US-Russia cooperation in Syria!

 

US-Russia cooperation in Syria!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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All UN veto members have a common plan and they move accordingly. USA and Russia, the two very important super powers, have always cooperated in regional problems even during the Cold War era.

Cooperation and confrontation have been the hallmark of Russo-US relations. Russia has once again accused the USA of training terrorists in Syria, this time at a military base in the south of the war-torn country. Moscow has regularly charged that Washington provides cover, if not all-out support, for militant forces fighting against Syria’s regime and civilian population.

In Syria the USA and Russia seem to be working in tandem in Syria to destabilize those Arab nations by attacking select zones without any clash between them in the choice of zones for attack.

Apparently, US-Russian relations in Syria are warmer after Trump’s arrival at White House. Russia says it want sot end its role in Syria but USA is opposed to ending terror wars in West Asia and it has no plan to leave Syria either under Azad or anybody else. USA would not even consider leaving Syria or West Asia for good because there is nothing that could force it to leave the region alone.

More than 6 year-old conflict in Syria that’s killed at least 400,000 people and generated millions of refugees has entered a new phase; with diplomacy taking center stage as fighting subsides. Islamic State has been driven out of its main strongholds, and the two rival blocs that have been combating the jihadists — the Assad-Russia-Iran alliance, and a coalition headed by the USA– are now arguing over the shape of a postwar settlement.

Assad’s departure from power is supposed to be a stated US objective, even if the Trump government is more flexible than its Obama government predecessors in how its provisions are implemented. However, in fact, USA does not want either to kill or remove Assad form power but only wants to destabilize that Arab nation as part of their Arab Spring agenda.

Limiting or even reversing Russian influence in the Middle East continues to be the operative principles guiding the formation of US foreign policy.

Russia’s intervention in the Syrian war in 2015 on the side of Bashar al-Assad has been marred by accusations its Air Force deliberately targeted aid convoys and civilian infrastructure.

Donald Trump’s informal meetings with Vladimir Putin on November 11 on the sidelines of the recent APEC summit in Vietnam may have produced a warm attitude between the two leaders, but some fundamental policy differences between them are hard to overlook. Though the bilateral diplomatic effort has elicited optimism from officials, it does not represent any promising step forward to save tremendous numbers of lives in Syria which has been under siege from foreign forces.

In fact their statement does not provide a workable roadmap for effective American-Russian collaboration and coordination Putin’s spokesman characterized it that it “does not require comments” and is not open to multiple interpretations. The latest statement — another in a long list that have been hailed as groundbreaking efforts to end the fighting in Syria — is really not going to make a difference this time around.

On the one hand, one gets the impression that both super powers are trying stabilizing Syria but on the other, both are destabilizing the Arab nation as per their own plans without any conflicts. However, just as with the agreements reached over Syria during the last year of the Obama government, this latest statement is open to multiple interpretations.

Both sides continue to use vague language and terms deliberately left undefined to accommodate the still considerable divergences between Washington and Moscow over Syria’s future. While both sides agree on the necessity of fighting ISIS, Moscow has a much broader definition of who constitutes “associates” of ISIS — in order to encompass some of the groups that the United States views as legitimate opposition to the Assad regime. Both sides concur foreign fighters should leave, but are the Iranian Al-Quds units of the Revolutionary Guard or Hezbollah combatants permitted to remain at the invitation of the government in Damascus?

The statement heralds an imminent shift in the trajectory of US-Russia relations. The statement builds on previous modest steps that Russia and the USA have achieved: the use of de-escalation zones and limited cease-fires to tap down fighting; the continuation of deconfliction efforts to ensure that USA-Russian-backed forces don’t engage in direct clashes; the agreement to work with Jordan to stabilize southern Syria and maintain tenuous truces between pro- and anti-regime forces; and the ostensible support for the complete destruction of the Islamic State and getting a post-conflict political reconciliation process underway.

It’s only the Geneva talks that can lead to a sustainable settlement, the US officials said. A separate Russian-led process is pointless unless it contributes to that goal, and looks instead like a quick-fix arrangement to leave Assad in power and get someone else to foot the bill for reconstruction, they argued.

The flaw in that approach, the White House contends, is that Assad lacks the means to control the territory that’s nominally back under his control, while his main allies can’t afford to pick up a bill for reconstruction that may total several hundred billion dollars. Syria under Assad remains cut off from the world economy and subject to sanctions by the UN, USA and European Union. America and its EU allies are in agreement that there shouldn’t be any international funding for rebuilding in the Assad-controlled part of Syria, the officials said.

The question of Assad’s future has overshadowed all other sticking points in the Syrian talks, and has already caused a breakdown at the latest round in Geneva. The USA and its European and Arab partners have spent years insisting on his departure. Yet as Russian support swung the war in the Syrian president’s favor, the ‘Assad-must-go’ coalition was left without any obvious means of making that happen.

Moreover, while Russia keeps open the possibility that Assad could be re-elected as president of a post-war Syria, the United States finds it inconceivable that, in any free and fair election, Assad could win a majority of the ballots cast.

Also, the statement never mentions the “Syria National Dialogue Conference” that Moscow has now postponed until next month. The conference represents the Kremlin’s efforts, along with its partners in the Middle East, to define the “acceptable” members of the Syrian political constellation who could be brought into some sort of power-sharing agreement.

At the same time, some of those who will not be invited to or would not take part in the planned conference in Sochi are precisely the political forces that the United States hopes would play a leading role in a post-war Syria.

Meanwhile, although Trump may be prepared to accept a cooperative role for Russia in charting Syria’s future, he has almost no political support for this position in the USA — either within his own national security establishment or from Congress.

The USA will not passively “sign on” to decisions on Syria reached largely by the trilateral dialogue by Russia-Iran-Turkey— yet Russia, in turn, is not going to yield the gains that its air power has won for the Assad regime on the battlefield. The joint statement is important because it recognizes the crucial task of preventing any sort of clash between Moscow and Washington in Syria. It sends a clear message to the military establishments of both countries to take the steps necessary to avoid any accidents.

 

Last week, Israel carried out an air strike on a military base near Damascus. USA asks Israel to intervene and kill some Syrians on its behalf, ostensibly to help push back against Iranian influence. The US officials said it’s a priority to stop Iran and its proxies from entrenching in Syria and posing a threat to American allies, though they wouldn’t go into detail about how that can be achieved. Topping that list is Israel, which says it’s ready to take military action of its own to combat Iran’s growing clout in the neighboring country., according to Arab media.

 

NATO-Russia relations deteriorated in 2014 when the alliance decided to suspend cooperation with Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis that was triggered by the coup in Kiev.

 

Meanwhile, number of NATO troops near Russian borders tripled Since 2012: Russia

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on 22 December that NATO has doubled the number of its military drills since 2012 in the vicinity of Russia’s borders, adding that Moscow is scrutinizing the exercises.  Sergei said that the US missile defense system in Europe has been brought to the level of “initial operational readiness.” The number of the bloc’s servicemen deployed near Russian borders has grown from 10 to 40 thousand in three years, he added. While the bloc conducted 282 military exercises near Russia’s borders in 2014, in 2017 the number of drills grew to 548. He also said that the NATO member-states have intensified their surveillance operations near Russia. “We resolutely suppress any attempts to violate the Russian air and sea borders,” the Minister of Defense added.

 

Shoigu has added that the Russian military is determined to keep the pace of modernizing hardware and acquiring new equipment next year. The armed forces will receive 10 S-400 missile systems and put in service 11 Yars missile systems.  “The share of modern weapons in the Russian army should grow to 61 percent by the end of 2018, including 82 percent in the strategic nuclear forces, 46 percent in the land forces, 74 percent in the aerospace forces, 55 percent in the navy.”

 

Its latest effort backfired last month when Russia’s Defense Ministry attached video game footage as “irrefutable evidence” of its claims. “According to space and other types of surveillance data, there are militant units inside a US base in Tanf, Syria. They are, in fact, training there,” General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces, said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid.

ISIS is a terrorist organization banned in Russia. Gerasimov cited a BBC report about a secret US-led coalition deal to let hundreds of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters escape their former stronghold of Raqqa in October. He estimated around 350 of these fighters were in the Tanf base in southern Syria and 750 more at another base in a Kurdish-held region in the northeast.  “They are de-facto IS. But, after they are worked on, they change colors and rename themselves the ‘New Syrian Army,’ or otherwise,” Gerasimov said. The USA has not yet responded to Russia’s latest accusations.

Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement with Syria which will give the Russian military access to an airbase on the Mediterranean for another half a century. According to the document published on the official government website, Russia will continue to lease the Khmeimim Air Base, in the Latakia province, until at least 2066. The Syrian government conceded to lend the base in Latakia province free of charge.

Hosting the leaders of Iran and Turkey at the Black Sea resort of Sochi last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared there’s a “real chance” to end the war, saying “the militants in Syria have been dealt a decisive blow.” Russia’s intervention in the war two years ago turned the tide of the conflict in Assad’s favor.

Putin plans to invite all Syrian factions to a congress in Sochi early next year. Meanwhile, United Nations-brokered talks in Geneva — which have been underway since the civil war’s early years, though they’ve produced few results — resumed last week.

The Syrian conflict is likely to drag on and could reignite into full-scale civil war as long as President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, despite efforts by Russia to paint the conflict as winding down, according to White House officials. The Syrian faction including America’s Kurdish allies controls the largest amount of territory, besides Assad’s government.

The Syrian army is barely able to reimpose authority on territory it has recaptured, even with military support from Russia and Iran, while Assad’s allies can’t afford to rebuild the country. As the war against Islamic State winds down, some US troops are set to stay on to help the Kurds consolidate their gains.

Declarations of victory by Assad’s backers are premature, three White House officials said in a briefing for reporters. They spoke on condition of anonymity to share internal government assessments of the conflict.

UNSC that can reign in USA and other powers forcing them to mind their own business is silent and only promotes the military interests of veto member states.

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Coalition crisis: Germany’s uncertain future!

 

Coalition crisis: Germany’s uncertain future!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany are facing an uncertain future after talks to form a coalition government – and secure her a fourth term – collapsed. Chancellor Merkel’s party, which lacks a majority in the Bundestag, had spent weeks trying to cobble together a ruling coalition with three other parties. But the plan fell apart when the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out of talks shortly before midnight on Sunday over disagreements on issues ranging from energy policy to migration.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party lacks a clear majority in the Bundestag (parliament). Merkel had hoped to build a coalition consisting of her conservative CDU, its sister party the Christian Social Union, the pro-business FDP, and the Green Party.

FDP negotiators walked out of what they described as “chaotic” talks, with party leader Christian Lindner said it was “better not to govern than govern badly”. All other parties attacked the liberals for deliberately collapsing the talks in a bid to boost its support in any snap election. FDP negotiators walked out of what they described as “chaotic” talks, with party leader Christian Lindner said it was “better not to govern than govern badly”.

The FDP’s walkout came after the four parties had already missed several self-imposed deadline to resolve their differences. But all other parties attacked the liberals for deliberately collapsing the talks in a bid to boost its support in any snap election.

 

The AfD hailed the collapse of coalition talks. “We are glad that Jamaica isn’t happening,” said AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland. “Merkel has failed.” His co-leader, Alice Weidel, welcomed the prospect of fresh elections and called on Merkel to resign. Others suggested the walk-out was a high-risk FDP attempt to weaken Dr Merkel and forced fresh elections in which the liberals would pull back protest voters from the AfD. FDP rivals expressed concern that Lindner’s high-risk tactic could result in a further boost in support for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), which polled almost 13 per cent in the September 24th election.

