Tag Archives: Berlin

Chinese President and his first European tour

President Xi Jinping has arrived in the Netherlands, kicking off an 11-day tour across Europe. It’s the president’s first trip to Europe since taking office, and he is also the first Chinese president to visit the Netherlands since the two states established diplomatic relations in 1972.

152During his stay in the country, Xi will visit the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague, and meet with various Dutch officials. He is also scheduled to attend the third Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague, where he will hold talks with the US president.

Xi Jinping’s next stop will be France. There, the Chinese president will meet his counterpart Francois Hollande and attend celebration activities to mark the 50th anniversary of China-France diplomatic ties. Xi will also visit the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The Chinese president is then expected to travel to Berlin, for a sit-down with German officials to map out the future of bilateral relations. He will also meet business leaders from China and Germany.

According CNTV, Chinese leader will end his Europe tour in Belgium. In addition to holdings discussions with senior officials there, Xi Jinping will visit the European Union headquarters in Brussels, and deliver a speech at The College of Europe in Bruges. Deals ranging from finance, energy, manufacturing and other sectors are set to be signed during each stop.

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France and UK – Step-daughters of the ”mother” America

 French President, Francois Hollande (who recently was the subject of a huge mass-media scandal and following it separated from his long-time partner, Valerie Trierweiler), arrived at the White House, to the seventh official state dinner of Mr. Obama’s presidency, via limousine just after 7 p.m. According Washington Times, President Obama, clad in a black tuxedo, and first lady Michelle Obama, wearing a formal black and “liberty blue” gown, greeted him at the North Portico of the White House. Two hours later, the two leaders toasted one another and, as they’ve done repeatedly in recent days, touted the deep, seemingly unbreakable Franco-U.S. bond.

Photo by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama with French President Francois Hollande, center, pose at the Grand Staircase as they arrive for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Photo by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama with French President Francois Hollande, center, pose at the Grand Staircase as they arrive for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“Our two countries share universal values and we have feelings for one another” Mr. Hollande said. “We love Americans, although we don’t always say so. And you love the French, but you’re sometimes too shy to say so.”

Mr. Obama said the relationship has thrived for so long because both nations stand for the same principles. “We love our French friends because we’ve stood together for our freedom for more than 200 years,” he said. “Long live the alliance between our great nations.”

Big brother has become the ”mother”

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Mr. Obama and Mr. Hollande held a joint press conference at the White House on the heels of a lengthy bilateral meeting. Asked by a journalist from the publication ”Le Figaro” if ”France has become the best European ally of the U.S. and has replaced Great Britain in that role?”, president Obama  tried a diplomatic evasion: ”First of all, I have two daughters.  And they are both gorgeous and wonderful, and I would never choose between them. And that’s how I feel about my outstanding European partners.  All of them are wonderful in their own ways”. But Obama as not as thrilled when he had to answer ”why not extend to France the no-spying agreement that you have with England after the big scandal of the NSA’s surveillance program?” That’s not good ! probably thought U.S. President while he was saying: ”It’s not actually correct to say that we have a “no-spy agreement” with Great Britain.  That’s not actually what happens.  We don’t have — there’s no country where we have a no-spy agreement.  We have, like every other country, an intelligence capability, and then we have a range of partnerships with all kinds of countries.  And we’ve been in consultations with the French government to deepen those commitments”.

Some remarks about the great US-European family and its step-daughters:

Remember that the ”beloved daughter” UK said like an old song “goodbye America” to the mother’s/or big brother/ decision to intervene militarily in Syria. This was the first step that led to the subsequent diplomatic victory of Vladimir Putin. More, to remember about Snowden it means to remember Russia. And this while the U.S. led a hostile propaganda about Sochi Olympics rarely seen.  The moment was not missed nor in Obama – Hollande conference. Noticed that President Obama and French counterpart said that they are united in backing rebel forces in Syria’s civil war and charged that Russian President Vladimir Putin has the blood of Syrian people on his hands. The unusually pointed criticism comes in the midst of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

If we take into account that France needs help in its military expeditions in Africa, then quickly we understand the obedience and interested friendship 0f the president Hollande. European partners of military adventures are harder to find. And home his popularity is in freefall.

