Ceasefire in Afghanistan: the first win for peace (Mohib Iqbal, The Interpreter)

For the first time, the Afghan government and the Taliban have agreed on a ceasefire in the 17 years–long conflict that has made Afghanistan one of the most violent places on the planet.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/ceasefire-afghanistan-first-win-peace

Aid links: maternal mortality, school uniforms and truancy, more (Alexandre Dayant, The Interpreter)

Saku Akmeemana and Tobias Haque analyse the good, and bad, of the new report from the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development, chaired by David Cameron, which looks at factors of instability in developing countries.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/aid-links-maternal-mortality-school-uniforms-and-truancy-more

Should Shinzo Abe happen to meet Kim Jong-un (Lauren Richardson, The Interpreter)

In recent weeks, Northeast Asia has enjoyed an unprecedented season of summitry. Spurred by a common desire to curb the North Korean nuclear threat, key leaders from the region have held historic bilateral talks with Kim Jong-un in close succession. Despite the fact that a concrete denuclearisation path is yet to materialise, the summits have nevertheless been characterised by expressions of good will on both sides, and culminated in improved bilateral ties.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/should-shinzo-abe-happen-meet-kim-jong-un

China’s rising interests in Qatar (Anas Iqtait, The Interpreter)

It has been a year since Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar. Saudi Arabia and the UAE led the boycott, instituting an economic and trade embargo that isolated Qatar by air, land, and sea from its neighbours, sternly restricting Qatari-bound traffic and trade.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/china-s-rising-interests-qatar

The US and the West: with friends like that … (David Ritchie, The Interpreter)

In February last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a startling comment at the 2017 Munich Security Conference. He asserted that “the post–Cold War order” had come to an end, and called instead on “leaders with a sense of responsibility” to support, in its place, what he called a “post-West world order”.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/us-and-west-friends