Council on Foreign Relations: Daily News Brief Aug. 18, 2022

CFR Daily Brief 

Daily News Brief August 18, 2022

Top of the Agenda

Turkish, Ukrainian Leaders Hold First Face-to-Face Meeting Since Start of War

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is meeting (AFP) with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UN Secretary-General António Guterres in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. They are expected to discuss diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine, as well as a deal that Turkey and the United Nations brokered to resume grain exports from the country. Ahead of the meeting, Russian strikes in Ukraine’s northeastern region of Kharkiv killed at least five people. 

Guterres is expected to bring up the risks of continued attacks on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog will soon visit the plant (NYT), Ukraine’s foreign minister said. Guterres is also due to speak about a UN fact-finding mission regarding an explosion at a Russian prison camp earlier this month. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the blast.


“While the West is right to stand up to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, it is important to recognize that a multifaceted connectivity strategy that combines pressure with constructive engagement along the lines of Turkey’s approach can be more effective in yielding results when it comes to dealing with Moscow,” the Newlines Institute’s Eugene Chausovsky writes for Foreign Policy. “The war has underscored the constraints on the United Nations when confronted with geopolitical issues concerning Russia. Moscow holds a permanent seat on the Security Council and a powerful veto, severely circumscribing the council’s ability to make demands over Ukraine,” the New York Times’ Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Dan Bilefsky, and Farnaz Fassihi write. This Backgrounder looks at Turkey’s foreign policy ambitions.

Pacific Rim

U.S. to Begin Trade Talks With Taiwan This FallThe negotiations are set to cover eleven topics (WaPo), including agriculture, small business, and the environment.  

China/Japan: The countries agreed to hold more talks (SCMP) to manage tensions following a heated exchange between diplomats over Taiwan.

South and Central AsiaAttack on Kabul Mosque Kills at Least Twenty-One PeopleNo group immediately claimed responsibility (Al Jazeera) for the explosion in Afghanistan’s capital. At least thirty-three other people were wounded, police said. 

Myanmar/Russia: Myanmar’s military government said it plans to import discounted oil (Bloomberg) from Russia to address local shortages. 

Middle East and North Africa

Saudi Activist Sentenced to Thirty-Four Years in PrisonThe organization ALQST for Human Rights said activist Salma al-Shehab was punished (CNN) for supporting Saudi dissidents and prisoners of conscience on Twitter.  

Israel/Turkey: The countries agreed to restore full diplomatic ties (Haaretz) by reinstating their ambassadors and general consuls. Israel and Turkey had withdrawn their ambassadors after the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2018.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Guinean Opposition: Security Forces Shot Protester DeadAn opposition coalition said security forces killed a young man (Reuters) during an anti-government protest in Guinea’s capital, Conakry. Demonstrators have called on the military junta to restore democratic rule after last year’s coup.  

Ethiopia: World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticized global leaders (AP) for their silence on the crisis in Tigray, saying the region’s six million people have been “under siege” for twenty-one months. He suggested that insufficient attention could be due to race. For Foreign Affairs, Agnès Callamard and Kenneth Roth write that the world cannot afford to ignore ethnic cleansing in Tigray.


Serbia, Kosovo Hold Rare Talks Amid Heightened TensionsThe European Union brokered a meeting (FT) between Serbia and Kosovo after tensions between the two escalated into skirmishes along their border. Serbia does not recognize the sovereignty of its former province.


U.S. Official: Weapons Smuggling From Florida to Haiti Has RisenMiami’s head of homeland security investigations, Anthony Salisbury, said the U.S. government is stepping up efforts (BBC) to stem the flow of illegal weapons. At this virtual meeting, Jacqueline Charles, Daniel L. Foote, Johanna Mendelson-Forman, and Joel Dreyfuss discuss Haiti’s security crisis

Brazil: Invasions of Indigenous lands by illegal miners and loggers rose by 16 percent (Reuters) between 2020 and 2021, the Catholic Church’s Missionary Council for Indigenous Peoples said. 

United States

CDC Chief Announces Agency OverhaulThe director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, said that the agency will overhaul (Politico) its crisis response and communications protocol. A review of the CDC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic found it to be inadequate to meet the pandemic’s scale. For Think Global Health, Claire Wardle writes that transparency is a powerful tool in health emergencies.Council on Foreign Relations58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 100651777 F Street, NW — Washington, DC 20006

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