Conflict Prevention

Interview

Drozdiak: German Chancellor Likely to Press Bush for Direct Talks with Iran

William Drozdiak interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

The president of the American Council on Germany sees a "definite improvement" in U.S.-German relations since Angela Merkel became chancellor five months ago. Ahead of Merkel's second visit to Washington this year, William Drozdiak says that a key issue for Merkel and President Bush is what to do about Iran's nuclear program.

See more in Germany; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Conflict Prevention; Sanctions; Iran

Must Read

Newsweek: The Realist Resurgence

Authors: Christopher Dickey, John Barry, and Owen Matthews

Middle East Regional Editor Christopher Dickey, Contributing Editor John Barry, and Moscow Bureau Chief Owen Matthews report that Russia is weaker than it looks. Most NATO leaders insist the world is too interdependent to allow another cold war. Russia is not the Soviet Union. And Western powers don't want to be drawn into a game of bluff that will only inflate Vladimir Putin's prestige.

See more in Russian Federation; NATO; Conflict Prevention

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Eurasianet: Afghan-Pakistani Tension Could Create Opening For Iran

Author: Alex Vatanka

This report from Eurasianet, part of the Open Society Institute, argues that lingering acrimony in Afghan-Pakistani relations could create a diplomatic opening for Iran to increase its economic and political influence in Kabul. The report says that Afghan-Pakistani tension is rooted in the revived Taliban insurgency: despite repeated denials by Islamabad, the prevailing sentiment in Kabul is that Pakistan is providing critical assistance to the Taliban. Afghan media now openly depict Islamabad as striving to undermine President Hamid Karzai’s administration. Afghan officials evidently believe that Pakistan seeks to recover political leverage in Afghanistan that it lost after the Taliban regime was driven from Kabul in 2001.

See more in Afghanistan; Iran; Conflict Prevention