 

 

Fragile coalition 

 

Merkel’s position was widely seen as unassailable in the run-up to September’s elections, with many commentators suggesting the outcome was so predictable as to be boring.  Merkel had spent weeks trying to cobble together a ruling coalition with three other parties. But the plan fell apart when the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out of talks over disagreements on issues ranging from energy policy to migration. The political analysts suggested the FDP’s move could blow up in its face. There are politicians who are strong with their back to the wall, why should Merkel not be one of those?”

The Chancellor told state broadcaster ZDF that she has not considered resigning. “There was no question that I should face personal consequences,” she said.

Merkel had been forced to seek an alliance with an unlikely group of parties after the ballot left her without a majority.  Voicing regret for the FDP’s decision, Merkel vowed to steer Germany through the crisis. “As chancellor, I will do everything to ensure that this country comes out well through this difficult time,” she said. The Greens’ leaders also deplored the collapse of talks, saying they had believed a deal could be done despite the differences.

A poll by Welt online also found that 61.4 percent of people surveyed said a collapse of talks would mean an end to Merkel as chancellor. Only 31.5 percent thought otherwise.

Germany’s Sept. 24 election produced an awkward result that left Merkel’s two-party conservative bloc seeking a coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats and the traditionally left-leaning Greens. The combination of ideologically disparate parties hadn’t been tried before in a national government, and came to nothing when the Free Democrats walked out of talks. Unable to form a coalition with one other party (as is the norm in Germany), Merkel emerged from the election substantially weakened.

Merkel’s liberal refugee policy that let in more than a million asylum-seekers since 2015 had also pushed some voters to the far-right AfD, which in September campaigned on an anti-immigration platform.

The country’s two mainstream parties — Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) — suffered big losses.  Smaller parties, including the FDP and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) — who won 12.6% of the vote and entered parliament for the first time — were the beneficiaries.

While the FDP blamed the CDU/CSU alliance for the breakdown, the Green Party thanked Merkel and the leader of the CSU, Horst Seehofer, for negotiating “hard” but “fair,” and accused the FDP of quitting the talks without good reason. The so-called “Jamaica coalition” — named after the parties’ colors — would have been unprecedented at federal level.

Christian Lindner, leader of the FDP said that the four discussion partners have no common vision for modernization of the country or common basis of trust. “It is better not to govern than to govern badly.” He expressed regret that the talks had failed but said that his party would have had to compromise on its core principles. His party returned to parliament in September four years after voters, unimpressed with its performance as the junior partner in Merkel’s 2009-2013 government, ejected it. “It is better not to govern than to govern wrong,” Lindner said.

 

For Dr Merkel there is only one other possible option of avoiding fresh elections: wooing back the SPD into office for a third grand coalition. But senior SPD figures signaled that eight years as Dr Merkel’s junior partner since 2005 was enough. “We are not Germany’s parliamentary majority reserve,” said Andrea Nahles, SPD Bundestag leader. Merkel could now try to convince the Social Democratic Party, which has been the junior coalition partner in her government since 2013, to return to the fold. But after suffering a humiliating loss at the polls, the party’s top brass has repeatedly said the SDP’s place was now in the opposition.

Merkel is set to consult the country’s president and the possibility of new elections looming.

 

Trust deficit

The country has been plunged into its worst political crisis in years after negotiations to form the next government collapsed overnight, dealing a serious blow to Merkel and raising questions about the future of the longtime Chancellor. Germany could likely be forced to hold new elections. But that is not without peril for Merkel, who would face questions from within her party on whether she is still the best candidate to lead them into a new electoral campaign.

Following more than a month of grueling negotiations, the leader of the pro-business FDP, Christian Lindner, walked out of talks, saying there was no “basis of trust” to forge a government with Merkel’s conservative alliance CDU-CSU and ecologist Greens, adding that the parties did not share “a common vision on modernizing” Germany.

The negotiations, which turned increasingly acrimonious, had stumbled on a series of issues including immigration policy. Key sticking points during the talks were the issues of migration and climate change, on which the Greens and the other parties diverged, but also Free Democrat demands on tax policy. The parties also differed on environmental issues, with the ecologists wanting to phase out dirty coal and combustion-engine cars, while the conservatives and FDP emphasized the need to protect industry and jobs.

Clearly, there is a serious trust deficit among the coalition partners that came to the fore in the negotiations. Party chiefs had initially set a deadline, but that passed without a breakthrough – after already missing a previous target on Thursday. But s the parties dug in their heels on key sticking points.

It’s likely to be a while before the situation is resolved. The only other politically plausible combination with a parliamentary majority is a repeat of Merkel’s outgoing coalition with the center-left Social Democrats — but they have insisted time and again that they will go into opposition after a disastrous election result.

If they stick to that insistence, that leaves a minority government — not previously tried in post-World War II Germany — or new elections as the only options. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will ultimately have to make that decision, since the German constitution doesn’t allow parliament to dissolve itself.

Fresh poll

Two months on, however, that untested alliance has hit the wall meaning Germany and Europe face an extended period of insecurity. When the Bundestag meets for its second sitting, still without a government, acting chancellor Dr Merkel has no legal means to table a motion of no confidence to trigger fresh elections. The parties failed to make progress on a number of policy areas — including the right for family members of refugees in Germany to join them there — and tensions had risen.

Apparently, the end of Markel era is being talked about now as the collation of partners keep moving one by one, though she expressed the hope she would  be successful eventually and would  put in place a new government.

Fresh elections in Germany appeared increasingly likely after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she preferred a new vote over governing without a parliamentary majority. Merkel said her conservatives had left nothing untried to find a solution.  “I will contact the president and we will see how things develop,” said a clearly exhausted Dr Merkel, departing the talks. “It is a day to think long and hard about where things go now . . . and as acting chancellor I will do everything to ensure Germany is led well through these difficult days.”

Merkel, Germany’s leader since 2005 said she would consult President Steinmeier “and then “we will have to see how things develop.” She didn’t say more about her plans, or address whether she would run again if there are new elections.

To get to either destination, Steinmeier would first have to propose a chancellor to parliament, who must win a majority of all lawmakers to be elected. Assuming that fails, parliament has 14 days to elect a candidate of its own choosing by an absolute majority. And if that fails, Steinmeier would then propose a candidate who could be elected by a plurality of lawmakers.

Steinmeier would then have to decide whether to appoint a minority government or dissolve parliament, triggering an election within 60 days. Merkel’s Union bloc is easily the biggest group in parliament, but is 109 seats short of a majority.

To get to either destination, Steinmeier would first have to propose a chancellor to parliament, who must win a majority of all lawmakers to be elected. Assuming that fails, parliament has 14 days to elect a candidate of its own choosing by an absolute majority. And if that fails, Steinmeier would then propose a candidate who could be elected by a plurality of lawmakers.

Merkel said that the “path of minority government” should be considered “very very closely”. “I am very skeptical and I believe that new elections would be the better path,” she said. Merkel also confirmed that she would be ready to lead her party into any new vote. She did not rule out further talks with other parties, however, and acknowledged that the country’s next steps were in the hands of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “The four discussion partners have no common vision for modernization of the country or common basis of trust,” said Christian Lindner, leader of the FDP. “It is better not to govern than to govern badly.”

 

Germany

Germany is facing unprecedented situation of coalition crisis. Was Germany’s past also was filled with crises?

Germany is a great power with a strong economy; it has the world’s 4th largest economy by nominal GDP. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world’s third-largest exporter and importer of goods. It is a developed country with a very high standard of living sustained by a skilled and productive society. It upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, and a tuition-free university education.

 

The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7 (formerly G8 along with Russia), and the OECD. The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, philosophers, musicians, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and inventors.

 

Germany was declared a republic at the beginning of the German Revolution in November 1918. The worldwide Great Depression hit Germany in 1929. The Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler won the special federal election of 1932. After a series of unsuccessful cabinets, Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933.[56] After the Reichstag fire, a decree abrogated basic civil rights and within weeks the first Nazi concentration camp at Dachau opened. The Enabling Act of 1933 gave Hitler unrestricted legislative power; subsequently, his government established a centralized totalitarian state, withdrew from the League of Nations following a national referendum, and began military rearmament

In 1935, the regime withdrew from the Treaty of Versailles and introduced the Nuremberg Laws which targeted Jews and other minorities. Germany also reacquired control of the Saar in 1935,[64] remilitarized the Rhineland in 1936, annexed Austria in 1938, annexed the Sudetenland in 1938 with the Munich Agreement and in direct violation of the agreement occupied Czechoslovakia with the proclamation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moraviain March 1939. In August 1939, Hitler’s government negotiated and signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact that divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Following the agreement, on 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War II.  In August 1939, Hitler’s government negotiated and signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact that divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Following the agreement, on 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War II.

Britain and France declared war on Germany.[68] In the spring of 1940, Germany conquered Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France forcing the French government to sign an armistice after German troops occupied most of the country. The British repelled German air attacks in the Battle of Britain in the same year. In 1941, German troops invaded Yugoslavia, Greece and the Soviet Union.

By 1942, Germany and other Axis powers controlled most of continental Europe and North Africa, but following the Soviet Union’s victory at the Battle of Stalingrad, the allies’ reconquest of North Africa and invasion of Italy in 1943, German forces suffered repeated military defeats. In June 1944, the Western allies landed in France and the Soviets pushed into Eastern Europe. By late 1944, the Western allies had entered Germany despite one final German counter offensive in the Ardennes Forest. Following Hitler’s suicide during the Battle of Berlin, German armed forces surrendered on 8 May 1945, ending World War II in Europe. After World War II, former members of the Nazi regime were tried for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.

In what later became known as The Holocaust, the German government persecuted minorities and used a network of concentration and death camps across Europe to conduct genocide of what they considered to be inferior peoples. In total, over 10 million civilians of all races were systematically murdered

Nazi policies in the German occupied countries resulted in the deaths of 2.7 million Poles, 1.3 million Ukrainians and an estimated 2.8 million Soviet war prisoners. In addition, the Nazi regime abducted approximately 12 million people from across the German occupied Europe for use as slave labor in the German industry. German military war casualties have been estimated at 5.3 million, and around 900,000 German civilians died; 400,000 from Allied bombing, and 500,000 in the course of the Soviet invasion from the east. Around 12 million ethnic Germans were expelled from across Eastern Europe. Germany lost roughly one-quarter of its pre-war territory. Strategic bombing and land warfare destroyed many cities and cultural heritage sites.

After Germany surrendered, the Allies partitioned Berlin and Germany’s remaining territory into four military occupation zones. The western sectors, controlled by France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, were merged on 23 May 1949 to form the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland); on 7 October 1949, the Soviet Zone became the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik). They were informally known as West Germany and East Germany. East Germany selected East Berlin as its capital, while West Germany chose Bonn as a provisional capital, to emphasize its stance that the two-state solution was an artificial and temporary status quo.

East Germany was an Eastern Bloc state under political and military control by the USSR via occupation forces and the Warsaw Pact. Although East Germany claimed to be a democracy, political power was exercised solely by leading members (Politbüro) of the communist-controlled Socialist Unity Party of Germany, supported by the Stasi, an immense secret service controlling many aspects of the society. A Soviet-style command economy was set up and the GDR later became a Comecon state

West Germany was established as a federal parliamentary republic with a “social market economy”. Starting in 1948 West Germany became a major recipient of reconstruction aid under the Marshall Plan and used this to rebuild its industry.  The Federal Republic of Germany joined NATO in 1955 and was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957.

