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U.S. President Donald Trump's adviser Jared Kushner has met Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to discuss a potential $10 billion agreement to curb immigration from Central America and Mexico by increasing investment and assistance, Reuters reported March 20.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the chairman of the Kazakh Senate, was officially sworn in as acting president on March 20, RFE/RL reported.
The country's president is leaving office after nearly 30 years in power. Plans for this moment have been in motion for a while, reducing the likelihood of a major political crisis.
Russia's drive to wall off its internet is about more than just controlling its citizens' communications, it's about extending its sovereignty from the physical to the online world.
Italy is ready to offer China four ports for investments as part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the South China Morning Post reported March 19, noting that both countries would discuss the initiative during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Italy.
Longtime Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation in a televised address on March 19 and said Senate Chairman Kassym-Jomart Tokayev would serve as interim president, Reuters reported.
Turkmen armed forces have forced back roughly 100 Afghan troops that fled into the country to escape an ongoing Tailban offensive in the neighboring Afghan province of Badghis, The New York Times reported March 17.
Current approaches have focused on preventing terrorist attacks at any cost; less attention has been paid to the long-run dynamics such efforts set in motion.
A review of the world's most pressing geopolitical events and insight into what the coming week will bring.
Recent data show that a hoped-for economic recovery could be slow to manifest, a scenario that would decrease the president's re-election chances and possibly enable a populist government to return.
Sudan is a huge country between Northern and Central Africa which, prior to the independence of South Sudan, was the continent's largest country. Its position has long drawn the attention of outsiders, and once facilitated the birth of powerful empires and city-states. Since declaring independence from the United Kingdom in 1955, Sudan has struggled to manage its expansive territories and ethno-regional divisions. Khartoum, the country's capital, can be viewed as a relatively isolated city-state that must command the vast spaces and people that surround it. Such a mentality helps explain Khartoum's disastrous management of the country's various rebellions and insurrections. Until recently, the country's leadership has preferred to adopt a belligerent approach to dealing with the country's many outstanding conflicts. Because Sudan's borders do not fully align with its various ethnic groups, its internal ethnic conflicts have fueled regional conflict as well. Ethnic groups in the Darfur region of eastern Sudan spill over into neighboring Chad, driving the two countries to wage proxy warfare against each other for years by arming and financing rebels intent on revolution. Sudan's proximity to the Middle East -- as well as its cultural and religious makeup -- has allowed it to build ties with powers there. Though this has benefitted Sudan by allowing it to attract investment from companies such as Saudi Arabia, it has also engendered greater scrutiny.
In the face of punishing economic and political realities, Gulf Arab states are striving to transform their residents from subjects into citizens, but doing so is easier said than done.
Founded in 1949 'to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down,' the trans-Atlantic alliance confronts a shakeup in Europe that would have been unimaginable a generation ago.
The core of Myanmar is the fertile Irrawaddy River valley. The region, a long, flat area that is relatively easy to consolidate, is vulnerable to invasion from the surrounding mountains, particularly the Hengduan Mountains along the northern border with China. Invading Mongols and the now-dominant ethnic Burman, for example, twice overthrew governments in the Irrawaddy valley. Though control of Myanmar's surrounding mountains provides security for the valley's core, it can also stir conflict with the various ethnic groups that inhabit the border regions. As a result, Myanmar has never completely solidified its own territory. The country borders Bangladesh and India to the west, but a mountain chain separates and protects it from those neighbors. To the northeast, likewise, high mountains and rugged jungle provide a formidable barrier against China. The Shan Plateau to the east poses less of a physical challenge, allowing various ethnic groups to move easily across political boundaries. Historically, the absence of a barrier has facilitated Myanmar's communication with Thailand and Laos, while also making for more frequent conflict with them. Myanmar's location makes it a natural bridge between the Indian Ocean basin, Southeast Asia and southern China. Coupled with the country's energy resources -- including oil and natural gas -- its position has made it a target for foreign intervention, whether overt, as with the United Kingdom or Japan, or less direct, as with China's recent ports, pipeline and transport infrastructure projects. Foreign interference, like internal ethnic conflict, is a perennial concern for Myanmar because of its physical geography.
Despite the recent renaissance in the relationship between Washington and Riyadh, long-term geopolitical shifts already underway will pull the longtime allies in different, often incompatible, directions.
Georgia is located in the Caucasus region, a transcontinental zone between Europe and Asia, and is surrounded by powerful neighbors that have controlled part or all of the country throughout much of its history. These include Russia to the north, Turkey to the southwest and Iran to the southeast. Georgia's core is found in the capital city of Tbilisi, where the country's economic, political and demographic resources are concentrated. But because of Georgia's largely mountainous terrain, the country has distinct regional differences and contains various non-Georgian ethnic groups that have traditionally maintained autonomy from Tbilisi. These groups, most notably the Abkhazians and Ossetians to the northwest and north, have posed a separatist problem for the Georgian state. The territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia established de facto independence from Georgia with the help of Russia in a 2008 war. Because of Georgia's disputes with Russia and its military vulnerability, Tbilisi has sought to integrate with Western blocs like NATO and the European Union. However, Georgia's geographic distance from Europe and its exposure to Russia has made that a difficult prospect. Thus, Tbilisi also seeks supplementary partnerships with countries like Azerbaijan and Turkey.