Tuesday, March 30, 2010

invisible elephants

Last week (2010, March 25) Venezuelean Economist and Professor Miguel Angel Santos wrote in his blog:

http://www.miguelangelsantos.blogspot.com/ about a Latin American conference were allegedly Javier Solana took part, and was also asked by him. "Solana's presence as a speaker at a research conference on finance in Latin America held here this week took me by surprise and did not want to waste the occasion."

"Solana has referred in his speech to the change in balance of political and economic power from east to west, the transition from a U.S. centric world to another "multi-polar" type one. This movement also transfers the power of a society (...)where the context in which things happen is more important than the things themselves. The "market" concept has been discredited as a bit and in the context of this transition, the relationship between state and market will be subject to a recount, which will inevitably be a different arrangement.

Because that new problems will become increasingly global and require global solutions. And how can we articulate a global response, in a world in which power is distributed among independent nations that defend their interests and do not necessarily have a priority to global harmony?. Here are the details. In that instance, he said, required is the existence of a new round of multilateral agencies, while maintaining respect for the legitimacy and sovereignty, is capable of operating as a kind of global supplier.

For Solana, poverty, nuclear proliferation and climate change are the three main themes of the times to come."

I found it confusing that a journalist from Venezuela, talks about Solana attending „here” a Latin American Conference without any reference in the rest of the media, so I decided to ask him on his blog about the whereabout of this event. When answering me, he referred to it as an event of ESADE at Barcelona, Spain, which could only be the one in February where Solana had compared the EU as the laboratory for global governance (see here: Link).

So was Solana in Latin America last week or was he not? If yes, then practically unofficial and invisible.

And actually there WAS an important conference on Latin America in Mexico: March 20, 2010

The annual meetings of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Cancun with 800 attendees.Link

, and this conference was organized by the Latin American Chapter of Brookings Institute, who have Solana as their Chief adviser and also the Columbia Business School, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Department of Economics) and the School of International and Public Affairs. This Organization has a prominent econimist: Nobel Prize for Economy winner Joseph Stiglitz, who was once proposed as one of the „Wise Persons” for the Alliance of Civilizations.” And this organization is heavily sponsored by Solanas former University: Compultense Madrid, Spain.

PhotobucketJoseph Stiglitz

Solana and Stiglitz are both at the board of a newspaper called GPJwww.globalpolicyjournal.com/advisory-board/

Like Solana, Stiglitz has been in Princeton, and attended also Stanford and Oxford. He is now University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. After receiving the Nobel Prize in 2001 he was also a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2009 he was appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as chair of the Commission of Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System.

Attending at this conference were also Mary Robinson, former Irish President and member of the group called „The Elders”, where they have also Bishop Desmond Tutu (AoC) and Jimmy Carter. Robinson is a member of the Club of Madrid, Spanish Chapter of Club of Rome.LINK

On the conference they wrote: „The IDB should continue to promote investment projects that have substantial technical support and clear conceptualization. In addition, during the implementation stages projects have to be rigorously evaluated and the results widely disseminated, even if governments oppose to disclosing this information.

In addition to investments that help reduce inequality and poverty, the IDB has to give priority to areas of great concern, such as climate change adaptation and mitigation. Changes in land use have been a large source of greenhouse gas emissions in the region. This needs to change and resources are need to help governments comply with their own targets. The U.S. administration wants to promote an Energy and Climate Partnership, with specific goals such as the development of clean technologies, including the production of renewable energies, throughout Latin America. Funding such programs as well as greater energy integration in the region should be a top priority.LINK

Just now (March 31) Brookings Institute presents a new book from Joseph Stiglitz:Photobucket

"Time for a Visible Hand": Lessons from the 2008 World Financial Crisis, together withStephany Griffith-Jones, José Antonio Ocampo, Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University and Senior External Advisor, Corporación Andina de Fomento.(CAF is the main source of multilateral financing of the Andean Region) Link

All three authors are basic players of Initiative for Policy Dialoge (IPD), founded by Stiglitz in 2000 is also based at Columbia University and funded among others by Ford,Rockefeller, McArthur, and Mott Foundations, Sorors Open Society Institute, Compultense University Madrid, financed and partered by Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs and Centre for International Relations and International Cooperation, Barcelona, Spain. The abbreviation for this last Institute is CIDOB, which has named exactly last week Javier Solana as it’s Honorary President (!).


President is Narcis Serra and both have good ties to the London School of Economics and Political Science (GB). Here Javier Solana gave his last public speech on March 18. Of course CIDOB has also ties to Joseph Stiglitz and José Antonio Ocampo (who is named here at UN Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs )(see last page ofwww.cidob.org/en/content/download/1367/42751/file/actividades_eng.pdf ). Title was „from the Washington Consensus to a NEW WORLD GOVERNABILITY”.