The Berlin Wall, rapidly built on 13 August 1961 prevented East German citizens from escaping to West Germany, eventually becoming a symbol of the Cold War. Tensions between East and West Germany were reduced in the early 1970s by Chancellor Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik. In summer 1989, Hungary decided to dismantle the Iron Curtain and open the borders, causing the emigration of thousands of East Germans to West Germany via Hungary. This had devastating effects on the GDR, where regular mass demonstrations received increasing support. The East German authorities eased the border restrictions, allowing East German citizens to travel to the West, preparing ground for reunion of Germany. The fall of the Wall in 1989 became a symbol of the Fall of Communism, the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, German Reunification

The united Germany is considered to be the enlarged continuation of the Federal Republic of Germany and not a successor state. As such, it retained all of West Germany’s memberships in international organisations. Based on the Berlin/Bonn Act, adopted in 1994, Berlin once again became the capital of the reunified Germany, while Bonn obtained the unique status of a Bundesstadt(federal city) retaining some federal ministries. The relocation of the government was completed in 1999.  Following the 1998 elections, SPD politician Gerhard Schröder became the first Chancellor of a red–green coalition with the Greens party. Among the major projects of the two Schröder legislatures was the Agenda 2010 to reform the labor market to become more flexible and reduce unemployment.

The modernisation and integration of the eastern German economy was a long-term process scheduled to last until the year 2019, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $80 billion

Since reunification, Germany has taken a more active role in the European Union. Together with its European partners Germany signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, established the Eurozone in 1999, and signed the Lisbon Treaty in 2007. Germany sent a peacekeeping force to secure stability in the Balkans and sent a force of German troops to Afghanistan as part of a NATO effort to provide security in that country after the ousting of the Taliban. These deployments were controversial since Germany is bound by domestic law only to deploy troops for defence roles

In the 2005 elections, Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany as the leader of a grand coalition.[43] In 2009 the German government approved a €50 billion economic stimulus plan to protect several sectors from a downturn.[94]

In 2009, a liberal-conservative coalition under Merkel assumed leadership of the country. In 2013, a grand coalition was established in a Third Merkel cabinet. Among the major German political projects of the early 21st century are the advancement of European integration, the energy transition (Energiewende) for a sustainable energy supply, the “Debt Brake” for balanced budgets, measures to increase the fertility rate significantly (pronatalism), and high-tech strategies for the future transition of the German economy, summarized as Industry 4.0.[95]

Germany was affected by the European migrant crisis in 2015 as it became the final destination of choice for many asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East entering the EU. The country took in over a million refugees and migrants and developed a quota system which redistributed migrants around its federal states based on their tax income and existing population density

 

Observation: Options and uncertainly

End of Markel era is being talked about now as the collation of partners keep moving one by one. Short of resolving the impasse with the FDP, Merkel’s options are limited. President Steinmeier would then have to decide whether to appoint a minority government or dissolve parliament, triggering an election within 60 days. Merkel’s Union bloc is easily the biggest group in parliament, but is 109 seats short of a majority.

The article 63 of the post-war Basic Law requires three attempts to elect a new chancellor – a humiliating process for Dr Merkel if, as they signaled, none of the other parties are prepared to back her. The FDP was “deeply traumatized” by its term in office with Dr Merkel which ended in its 2013 election expulsion from the Bundestag.

The euro fell following the news, although analysts said the longer-term implications for the currency were not yet clear.

Germany as the leader of European Union of Germany has been plunged into its worst political crisis in years after negotiations to form the next government collapsed overnight, dealing a serious blow to Merkel and raising questions about the future of the longtime Chancellor. Merkel, who has been in power for 12 years, could also lead a minority government but she had signaled that she was not in favor of such instability. German president warns politicians to solve political crisis.

Not only Germany, but for EU as well the collapse in Germany of ruling coalition would have serious repercussions. Europe’s biggest economy now faces weeks, if not months, of paralysis with a lame-duck government that is unlikely to take bold policy action. And with no other viable coalition in sight, Germany may be forced to hold new elections that risk being as inconclusive as September’s polls.

Angela Merkel is now facing uncertainly as the clash of interests in the u ruling coalition questions reliability of her leadership. Merkel is left battling for political survival after high-stakes talks to form a new government collapsed, plunging the country into a crisis that could trigger fresh elections. She said that she “will do everything to ensure that this country is well-led through these difficult weeks.”  Merkel also vows to fight snap election to retain power. Germany: Angela Merkel runs out of options. That vote was viewed as a slap in the face for the outgoing coalition of Dr Merkel’s CDU/CSU and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).

The SPD, Merkel’s junior governing partner for the last four years, ruled out a renewal of their so-called “Grand Coalition” on the night of the election and reiterated that position. The SPD is also reluctant to renew the coalition as it would leave the AfD as the largest opposition party, granting it a set of privileges including the right to respond first to the Chancellor and a boost in resources — an outcome none of the other parties want.

Fresh elections are the option after the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out just before midnight on Sunday following four weeks of exploratory talks with Dr Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), her Bavarian (CSU) allies and the Green Party.

Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance could still attempt to form a minority government with either the FDP or the Green Party separately, but this has happened rarely — and never successfully — at the federal level in Germany.  Recent polling puts all parties roughly where they were on election night, meaning a new election could result in similar deadlock.

If all other options fail, Steinmeier, the German President, has the power to set in motion a complex process that could lead to a new vote early next year.

 

Modi government appoints interlocutor on Kashmir: yet another Indian gimmick or Kashmir towards resolution?

Modi government appoints interlocutor on Kashmir: yet another Indian gimmick or Kashmir towards resolution?

(A Sovereign Kashmir: Random Thoughts-313)

Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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Jammu Kashmir is being occupied by India, Pakistan and China but only India kills them in thousands in order to silence them. However, Kashmir freedom struggle has intensified in Kashmir in recent times and Indian regimes under tremendous pressure, perhaps from USA, to end the stalemate. Reports suggest Indian forces have murdered over 1000,000 Kashmiri Muslims to terrorize entire nation of Kashmiris and send a strong warning to Pakistan against meddling in “Indian affairs”.

The Jammu Kashmir state has been on the boil since the killing of a popular youth leader commander Burhan Wani in an usual fake encounter in July last year.

Kashmiris want justice. .

The previous governments led by the Congress party and BJP used to throw hints about a possible solution to the Kashmir stalemate by ending occupation of Kashmir by Indian forces and its genocides. Until recently the Modi government, like the Congress led government, always maintained that Kashmir is an ‘integral’ part of India and warned of punitive action if Kashmiris do not respect Indian Constitution by being obedient citizens and promote Indian rules of colonialism. In fact India refused to talk to anybody on the issue as Kashmir is an “integral part” of India. All of a sudden, PM Modi has now decided to opt for talks with Kashmiris, surprising even Indian core media lords.

As the first concrete attempt by the BJP led NDA government to reach out to Kashmiris It comes after a particularly-focused offensive by security agencies to crack down on Kashmiris who lead

In a clear indication that New Delhi is watching the unrest and is willing to reboot its Kashmir policy, the central government on October 23 appointed ex-intelligence chief Dineshwar Sharma as its interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir and gave him “complete freedom” to talk to all groups and individuals including Kashmiri separatists.

AS the first concrete initiative by the BJP led NDA government in three years to reach out to Kashmiris the Modi government appointed a state interlocutor on Kashmir. It comes after a particularly-focused offensive by security forces anchored from New Delhi to crack down on Kashmiris who lead the popular movement for sovereignty.  Indian forces occupying Kashmir on false claims are now engaged in terror operations to quell the unrest and kill the separatists’ and end ‘foreign funding’ for ‘separatists’.

In Srinagar, police and army teams have taken out dozens of local commanders of terrorist groups active in the Kashmir Valley.

Dineshwar Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief has been appointed by the Narendra Modi government as its interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, home minister Rajnath Singh announced on Monday. A third-generation police officer, Dineshwar Sharma, 63, retired in December 2016 after leading the domestic spy agency, the Intelligence Bureau, for two years. The HM said Sharma would have “complete freedom” to talk to “all groups and individuals” and has been accorded a cabinet secretary rank. After the announcement, Sharma went and met the home minister and discussed how to go about his assignment.

Explaining why the government had gone for the interlocutor, Rajnath Singh said there had been suggestions from across the political spectrum that the government should hold dialogue with all relevant parties. Singh has visited J&K several times in the last three years — five times in the last year alone, and had recently talked about coming up with a permanent solution to the J&K problem. He said the move was a follow-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech in August where he had stressed the need to reach out to people.

The home minister said as a representative of the government of India, Dineshwar Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir. He added that there was no bar on him to talk to one group and not another. “We want to understand aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir, ”the minister asserted..

Explaining why the government had appointed the interlocutor, the Union Home Minister said there had been suggestions from across the political spectrum that the government should hold dialogue with all stakeholders in Kashmir. Singh also called the move a follow-up to PM Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address in August where he had stressed that “Kashmir’s problems can only be solved by embracing Kashmiris”, not bullets or abuses.

Home ministry officials said the move was part of a three step process adopted by the federal government to address the situation in Kashmir valley turned into a large military cantonment. . “We have strengthened our security. The implementation of the development package is going on well too so the only thing left was to start a dialogue which will happen,” an official said, adding that Sharma was the first choice for the assignment and several meetings had been held to take the matter forward.

Asked if the government really needed another report, the Home Minister didn’t refer to the older report but underlined that the government’s intentions were clear. The minister explained the government’s decision to go for the intelligence chief as its interlocutor, saying the centre wanted someone who did not have any political affiliations as he would probably be most-suited to reach out all individuals and organisations concerned.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, announcing the government initiative at a hurriedly-convened media conference, said there is no bar on him to talk to one group and not another…” We want to understand aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir…

Soon after, Sharma said that he was “hopeful” for Kashmir and would talk to “everyone who is interested in bringing permanent peace in the Valley”. As a representative of the government of India, Dineshwar Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir.

Dineshwar Sharma, the federal interlocutor for Kashmir who has spoken about radicalization of the youth there as his big challenge, says he was worried that if radicalization picks up, “the situation will be like Yemen, Syria and Libya” and “finish the Kashmir society itself”. “So, it is very important that everybody, all of us, contribute so that suffering of Kashmiris end,” Sharma said.

For someone who has watched the violence in Kashmir at its peak back in the nineties, the former intelligence chief was instrumental in the central government’s assessment that has looked at the evolving situation in Kashmir from the prism of radicalization as well. Sharma had kept his focus sharply on reaching out to the Kashmiri youth, blaming Pakistan for playing a major role in alienating them. “The youth and people of Kashmir have to realize what is good for them… I will make them realize that whether they should be working at the behest of some foreign power or they should be working for their own future,” Sharma had said.

However, Sharma has not yet supported the notion that surrendering sovereignty back to Kashmiris and also help them establish a soverign nation to exist as a friendly nation of both India and Pakistan would be in their best interests – India’s as well.

In a sudden change of its tough stand, the government of India announced its decision to start a dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir and appointed former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma as its representative for talks with “all” stakeholders in the state. “Carrying forward the conviction and consistency in its policy, we have decided that a sustained dialogue process should begin in Jammu and Kashmir,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told a hurriedly-convened news conference here after having maintained for long that there could be no talks with the separatist leaders.

The minister explained the government’s decision to go for the intelligence chief as its interlocutor, saying the centre wanted someone who did not have any political affiliations as he would probably be most-suited to reach out all individuals and organisations concerned.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, announcing the government initiative at a hurriedly-convened media conference, said there is no bar on him to talk to one group and not another…” We want to understand aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir…

Soon after, Sharma said that he was “hopeful” for Kashmir and would talk to “everyone who is interested in bringing permanent peace in the Valley”. As a representative of the government of India, Dineshwar Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir.

