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Introduction

Russia has promised greater support for parents as the country continues to struggle with a low birth rate.e

“We have to help young people, those who want a family life and are dreaming about children,” President Vladimir Putin said in an annual address to lawmakers.

Countries need to have a birth rate of at least 2.1 children per woman to sustain the population, but the average figure in Europe is about 1.59.

According to the UN, two-thirds of countries in Europe have introduced measures to increase fertility rates, from baby bonuses and tax incentives to paid parental leave, with varying degrees of success.

What did Putin promise ? 

President Putin says that Russia’s birth rate is currently at 1.48 women per children. While this is a significant increase from 1999, when the figure fell to 1.16, Mr Putin hopes to raise the level to 1.7.

Under the proposals, first-time mothers would be eligible to receive maternity benefits previously paid only to women with two or more children.

Welfare benefits would also be paid for children aged three to seven in low-income families, and free school meals would be provided for the first four years of school.

Last year, Mr Putin promised tax breaks for bigger families.

A one-off “maternity capital” payment, currently worth £5,800 ($7,600; €6,800), was introduced for families with two or more children in 2007 under a 10-year programme.

Demography expert Prof Evgeny Yakovlev told BBC Russian that the move had temporarily increased the number of families with two children but added that financial uncertainty subsequently led to another fall in the birth rate.

The situation in Italy 

Like Russia, the Italian government has tried its own financial incentives to encourage couples to have more children.

But an €800 payment per couple per birth, launched in 2015, does not appear to have led to significant changes: Italy still has one of the lowest fertility rates in the EU, with 1.3 children per woman.

Anne Gauthier, professor of comparative family studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, told the BBC that such cash policies “usually have very little impact on the fertility rate”.

She says that while they may lead to a small increase in birth rates in the short term, with some people choosing to have children earlier, “it doesn’t translate at the end of the day to a higher fertility rate. They have been used in a lot of countries and we see the same pattern”.

In the case of Italy, the failure of the incentive may be related to the fact that one-off payments fail to address underlying issues such as social attitudes – an important factor in a country with less than 50% of women in work – or large levels of emigration.

The audacious policy of France

Although its birth rate has fallen in recent years, France still has one of the highest fertility rates in the EU with 1.92 births per women, according to World Bank figures from 2017.

A report published by France’s national institute for demographic studies, Ined, describes the country as a “demographic exception” to the lower birth rate across much of Europe.

Prof Gauthier says that reasons for France’s success in this area could be the range of social policies on offer.

Some countries, she notes, have introduced new benefits that do not balance out the negative impact of other policies, such as tax rates, on families. But “for decades, France has has a Ministry of Families that’s responsible for this package”, she says.

The country has extensive social policies, which provide subsidised child care for younger children and a generous benefits system “especially for larger families”, according to the European Commission.

Families with two or more children receive benefits of at least €131.55 per month and means-tested grants are available, including a payment of €944.51 given at the birth of each child for eligible families.

The policy of Sweden

Similar successes are seen in Scandinavian countries, with an average of 1.9 children per woman in Sweden according to the World Bank’s 2017 figures.

The European Commission says that female and maternal employment rates in the country “are among the highest in the EU, and child poverty is among the lowest”, while parents are given a monthly allowance of up to 1,573 krona (£128; $167), which increases when the child reaches 11 and then 15.

Generous family and social benefits may play a role in their success. Swedish parents are also entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave to share between them, with men claiming about 30% of all leave.

Childcare is also subsidised and working hours are lower in Sweden than in many other countries. In 2018, the average Swede worked 1,474 hours, about 500 hours fewer than the average Russian.

But Prof Gauthier does note that even Scandinavia has begun to see a fall in its fertility rates, showing that the real key to higher birth rates remains unclear.

“With Scandinavia we thought they had got it right… until about last year when their fertility rate started to decline,” she said.

Sources

Here’s the original link towards the website where the article was first published: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51118616

N’Djamena— The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) kicked off on September 02 and continued until 21 September. The Opening Ceremony took place at Paris-Congo Stadium in Chad’s capital city.

The YOG is a multi-sport event organized by Young Diplomats to commemorate the international day of peace. The games were held in N’Djamena to demonstrate the value of friendship and cooperation among the participating athletes, progress purposes and contributing to the search for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to any futuristic conflicts— under the theme: play for peace.

The Game is an elite sporting event for young Chadians, which also incorporates a unique culture and education program, articulated around five main themes: Social responsibility, skill development, leadership building, healthy lifestyles and peace-building.

“A Youth Olympic Games of a new African era”

Running from September 2 to 21, athletes aged from 13 to 14 competed in 10 sports. The closing ceremony attended by a number of high-ranking dignitaries, including the Moroccan Consul to N’Djamena and Young Diplomats’ Africa Regional Director; Idriss Zackaria; both attend the closing ceremony.

