equipment is “severely undermined” by the effects of sanctions on finance, trade, shipping, insurance and over-compliance on the part of foreign businesses and suppliers. [node:read-more:link]

Conflicting messages from Iran

Iran says it is receptive to proposals to resurrect its 2015 nuclear accord but it has coupled that stance with a call for the International Atomic Energy Agency “not to yield to Israel’s pressure” on the issue, going so far as to unveil a drone it says can strike Israel. The mixed message prompted one of the deal’s brokers, Germany, to express regret today that Tehran is not responding to Europe’s call in a truly positive manner. Britain and France are similarly skeptical. [node:read-more:link]

Border patrol exercise proves fruitful

A recent Canada-U.S. maritime border control exercise in the waters between British Columbia and Washington state turned into the real thing. Coordinated by the RCMP Border Integrity as part of a regular series of are usually routine operations, the interception and boarding of several vessels in the August exercise yielded several individuals associated with transnational organized crime [node:read-more:link]


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