Here we find also Detroit born Jeffrey Sachs from his suistainable „New Earth Institute” also University of Columbia and Former Spanish President Felipe Gonzales.


Now why I find it funny to see the „elephant in the room” named so close to Solana? Time for a visible hand?


BanKi Moon, head of the UN urged in October 2009:







"Now is our chance for transformational change on the big issues of our age: to confront climate change … to banish nuclear weapons … to end extreme poverty … to engage the world for peace, security and human rights.

It is all within reach -– but it will take all hands.

No nation, no region, no group can do it alone.

We need Governments and business. We need civil society and NGOs.

We need you."

Same buzz words again.


CFR with the same topics: Nuclear, Peace and Security - reforming UN and NATO with Brookings, Nature: Global Ocean Governance

Paper CFR May 01, 2008: CFR_Global_Governance_Program.pdf

"The program seeks to identify critical weaknesses in current frameworks for

multilateral cooperation; propose specific reforms reflective of new global circumstances; and promote constructive U.S. leadership in building the capacities of existing organizations and in sponsoring new, more effective regional and global institutions and partnerships, including those involving the private sector and non-governmental organizations.

The program will focus on arrangements governing state conduct and international cooperation in meeting four broad sets of challenges:

-Countering Transnational Threats, including terrorism, proliferation of WMD, and infectious disease

-Protecting the Environment and Promoting Energy Security

-Managing the Global Economy

-Preventing and Responding to Violent Conflict

In each of these areas, the program will consider whether the most promising framework for governance is a formal organization with universal membership (e.g., the United Nations); a regional or sub-regional organization; a narrower, informal coalition of like-minded countries; or some combination of all three. The program will also examine the potential to adapt major bedrock institutions (e.g., the UN, G8, NATO, IMF, and AU), as well as the feasibility of creating new frameworks and initiatives to meet today's challenges.

The participation, input and endorsement of both official and non-state actors will be critical to ensure the appropriateness and feasibility of any institutional reforms." Link


CFR has the following symbol: A white rider on a horse, with a jupiter finger pointing to the stars. "VBIQVE" means everywhere. It points to the goal of global governance.


The very crisis just arrived shortly after (September 2008), providing the elite with the perfect opportunity to ram through a massive program of financial centralization by posing as the saviors – when they created the problem in the first place.

And this is true not just for the economical sector, but also in hinsight to fighting poverty, pandemies, nuclear threat and climate change. The whole system is build up to implement their global system.

And a key buzz word is the expression „responsible souvernity”. At ESADE Solana spoke about the new system that would emerge after the crisis and lead us all to a better world:

The trick is that they keep officially the national states in place and behind the scenes they have to comply to thier rules. In his ESADE speech Solana was said to be in favour of "developing" the concept of sovereignty to build a world founded on what he called "responsible sovereignty "Europe, a continent in which countries have voluntarily yielded sovereignty, should play the role of a world governance laboratory". Continuing on the European theme, Javier Solana called for EU member states to "comply with the Stability Pact", otherwise "there will be even more financial difficulties in the international market". Link

This is a concept was developed long ago, just now we see it surfacing.

For example already in 2007 Solana said: „We are seeing the emergence of a new relationship between sovereignty and responsibility... Increasingly, sovereignty is no longer seen as absolute but as conditional. The core idea behind responsible sovereignty is that with rights come responsibilities. Towards other states but also your own citizens. States are responsible for actions that spill over borders and affect or threaten others. Take climate change: all of us are affected by the emission of greenhouse gasses, wherever they occur. Or take human rights: repression often leads to conflicts which affect regional and global security. …More importantly, responsible sovereignty can help us to form much- needed bargains on clusters such as human rights, conflicts and immigration; or terrorism and development; or non-proliferation and disarmament. In each case we will have to forge bargains with a growing number of actors, based on shared interests. That is always going to be hard. But somewhat easier if interests are defined through a prism where rights and responsibilities come together. In this general context, which has to be the European answer? I think that, in the next years, the European Union will have to take up three great challenges. - the first will be better to helpthe multilateral system to gain in effectiveness.”


Then in the Brookings paper from November 2008 the same story, (where Solana was named "a personal incanation of global governance"):



Washington, D.C.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Present there were with Madleine Albright and Strobe Talbott, also Stephen Stedman, Carlos Pascal and Bruce Jones.

Who had given out also the

„Managing Global Insecurity: A Plan for Action Report” in October 2008 for Brookings


Stephen J. Stedman - Senior Fellow at CISAC, Stanford University

Bruce Jones - Director and Senior Fellow at New York University

Carlos Pascual - Vice President and Director at Brookings Institution

Published by

The Brookings Institution, September 2008, modified in November 2008,

, also the time when the Financial Crisis had just beguns.