“Despite all the obstacles and challenges that stood in our way; I am very much flattered that these Youth Olympic Games have exceeded all our expectations. We would not even have dared to dream of such a success,” said Zackaria in the closing ceremony.

Zackaria also said that Young Diplomats Africa team staged a game with “very impressive” and “touching” moment for the country, adding that it was “truly a youth Olympic games of a new African era”.

There is this vision of sustainability, credibility and youth development, and therefore a strong desire to engage with young men and women. We share this important message of tolerance, justice, equality and peace. We are lucky to be hosting the first Games of this rejuvenated movement in Chad. Our vision is to position these YOG as a new project for young people, a project which relies on young people; games that are organized with, by and for young people, in collaboration with several Chadian sport federations. Added Zackaria

The Closing Ceremony

The 2019 Youth Olympic Games held its closing ceremony at Idriss Mahamat Ouya Stadium in N’Djamena – the capital and largest city of Chad. The first edition attracted around 500 young athletes from the city and after 19 days of competition, it ended by celebrating the International Day of Peace that recognizes the efforts of those people who have worked hard to end the conflicts and promote peace.

Representing the Chadian Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Issakha Sougar; said that his ministry is ready to work with Young Diplomats as hard as possible and promises that “the department in charge of the promotion of youth and sports will spare no effort to support the initiatives of Young Diplomats in its policy of capacity building through the practice of sport by young people”.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is located in the south of China and has special status in China. Contrary to popular belief, the region is not only composed of Hong Kong city, but also includes some of the surrounding lands. In addition, Hong Kong has its own self-management system and is directly linked to China in the fields of foreign relations and defense. The total population of Hong Kong is around 7 million 500 thousand people. In addition, Hong Kong is one of the most important financial centers in the world. Over the years, the region has come to the forefront in areas such as transportation, trade and transportation between the east and west axes, and has become the logistics hub for product traffic in South East Asia. According to the end of 2018 data, Hong Kong’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $ 363 Billion and achieved 3% economic growth. It ranks 36th in the global GDP. Widespread poverty and instability were the concepts that could not be overcome for the “Giant in the East”, until former Chinese President Deng Xiaoping initiated a reform process in 1978 to shape China and perhaps the whole world. The Japanese Army’s occupation of almost all important cities of China including the capital city of Nanjing and Hong Kong, caused such indignity in the minds of Chinese nation. Moreover, numerous sufferings during the World War II led to the formation of a national identity under the leadership of Mao Zedong through the further process. With the beginning of the reform process have led by Deng Xiaoping, China has made significant progress in many areas particularly in the economic and military fields over the past 41 years. In this context, with the announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative by the current president Xi Jinping in 2013, the success of the “New Chinese Century” breakthrough has been successful in the international arena as well as on the mainland. Hence, China has made a successful headway for the first time to become a global power through modern history.

Hong Kong is one of the regions with the highest level of prosperity compared to many countries and cities in Southeast Asia. According to many experts, the high level of prosperity was due to the fact that Hong Kong had been under British rule for many years. Also, as a common consideration has been advocated by many, Hong Kong’s weathy position emerged throughout the following years thanks to its structural development process as it is isolated from Chinese Socialism. However, the increasing prosperity level as a result of the great economic achievenement experienced over the last 40 years has led to a new dimension in these debates. In fact, according to World Bank data announced in 2017, 753 million people use to live below the poverty line before 2000 in China whilts in 2017, this figure decreased to 43 million in 2017.[1]

In the light of this information, it will not be wrong to be bolstered that the Chinese administrations have made great progress in the distribution of welfare among the society. Therefore, Hong Kong incidents are more of a political and social crisis triggered by the identity crisis of the younger generation rather than an economic crisis. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that the region is partially isolated from China, not only on the basis of the management system but also on sociological basis. As we mentioned at the beginning, the emergence of Hong Kong under the British administration in 1842 could be evaluated as a significant factor in the emergence of catastrophic social crisis taking place at the moment. With the handover of the region to the Chinese administration by the British in 1997, consensus was reached on many items and the region started to be managed in line with the principle of “One Country, Two Systems framework. As it is known, the Chinese Communist Party is an absolute power within the borders of PRC and the party program has been strictly implemented in the Chinese soil. However, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, according to the 1997 agreement, has its own legal system and is governed by a multiparty system, just like in worldwide democracies.

