World leaders smile and back-slap like old friends at summit meeting photo-ops. But behind the bonhomie they may be judging each other’s strengths and weaknesses with the brutal candor of high school students sizing up rivals. The huge cache of diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks contain frank assessments of many top geopolitical players – and predictions as to how their personalities might affect US politics.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public speech yesterday that, outside the regime, is seen as offering nothing more than many more months of violence.
The EU has approved improvements to sanctions on Iran that will prohibit all transactions between EU and Iranian banks, according to OilPrice.com.
The details of the Turkish grounding of a Syrian passenger plane earlier this week remain murky, but that hasn't stopped Turkey and Syria from trading accusations.