Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday World Without the West Watch

Just some items to consider.

--further attempts to institutionalize the BRIC format. The finance and economics ministers of the foursome are set to meet in Brazil, and the second summit after Yekaterinburg will be in India in 2009.

--claims coming out from that meeting that it is the U.S. (and Japan) which is blocking expansion of the G-8 to include countries like India--not a particularly good piece of public relations for Washington's ability to woo New Dehli or Brasilia. (As I had mentioned yesterday, in contrast French president Sarkozy has endorsed an expansion of the group).

--India shifted its position on Kosovo, for the first time signing on the the proposition that the unilateral declaration of independence is in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1244 and calling for new talks between Belgrade and Pristina to produce an agreement.

--Russia, India and China called for a "diplomatic settlement" of the Iranian and India reaffirmed its support for Tehran's civilian nuclear ambitions.

--In response to Senator Chuck Schumer's call for Saudi Arabia to increase oil production or face sanctions preventing Riyadh from buying U.S. arms, Saudi Arabia is reportedly looking at what Russia might have to offer.

Now the bargaining shifts back to what we might want to offer.

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