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Hamas's new policy offers an opportunity, Does Trump really want to meet Putin?, Why the Philippines is no longer America's 'lackey,' How new US administration 'forces' Canada toward trade with China, Private companies should expand maternity leave

A roundup of global commentary for the May 15, 2017, weekly magazine.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal gestures as he announces a new policy document in Doha, Qatar, on May 1, 2017.
Naseem Zeitoon/Reuters
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  • Monitor editors

The Guardian / London

Hamas's new policy document offers an opportunity 

"The release of [Hamas’s "Document of General Principles and Policies"] should be understood as a balancing act, an effort to allow pragmatism within Hamas to be presented publicly without undermining the movement’s ideological base," writes Tareq Baconi. "It is a diplomatic tool that opens space for both the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and the international community to engage with Hamas. Given the current political stalemate, this effort should not be dismissed, even if concerns persist.... Hamas’s new document must be recognised as an opportunity to engage with a crucial interlocutor that continues to enjoy some legitimacy among its constituents."

The Moscow Times / Moscow 

Does Trump really want to meet Putin? 

"One of the enduring myths in Russia is that Trump is very keen to meet Putin, but has so far been obstructed by hard-line 'Russophobe' members of his administration, the ever-vigilant Congress and the FBI investigation into Trump’s campaign ties to Russia...," writes Konstantin von Eggert. "[But] we do not know for certain whether the U.S. president is really such a big fan of the Russian strongman as his campaign rhetoric suggested. Everything we have seen and heard from the White House until now points in a different direction.... The truth is more simple: Russia is not a top priority for the White House. And this is the worst insult for Moscow.... There is nothing the Kremlin hates more than indifference."

The Manila Times / Manila

Under Duterte, the Philippines is no longer America's 'lackey' 

"The big message that the Philippines has sent to the world during its hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit ... was as historic as can be in terms of our foreign policy: We are no longer the Americans’ lackey in this part of the world...," writes Rigoberto D. Tiglao. "[S]urprisingly for somebody who’s spent most of his political life in the frontier city that is Davao, [President Rodrigo] Duterte himself is molding our foreign policy to his more realistic worldview in which the US is not our master, to the consternation even of his first foreign secretary who was a US citizen, and that of our diplomatic corps.... Only a Duterte could snub the US, and declare to the world that his big foreign policy pivot is towards the People’s Republic of China, that North American empire’s rival in Asia."

Ottawa Citizen / Ottawa 

How new US administration 'forces' Canada toward trade with China

"[T]he disruption currently posed by the Trump administration is worrying – not simply because of the potential unravelling of trade patterns if the U.S. president means what he says, but because of the path Canada may follow to insulate its citizens from the worst whims of a volatile president...," states an editorial. "Briefly, the Canadian government, knowing it cannot put all its economic eggs in one basket, has for decades tried to woo other partners, from Europe to Asia.... [R]ight now, our economic romance is with China. This relationship ... is perilous.... But it has emerged as the global counterpoint to the United States, and it wants trade."

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 

Private companies should expand maternity leave

"Supporting a mother means supporting a family, which is a core part of society," states an editorial. "The Government has taken concrete steps to support working women, particularly mothers, with the updated maternity laws in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and now Dubai.... These new rules, however, will widen the gap between the public and private sectors, in which female employees ... face many more obstacles to have a balance between their careers and families. In order to compete with the public sector, private sector companies should consider changing their approach to have more family-friendly policies.... A more supportive work environment for mothers will have a positive influence on the entire society."