Comments written by Prince Michael of Liechtenstein himself provide an informed viewpoint on crucial geopolitical issues. Sometimes challenging and always thought-provoking, these brief commentaries take a stance that stimulate debate.
Helmut Kohl and the European ideal
If the European Union wants to survive and thrive, it should pay attention to the legacy of Dr. Helmut Kohl. The former German Chancellor, who died last week, belongs to a line of giants including Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer. What they understood is what today's European leaders are getting wrong.
The conflict over Qatar adds to Middle East quagmire
Aside the war in Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula has been a relatively calm part of the Middle East. A sharp conflict over Qatar’s alleged sponsorship of terrorism threatens to add it to the long list of dangerously unstable countries in North Africa, Sahel zone, Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Europe and the United States have big stakes in avoiding this scenario.
Biafra deserves self-determination
Nigeria’s Igbo people, who mainly live in the country’s southeastern oil-producing regions, have been repressed and marginalized for decades. With this discrimination ongoing, it is understandable that independence movements have gained momentum, especially considering how the area’s oil revenues all wind up in federal coffers while its needs remain neglected. Biafra deserves self-determination, either through a strong local government or independence.
Kim Jong-un’s potentially fatal strategy
North Korea's military provocations have goaded the U.S. into one of the largest concentrations of naval force since World War II. The move may ratchet up pressure on Kim Jong-un to moderate his behavior, especially if China joins in. But it also brings the world closer to a potentially disastrous nuclear exchange.
Tolerating persecution of Christians destroys lives and free societies
Around the world, but especially in the Middle East, Christians are coming under attack. According to some estimates, more than 80 percent of all religious discrimination is directed against Christians. However, Western politicians remain silent. Failure to address this issue and defend the rights of Christians where they are persecuted will, in the end, destroy Western civilization, freedom and democracy.
It pays to be principled
The CDU swept three regional elections in Germany because local candidates got back in touch with traditional Christian values. That augurs well for the September general elections, provided Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn't ignore the message.
All eyes on France, but local German elections were also crucial for the EU
Emmanuel Macron’s proposals to centralize debt and financial functions in the European Union could, if implemented, put the bloc on a slow path toward disintegration. However, election results in Schleswig-Holstein have confirmed that fiscally sound policies have solid support in Germany. If the CDU and FDP can again form a coalition after the country’s September elections, Berlin will be in a strong position to continue to resist moves toward centralization. That will be good news for the EU.
North Korea crisis needs low-profile mediation
Though unlikely, a conflict between the United States and North Korea would be disastrous. Some sort of talks to defuse the current crisis are therefore necessary. However, high-profile talks never work, as all sides feel compelled to make a show of strength and take tough stances. Unofficial, low-profile negotiations would work better – and the Vatican could gain the trust of both sides to facilitate such talks.
The Kim Conundrum
Kim Jong-un's recent provocations directed at the new U.S. administration seem to be the work of a dangerously unbalanced madman. But once the geopolitical context is considered, baiting Washington – and Beijing, for that matter – turns out to be canny survival strategy for North Korea's dictator.
Early returns suggest that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has prevailed in the referendum on giving him sweeping new powers, even if this mandate may not be a strong one at this point. The European Union should tread carefully: rather than try to marginalize the leader of Turkey, it should find ways to cooperate with a critically needed ally for Europe and NATO.