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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - January 2022

Jan 2022

Jul 03, 2022

Israel Gets New PM as Netanyahu Targets Comeback

  • Yair Lapid became Israel's interim Prime Minister, taking over from PM Naftali Bennett after just one year.
  • Mr. Lapid, head of a centrist party, will lead the country as it heads towards elections on 1 November.
  • It follows the collapse of the coalition which he formed with Mr. Bennett. The upcoming elections will be Israel's fifth in less than four years.
  • Mr. Lapid faces a tough challenge from former PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed to return to power.

Jul 02, 2022

Pakistan Approaches China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to Boycott G20 Summit in J&K

  • Pakistan reached out to its close allies in the group of twenty. China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to boycott the G20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • India will assume the G-20 presidency on 1 December 2022, and host the inaugural G20 Leaders' Summit in 2023. India's representation at G20 summits has been led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014.

Parl Dissolved, Israel Heads for Fifth Election in 4 Years

  • Israel's experiment with the most diverse political alliance ranging from the Left, Centre and Right to even an Islamist Arab party finally came to an end with the Knesset voting to disperse itself in an overwhelming 92-0 vote, clearing the way for fresh poll — the fifth in less than four years.

Jul 01, 2022

Justice Jackson Sworn In, Becomes 1st Black Woman on US Supreme Court

  • Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in to the Supreme Court, shattering a glass ceiling as the first Black woman on the nation's highest court.
  • Jackson is the court's 116th Justice and she took the place of the Justice she once worked for. Justice Stephen Breyer's retired the same day.
  • Jackson, a federal judge since 2013, joined three other women, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett — the first time four women will serve together on the nine-member court.

Jun 30, 2022

NATO Member Turkey Agrees to Support Sweden and Finland's Membership of the Alliance

  • NATO member Turkey agreed to support Sweden and Finland's membership of the alliance. It had initially opposed the Nordic countries' bids to join. NATO said that a trilateral deal was reached at a meeting between Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Finland's President Sauli Niinistö and the Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, in the Spanish capital, Madrid. Foreign Ministers from the three countries signed a joint security pact that addressed Turkey's concerns.
  • NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg saidthat Sweden agreed to step up its work on Turkish extradition requests of suspected militants. The two Nordic nations will also lift their restrictions on selling weapons to Turkey.
  • Sweden and Finland had historically declined to seek NATO membership, partly because of mixed public opinion and caution around their security relationship with Russia. However, that dramatically changed after Russia launched a military operation on Ukraine in February.

Jun 29, 2022

US and Allies Launch Partners in the Blue Pacific Initiative

  • To reinforce its Indo-Pacific strategy, and in what is being seen as a response to China's aggressive outreach to Pacific Island states, the United States (US) - along with Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Japan - announced a new Partners in Blue Pacific (PBP) initiative.
  • According to the five countries, PBP was an "inclusive, informal mechanism" to support Pacific priorities, in line with the principles of "Pacific regionalism, sovereignty, transparency, accountability, and most of all, led and guided by the Pacific Islands".
  • The US and its allies would together, as well as individually, focus on three priority areas.
  • The first is delivering results for the Pacific more effectively and efficiently. The second area of focus is bolstering "Pacific regionalism". The final area of focus is expanding cooperation between the Pacific and the rest of the world.

Togo and Gabon Become Commonwealth Association Members

  • The Commonwealth of Nations now has 56 member nations after the admission of Togo and Gabon. The two historically French-speaking nations were formally admitted to the union at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which was presided over by Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali, the country's capital. According to Patricia Scotland, the organization's secretary-general, admission is determined by evaluations of a number of standards, including the democratic process, effective leadership, and rule of law.

Two New Countries Apply to Join BRICS

  • Iran and Argentina applied to join the BRICS mechanism, days after a summit of the five-nation bloc during which the leaders agreed to continue to discuss the possibility of admitting new countries to the grouping on the basis of full consultation and consensus.
  • The issue of expansion of the BRICS bloc was figured in the virtual summit hosted by China, which is this year's (2022) chair.
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