„U.S. domestic and international opinions are converging around the urgent need to build an international security system for the 21st century. Global leaders increasingly recognize that alone they are unable to protect their interests and their citizens-national security has become interdependent with global security.

Just as the founders of the United Nations and Bretton Woods institutions after World War II began with a vision for international cooperation based on a shared assessment of threat and a shared notion of sovereignty, today's global powers must chart a new course for today's greatest challenges and opportunities. International cooperation today must be built on the principle of responsible sovereignty, or the notion that sovereignty entails obligations and duties toward other states as well as to one's own citizens.”…

To build a cooperative international order based on responsible sovereignty, global leaders must act across four different tracks:

U.S. Engagement: Restoring Credible American Leadership

Power and Legitimacy: Revitalizing International Institutions

Strategy and Capacity: Tackling Shared Threats

Internationalizing Crisis Response: Focus on the Broader Middle East"

As topics are named:

Civil wars | Climate change | Conflict resolution and peacekeeping | Global governance and institutions | International Security and Defense | Nuclear nonproliferation | Terrorism and counterterrorism | Transnational threats | Middle East & North Africa | United States

Exactly these three persons who wrote for Brookings (with the foreword of Javier Solana and I guess he contributed much more) the book „Power and Responisbility” which introduces this whole concept of „Responsible Souvergnity”


It reads:

"Built for a different age, current international institutions are ill-equipped to address today’s most pressing global security challenges, ranging from climate change and nuclear proliferation to civil strife and terrorism.

Revitalizing the institutions of cooperation will require a new conceptual foundation for global security. The “national sovereignty” of the twentieth century must give way to “responsible sovereignty—a principle requiring nations not only to protect their own people, but also to cooperate across borders to safeguard common resources and tackle common threats. Achieving this will require American leadership and commitment to a rule-based international order.

Exact the concept Solana has talked about.


It's classical Hegelian Dialectic. Create a problem(thesis) and offer the solution(anti-thesis) to achieve the goal. Have there been created three apocalyptic horseriders by the white one in order to achive "everywhere"? Here a little excerpt of the book "Power and Responibility":

"transnational terrorism, proliferation of nuclear weapons,

a pandemic of a new deadly disease,

global warming, and economic instability and crisis.

What stands out is that these threats can affect every country’s security.

Nor do the threats that preoccupy other parts of the world stand in isolation. Poverty, civil wars, and regional conflicts are all connected to what threatens the United States.Transnational terrorism uses ungovernable spaces for sanctuary and to gather recruits, capital, and weapons, and it uses a narrative of grievance stoked by protracted civil and regional conflicts. Climate change exacerbates competition for land and water and places greater burdens on the poor. Poverty not only increases the risks of civil war and state failure but also precipitates the emergence of deadly infectious diseases.

Transnational terrorism, proliferation of nuclear weapons, a pandemic of a new deadly disease, global warming, and economic instability and crisis. What stands out is that these threats can affect every country’s security....

The interconnectedness of these threats and their cumulative effect
pose grave dangers to the ability of states to protect their sovereignty.

For many states the domestic burdens of poverty, civil war, disease, and environmental
degradation point in one direction: toward partnerships and
agreements with international institutions. Entering agreements or
accepting assistance does not weaken sovereignty; it preserves it.

Even stronger states, to preserve sovereignty, must enter into agreements to
counter transnational threats such as deadly infectious disease and
nuclear proliferation that cannot be overcome in the absence of sustained
international cooperation.

Both U.S. presidents since 1992, William J. Clinton and
George W. Bush, had historical opportunities to reinvigorate international
cooperation and put in place new international institutions, rules,
and understandings appropriate for today’s world....

The Clinton administration
concluded international negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear test
ban treaty, global warming, an international criminal court, and a new
World Trade Organization.
But the Clinton administration, by its own admission, never formulated
a global vision of order, and it was largely silent on how the rest of
the world would fit into a peaceful, democratic community.

Rebuilding international order will require focusing on specific institutions
for addressing specific threats—and making them effective. But as
a prerequisite it also requires a vision, a foundational principle that
gives a moral value to order and brings coherence to expectations about
how states should act across multiple issue areas.

We believe that
responsible sovereignty, or the injunction that sovereignty
entails obligations and duties to one’s own citizens and to other
sovereign states, is such a principle.
We argue that
responsible sovereignty requires all states to be accountable for their actions that have impacts beyond their borders, and makes such reciprocity a core
principle in restoring international order and for providing for the welfare
of one’s own citizens.
Throughout this book we apply the principle of
responsible sovereignty
to key global issues—nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation,
counterterrorism, global warming, biological security, peacekeeping and
peacebuilding, and economic prosperity—but always derive those standards
of responsibility from existing international treaties, conventions,
and forums to which the United States and others have agreed."

