NATO condemns Syria for shooting down Turkish plane; South Korea to suspend imports of Iranian oil; Japan to double sales tax by 2015; Taliban kills 13 Pakistani soldiers; Paraguay's recently ousted president vows comeback; and more

Top of the Agenda: NATO Condemns Syria Over Downed Turkish Plane

NATO condemned Syria's recent shooting down of a Turkish jet as "completely unacceptable" (WashPo), following an emergency meeting in Brussels today. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen criticized the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for its "disregard for international norms of peace, security and human life," but stopped short of threatening a military response. However, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Syria that Turkey would respond militarily (NYT) to any perceived threat along the countries' shared borer.

Analysis

"Over a year ago it is talk of war between Turkey and Syria that would have sounded like pure fiction. Economic and political ties were booming and as Mr. Erdogan often likes to recall he had grown so close to the Assads that 'they became part of our family circle.' But the Arab Spring abruptly changed this and when Mr. Assad refused to heed Mr. Erdogan's entreaties to stop killing his own people Turkey turned," notes the Economist.

"Last week's incident, however, confirms that the extreme volatility of the situation in Syria--where a civil war has killed more than 10,000 in fifteen months--risks dragging in neighboring states. Even the remote possibility of a regional conflict involving Turkey, Iran and Israel should focus minds in the west and Russia on unlocking the Syrian stalemate," says this Financial Times editorial.

 

PACIFIC RIM

South Korea Halts Oil Imports From Iran

South Korea--the world's fourth-largest consumer of Iranian crude oil--is set to suspend imports of Iranian oil starting in July, following the implementation of an EU insurance ban (FT) on ships carrying the crude from Iran.

JAPAN: The lower house of parliament approved Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's plan to double the sales tax (BBC) from 5 percent to 10 percent by 2015, in an effort to reign in Japan's high public debt, even as many in the prime minister's own party failed to support the legislation.

 

ELSEWHERE:

Taliban kills 13 Pakistani soldiers

Paraguay's ousted president vows comeback

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

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