The world’s leaders will descend on a secluded golf resort in Northern Ireland on Monday for the G8 summit. Minutes away sits Enniskillen, a small town with a painful past. Less than 10 miles from the border with Ireland, this town was one of the key flashpoints during the so-called Troubles, the sectarian violence that consumed Northern Ireland for more than three decades.
Enniskillen is so steeped in tragedy and violence that British Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledged it would have been “unthinkable” even a decade ago that it would be at the center of the world stage. - More
Say goodbye to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In a few weeks, he will hand over the mantle of presidency to Hassan Rouhani, who stood victorious Saturday after Iran tallied all its votes in the national election.
Rouhani, 65, a cleric and moderate politician, who enjoyed reformist backing, took more than 50% of the vote, according to the interior ministry. - More
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Sunday against arming Syrian rebels "who kill their enemies and eat their organs," referencing a widely circulated video that purports to show a rebel fighter eating the heart of a dead soldier.
Putin's comments signaled a clear disapproval of a U.S. plan to increase military support to Syrian rebels, and his warning came just one day before he was to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama for talks at the Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland where Syria is expected to top the agenda. - More
In the year since U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin last met face to face, tens of thousands of Syrians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled that country’s raging civil war.
So Syria will likely monopolize what’s expected to be a short, one-hour bilateral meeting on the sidelines of next week’s G-8 summit in Northern Ireland.
There is some common ground – the U.S. and Russia both support peace talks in Geneva between Syrian strongman Bashar al Assad’s regime and the rebel coalition, though Russia has criticized the U.S. for insufficiently pressuring the rebels to commit. - More
North Korea proposed “high-level” talks with the U.S. to discuss a formal peace treaty to end the Korean War, less than a week after unilaterally scrapping a planned meeting with South Korea.
North Korea suggested discussing “a wide range of issues of mutual interest” including easing military tensions, denuclearization and replacing the Korean War armistice with a peace treaty, an unidentified spokesperson of North Korea’s National Defense Commission said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. - More
Syria’s rebels on Friday criticized the U.S. decision to offer small-scale military assistance as late and inadequate, saying they will need heavy weapons to counter the growing challenge posed by a reinvigorated Syrian army that is already receiving foreign help.
But the real significance of the policy shift may lie in the signal it sends to the increasingly polarized region that America does not intend to remain on the sidelines and allow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to prevail over the outgunned rebels. - More
President Barack Obama's open-ended commitment to provide weapons to Syrian rebels will place the US and Russia on opposite sides of a Middle Eastern regional war, says Damien McElroy, the Telegraph's Foreign Affairs Correspondent.
President Barack Obama has authorised sending weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time.
The announcement comes after the White House disclosed that the US has conclusive evidence President Bashar Assad's government... - More
The Kremlin Friday dismissed as unconvincing evidence that U.S. officials provided of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons and criticized Washington’s decision to arm Syrian opposition fighters, but stopped short of threatening to deliver air-defense missiles to the Assad government in response.
A senior Kremlin official said Moscow is “not yet” discussing the delivery of the advanced air-defense system in the wake of the U.S. decision.
Last month, Russian officials threatened to fulfill the 2010 contract for the S-300 missiles as a way to deter potential outside military intervention in the two-year-old Syrian civil war. - More