While we still watched Europe, Solana went to help building the global system. And he did not stop building it.

Today Javier Solana has been given (his second) Golden Fleece Award in Georgia. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has personally rewarded the former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union. "for the great personal contribution in strengthening the sovereignty and the statehood of Georgia and his strong support of Georgia’s national interests on international arena.(lol) Along with Javier Solana, the Golden Fleece Award has also been given to Strobe Talbott, the president of the Brookings Institution and former Secretary Assistance of the US.Link


speaking: President Nicolas Sarkozy of France

Date: March 29, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Location: Columbia University ...happened right now (See the past participants here:
LINK), - I realized it right AFTER I published the article (Stiglitz works also for Sarkozy)...

stay tuned!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the bridge man


church of Sant Egidio at Piazza Sant'Egidio in the total center of Rome, at the riverbanks of Tiber, just around the corner to Vatican, home of the Community of Egidio, Link

Today was published an interesting article that showed us some more of Javier Solana's catholic connections:

"Many were surprised in early March,at the appointment of Javier Solana as honorary president of the Henry Dunant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, an NGO dedicated to international conflict mediation speaking on the last negotiation between the Government and ETA. But what few know is that the former Mr. CFSP and former secretary general of NATO has excellent relations with the Community of Sant'Egidio, which is also postulated to mediate with ETA. And what some few know is that any negotiating sessions between the Socialist Party and the leftist nationalists were held in offices donated by Mr CFSP. Javier Solana is emerging as the "bridge man" Zapatero  for a future without ETA. 

Probably, Javier Solana is the man who knows the most national and international secrets. For 15 years his name has been associated with major decision makers in foreign and defense matters. First, as secretary general of NATO for five years, then as Mr CFSP (EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy) for another ten and the end of 2009. After Rodriguez Zapatero he was commissioned to design the Spanish Security Strategy, reconciling the commission with the Chair of the Center for Global Economics and Geopolitics of the (farmer: Jesuit) ESADE business school. Finally, as if their orders would be too small, in early march the Henry Dunant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue has just named him honorary president

...And that's precisely the specialty of this NGO, which not only actively participated in recent talks with ETA, in which Zapatero, but also the Aznar government continued with the terrorist group in 1999 and has participated in conflict mediation in the Philippines, Central African Republic, Sudan and Myanmar (Burma). Solana's experience as a former NATO secretary general and then as Mr CFSP is without doubt a very popular candy for a foundation that has not yet thrown in the towel to continue talks with ETA until it reaches a solution to the Ulster . 

According to some sources, some of the side meetings between government representatives and between ETA and the Socialist Party of Euskadi left wing nationalists were held in temporary offices of Solana, while acting as Mr. CFSP. Clearly, then, relationship-indirect-to the negotiating process, and, more importantly, their degree of knowledge of the origins and causes of it, giving a dual purpose: for the school itself by its experience, to face Zapatero to the extinction of the armed gang. 

Relations with the Community of Sant'Egidio 

But besides the above Solana, an affable man and with certainly many friends, maintains excellent and privileged relations with the Community of Sant'Egidio, an institution is too well known by the public but that since its founding in 1968, has gained great relevance for service to peace and humanization of the world, and international prestige as mediators in peace processes. 

For example, in the late eighties of last century community members concluded that her charity work in Mozambique would be futile as the war continued. Consequently they offered themselves as mediators between FRELIMO and RENAMO, playing a leading role in the peace accords in Rome, which would end the conflict. 

The Community of Sant'Egidio was founded in Rome in 1968, in light of Vatican II, the Italian historian Andrea Riccardi (Roma, 1950)(farmer: Who was awarded like Solana with the Charlemagne Prize). Based in the Church of Sant'Egidio, in the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome, currently a lay movement, were more than 50,000 people are engaged in evangelism and charity in Rome, in Italy and more than 70 countries from different continents. 

It defines, in fact, as a "public association of the lay Church" but also to share the same spirituality and the very pillars that characterize the way of Sant'Egidio Community has gained relevance as a mediator in international prestige peace processes. Not only with the agreement outlined in Mozambique, but with peace initiatives in Guatemala, Algeria, the Balkans, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and elsewhere, driven by the conviction that "war is the mother of all poverty" . 

The Community of Sant'Egidio, with which Solana has excellent links through its headquarters in Madrid, is well known in foreign ministries around the world, who see it as a kind of informal diplomatic corps who works closely with the Secretary of State for the Holy See."


