Turkey Sends 200 Cargo Planes to Qatar Amid Gulf States Diplomatic Row

© AP Photo/ Doha News

 

Turkey sent 200 cargo aircraft, loaded with goods worth more that $20 billion to Qatar, subjected to an economic blockade by the Gulf countries since early June due to its alleged terror support, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Tuesday.

“Turkey is not helping [Qatar], it exports the goods, which had been already paid for. We have possibly made ever largest operation on goods delivery by 200 planes,” Zeybekci told the local TRT television channel, adding that the supplied goods were worth over $20 billion.

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Russia’s new tactics

Over the last two years, a number of microstates, mainly those located in the Pacific, have introduced a visa-free regime with Russia.

For example, two years ago, the island nation of Fiji canceled visas for Russians, while the Kremlin offered similar terms to hypothetical tourists from Fiji.

A year ago, it was Vanuatu, microstate in Melanesia, that suddenly decided to introduce visa-free regime with the Russian Federation.

And now Mauritius, a distant island in the Indian Ocean close to Madagascar, also readies to join the visa-free club. Continue reading

India’s own string of pearls: Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives

On 7 March, Shiv Shankar Menon, India’s National Security Advisor, announced that the Indian Ocean island states of Seychelles and Mauritius had joined India’s naval arrangement with Sri Lanka and the Maldives in a new Indian Ocean security grouping that some have called the ‘IO-5’.

The new arrangement signals a significant consolidation of India’s leading security role among the Indian Ocean islands. It is a manifestation of last year’s announcement by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that henceforth India should be seen as a ‘net security provider to the region.’ While Mr Singh did not specify the boundaries of India’s ‘region’ it was clear that much of the initial focus was on the Indian Ocean islands. Continue reading