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Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

This week the European Union announced new sanctions against Iran. The sanctions are one part of the EU’s strategy to pressure Iran to resume negotiations on its nuclear program. The United Nations imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran last month, but the EU’s go farther, affecting the energy, transport and finance sectors. While American investment in Iran has decreased in recent years, the EU is Iran’s largest trading partner and the new sanctions could have a significant impact on many European economies.

The United States also imposed new sanctions on Iran this month, with the goals of halting financing for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that oversees missile and nuclear programs as well as curbing even further investment in Iran’s energy sector. They also target federal contractors that do business with Iran.

Learn more about the sanctions on Monday, August 2 when the Council hosts Jillian Burns, the Acting Director of the Iran Office of the State Department. She will discuss U.S. policy towards Iran, offering insight into the effectiveness of current sanctions and exploring Iran’s role in the region.

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The World Affairs Council was honored to host the President of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, on January 12. As the leader of the world’s youngest country, Dr. Sejdiu is optimistic about Kosovo’s future, but also recognizes the many challenges it faces. Regionally, Kosovo is challenged by Serbia’s continued refusal to acknowledge the state’s independence. Globally, Kosovo has only been recognized by 65 of the 192 sovereign UN member states, including the United States and 22 of the 27 European Union member states; notably absent from this group are Spain, Russia and China. As Kosovo’s second anniversary approaches, the president ended on a positive note: “We can’t forget, but we can move forward!”

To listen to the entire program with President Sejdiu, please visit our online archive. To read about the latest country to recognize Kosovo’s independence, Mauritania, click here, and to learn more about the Serbian position, read the recent New York Times interview with Serbia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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Poland’s Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski joined the Council Wednesday night for our fourth Guggenhime Speaker Event of 2009 to address his nation’s role in the changing geopolitics of Europe and abroad. Minister Sikorski described Poland’s transition from the events of 1989 to a modern democratic nation, a member of NATO and of the European Union. A leader in Polish and European affairs, Minister Sikorski also provided great insights, debunking some common misconceptions about the workings of the European Union. Finally, Minister Sikorski discussed the history of warm bilateral relations and current cooperation between the United States and Poland, highlighting issues of security and democratization and emphasizing Poland’s continued support for the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq. For more on Polish, European, and transatlantic politics, as well as thoughts on NATO, Russia, and democratization, watch or listen to full recordings of this program with Radoslaw Sikorski at our online archive.

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