Website of the Community of Sant'Egidio

They have been present at the first Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Madrid in 2008.

Saint Egidio (english: St. Giles), Athenian by birth, is the cities patron of Edinborough (Link), where Solana's grandmother Constance Archibald lived and published. At least two famous fairs in England are connected with St. Giles' Day: one in Winchester, no longer extant; the other at Oxford, where his mother Hayat Nieves Mathews de Madariaga lived and published. Just to add to the list: Solana named Gilles de Kerchhove (meaning "Giles from the Churchcourtyard") as the Anti-Terror-Zar of the EU (Link).

stay tuned!


Monday, March 22, 2010

EU Boosts Israel Ties

"MIDEAST: EU Boosts Israel Ties, Ignores Illegal Settlements
By David Cronin

BRUSSELS, Mar 22, 2010 (IPS) - Diplomats representing the European Union (EU) have drawn up a new plan for strengthening their relations with Israel despite the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

Spain, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, is eager that work proceeds on formally upgrading the Union’s political and commercial ties with Israel over the next few months. 

Although both the EU and Israel had agreed in 2008 to undertake steps designed to integrate Israel into the Union’s economy, work on this dossier has partly stalled because of the subsequent war in Gaza. But a confidential paper written by Spanish officials suggests that fresh discussions should soon be opened with Israel so that the upgrading process can regain its momentum. 

The paper, seen by IPS, is dated Mar. 9, the same day that Israel was heavily criticised internationally for using the occasion of a visit by U.S. vice-president Joe Biden to announce that it would be building 1,600 new homes in Ramat Shlomo, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. A day earlier Israel’s defence ministry had published plans for 112 apartments in Beitar Illit, a settlement in the West Bank. 

The paper was originally intended for approval at a formal meeting between Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli foreign minister, and his EU counterparts on Mar. 23. Yet that meeting has been called off at short notice. 

Brussels officials have sought to downplay the significance of the cancellation and say that the meeting would be rescheduled for April or May. A source close to Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, noted that she had met Lieberman during her trip to the Middle East the previous week. "We do not want a duplication" of the talks held then, the source said, insisting that the cancellation was "not a diplomatic reaction" to the growth of Israeli settlements. ...

"Spain is very keen about putting the upgrade [in EU-Israel relations] back on the table," she  (Maysa Zorob, a spokeswoman for the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq) added. "Why Spain is so keen is really something incomprehensible for me. I cannot even imagine the motivation behind this." 

Some observers feel that once the upgrade is completed, Israel would be a de facto member state of the EU. In a farewell visit to the Middle East before stepping down as the EU’s first foreign policy chief last year, Javier Solana said that Israel enjoys closer relations with the Union than any other country outside the European continent. Israel already participates in a wide variety of EU programmes, ranging from archaeology to satellite navigation...." 

stay tuned!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

genius in a bottle? - Solana: "I'll relax later"

Tomorrow, with the official start of spring, 25 newspapers all over Spain will distribute the latest edition of "Magazine" with the first official interview with Javier Solana of 2010. The interview is a big campaign for him and his ideas on global governance, in the first paragraph they write "he was and is the face of Europe".
During the conversation, Javier Solana said "I'm doing what I wanted: to continue with the same job, but a little slower, very little, because I still have dynamics, really quite strong, and I'll relax later".

About Russia, evokes the Founding Act negotiated by Solana and Primakov that "closed relations between the world of the Atlantic Alliance and Russia. I think how we conceived an idea and what we carry out was genius". 

Asked about the situation in the Middle East, responds, inter alia: "Middle East remains one of the great frustrations. Since the Madrid Conference has been many years and has made little progress." - (But) "I think in general we are building a better world. Obviously, not all days are better. But the trend is undoubtedly a better world. Are there problems? No doubt. You point out that conflicts are not resolved yet. ... What you need are conflicts that sometimes have a military demonstration, but rather asymmetrical. It is a completely new situation of asymmetric warfare in which are not two opposing armies, with which I fear we have to live for some time." 
"It is the responsibility to protect, because if a state fails to protect its citizens, maybe the international community has a right to defend those citizens. In a globalized world there are more examples: diseases that start here and end there, the economic crisis itself,..."
"Man, Europe is not a state and therefore does not have the mechanisms of states to make their decisions or formalize their positions quickly, but given that genius-now I use the word "genius" of European construction, we have done some extraordinary things."
..."Now, that comes with a globalized world. In the world that will emerge after this economic crisis it would be a fantasy to think that countries in the EU are set to play each one for free. Now, European unity is a necessity, as is maintaining the euro area, trying to build a policy that goes beyond the monetary and enter into a common economic policy or foreign policy or security. We will not be nothing, nothing will count in the globalized world, if we are not together. This is the challenge we have."
"If you were a psychologist, I would say you are defining a person (Solana) with anxiety, who nurtures the desire to live more than life itself. I have had this passion for things that are a manifestation of some anxiety and are modulated with time". 