Dineshwar Sharma, the federal interlocutor for Kashmir who has spoken about radicalization of the youth there as his big challenge, says he was worried that if radicalization picks up, “the situation will be like Yemen, Syria and Libya” and “finish the Kashmir society itself”. “So, it is very important that everybody, all of us, contribute so that suffering of Kashmiris end,” Sharma said.

The newly-appointed interlocutor said he will make his first visit to the strife-torn Valley within “eight-10 days” but multiple government sources confirmed that a lot of homework has already been done. An intelligence officer, who did not want to be named, as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said, “We have been holding informal parleys with the separatists and have urged them to be part of the dialogue process.” It is not clear whether the separatists would be a part of the just announced dialogue process.

For someone who has watched the violence in Kashmir at its peak back in the nineties, the former intelligence chief was instrumental in the central government’s assessment that has looked at the evolving situation in Kashmir from the prism of radicalization as well. Sharma had kept his focus sharply on reaching out to the Kashmiri youth, blaming Pakistan for playing a major role in alienating them. “The youth and people of Kashmir have to realize what is good for them… I will make them realize that whether they should be working at the behest of some foreign power or they should be working for their own future,” Sharma had said.

However, Sharma has not yet supported the notion that surrendering sovereignty back to Kashmiris and also help them establish a soverign nation to exist as a friendly nation of both India and Pakistan would be in their best interests – India’s as well.

Sharma, who headed the Intelligence Bureau last year when violent protests followed the killing of Wani, was called in for a meeting with national security advisor Ajit Doval and the home minister a few hours before the formal announcement, top sources revealed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his independence day speech, said: ‘Na goli seh, na gali seh, baat banegi gale lag ke.” Modi, had, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, indicated that the way forward lay in a dialogue and not through violence.

Sharma did not want to answer questions on whether he would engage with separatists belonging to the Hurriyat Conference but emphasized that he would speak “to all stakeholders”.“Peace must be restored in Kashmir and for that I will talk to all people in an effort to bring about a solution,’’ he said.

 

Previous Congress experiment with Kashmiri psyche

Sharma is the fourth interlocutor appointed by the government of India since 2002. The first one was former union minister K C Pant, the second N N Vohra, the present governor of the state, and the last a three-member panel comprising former bureaucrat M M Ansari, academician Radha Kumar and late journalist Dileep Padgaonkar.

Several governments in the past have tried to find a solution through negotiations. The Atal Behari Vajpayee government held talks with the separatists and current chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has for long been asking Modi to ‘’do a Vajpayee”. Mufti’s PDP and the BJP are coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir while the BJP pursues its Hindutva agenda in the terrorized valley.

The Congress said that it doubted the “intent” of the NDA government in resolving the Kashmir issue, and alleged that it appointed an interlocutor towards the fag end of its rule “only for publicity”. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Congress and other opposition parties had asked the government to talk to all stakeholders to resolve the “political issue” in the valley through confidence-building measures rather than “hot pursuit”, but it “wasted” three-and-a-half years during which many precious lives were lost. This government has no Kashmir policy. “We are not opposing the decision of the government. But at the fag end of their tenure, they have done this. This is only for publicity. They have no policy on demonetisation, GST, farmers’ issues and unemployment. We doubt their intent as they have no policy. “They have retained the British policy only on how to divide and rule the country by the politics..

Azad, who was flanked by Derek O’Brien of the TMC and Sharad Yadav of the breakaway JD-U faction, said that had the government taken steps as suggested by the Congress-led opposition, many precious lives of soldiers and civilians could have been saved as well as the eye sights of many young girls could have been saved who lost them due to pellet guns.  “For three-and-a-half years, the BJP is talking about ‘hot pursuit’. We all opposition parties both inside and outside of Parliament have been talking about ‘confidence building’ measures, besides ‘hot pursuit’,” he said.

Azad said they had maintained that this was a “political issue” and should be resolved politically. “No political issue can be resolved by hot pursuit and we had asked government to talk to all stakeholders. Had the government taken action three-and-a-half years ago, we would not have lost hundreds of precious lives of soldiers and civilians,” he said.

The decision to begin the sustained dialogue and appoint a group of interlocutors was taken on September 25 at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It was part of the eight-point initiative announced by the Centre after an all-party parliamentary delegation, led by Chidambaram, visited Srinagar and Jammu on September 20 and 21.

The interlocutors, appointed by the Government, have been entrusted with the responsibility of undertaking a sustained dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir to understand their problems and chart a course for the future.  They had given their final report in a year. But most recommendations that called for review of laws that give security forces immunity from prosecution without the government’s approval and allow detention of people for several years on suspicion, were not accepted. India also refused to end fake encounters as well meant in order to propagate the power of military.

The government hopes that after interacting with all shades of political opinion they will suggest a way forward that truly reflects the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, specially the youth..

The terms and references of the panel include talks all shades of opinion including political parties, groups, students, civil society, separatists and other stakeholders in all the three regions —Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir. Padgaonkar will chair the meetings of the group.

The Congress led UPA government too had appointed interlocutors after the unrest in the Valley in 2010 but the report, submitted to the then home minister P Chidambaram was never acted upon by the Congress government .“I hope I will be able live up to the trust the government of India has showed and will be able to fulfill the expectations of the people,” Sharma told ANI.

 

2010 team

Union Minister PC had said the move to appoint the group of interlocutors was a clear demonstration of the seriousness of the government of India to find a solution to the Kashmir problem which has been there “for many, many years.” “I would appeal to all sections of people of Jammu and Kashmir and all shades of political opinion to engage with the interlocutors so that we can move forward on the path of finding a solution to the problem,” he told journalists. .”All of them are engaged in work which is in public domain and we think they are very credible people, people with a good track record and they can begin their work as early as possible and I am sure they will start their work as early as possible,”  Chidambaram said.

Padgaonkar, author and editor, has worked in various capacities in the journalistic field. He was Editor of the Times of India and is presently with the Asia Pacific Communications Private Limited. He was also part of the Kashmir Committee, led by former Union Minister and eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani.”We will chart out our course once all three of us meet together. But we will have to be future oriented and approach with an open mind and a big heart. We need to listen to the people who have suffered a lot and also talk to the younger generation and understand them better,”. Padgaonkar told The Hindu.

Padgaonkar said that recent statements of the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well as members of the all party delegation that had visited Srinagar and Jammu would be taken up by the group. “What is needed is a number of confidence building measures to be taken as quickly as possible,’’ he added.

Prof. Radha Kumar, who heads the Nelson Mandela Institute of Peace in Jamia Milia Islamia, has been engaged in back-channel discussions with moderate Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Prof. Ansari, who was professor and Director at the Hamdard University, is an educationist and economist before moving as an Information Commissioner. He has the background of an economic and education specialist and has served in several institutions in senior positions and provided research and consultancy service to various national and international organisations.

Pakistan rejects India’s move

Pakistan quickly dismissed as unrealistic India’s move to appoint an interlocutor to understand the legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu Kashmir, saying no interaction or dialogue would carry any weight without the participation of the Hurriyat Conference.

Any “sustained dialogue” aimed at bringing peace to the troubled state  should include the Hurriyat Conference leaders as well as stakeholders in Jammu Kashmir   and keeping  them out of the dialogue would be a waste of time for everybody, The designated interlocutor had been entrusted with the task of understanding the “legitimate aspirations” of the Kashmiri people.

Pakistani position is clear:  for any dialogue process to be meaningful and result-oriented, it has to include the three main parties – India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiris. In that context, without the participation of the Hurriyat leadership, no interaction or dialogue would carry any weight or meaning. Responding to a question on Sharma’s appointment, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that the measure did not appear to be sincere and realistic. He said that, if anything, the Indian Government’s announcement illustrated recognition — once again — of the futility of the use of force and of the indispensability of dialogue.

Zakaria said that the need of the hour was to have dialogue for peacefully resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. “This was imperative for ensuring durable and sustainable peace and stability in South Asia. Pakistan hoped that the international community would play its rightful role in facilitating such an outcome,” he said.

Of course, animosity between the nuclear neighbors since 1947 has made Pakistan to say so. Moreover, so far India is only playing tricks with both Kashmiris and Pakistanis while killing Muslims in Kashmir valley.

Positive signs from Azad Kashmir

Meanwhile, the main event of the 70th Foundation Day of the Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir was held in a spectacular and grand fashion at the university grounds in Muzaffarabad. Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu Kashmir was the chief guest at the occasion. The event started with the National Anthem of Pakistan and was followed by the inspection of the parade by the President AJK.  The President of AJK in his formal address praised the efforts of the police for organizing the event. He said that as a proud and free nation it is our responsibility to present our tribute to the brave martyrs who had laid their lives for the freedom of AJK.

Masood Khan said: ”Independence is our identity. It is our way, this is our destiny and we will attain it form the Indian occupation forces.” The Muslim leaders of Kashmir in 1947; Quaid e Millat Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, Mujahid e Awal Sardar Abdul Qayyum and others had made a conscious decision at Srinagar in joining Pakistan. The people of AJK and Pakistan will continue with their diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, said the President. Today, the people of Azad Kashmir enjoy freedom due to the selfless sacrifices of the freedom fighters who had courageously fought the Indian occupation forces.  “Today is the day we renew and strengthen our resolve for our support towards the freedom struggle and the right to self-determination of our brothers and sisters in IOK”.

Countless women have been raped due to the aggression, hundreds of young men have been killed, young boys and girls have been disabled and the draconian laws of India’s occupation forces have given a free pass to the Indian forces, said the President. Thousands of unnamed graves have been discovered and the Hurriyat leaders have been imprisoned on trumped up charges, he added.

President AJK said the international community to take note of the war crimes taking place in IOK. The nations of the world must take attention of the atrocities and call on India to withdraw their forces from occupied Kashmir, release Kashmiri leaders, repeal the black laws and allow the fact finding teams of the UN and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, urged the President. We demand that the United Nations that the Security Council immediately discuss the issue of Kashmir and halt the human rights violations openly taking place in IOK.” Our appeal to the international community is to abandon its dual standards, objectively assess the facts and figures of the dispute and ensure a just, democratic solution of the matter”.

President Masood Khan said that with the support of the Pakistan’s Government, AJK is going through a new era of development. New infrastructure development projects especially roads, energy, education, health, tourism, industrial and agricultural projects have been introduced. This, he said, would not only make AJK self-sufficient, but will also strengthen the economy of Pakistan. He said that we are grateful to Pakistan that despite all the difficulties, they have always provided political and diplomatic support for the freedom movement. He said that the Armed Forces have always retaliated the aggressive firing and shelling taking place at the LOC by the Indian forces.

President AJK said that the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir will always stand by the people of IOK and pledged to continue striving for the freedom of Kashmir

Observation

Although the Modi government’s approach to resolving the Kashmir issue in favor of the Kashmiris who are entirely determined now to be free from the perpetual atrocities of Indian military, cannot be doubted just like that given the past bitter experiences, India might like to resolve the explosive issue so that Indo-Pakistani relations also get stabilized in a natural setting, and India could get a face lift in international arena.

Today, like USA and Israel, India is looked down upon and if the issue is resolved that world be in its advantage. Though there is no fundamental difference between Congress and BJP as the ruling dispensation, one can still hope PM Modi to go for the unimaginable for the media lords and strategic community in New Delhi.

Kashmir issue deserves to be addressed properly and the remaining Kashmiris be saved form military attacks.

Sharma, who will soon visit the Valley, has a tough task ahead as he starts the search for peace. “For a substantive dialogue, I will need to talk to everybody,’’ former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma told the media minutes after home minister Rajnath Singh announced his name as the government’s representative to lead a “sustained dialogue” process for Jammu and Kashmir.

Will Kashmiris get back the lost sovereignty from the Modi government?

Speculation is indeed thrilling!

