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A fresh effort at Afghan peacemaking, How serious is the departure of Britain’s EU ambassador?, Solving Gambia’s crisis may require force, Let’s avoid another cold war, The changing face of Turkey’s fight against Islamic State

A roundup of global commentary for the Jan. 16, 2017 weekly magazine.

Gambians celebrate the electoral victory of the opposition coalition candidate for president, Adama Barrow, in the streets of Serrekunda, Gambia, Dec. 2, 2016. Longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh since declared that he would not be stepping down, leading to international efforts to find a resolution.
Jerome Delay/AP
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  • Monitor editors
    Staff

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan

A fresh effort at Afghan peacemaking

“The gathering in Moscow [recently] – the third in the series of consultations between Russia, China and Pakistan – underlines growing concern about the spillover effect of the Afghan crisis in the region...,” writes Zahid Hussain. “Like other foreign policy issues, there is complete confusion over the Afghan policy in the soon-to-be installed Trump administration. That has perhaps compelled the three countries to find a regional solution to the Afghan crisis that directly affects their own security.... To bring the Afghan peace process out of the deep freeze, it is most important to end the frosty relations between Islamabad and Kabul. There has been some breaking of the ice with the recent telephonic contact between Afghan leaders and Pakistan’s new army chief. But is this enough to clear the huge wall of distrust between the two countries?”

The Scotsman / Edinburgh, Scotland

How serious is the departure of Britain’s EU ambassador?

“So, is the departure of Britain’s ambassador to the European Union, Sir Ivan Rogers, a small bump in the road or a major crisis?...,” asks an editorial. “He is a hugely experienced professional who knows the inner workings of the EU – and, more importantly, the other member states know him.... It was reported that Sir Ivan ... told government ministers that it was possible that any trade deal with the EU could take up to ten years to get in place....  [Former United Kingdom Independence Party leader] Nigel Farage said that Sir Ivan’s stance showed the diplomatic service ‘just doesn’t accept the vote’. What nonsense. What it shows is Mr Farage and others ... are refusing to accept the consequences of the vote.”

This Day / Lagos, Nigeria

Solving Gambia’s crisis may require force

“It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) may have to send a military intervention force to help resolve the political logjam in The Gambia,” states an editorial. “With the defeated President Yahya Jammeh insisting he would not hand over power following his defeat at the presidential election, a military push appears to be the only option left.... It is sad that force has to be deployed but since that seems to be the only language Jammeh understands, ECOWAS leaders must act very quickly by sending a clear message that his time is up.”

Jamaica Observer / Kingston, Jamaica

Let’s avoid another cold war

“The New Year 2017 begins ... against the backdrop of the echoes of the Cold War...,” states an editorial. “The countries that have nuclear weapons collectively already have enough capacity to destroy the globe.... A global nuclear war cannot have a winner.... The latest provocation was Russia’s alleged interference in the recent US presidential election and the retaliatory sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama.... President [Vladimir] Putin appears to be hanging his hopes for more favourable relations with the incoming Donald Trump Administration.... One hopes to see the triumph of pragmatism over militaristic egotism and national pride. What is certain is nobody in his or her right mind wants a resurrection of the Cold War.”

Hurriyet Daily News / Istanbul, Turkey

The changing face of Turkey’s fight against Islamic State

“The first breaking point in Turkey’s policy against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was the raid on the Turkish Consulate General in Mosul, Iraq on June 11, 2014,” writes Murat Yetkin. “Up until then Ankara underestimated the ISIL threat.... The latest breaking point ... was the Jan. 1, 2017 attack on Istanbul’s Reina nightclub.... Government spokesman Numan Kurtulmuş said after a cabinet meeting on Jan. 2 that the latest ISIL attack was different from previous ones in a number of ways, particularly as it aimed to divide society by trying to antagonize citizens’ way of life.... It is now crystal clear in the eyes of the [ruling] AK Parti that for ISIL there is no difference between [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan or [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, [President] Obama or ... German Chancellor Angela Merkel: They are all infidels.”