"Is Javier Solana at peace with himself?" 
"Try to be. Not always succeed."

Read the whole interview here: 
President of the Brookings Institution Strobe Talbott and  Javier Solana are to visit Kyiv, Ukraine on 31 March 2010 - The topic  is “Global Challenges: How Europe and the US respond”
stay tuned!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spain and Israel will strengthen military cooperation


source, Javier Solana with Spanish Defence Minister Carme Chacon, November 17, 2009, Link2

Spain and Israel will strengthen military cooperation  

Madrid, March 14 (Prensa Latina) Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, will arrive next Tuesday in this capital to discuss with his Spanish counterpart, Carme Chacon, military cooperation between both countries. 

Barak will also meet with Prime Minister Iberian, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and his Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, stated news media of the European nation. 

With Zapatero and Moratinos discussed the complex situation of conflict in the Middle East, exacerbated this week after the announcement of Israel to build 600 new homes thousand in a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. The visit by the head of the military portfolio was scheduled for last November but was suspended because of agenda, recalled the official news agency EFE. Tel Aviv then denied that the cancellation of the trip is related to an alleged refusal of Israel to Italy to Spain ceded command of the UN force in southern Lebanon, which took place on 28 January. The development of this mission, in which Madrid has about a thousand soldiers, will be among the matters to be discussed between Israeli defense official and Spanish pair, predicted the source. 

Both owners intend also signed a military cooperation agreement which will provide legal framework for the development of any project of bilateral cooperation in this field.  Link

"Madrid has warned that, if continued at the current rate, the Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian lands would bring about the annexation of the entire occupied territories. Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos cautioned that the advancement would claim the entire Palestinian territories in the West Bank, should the current rate of acquisition survive for another two years, AFP reported on Saturday. 

"Until now, it's not too late, but if we wait for more than two years it will be too late," he said.


stay tuned!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

after 3.5 years: ENP now used against Israel?

"SAARISELKA, Finland (Reuters) - The European Union could use closer trade ties as leverage to urge Israel to resume peace talks with the Palestinians, the EU's top diplomat said on Saturday ahead of a trip to the region. EU high representative for foreign affairs, Catherine Ashton, who begins her first visit to the Middle East on Sunday, said the European Union would be active in getting peace talks to resume and had influence in the issue.

"We're a huge supplier of aid and development in that region. We are strong with Israel in terms of trade and Israel wants to enhance its relationship with us, it wants to upgrade relations," she said when asked what leverage the EU could have in talks given that the United States has struggled to be heard.

"Our ambition is that they know -- because they do -- that the solution lies in a negotiated settlement. Our view is that it needs to happen quickly and now, with the opportunity that that affords Israel ... to be able to enhance the relationships it wants with us in any event for the future."

Ashton, who flies to Egypt on Sunday and is due in Israel on Wednesday after stopovers in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, said it was not about withholding Israel's access to EU markets, but about showing what more could be granted if progress was made.

"What we have at the moment is a traditional relationship with Israel, they would like more," she said." Link

remember back last year:

"European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is taking steps to move the establishment of a Palestinian Authority state through the United Nations, whether Israel agrees to it or not.

Solana told a British audience in London on Saturday that Israel and the PA should be given a deadline by which to conclude negotiations for a two-state solution. If a final status agreement is not reached by that time, according to the Reuters news agency, Solana recommended that one be imposed by the United Nations instead." Link

stay tuned!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Solana's 10?


The European External Action Service will have 9 positions under Baroness Ashton (that makes 10).

"With plans for the EU's new diplomatic corps entering their final stage, EU capitals have quietly begun to negotiate over who will take the top jobs up for grabs.The office of EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton is aiming to submit a draft organigram for the External Action Service (EAS) to EU diplomats in Brussels on 17 March. According to an EU official acquainted with the document, Ms Ashton's office wants the service to have nine senior posts: A secretary general, two deputy secretary generals and, below them, six director generals.

At the top of the hierarchy, Ms Ashton will mainly do shuttle diplomacy on the model of her predecessor, Javier Solana, who clocked up over 2.6 million air miles in his 10 years in office. The EU's 11 "special representatives," such as Marc Otte on the Middle East, will report directly to her.

The secretary general is to stay in Brussels and run the EAS on a day-to-day basis.
He will oversee the work of the six director generals and a number of autonomous EAS cells: the EU's Military Staff, responsible for planning overseas military missions; SitCen, an intelligence-sharing bureau; an internal security unit; an internal audit unit and a department handling communications and relations with other EU institutions. 