France and the UK were rarely able to speak a common language with the rest of EU, and also they are far from being the economic engine and the decision making core to outperform Berlin. Right, Berlin is harder to be appeased with emotionally-demagogic phrases like “daughterly strategic partnership”. Ah, bringing into question the revelations of Snowden‘s worse than Victoria Nuland′s nervousness, lack of tact and hers friendly ”Fuck EU” !

Russian spies are everywhere…or FBI wants more money from federal’s budget ?

Amid the recent arrests of Russian spies in the United States is in the public eye and another topic. Although we may think we have a huge invasion of SVR agents. They seems to be everywhere… ;)) The 300-page report by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution – Germany’s domestic intelligence agency – was presented on Monday, 22 June 2010, by its head Heinz Fromm along with Maiziere, Deutsche Welle (DW) writes. The authors of the report underline that Germany is a country with an economy oriented for the development of technologies and export. The Interior Minister said that the threat of industrial espionage – which increased in 2009 – was of particular concern to the government. Largely the Internet is to blame, Maiziere said, as the exchange of information via the worldwide web increases the risk of falling victim to spies. Maiziere noted that currently companies underestimate this risk and urged them to work together with the government to protect technologies from competitors.

“The situation with dangers [to German economy] is concrete. Such states as Russia and China – via their secret services – actively conduct undercover work in such fields as economy, science and research,” the document reads. According to the data released, Russia and China also “track technical information as well as business strategies.” The most dangerous inquiries, the document states, “are those aimed at mobile communications and computer systems (conducted via internet) of various businesses and state organizations. International financial and economic crisis also has its negative effect upon security structures of private enterprises.”

Earlier in May, the problem was voiced by the head of Germany’s counterintelligence, Burkhard Even. Speaking at a security forum in Bonn, reported Germany’s The Local, he claimed that it was estimated that out of the 500 staff of the Russian embassy in Berlin, 150 were working as intelligence agents, disguised as journalists and diplomats – and there might be a lot more of those among about five million Russians living in Germany.

“Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said it expects an explanation from Berlin over the “groundless” accusations of industrial espionage on the territory of Germany”, report Russia Today on Monday, 28 June 2010. “First of all, we are talking about a standard set of claims against Russian diplomatic missions in Germany, which in the understanding of German counterintelligence services are ‘spy nests’ posing a threat to Germany’s security” said Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Andrey Nesterenko. “We would hope to get explanations from our partners through diplomatic channels” he said, the ministry’s webpage quotes.

If about German report Moscow said that “again abounds in groundless accusations against our country borrowed from the past – as it seemed – Cold Era times”, about new allegations of espionage in the United States, Russian officials were quick to not comment. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Israel, but has found time to a short comment on the matter. “They haven’t explained what they mean. I hope they will do so. The only thing I can say is that it’s perfect timing” Lavrov said, noted that U.S. authorities announced the arrest days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the United States..

But there were voices on both sides of the political commentators have labeled the scandal as “a bad film series”. Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst said that: “case is PR for FBI, to show they’re still in business, they’re active in anti-terrorist war”.  Such success could, to say, affording them the opportunity to request more money from the federal budget, U.S. analyst concluded.

Worth mentioning is another aspect: Russian spy scandal will divert public attention from the recent and controversial U.S. removal of General McChrystal from Command of Military Forces in Afghanistan  just when a major offensive involving about 700 U.S. and Afghan troops along eastern Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. Gen. David Petraeus will try to convince a war-weary Congress on Tuesday, 29 June 2010, that he is the man to turn the war in Afghanistan around and mend the military’s tattered relations with civilian leaders. Lawmakers say he is a shoo-in to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whom President Barack Obama fired last week after the general and his aides were quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article disparaging specific people in the administration, including Obama, who in the U.S. system is overall commander of the U.S. military. Petraeus probably will be confirmed this week.

Prime Minister and Former KGB spy Vladimir Putin – who by an odd coincidence was meeting former US president Bill Clinton in Moscow — said he hoped the arrests would not impact the recent improvement in Russia-US ties. Using his trademark irony, Russian Prime Minister did not hesitate to note his guest that: “You came at the right time ! Your police have let themselves go, and put people in prison”. However, as anticipated in previous posting,  Putin told his American visitor in comments broadcast on state television that: “I expect that the positive tendency in relations over the last years is not harmed. We very much hope that people who value good relations understand this”.