U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have reached preliminary agreement on a bilateral security pact that now depends on the approval of Afghanistan's tribal leaders. The pact, announced jointly by Kerry and Karzai late on Saturday after two days of talks in the capital, Kabul, would keep some U.S. forces in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of next year.

After years of neglect, the Canadian government seems to be ratcheting up international cooperation with its Latin American counterparts. The increase in diplomatic overtures is motivated by the promise of forging new trade relationships and enhancing existing ties, but also by the apparent continent-wide consequences of organized crime and drug trafficking. While an “Americas Strategy” was launched in 2007, the government only recently started matching its rhetorical commitments with action.

It is arguable that foreign aid and to a larger extent development policy, which includes not only Official Development Assistance but also people-to-people links, migration policy, trade policy and peacekeeping is a core part of our regional identity and a core component of our “soft power” in the Asian Century.

Cyber security is set to be discussed for the first time at a meeting of NATO defence ministers next week.The Pentagon chief said Washington would press Beijing using both public diplomacy and private talks.