The two deputy secretary generals will not have administrative duties, freeing them up to replace Ms Ashton at internal EU meetings or second-tier international events. 

EU capitals are wary of openly lobbying for their candidates due to the accepted wisdom that early runners do not finish first.

But diplomatic sources say that the French ambassador to the US, Pierre Vimont, the secretary general of the French foreign ministry, Pierre Sellal, and a senior aide to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Christoph Heusgen, are the current favourites for the secretary general job." 

Christoph Heusgen, has served as chief-of-staff for EU top diplomat Javier Solana from 1999 to 2005. 
"Messrs Vimont and Sellal both have strong EU credentials, having served as France's ambassadors to the union during two previous French EU presidencies, in 2000 and 2008, respectively...  

The argument in favour of a French candidate is that French official Pierre de Boissieu, who currently runs the EU Council, will cede his place to a German official, Uwe Corsepius, in 2011. "We have a lot of good candidates for all the levels of the service. But it's premature to talk about these issues," a French diplomat said. 

On the other hand, French EU official Christine Roger is already being lined up to become president of the EU's Political and Security Committee, a senior EU Council body handling security decisions. Germany has got little by way of top jobs in the new-look EU so far, with its EU commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, taking the medium-weight energy portfolio. 

"It would be a bad sign of Germany's level of interest in EU foreign policy if it does not have a senior figure in the EAS," an EU diplomat said. 

Meanwhile, Sweden's EU ambassador, Christian Danielsson, is being talked about as a possible deputy secretary general. 

Six pillars 

The six director generals will each run a department composed of several hundred officials, forming the main pillars of the EAS architecture. 

One directorate is to take care of budget and personnel. A second one is to handle "global affairs" such as climate change, human rights and democracy promotion. A third one is to manage EU relations with multilateral bodies, such as the UN and the G20, as well as legal and consular affairs.

The remaining three are to be split on geographical lines: A fourth directorate is to cover EU neighbourhood countries, accession candidates, Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East. A fifth one is to span industrialised countries such as the US, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and Australia. The sixth one is to take care of developing countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Ocean. 

The European Commission and the European Parliament are also circulating draft organigrams with competing ideas for the EAS structure. "There's probably a draft organigram on every floor of every EU building in Brussels," another EU diplomat said. 

The newer EU member states are pushing for senior EAS posts to be open to a free competition based on merit. But it is clear that the top nine appointments will be political decisions.

An EU official told this website that new member states can realistically aim to fill some of the director general-level posts only. The contact added that Polish centre-right MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski and the director of the Diplomatic Academy in Warsaw, Andrzej Ananincz, are in the frame."

stay tuned!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Heavy snow brings Barcelona to a standstill as trains and flights are cancelled,

Spanish snow leaves 250000 without power

"Nearly a quarter of a million people in north-eastern Spain were without power yesterday after the heaviest snowfall in decades brought major disruption to the region.

A metre of snow fell in the Pyrenees leaving 6,000 travellers stranded and blocking up to 40 roads on the border between Spain and France. Barcelona recorded its heaviest snowfall since 1962 causing road, rail and flight chaos."

Link and Link

Chile Leader Sworn In As Quake Shocks Strike

"Chile's new president has urged people to rush to higher ground after 7.2 earthquake rattled the country as he was being sworn in."
Link and here: Link

One year after his birth, the Piñera Echenique family moved abroad to Belgium and later to New York City, where his father was the Chilean ambassador to the United Nations. Sebastian Piñera returned to Chile in 1955 and was enrolled in the Colegio del Verbo Divino ("Divine Word High School"), from which he graduated in 1967. The organization and school's mission is that of forming leaders of the Catholic viewpoint, who will work to contribute social justice and solidarity. After joining Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Piñera continued on to Harvard University on a partial Fulbright Program (like Solana) for his postgraduate studies in economics. He was Professor of Economy at University of Chile, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and Adolfo Ibáñez University. In 1971 he was professor of Economic Political Theory in the School of Economics at University of Chile. In 1972 he was a professor at the Valparaiso Business School. Piñera has built an estimated fortune of 1 billion USD as of March 2009, according to Forbes magazine. His wealth is attributed in great part to his involvement in the introduction of credit cards to Chile in the late 1970s and his subsequent investments, mainly in LAN Airlines stock. Is he a Bilderberger? See here: Link and Link.

stay tuned!


the bomber deal

US Tanker Jet/
EADS Abandons Airbus 'Deal of the Century'
The stakes were huge -- a $35 billion contract for 179 tanker jets -- but in the end European aerospace giant EADS saw no chance in winning. On Monday, its US partner Northrop Grumman withdrew its joint bid with EADS to build tankers for the Pentagon based on an Airbus aircraft model. EADS officials claim the new bidding process was tailored exclusively for a Boeing win." Link