Hindutva makes Apex Court also a party to Babri Mosque dispute!

Hindutva makes Apex Court also a party to Babri Mosque dispute!

– Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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December 06 shall remain a memorable terror day in the life and future of India where majority Hindus on the strength of their numbers and governments, insult, injure and attack Islam and have also destroyed Historic Babri Mosque- a place of Islamic worship. Indian Constitution provides for free faith and worship. .

 

Now the Babri mosque case is in the Supreme Court as Muslims look for genuine justice for their faith and mosques. Hindutva elements now control the judiciary and influence the judges to deliver pro-Hindutva judgment and save the Hindu criminals.

 

Hence Muslims, having no “control” or influences, are deeply worried and perturbed.

 

For Hindutva forces the case is pure politics but for Muslims that is their faith.   . .

 

Babri Masjid is a dispute between Muslims whom the Mosque belongs and   criminal elements that pulled down the historic monument because they argue Hindus would decide if Muslims should have mosques and worship in their own way. They even impose all fanatic measures n Muslims and others. They now want to decide what Muslims should eat and how to obey Hindutva laws. They want the judges, appointed not by Muslims butt by Hindu government to obey the RSS dictates and serve the case of criminalized latest Hindutva laws.

 

So much so, police, military, core media and even courts favor Hindutva moorings as their favorite item.

 

The Hindutva BJP-RSS and allies are trying to make the Supreme Court a major party of the dispute of historic Babri Mosque and they want the judges to express the view of Hindutva stalwarts. Allahabad split judgment shows the judges are increasingly becoming Hindutva guys to promote the RSS agenda.

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The Congress party which still has Muslim votebank to support them also want a Hindutva judgment so that India, claiming to be a major ‘terror victim’,  is not seen as an oppressor state.
After the long wait, the Supreme Court Chief Justice J.S. Khehar opined that long-pending dispute of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid should be settled out of court. (March 2017) He even offered to mediate himself in the matter. Uniformly most of the spokesperson from RSS Combine elements welcomed the move as Hindutva judgment , while a large number of Muslims and others have been surprised as the Court was approached for justice and not or compromise formula.

This is in the backdrop of the judgment of Liuchow branch of Allahabad Court (2010). As per this, the three judge bench had said that the land should be divided into three parts. As such the judgment was an exercise of sorts trying to do a “balancing act “between all the parties involved, Ram Lalla Virajman, Nirmohi Akhada and Sunni wakf board. Fanaticism has percolated into judiciary too. The title of the land has been divided into three each sharing one part. Also court had declared since Hindus believe that the ‘birth place’ of Lord Ram to be below the place where the central dome of the mosque stood, that place should be allotted to Hindus.

 

In response to pro-Hindutva judgment, RSS chief in a jubilant mood had proclaimed that now the path for a grand Ram temple has been opened at the site and all the parties should cooperate in this “national” work.

Seeking to rule India forever, RSS-BJP Combine, earlier promoted by Congress party and government to insult and terrorize Muslims,   uses religions like Islam as a profitable political weapon against Hindus for their votes. Lal Krishna Advani took up the issue from VHP, which was agitating for Ram Temple so far not out of love of Hinduism but for Hindu communal votes. Attack on Islam sells like hot cakes in Indian communalized polity.  With Advani, the President of BJP taking up the issue its political impact started deepening and widening at the same time. It was made the major polarising issue around which consolidation of Hindu vote bank began. The mobilization for anti-Islamic Rath yatra planned for the temple movement became much more in the aftermath of Mandal Commission implementation. Those who opposed reservation for OBCs came forward in large numbers in the mobilization for Ram Temple.

This issue came up to torment the delicate thread of peace prevailing in the society He did this despite his promise to Supreme Court that he will protect the mosque. Narsimha Rao who locked himself in his Puja room as the mosque was being demolished later promised that it will be built precisely at the same spot. But the Congress party refused to keep its world given to the world. They know Muslims are weak and  have no voice to claim their masque back form an arrogant Indian government.

Anti-Islamic trend included propaganda against world famous Taj Mahal which the first claimed to be a Hindu building. Of course, the RSS-BJP gang suffers badly from inferiority complex as a monument built by a Muslim has become world famous. But now they say the wonderful Taj Mahal is an insult to Hindutva prestige as foreigners have planed that monument in Agra. In the same token Indian parliament, Presidential palace, most of government building in New Delhi  are an insult I Hindutva. The matters took the turn for the worse as BJP led team of ‘archeologists-Kar Sevaks’ tried to prove that there are remnants of Ram Temple below the mosque. Archeologically this is not tenable. That there was no convincing proof of Ram Temple underneath becomes clear from the fact the High Court Bench had to resort to ‘faith of Hindus’ to allot 2/3 of the land to Hindu groups.

 

The demolition of Mosque has been the biggest crime in India and that was well planned and executed. Despite that the leaders of demolition squad have not been punished so far. Hindutva is India and no punishment for Hindutva mongers. Even judges maybe scared of  criminal communal elements in BJP,RSS.

Liberhan Commission did point out the nature of underlying conspiracy but unfortunately the Commission report, as per the Congress-RSS scheme, took long to submit its report. To add salt to the injury Advani and company became stronger after this crime against the nation. Advani became a better hero than the hero of Ramayana. The demolition, as per the conspiracy, also unleashed massive violence against Muslims, particularly in Mumbai, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Surat along with other places.

 

The guilty of this planned anti-India violence have also been let off totally or with minor reprimand. Congress always wanted to save the RSS-BJP from any punishments because it considers any punishment for the RSS criminals is a punishment for India and Congress party themselves. .

 

Congress that ruled India for decades since 1947 main by solid Muslim vote banks but not even once it mentioned the demolition of Babri Mosque and announced any step to rebuild the mosque. That is the Congress party is the root cause of all problems Muslims and India face today.

 

In fact, Congress party has forfeited its right to rule India but unfortunately, the Hindutva communally fanatic and criminal squad has replaced the corrupt Congress.

 

That is the fate of India.

Congress party never supported any of the causes of Muslims but criticized them when needed for Hindu votes. It. misused courts against Muslims. Courts are made for justice. Here, in the matter of this dispute the ownership of the title has been the real issue. The High Court based itself more on ‘Hindutva fanaticism’ as’ Faith’ than the records of ownership of the land.

 

The Supreme Court as the highest legal body needs to see the total issue from legal angle and needs to set right the wrongs done so far. Only concrete legal aspects should determine the outcome of the case.

 

Congress-Hindutva pressure on judiciary is too much. Instead of calling for compromise out of Court in present circumstances is overlooking the aspect of justice. In out of Court settlement already the Hindutva elements have said that Muslims should leave the place for Ram Temple and another suitable land will be given to them for mosque. The two sides are not evenly balanced as far as their power is concerned.

 

Courts also go by majority decision and Hindus are in brutal majority in this secular India.  Not every Hindu is a fanatic, but Congress-RSS have converted many into that mode.

There are threats from the ruling BJP members of assemblies and parliament as they insult Muslims. Likes of Subramanian Swami, BJP MP and former foreign minister, and others openly threaten like street criminal gangs that if Muslims don’t give up their claim, they would forcefully build their temple structure over the Mosque and a bill will be brought through Parliament once BJP has even bigger strength.

 

In the out of Court settlement, the Hindu nationalists are more assertive then now after the parliament win and dominant while the representatives of Muslims are being pushed into a corner that does not augur well for the health of our democracy.

 

Effort to revive issue of other mosques is unwarranted and intimidating to minorities. That needs to be stopped.

 

Already there are claims on so many Mosques would be  converted them into temples and Supreme court  offers judgmental in their  favor that would only further strengthen their criminal mindset .

 

They would just start murdering Muslims and erasing Mosques like wild beasts. .

 

Courts should intervene to end this threatening nonsense in a democracy. Whatever that be threats of this type are immoral, all parties should be given justice. Here Muslims seek justice.

 

Indian government should respect national awards by choosing only genius persons for them – and not gamblers, mutual fixers!

Indian government should respect national awards by choosing only genius persons for them – and not gamblers, mutual fixers!

 

The republic Day is fast approaching s all needy persons push their candidatures for top national awards for their “services” to Indian nation. Compote lords and their mafia guys must be busying managing the awards for their favorites, leaving honesty to winds. Money bags go on getting exchanged by the concerned for the purposes. The greedy entertainers, extracurricular people, cricketers, sports people go all-out to get as many awards as possible

Indian regime as a law does not comfier any sincere or serious persons in professions life  teachers, scholars,  ministers, governors, MLAs, MPs, collectors, Governors, CMs, military personnel, police, intelligence wing personnel, judges, who have made significant contribution to the nation. By giving awards to them, the society would in due course get honest and hard working MLAs, MPs, authors, ministers, governors,  ministers, police, intelligence officers In fact, corruption could be contained significantly. .

In fact the rulers have no time to consider them for national awards that are reserved for cricketers and entertainers. India media deliberately promote their favorite batboys who make maximum money d for national awards

All thee entertainers have their own awards in the respective fields but the national Padma awards are not meant for them. They are for serous people and not for school dropouts .

One really wonders as to why Indian regime and military solute cricket batboys who make 100s and 50s on mutual understanding with opponents. Top military posts are gifted to hem freely for managing the show at the crease.

Cricketers continue to play life time and they are every  wherein all formats and fix matches for 50s and 100s,etc. kolhi, Doni, etc are everywhere in all formats? Why don’t they choose one of the formats and play/ That way new players would get chances to play international games. But these batboy frauds want to amass 50s and 100s and advertisements and dirty money and national awards.

BCCI promotes only the top players for extra money and they pester the corporate lords and government, ministers, president to offer national awards like bharatratna for  their 100s on mutual fixings If not mafia fixings. .

Government should not take not offer cricket gambling and stop offering national awards that are meant for genius people and not match fixers and gamblers, frauds.

There needs to be a national review commission – a standing committee, to keep reviewing the status of the national awardees and look out for genuine persons for the prestigious awards.  Putting together the recommendations of state governments and  corporate agencies  would not help awarding genius persons.  They find only  entertainers and cricketers.

A nation that respects genius persons would be respected by the world and by its own people. .

Indian government should respect national awards by choosing only genius persons for them – and not gamblers, mutual fixers!

Indian government should respect national awards by choosing only genius persons for them – and not gamblers, mutual fixers!

 

The republic Day is fast approaching s all needy persons push their candidatures for top national awards for their “services” to Indian nation. Compote lords and their mafia guys must be busying managing the awards for their favorites, leaving honesty to winds. Money bags go on getting exchanged by the concerned for the purposes. The greedy entertainers, extracurricular people, cricketers, sports people go all-out to get as many awards as possible

Indian regime as a law does not comfier any sincere or serious persons in professions life  teachers, scholars,  ministers, governors, MLAs, MPs, collectors, Governors, CMs, military personnel, police, intelligence wing personnel, judges, who have made significant contribution to the nation. By giving awards to them, the society would in due course get honest and hard working MLAs, MPs, authors, ministers, governors,  ministers, police, intelligence officers In fact, corruption could be contained significantly. .

In fact the rulers have no time to consider them for national awards that are reserved for cricketers and entertainers. India media deliberately promote their favorite batboys who make maximum money d for national awards

All thee entertainers have their own awards in the respective fields but the national Padma awards are not meant for them. They are for serous people and not for school dropouts .

One really wonders as to why Indian regime and military solute cricket batboys who make 100s and 50s on mutual understanding with opponents. Top military posts are gifted to hem freely for managing the show at the crease.

Cricketers continue to play life time and they are every  wherein all formats and fix matches for 50s and 100s,etc. kolhi, Doni, etc are everywhere in all formats? Why don’t they choose one of the formats and play/ That way new players would get chances to play international games. But these batboy frauds want to amass 50s and 100s and advertisements and dirty money and national awards.

