Global Political Calendar: U.S.-Russia talks, riots in Kazakhstan
The United States and Russia will hold security talks in Geneva from Sunday to Monday, followed by a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday and a broader meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday.
The world will also watch the development of the riots in Kazakhstan and a Wednesday session of the United Nations Security Council on Sudan, where new demonstrations broke out to demand a return to civilian rule.
Security talks between U.S. and Russia
The security talks between the U.S. and Russia will take place in Geneva on January 9-10 amid tensions along Ukraine's eastern border. The talks are also expected to address Russia's recent security proposals.
Russia last month sent a draft agreement to NATO and a draft treaty to the U.S. both on security guarantees in Europe for the Western countries to consider. Moscow has asked Washington to prevent further eastward expansion of NATO and deny former Soviet republics accession to the alliance.
Russia also demanded that the U.S. and NATO do not deploy offensive weapons in its neighboring countries.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the proposals during their telephone call on December 30.
After the meeting between U.S. and Russian officials, talks will continue in Brussels within the framework of the NATO-Russia Council on January 12 and within the OSCE on January 13.
Riots in Kazakhstan
Violent protests in Kazakhstan, particularly in the country's largest city of Almaty, have led to multiple deaths over the past days, according to various reports.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted the government's resignation on Wednesday, and has sought help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). A joint CSTO peacekeeping force has arrived in Kazakhstan to help maintain order.
China said it strongly rejects any attempt by external forces to provoke unrest and instigate "color revolutions" in Kazakhstan, and that it supports all efforts that are conducive to the Kazakh authorities calming the situation as soon as possible.
How the situation develops in the next week will be closely watched by Kazakhstan's neighbors and the world.
Day by day:
Monday: Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Kuwaiti Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, and Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf visit China at the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (to January 14); U.S.-Russiasecurity talks in Geneva.
Tuesday: Forty years since then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping put forward the "One Country, Two Systems" policy to accomplish the peaceful reunification of China.
Wednesday:NATO-Russia Council meeting; informal meeting of EU defense ministers (to January 13); informal session of UN Security Council on Sudan.
Thursday: Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau chairs an OSCE meeting; EU foreign ministers gather in Brest for an informal meeting to discuss international affairs.
Friday: Eleventh anniversary of ousting of then Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Saturday: A quiet day in politics.
Sunday: Serbia holds referendum on amending its constitution.