"European officials and EADS, which owns French-based planemaker Airbus, claim that the Pentagon altered bidding rules for the contract in order to favour Boeing's all-American offer over the European bid.The Pentagon insists that the bidding process was fair and that it will buy the aircraft that best fits the needs of the air force for the price.But the European Commission has protested and a German minister has accused the United States of protectionism, warning that Berlin would take up the issue at the political level and at the World Trade Organisation." Link

Timing comes along with interesting visits in the Middle East:

-"The U.S.-Israel bond is unbreakable, but the United States will keep both sides accountable for their actions, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said". Link

-Saudi Arabia - Prince Khalid bin Sultan Receives Executives of Boeing "Riyadh, March 09, 2010 . Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs received here today James McNerney, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Boeing Company accompanied by Shephard W. Hill, President Boeing International, Senior Vice President Business Development and Strategy and Ahmed Jazzar, President, Boeing - Saudi Arabia. During the reception, they reviewed a number of issues of common concern." Link


-Gates regrets Northrop withdrawal from tanker bid. In this photo released by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, left, greets U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, before their talks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. Gates was keeping up the pressure on Iran Wednesday, consulting with close U.S. ally Saudi Arabia about how to respond to Tehran's disputed nuclear program. (AP Photo/Saudi Press Agency), LinkDefense Secretary Robert Gates asked Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah ... discussed ways to boost the kingdom's air and missile defenses. Link


NATO has extended the mandate of its "anti-piracy mission" off the coast of Somalia until the end of 2012, the alliance's spokesman James Appathurai has said.
About 20 countries, including leading NATO member states, India, China and several Arab states, have sent warships to the Gulf of Aden.
Russian warships joined the fight against Somali pirates in the fall of 2008". Link

stay tuned!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

breaking: in comes the peace broker


Today 09.03.2010: US-Middle East Talks failed (Link),

in comes the peace broker and its 2010:

Solana named honorary president of the Henry Dunant Center 

"Press Release
For immediate release
Dateline: 9 March 2010, Geneva, Switzerland

Solana adds extra strength to peacemaking organisation

Javier Solana, who left the European Union after ten years as the High Representative for

Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) last year, joined the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre) as Honorary President, announced the Swiss based private mediation organisation today.

Dr Solana will “not only represent the organisation to others, but will also contribute advice
and participate in practical peacemaking activities whenever he can add value”
, according to the HD Centre, recognised as one of the world’s leading conflict mediation organisations.
“It is the HD Centre’s uniquely practical and sensitive approach to dialogue at senior levels
that made me want to collaborate with the organisation. They are already working to resolve more armed conflicts than any other private mediation organisation.” said Mr Solana.
Dr Solana, the former Foreign Minister of Spain, and Secretary General of North Atlantic
Treaty Organisation (NATO), has an unparalleled experience of negotiation in international
security and political environments.
“We are absolutely delighted that Javier Solana, Europe’s leading diplomat, has agreed to
join us. A more eminent person, with a more relevant background we could not have hoped
.” said the HD Centre’s Director, Martin Griffiths.
“This is not only a success for the organisation, but a demonstration of our commitment to
continually improve our approach to peacemaking and mediating in armed conflict.” said
Karin Jestin, Chair of the Board of the HD Centre."
The HD-Center said today, Solana will "act" to this organization and also offer advice and take part in mediation "where he can add value." 

Solana in late 2009 left his post as European 'Mr CFSP', who played for 10 years after another five as secretary general of NATO. On his return to Spain, the Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has been commissioned to design the Spanish Security Strategy. 

In addition, former Socialist minister will chair the Center for Global Economics and Geopolitics of ESADE Business School and has joined the board of trustees of the Prado Museum (plus Acciona. He is also now Senior Adviser at Brookings Institution - the Advisers of Obama and he is also working for laCaixa foundation and their Global Health Center). 

Solana himself said the Center wants to work with HD because of its focus is "purely practical and sensitive to high-level dialogue" and that "are already working to solve more armed conflicts than any other private organization of mediation."
The Henry Dunant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue participated in preliminary discussions on the declaration of permanent ceasefire by ETA in May 2006 and also participated in mediation of conflicts in the Philippines, Central African Republic, Sudan and Myanmar (Burma) . 

The center, meanwhile, said the experience "unparalleled" by Solana in trading on the political and international security. The center's director, Martin Griffiths, was delighted by the 'signing' and stressed that the HD could not aspire to have a partner with such "most eminent and most relevant experience." 

stay tuned!