BCCI promotes only the top players for extra money and they pester the corporate lords and government, ministers, president to offer national awards like bharatratna for  their 100s on mutual fixings If not mafia fixings. .

Government should not take not offer cricket gambling and stop offering national awards that are meant for genius people and not match fixers and gamblers, frauds.

There needs to be a national review commission – a standing committee, to keep reviewing the status of the national awardees and look out for genuine persons for the prestigious awards.  Putting together the recommendations of state governments and  corporate agencies  would not help awarding genius persons.  They find only  entertainers and cricketers.

A nation that respects genius persons would be respected by the world and by its own people. .

President Erdogan’s visit to Iran and emerging Turkey-Iran relations!

President Erdogan’s visit to Iran and emerging Turkey-Iran relations!

– Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

______

 

 

Even as it is losing intentional prestige and credibility as a real mediator for peace anywhere in the world, USA is committed to shield terrorist Israel by misusing its veto from any punishment international community at UN.

 

As the Turkish diplomatic profile taking a final shape in recent times, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Iran on October 04 to hold crucial talks with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the outcome of the Iraqi Kurdish referendum and other regional security issues.

 

 

 

Part -1: Common challenges

 

 

Important visit

 

As USA is still considering further sanctions on Iran, Turkish and Iranian analysts agree that while Erdogan’s visit is important for both countries but Ankara has much more at stake on its outcome than Tehran. Accordingly, Turkey could leverage its warming relations with Iran to put more pressure on the KRG to backtrack from its plan to declare an independent state.

 

Erdogan’s visit to Tehran has been expected since August. But his original agenda focusing on military cooperation to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and the establishment of a de-escalation zones in Syria, has since been overshadowed by a new regional crisis following the Kurdish referendum.

 

Erdogan’s visit to Tehran comes as Ankara continues to seek regional consensus on how to block efforts by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to split from Iraq – a move Turkey fears would have a domino effect on its own 15 million ethnic Kurdish populations.

 

Iran also has got similar apprehensions.

 

Political relations between Iran and Turkey have continued steadily since the 1979 Islamic Revolution despite the existence of structural differences between them. It is worth mentioning though that their bilateral interests in maintaining regional stability and their commitment to containing and controlling Kurdish separatist movements in the Middle East, i.e. their security cooperation, are two other important factors contributing in the consolidation of their political relations. However, the contribution that economy has made to the two countries’ relations has been very huge.

 

From a military and security perspective, Erdogan’s visit to Iran is very important, as Turkey considers more sanctions on the KRG and its regional capital Erbil, including the shutting of its borders.

In the last week following the Kurdish referendum, Turkey has held joint military exercises with Iraq. Separately, Iraq also announced joint military exercises with Iran. But so far, there have been no agreement reached on military exercises between Turkey and Iran.

The Turkish president stressed the need for joint and simultaneous actions by Iran, Turkey and Iraq on the issue of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Imam Sayyed Ali Khameni told visiting Turkish President Erdogan that the USA is seeking to create new ‘Israel’ in the Middle East through the Kurdish secession bid. The Leader warned that holding referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan is a betrayal of region and a threat to its future that will entail long-term repercussions for the neighboring states.

Recently, President Erdogan had told parliament members in Ankara that he expects to draw up an agreement with Iran, on how to respond to the KRG referendum. Erdogan dispatched Gen. Hulusi Akar, the military Chief of General Staff, to Tehran, the first ever visit for a top Turkish military official since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. At their meeting, Akar and Iran’s military chief, Mohammed Hussein Bagheri, condemned the Kurdish referendum as unconstitutional. (In August, Bagheri became the first ever top military official of Iran to visit Ankara since 1979)  Akar also held separate talks with President Rouhani, who at the meeting warned that the deterioration of geographical boundaries, in the event of a KRG split from Iraq, would harm regional security and stability.  Akar said that Turkey and Iran, “will play an important role in the region’s stability and peace with improving cooperation”, following the Kurdish referendum.

 

 

Uneasy alliance

 

The terror war in Kabul launched by the USA following the Sept-11 hoax under NATO terror banner is still on and it has spread its poisonous tentacles  into other Muslim nations;  The foes of Islam are interested in killing more and more Muslims and loot the resources in Arab world, secure energy routes and other trade routes for the superpower USA.

 

Unfortunately, Islamic world is being controlled by economically, technologically and militarily advanced West where the rulers of Islamic nations keep their wealth for safety. .

 

Like in bilateral relations between any two Muslim nations, Iran and Turkey have conducted uneasy relations as each looked up to Uncle Sam for help and support. Experience taught a few lessons to both Istanbul and Tehran to  see through the hidden agenda of anti-Islamic world, led by USA, Israel and Germany and accordingly reset their policy towards the enemies of Islam.

 

After bad experience with its former military ally Israel, Turkey’s raising mode of diplomatic resources is tremendously good news for the people of the Middle East. The two remaining strong, independent, sovereign nations have united to stop the nefarious plans of Israel and their US supporters to further destabilize and Balkanize the region.

The strategy of disintegrating the regional countries is the US-Israeli plan to sustain Sunni-Shiite divide intact. Like Israel, there are many in Syria and Iraq, who simply do not fully trust Iran, and they do not trust Turkey at all; they fuel Saudi Arabia to fight Iran and think Erdogan is a ‘slippery customer’ who changed sides as it suited him and he rules Turkey with an iron fist.

The enemies of Islam pretend to be great democrats but worried about deficit of freedoms in Muslim nations and are annoyed that Erdogan did not allow the enemies of Islam in and outside Turkey to destabilize the Islamist nation in Europe and kill the leaders there, including President Erdogan and view the unsuccessful coup a lost opportunity to make Turkey anti-Islamic. They also made loud noise as the Erdogan government began acting swiftly against the coup plotters.

The ISIS project, like Taliban and Al Qaeda, belongs to Washington and the idea behind its introduction is to divide the West Asia. One of prime objectives of Sept-11 hoax had much to do with that.

 

Iran’s response to coup in Turkey

Turkey is a neighboring state where the coup plot happened. The whole establishment was too concerned.  President Erdogan and his government are strong partners of Iran. It’s not a secret anymore that Zarif, Shamkhani and Soleimani were executing higher orders. “Our nations enjoy strong brotherly ties, so it’s the least we can do to show solidarity and try to offer any help they might need in such critical times.”

In July Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was on the phone with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose government was under the threat of being overthrown by a military coup. Meanwhile, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), was on another line with security officials in Ankara. All the while, Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, Iran’s regional military arm, was busy pursuing and reviewing various scenarios that might emerge.

Within hours after the coup attempt began late July 15, the SNSC convened to discuss developments in Turkey. Following the meeting, which was chaired by President Hassan Rouhani, Shamkhani publicly condemned the coup attempt, telling local media outlets, “We support Turkey’s legal government and oppose any type of coup — either initiated domestically or supported by foreign sides.” Shamkhani said, “What determined the fate of developments in Turkey were the will and presence of the Turkish nation and the vigilance of political parties, whose contribution thwarted this coup. Shamkhani concluded, “Our stance is not exclusive to Turkey either. We have pursued the same stance in Syria too. Our position toward all regional countries is that we always prefer people’s votes to decide governments rather than tribal, sectarian and hereditary governments, and this means democracy.”

A coup in Turkey with regional implications isn’t something Iran can tolerate. “It’s true that there are differences over Syria, and sometimes in Iraq. Yet the fact is that there is no direct problem between Iran and Turkey; on the contrary, bilateral relations are always advancing for the better. Besides, Iran is opposed to any kind of change by force, and especially when the government in question is democratically elected… The most important thing is that this experience of coup attempt might be an opportunity for Erdogan to understand the situation in neighboring Syria.”

Indeed, multiple Iranian officials, including Ali Akbar Velayati — foreign policy adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — brought up Syria in their condemnation of the coup attempt in Turkey. While condemning the coup, Velayati — a former foreign minister — said he hopes “the Turkish government will respect the views and votes of the Syrian people and allow them to decide their own government.” It was a clear message from Iran to Turkey regarding Syria and the future of the struggle in the region. For five years now, Iranian officials have on repeated occasions stated that they have been trying to engage the Turks on a path to address the situation in Syria, and while unsuccessful, have never given up on this approach.

The coup in Turkey brings Iran closer

Turkey is a major regional player. With an Islamic-oriented government in power in Ankara, bilateral relations have improved in the past decade, paving the way for common ground despite differences over regional developments. The latter has been possible thanks to Iranian-Turkish proximity in terms of grander objectives and also similarities in their ways of thinking.

The stability of the region would have been seriously threatened if the coup attempt had succeeded. Besides, there is the fear that such a move might trigger internal strife, weakening the state. Given the past five bloody years in the region, any such development in Turkey would shake the whole region” in addition to “Europe, Iran and the Caucasus.” Besides, the already shaken Arab countries following the Arab Spring, sponsored by Israel-USA-Germany trio, would face more troubles. What the various ethnic groups within Turkey might do when the enemies of Islam and Islamist Turkey were eager to create problems within?

The Iranian government reacted to the Coup in Turkey before any other government in the whole world and backed strongly the legitimate Turkish government.

Some conservative figures in Tehran have shown a different reaction toward development in Turkey, influenced mainly by the crisis in Syria. There was not a gap between the public and the government with respect to what was going on in Turkey. Many who oppose Islam and without any understanding of the region is influenced by the war in Syria think the fall of Erdogan would have been a positive development — not only in Iran but also in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. But such an argument has no validity.

It is important to bear in mind the other important reasons why Iran sees the security and stability of Turkey as pivotal to its own national security.  Indeed, at the height of the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, Turkey played a vital role in easing the pressure on its eastern neighbor. Erdogan certainly paid the price for ignoring the direction from USA on US sanctions imposed on Iran though his “gold-for-oil scheme” — even while economic ties between the two countries greatly expanded in the sanctions era.

Reports suggest, Iran also played a role in directly thwarting the coup, for instance, by sharing intelligence that helped Erdogan preserve his reign. This vital intelligence tip helped President Erdogan to undertake quick measures to thwart the chances for repeats of the failed coup. He launched quick punitive measures ignoring the calls from USA and Germany, EU to be “democratic” and not to punish their plotters of coup.

An Iranian official saw parallels between the successful coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 and the failed coup attempt in Turkey. “What we know is that this coup move was triggered by foreign hands. We went through the same in the past, and because Erdogan is today looking forward to playing a better role in the region, they want him down.” There was a message that was conveyed to Turkish security officials: This coup might be made up of several waves; it happened in Iran in 1953. When the first coup failed, they had another one ready — and they succeeded in Iran.”

However, a number of politicians and experts in Iran who work against Saudi-Iran ties and  have argued that Tehran should not react “too harshly” like Erdogan did in recent days as reaction to coup attempt.

Cooperation, sympathy, unified and serious political and economic decisions by Iran and Turkey regarding the move is very important.  Iranian spiritual leader Imam Khamenei said that Iran and Turkey should do everything possible to counter the coup issue and the Iraqi government should take decisions seriously and take measures to that effect.

The Leader Imam Khamenei stressed the need to enhance economic cooperation between these two countries, he stressed importance of cooperation between Tehran and Ankara regarding serious problems faced by the Islamic world from East Asia and Myanmar to North Africa. He described such cooperation as very significant and effective, saying it will benefit both nations as well as the Islamic world. “Unfortunately, despite numerous capacities, level of economic collaboration has not increased at all and more needs to be done in the field,” Imam Khamenei said.

