Category Archives: British Foreign Policy

Resolving the Crimean Standoff


In Musings of a Restless Bishop, the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, poses the million dollar question as to why Russia is doing what it is doing and why is it doing it now? The question reminds … Continue reading

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Lebanon’s refugee crisis


Whatever happens at next month’s Geneva conference on Syria one thing is clear, the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict will continue unabated. Indeed, there remains the possibility that the crisis could yet thwart diplomatic efforts by destabilizing neighbouring countries … Continue reading

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The stories we tell about Syria


In my last two blogs I tried to show how the narratives that we create and the stories we tell are sometimes self-serving. Narratives give us comfort. They help in defining ourselves, our beliefs and our responses. They provide a … Continue reading

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Syrian butterflies and the law of unintended consequences


No decision has yet been taken to arm the more moderate rebels, but last night’s decision by EU foreign ministers to amend the EU sanctions is already having an impact. Not, as Hague might have wished on the Assad regime’s … Continue reading

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Reflecting on the shades of grey in Lebanon


After a week in Beirut meeting with an array of religious and political actors as well as humanitarian relief agencies it’s weird to be back in the Weald of Kent dependent once again on conventional news outlets for analysis of … Continue reading

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Europe and its Budget – The Need for a New Sapir Report


On Thursday of this week leaders of EU countries hold a two-day summit in Brussels to decide on the Union’s budget for 2014 to 2020, broadly determining how much the EU can spend, what it should be spent on, and … Continue reading

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Breaking up is hard to do


British politics is a funny old business at the best of times, but this week has been particularly odd and we are only just half way through. Monday saw Alex Salmonds, the Scottish First Minister, and David Cameron, the British Prime … Continue reading

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Prospects for Peace in Syria


What are the prospects for peace in Syria? Is there a non-violent way out of this crisis? These might appear daft questions to ask when the conflict is spiralling so destructively out of control. But, it is precisely because the … Continue reading

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Being Foreign Secretary for the day – preventing another Houla?


Our response to the grotesque massacre in Houla, Syria, suggests a despairing awareness that short of military intervention, which no one wants, there is little we can do to resolve the emerging sectarian civil war. My own view is that while an … Continue reading

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Rethinking our power and influence in a network centred world


William Hague is due to arrive in Moscow today to discuss the civilian massacres in Syria with the country’s closest Security Council ally. At the same time the UN Security Council has convened an emergency session to discuss what the … Continue reading

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