The Leader expressed pleasure over Iran-Turkey cooperation in Astana talks and improving trend of Syrian issues as a result of the collaboration. But the issue of ISIL will not end this way; rather it requires a long-term actual plan.

So while, today on the face of it, this Turkey-Iran alliance against the Israeli-US agenda is a good thing, few in the Middle East will view it without strong suspicions, especially about Turkey’s role.

It is indeed a positive development that Iran and Turkey have identified their common foes and forged a solid foundation in regional unity that would be a model for all Arab nations as well.

 

Saudi-UAE-Egyptian axis

 

It looks as if the core Sunni alliance Saudi-UAE-Egyptian axis is trying to establish a new regional order targeting Iran and supported by the Trump government and Israel, and condoned by countries like Jordan. The logical part of this alliance is political Islam and they are also eager to rope in Islamist Turkey as well but Turkey has a larger goal in the WA region. Since they publicly announced their main enemy is Iran, Turkey stays away from any anti-Iran or anti-Islamic alliance. .

 

Turkey considers Tehran its trust worthy partner in containing Israeli criminal operations in Palestine, Arab world. Therefore, this new Saudi led regional order, if imposed, would be detrimental to Islam, to the legitimate interests of both regional powers and eventually work against the trio as well. But Riyadh is eager to gt SA attack Iran – a goal of Israel too and hence Saudi moves towards Israel. .

 

Saudi Arabia wants to oblige Washington by targeting Qatar. The most obvious manifestation of the trio struggle for regional order to be dominated by Riyadh was on full display during the latest Gulf crisis targeting Qatar.

 

Neither Iran nor Turkey regarded this crisis as an isolated confrontation between Qatar and the Gulf-Arab coalition. Both consider the Saudi move a dangerous twist against genuine interests of Islam and regional powers.

 

Turkey and Iran both opposed the Saudi-led block’s moves against Qatar. In fact, during the initial phase of the crisis, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif paid a rare visit to Turkey to discuss, among other issues, what was happening in the Gulf.

 

Further, Iran and Turkey have decided to adopt joint mechanism to contain Zionist criminal designs. Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said that Iran and Turkey, as two influential countries in the Mideast region, will stop new scenario of the Zionist regime of Israel and that protecting the regional countries’ territorial integrity is Iran’s principled policy.

The emergence of the Syrian Kurdish bloc led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a major player in Syria has pushed Turkey to re-evaluate its Syrian policy. It has prioritized pushing back against the gains of the Syrian Kurds over regime change in Syria and this new strategy has become the thorniest issue in Turkish-American relations. Erdogan stressed the need for establishment of a powerful unity between Iran and Turkey in the region. “We managed to reach a conclusion during negotiations with the Iranian president on Syria and Iraq.”

 

Cooperation among Iran, Turkey and Iraq can be effective and helpful in establishing stability and security in the region and countering division seeking actions.  Iran attaches great importance to Turkey in its foreign policy.

 

 

 Kurdish ‘threat’

 

Two issues cause particular concern in Turkey and Iran: the perceived opacity of US policy and the political ambitions of the Kurds for a soverign nation.  Iran is anxiously awaiting whether the USA, coerced by Israel, economically powerful US Jewish community, will switch its regional policy from ISIL-first to Iran-first policy in the near future. Turkey is disturbed by the fact that it can’t figure out the durability of USA for the Kurds in Syria and the end goal of this partnership in Syria.

 

 

Both countries are also concerned about the overall aims of the US Syria policy especially with regard to Kurds. The prospect of Kurdish statehood in Iraq and of autonomy in Syria and the potential spillover effect these could have on the Kurdish population in Turkey and Iran generate much anxiety in both capitals.

 

US strategy is to divide the emerging Turkey-Iran equations and splitting the Arab world by using Israel that is ever ready to play its devastating role in west Asian crises. Both USA and Israel, killing the besieged Palestinians, including children and women, like wild owls, watch every move Arab leaders and Iran and take “precautionary steps” to keep them divided on a permanent basis.

Ahead of Erdogan’s visit, the Turkish foreign ministry announced that it wants Baghdad to take over from the KRG the control of the border between Turkey and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. On September 25, voters in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly to back a split from Baghdad, setting off a regional crisis. Neighbouring Turkey and Iran, as well as Iraq’s central government in Baghdad have opposed the referendum, and have threatened to impose sanctions on the KRG should it decide to go ahead with its decision to declare an independent state. The UN and the USA, have also opposed the Kurdish referendum, saying it would distract operations against ISIL, as well as the civil war in Syria.

 

Turkey has been in alignment with the Kurdish conservative nationalist current, whereas the Marxist-nationalist current led by the PKK has had working ties with Iran and its allies such as the Iraqi central government until recently.

 

KRG is Turkey’s largest trading partner next to Europe. Turkey stands to lose a lot more if its relations with Iraqi Kurdistan deteriorate. Last year trade between the two countries was estimated to be at least $7bn, and it is expected to increase to $14bn this year. That is why until now Turkey has not shut down the borders.

 

Within Iran, there are an estimated six to eight million ethnic Kurds, but there have been no significant separatist movement among the ethnic population within its own border. The KRG President Masoud Barzani was born in the Kurdish region of Iran. Iran has maintained longstanding relations with Iraqi Kurds, supporting Kurdish armed groups during the rule of the Shah before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. During the Iran-Iraq war, the Kurds sided with Iran against Saddam Hussein, and Iran opened its doors to the families of Kurdish leaders during that conflict. Saddam also targeted both the Iranian and the Kurds supposedly with chemical weapons.

 

However, Iran, too, is concerned with Kurdish political ambitions, particularly those of the Iraqi Kurds. The independence of Iraqi Kurdistan would diminish the status of Iraq – a Shia-majority country over which Iran has a significant level of influence – in terms of population, geography, hydrocarbon wealth, and water resources. An independent Iraqi Kurdistan is also likely to be closer to the West, Turkey, Israel, and arguably Gulf states than to Iran. Despite Iran’s anxiety about PYD’s expanding partnership with the USA and territorial control, it still keeps its cold peace with the group. The reflection of this policy is that Iran and the PKK’s Iranian offshoot PJAK have kept the ceasefire they concluded in 2011.

 

Kurdish statehood could also create plenty of domestic trouble for Iran. The ties of the Iranian Kurdish population and parties with their Iraqi Kurdish brethren are more solid than those with Turkish Kurds. Most Iranian Kurdish parties have deep historical ties with the Iraqi Kurdish parties. In fact, the leadership of the Iranian Kurdish parties, Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I) and the left-wing Komala are active in Iraqi Kurdistan. These shared concerns don’t translate into shared interests in Turkish-Iranian relations.

 

Although Turkey and Iran are worried about Kurdish statehood, Turkey’s interests lie in minimizing the PKK-PYD threat, while the political projections of Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) are rather tolerable (even if Ankara opposes its latest push for independence, it is still much less of a threat than an autonomous pro-PKK body in northern Syria).

For Iran, it is the opposite: The break-off of Iraqi Kurdistan bodes ill for its policies in Iraq and it would do anything to prevent it; the PKK and PYD’s presence in Syria and Iraq, however, is no more than a nuisance.

 

Apart from the Kurdish issue in Iraq, Iran and Turkey have other diverging interests. Ankara has been disturbed by the twin processes of the centralization and sectarianization of the Iraqi state. In principle, Ankara supports the strengthening of the central government in order to curb the irredentist aspirations of Iraqi Kurdistan, but this could mean the domination of sectarian politics as the Shia groups retain more state power – a trend already in place in the country’s security architecture.

 

This process was in full force under the pro-Iranian premiership of Nouri al-Maliki between 2006 and 2014 and his policies were arguably largely supported by Iran. Tehran now also supports the Iraqi central government’s sectarian policies and use of Shia militias in the areas that have been cleared from ISIL. This runs the risk of further aggravating Turkey’s allies in Iraq – the Iraqi Sunnis and the KDP. Ankara and Tehran have divergent interest in Syria as well. Although Turkey has stopped calling for regime change in Damascus, it is still not in a position to condone the total elimination of the opposition. Like the regime, Iran seems to favour inflicting as much destruction on the opposition as possible. At the same time, it is striving to convince Turkey to open channels with the regime, using the Syrian Kurdish territorial expansion as a pretext.

 

Developments in the West Asian region during the past years have served the interests of the Zionist regime and harmed the world of Islam and have marginalized the issue of Palestine.

Arab world depends too much on the support USA that is visibly n a permanent war on Islam with Islamic world, Muslims for their lives and resources. Now Trump, who gets tips from his Jewish son in law on foreign policy, seems to have forces Saudi Arabia to “listen” to Israel as well. Saudi Arabia is under illusion about US support for Sunni led Islamic world.

 

Some common concerns have recently emerged between Turkey and Iran, which has facilitated the recent thaw in relations. Two factors have been particularly important. First, the struggle to establish a post-Arab Spring regional order has generated anxiety in both Ankara and Tehran. Second, the struggle for the post-‘Arab Spring’ regional order as per the wishes of Saudi kingdom has coincided with the post-ISIL futures of Iraq and Syria.

 

 

 

Part-2:  Economics and Prospects

 

 

 

Economic ties

Iran is a major oil and gas exporter, while Turkey is entirely dependent on oil and gas imports. In addition, the international sanctions that have led to Iran’s economic isolation have brought that country closer to Turkey for purposes of investment and trade in non-oil goods. The expansion of economic relations with Iran is part of Turkey’s initiative to expand trade relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors.

Iran provides Turkey with the energy it needs for economic development. Iran has been viewing Turkey as a country through which it can break the spell of western sanctions, especially since 2011 when financial sanctions caused a serious challenge to Iran’s banking. Since then Turkey has emerged as Iran’s economic lifeline.

Turkey imports about 10 billion cubic meters a year of gas from Iran, about 30 percent of its needs Turkey plans to invest $12 billion in developing phases 22, 23 and 24 of South Pars gas field, a senior Iranian oil official told Shana.ir. Two-way trade is now in the range of $10 billion (2010), and both governments have announced that the figure should reach the $20 billion mark in the not too distant future. 50 percent of the gas from three phases of Iran’s South Pars gas field will be re-exported to Europe. Turkey has won the tender for privatization of Razi Petrochemical Complex valued at $650 million.

Turkey is a transit route for energy to European customers. Actually, Turkey is a crucial transit route for Iranian imports from Europe. Also, Iran is the third largest provider of Turkey’s natural gas, after Russia and Iraq. Energy trade between Iran and Turkey serves the interests of both states. That means Turkey is facing an increasing local demand for energy, and Iran considers Turkey as a developing foreign market for energy.

Bilateral trade between Iran and Turkey has indeed increased steadily in the past ten years in close conjunction with improved diplomatic relations. Iran has emerged as a major supplier of oil and gas to Turkey: In the first quarter of 2011, Iran was the leading exporter of crude oil to Turkey, with a 30 percent share of Turkey’s total oil imports, while it was also the third largest provider of Turkey’s natural gas, after Russia and Iraq. Turkey’s increasing energy imports, along with the higher price of oil and natural gas, have increased the value of Turkey’s imports from Iran from $1.9 billion (2 percent of total imports) in 2004 to $6.9 billion (3.9 percent of the total) in 2010

Emerging economic ties promote common political identity.  Iran and Turkey have interdependence economic relations in the five areas of energy, transit, border trade, economic crises and commercial ties. Trade and energy cooperation based on interdependence with close neighbors, especially a powerful neighbor such as Turkey, would be safest way for Iran to ward off the impact of Western sanctions. And this practical approach has turned Turkey into an important trade partner for Iran. Turkey is energy. Iran is at the top on the list of countries selling oil to Turkey.

Iran and Turkey have very close trade and economic relations. Both countries are part of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi announced in October 2012 that the speed of trade exchanges between Iran and Turkey has accelerated and was close of reaching the goal of 30 billion dollars per year. He added that the growing trade relations between Tehran and Ankara indicate the two countries’ willingness to strengthen mutual ties

With the implementation of the nuclear deal, the two countries now plan to triple their trade volume to $30 billion. Turkey seeks good relations with Iran; Turkey has also tried to maintain good relations with the GCC States and with the United States, which are at odds with Iran over numerous issues. Turkey and Iran have also experienced some tensions in recent months because of their opposite stands on the Syrian conflict. While Iran has strongly supported the Bashar Assad regime, Turkey has joined the United States and the GCC states in expressing support for the uprising.

A factor that’s lead to an expansion of bilateral relations is the “economic crisis and war” factor. After Iran’s Islamic Revolution and during the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, Iran was in a state of political and economic isolation and dealing with aftermath of the war, while doing trade with Iran was lucrative for Turkey.

When the big banks in Europe, and Asia, especially the ones in Dubai refused to transfer money into and out of Iran, a number of Turkish financial institutes rushed to Iran’s rescue. For instance, Halkbank, 75% of which is owned by the Turkish government, started to pay the Indian oil company to buy its oil from Iran

The Islamist AKP gave top priority to improving Turkey’s relations with Middle Eastern countries—particularly Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Iran welcomed the rise of the AKP, which significantly reduced the secular-Islamic ideological tensions that had often led to heated accusations between Iranian and Turkish politicians after the 1979 revolution.

Bilateral trade between the nations is increasing. In 2005, the trade increased to $4 billion from $1 billion in 2000. Iran’s gas export to Turkey is likely to be increased. At present, the rate is at 50mm cm/d. The year 2002 is significant in Turkish-Iranian relations for another, even more important, reason: The moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power that year after scoring a major success in Turkish parliamentary elections.

Bilateral economic relations between Turkey and Iran have grown at a rapid pace during the past decade, and both economies now depend heavily on these relations. In addition, Turkish-Iranian relations are not only important to both countries, but have assumed a geopolitical significance for Western powers and Middle Eastern countries alike because of the impact that they might have on the success or failure of Western sanctions against Iran. In the past decade, Iran’s strong economic relations with Turkey have helped partially offset the pressure of unilateral Western sanctions.

Iran and Turkey also shared common objectives with respect to the Kurdish region of Iraq and the Kurdish separatist movements in both countries. Through diplomatic negotiations they agreed to work to prevent the disintegration of Iraq, which might have led to the creation of an independent Kurdish homeland. They also agreed to cooperate in the fight against separatist and terrorist movements along their common borders

Turkey has also tried to maintain good relations with the GCC States and with the United States, which are at odds with Iran over numerous issues. Turkey and Iran have also experienced some tensions in recent months because of their opposite stands on the Syrian conflict.

The US government warned Turkish firms and financial institutions about the possibility of losing access to the American market if they continued to deal with Iran. Yet, the Turkish government has so far refused to implement any of the unilateral sanctions that the U.S. and the European Union have imposed on Iran.

The sanctions have prompted Iran to shift its foreign investments from Dubai to Turkey, so much so that the number of Iranian firms in Turkey increased from 319 in 2002 to 2072 in 2011. Furthermore, the two countries have announced plans to increase the volume of their economic transactions to 30 billion dollars by 2015.

The economy factor is one of the reasons that has facilitated the political relations between the two countries to continue since the Islamic Revolution in Iran. A case in point is Turkey’s support for Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities in 2007 (political cooperation). On the other hand, high-ranking diplomatic visits by the two countries’ political figures are an example of the continued political relations between the two neighbors. A case in point is President Rouhani’s two-day trip to Turkey on June 19 of this year. Accompanying Dr. Rouhani to Ankara were the Iranian Central Bank Manager and a number of private sector Chambers of Commerce representatives. At the same time as President Rouhani’s trip to Turkey, the two countries signed around 10 cooperation documents for investment in bilateral infrastructural projects such as transportation, transport and export of gas, industrial borderline regions, and commercial development.

Thus, economic relations, is among important factors that has prevented Iran and Turkey from cutting relations over occasional tensions like the Syrian crisis.

 

 

Is there really a Turkey-Iran rapprochement?

 

 

Undoubtedly! Turkey-Iran rapprochement is real.

 

Obviously, there has been a sort of trust deficit in the bilateral relations as the foes of Islam continue to confuse both Islamic nations. USA, Israel and Germany are keen to disrupt emerging alliance of Turkey, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia. One of the key objectives of NATO is to see Islamic world is not united and it does not come under Russian influence.

Turkish-Iranian relations have always defied any general characterization. The two neighbours have never had a straightforward alliance, feud, cooperation or rivalry. Instead, their relationship always carried all these elements simultaneously. There have been times in which the relationship has seemed to be tilting one way or another, and this has generated more debate, controversy and confusion about the nature and future course of the relations between the two countries.

Despite the warming up of relations, there remains a mutual mistrust between Tehran and Ankara. They are actually saying that Erdogan could not be trusted and we shouldn’t follow Turkey’s footsteps for countering Kurdistan, by showing muscles and military power. Such misgivings must be ironed quickly and new dynamism in bilateral relations must be ensured.

As a NATO member and a military ally of the USA, Turkey cannot support USA against Iran as that will be highly unpopular among AKP supporters, general public. Turkey might be asked to provide logistical support to the US Army. In case of a war between the superpower and Persia and Turkey would only play pivotal role in neutralizing tensions between them. It is no wonder therefore that Turkey is opposed to military action against Iran and is trying very hard to facilitate a negotiated settlement to Iran’s nuclear dispute with the West.

The Kurdish referendum crisis has pushed Turkey and Iran to set aside their differences for the time being.  There have been no sign of secessionism seen in Iran in the two past decades. But when a crisis occurs next to Iran’s borders, it is natural for Tehran to get worried about them.

 

In response to the referendum, Erdogan warned of military action to stop the KRG splitting from Iraq and “ethnic and sectarian war”.

The main reason behind Iran’s opposition, perhaps, is that cessation of Kurdistan will harm the integrity of Iraq, and can create a new conflict near Iran’s borders and will also distract everyone from combating ISIL.

 

 

The question being asked in the media is: Can common concerns about US policies in the Middle East and Kurdish statehood ambitions bring Turkey and Iran together?

 

Turkish-Iranian relations are now being seen as moving towards cooperation, if not alliance-building. Such a characterization, however, is premature and is reading too much into diplomatic niceties.

In recent times, the diplomatic traffic between Ankara and Tehran seems to have intensified. As recently as August, a large Iranian military delegation headed by military chief of staff Mohammad Hossein Bagheri visited Ankara, meeting their military counterparts as well as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The latter is also expected to pay a visit to Tehran soon.
This recent uptick in diplomatic activity should be seen in the context of a recent convergence of concerns and threat perceptions in the Middle East. However, it should not be interpreted as anything more than that, as USA-Israel duo is ill-focused on Arab nations and as Turkey and Iran continue to have diverging, if not conflicting, interests, especially in Iraq and Syria.

 

 

 

Observations: Perspectives

Unity in purpose has brought Iran and Turkey closer. Comprehending the challenges and conspiracies of enemies of Islam and the anti-Islamic people of their own respective country, being promoted by USA, Germany, Israel, India among others has indeed helped European Turkey and Asian Iran to realize their unified role in the region and world at large.

Like Turkey, Iran also takes a proper and positive view of regional issues – unlike official narrow-mindedness of Saudi Arabia seeking to US-Isreali support to destroy Iran, and consider even truly fascist anti-Islamic Israel as an ally fight Shiite Iran. Emerging realignment between them in fact bring the major branches of Islam (Sunni and Shiia) to view each other as their brethren and not as the prime foe. Turkey a Sunni nation has evolved a pragmatic policy towards Iran and Saudi Arabia, tying to being all Arab nations work together, though Riyadh continues to be controlled by Washington.

Today, Islamic world and even in West Asia, is in deadly division and there is no coherent Islamic policy by al of them that, if implemented, would benefit Islam and Muslim nations. Muslim nations like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia foolishly believe that USA and Israel would help them reach the heaven if they align with them.

Hypocrisy, cowardice and foolishness cannot be the Islamic policy.

True, against the flow of anti-Islamism and Islamophobia, Turkey’s ties with Iran have been fluctuating as issues continue to dominate and check their strong bond from progressing in a big way. The fuel for Turkish-Iranian rapprochement was provided by their shared concerns. Nevertheless, the level at which they can cooperate remains conditional and constrained by their divergent interests in the region.

 

Over the past ten years, Iran and Turkey have managed to expand their diplomatic and economic relations to a heretofore unprecedented level. This transformation was, in no small part, a result of the political ascent in Turkey, since 2002, of the moderate Islamist AKP party. The AKP’s interest in closer relations with Iran has both ideological and economic roots. Unlike previous secular Turkish governments, the AKP is not worried that closer relations with Iran might result in the spread of radical Islam within Turkey.

Although economic ties are rapidly growing, some tensions and conflicts of interest still exist between the two nations. Iran and Turkey have emerged as the two main competitors for trade and foreign investment in Iraq, and they are both entangled in the Syrian civil war. So far both sides have prevented these tensions from affecting their bilateral economic relations. High-level negotiations and agreements on economic issues are likely to continue in the coming months.

 

The USA and Israel have put strategy of disintegrating the regional countries on agenda after failure of Daesh scenario, but Iran and Turkey, as two important and influential regional countries, will not let them enact the new scenario. Iran has vigorously sought to expand economic ties with Turkey in the face of growing Western sanctions—to such a high level that it will be costly for Turkey to cooperate with Western sanctions. As one of the immediate outcomes of Turkish diplomatic upsurge, its military ally USA, obviously pushed by Israel, has created via restrictions on Turks which President Erdogan calls unfortunate.

Iran-Turkey cooperation can heavily help the regional peace and stability. Turkey also supports territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria and is against any move to change borders. The ruling AKP’s vision for Turkish foreign policy, as developed by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, has put great emphasis on improving relations with all of Turkey’s neighbors, particularly in the Middle East.

On Kurdish question Turkey and Iran have similar views. Based on undeniable documents and evidence, the USA and Israel have reached a general agreement regarding the Iraqi Kurdish subject and, President Erdogan said President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani made an unforgivable mistake by holding the referendum. Unless and until Turkey believes that it is establishing some balance of interests or influence vis-a-vis Iran in Iraq and Syria, any cooperation with its eastern neighbour will remain fraught with latent or overt tensions and grievances. While the Kurdish issue has drawn Turkey and Iran together, Iran has the least concern about Kurds.

 

The open US support for the Syrian Kurds is what is primarily motivating Turkey to seek closer relations with Iran as well as Russia. Any change in US policy towards the Syrian Kurds will have a direct impact on Ankara’s relations with Tehran.

 

However, anti-Islamic devils do not stop scheming against Islam, Arab world, Turkey and Iran, among others. All strenuous efforts by USA-Isreali twins to disallow any real alliance between Russia and Turkey failed badly in the face of the US-Israel-EU scheming for the failed coup in Turkey, targeting President Erdogan and Islamist government of ruling AKP. The Turkish government would continue its balancing act between Iran and the USA.

Like wild owls and vultures seeking flesh and blood for their survival, Israel-USA fascist fanatics are keen to dismantle any positive development in Islamic relations globally, especially in West Asia. They view unity of Islamic world, particularly among Iran and Saudi Arabia and Turkey in West Asia, would make these civilizational rogue states irrelevant internationally.

All said and done, there is a win-win situation for Turkey-Iran relations to grow further in strength and purpose.

 

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