According to a study conducted in Hong Kong, the majority of people define their identity as “Hong Kongers” rather than “Chinese“.[2] The young population plays such crucial role in the protests that is taking place against the Extradition Bill since the end of March and evolved into a serious mass rebellion movements on the streets of Hong Kong over the past 4 months. Hence, as a striking point most of the protesters are university students. Joshua Wong, a well-known activist in the region and worldwide hence forth, plays an important role in organizing university students. In addition, he is the current Secretary General of one of the political parties in Hong Kong called Demosist. The Demosist mission, which includes young activists, plays a major role in the protests calls itself pro-democratic movement. Also, they have determined the party mission as “freeing Hong Kong from the pressure of the Chinese Communist Party and achieving a political and economic environment free from Chinese sphere of influence ”.[3]

In the light of these developments, it should not be underestimated that the situation cannot be evaluated only in the context of the Extradition Bill. Neglecting the historical past of the region would be a huge mistake on the figuring out why these demonstrations taking place. The formation of the crisis has prodound roots with the history of Hong Kong SAR. One of the most important proofs of this situation is that eventhough the protests turning into acts of violence, the demonstrations still seem to be extremely far from losing severity despite the Hong Kong government has announced that it has withdrawn the contentious bill. However, this huge demonstrations are not taking place for the first time in Hong Kong SAR. In 2014, a series of street incidents pop up as a result of the Beijing government’s decision to examine the candidates for the elections in Hong Kong. Protesters put forward that this decision was contrary to the agreement made in 1997 after the handover of Hong Kong to China and that the principle of a State Two Systems was violated acutely. Although the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is governed by its own legal system, the Beijing government’s decision has led to controversy over the extent to which Hong Kong’s freedom of choice was at that time.

On August 13, Hong Kong Prime Minister Carrie Lam warned that Hong Kong would not be dragged into the abyss after protesters occupied the airport for two days.[4] Neverthless, these statements did not have an impact on decreasing the high tension in the region.

In the following days, the protesters are still continuing to fill the squares and clash with the police by claiming that the steps of HK government are not enough. As a result, the protesters demanded a 5-item list of requests to the Hong Kong administration. These are as follows; The complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, the government to withdraw the use of the word “riot” in relation to protests, the unconditional release of arrested protesters and charges against them dropped, An independent inquiry into police behaviour and implementation of genuine universal suffrage.[5] By demanding the last one, the protesters are seeking to undermine Beijing’s influence in the Hong Kong administration. The fact that the 1200-person commission, which is thought to be under direct influence of Beijing, has a crucial impact on electing the Hong Kong leader in protesters opinion. The response of the Chinese administration to these demands has been harsh. The administration continues to definitively call the protesters “terrorists who attempt to disrupt the public order”.

Besides, there are numerous announcements made by Xi Jinping administration upon the issue flashing that China’s patience is limited. In addition, the Commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Hong Kong Garrison has recently made similar statements. Concerns started to grow about how seriously Beijing has started to take the issue after the images of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army stacking up in Shenzhen city, 27 kilometers from Hong Kong, are particularly concerned by the Western media.

The International Dimesion of the Hong Kong Protests

As with the rest of the world, the Trump administration is closely monitoring the events in Hong Kong. As a result of the lack of compromise in trade wars and the increasing friction, US President Trump tends to use the situation in Hong Kong in his favor. Trump criticized the Beijing government’s stance and warned that protesters should be treated better. Trump even went one step further, calling on Xi Jinping to be cautious, referring to the Tiananmen events in Beijing in 1989. Ben Cardin, a well-known republican senator, made similar statements to the Beijing administration.[6]

In August, when the demonstrations were intensifying, President Trump announced an additional tax decision on Chinese products which comprises $ 300 billion. As a result of this decision, the fear that the trade wars between the two giants will be accelerated again in the further process. The Chinese administration interpreted Trump’s attitude as a kind of “economic blackmailing feeding from the Hong Kong events.” China perceives every step taken by the US kind of an intervention on its internal affairs in relation to the events in Hong Kong and declares that it will not hesitate to take serious initiatives if the same attitude continues. However how strong Xi Jinping’s hand is at the point of taking steps is still a matter of doubt. It is possible that a wrong step that could be taken in this direction may convert the situation even more difficult to overcome and a bottleneck.

Protracted Political Deadlock and The Consequences of Beijing’s Possible Intervention on the Crisis

Since the protests began on March 31, there has been no sign about tensions on losing its impact in the streets of Hong Kong and the chaos is strengthen. In the early stages of the protests, the Chinese government took a moderate stance. However, when the flames of the events flared up rather than to be extinguished, Xi administration began to adopt a more threatening attitude toward the protesters. At first, the Chinese administration followed a policy that preferred to wait for events to settle. However with the increasing dose of violence on the streets and protests turning the city into chaotic environment, Xi Jinping’s administration announced that it is one of the main duties of Beijing, ensuring the security of residents in Hong Kong.

We have already mentioned that the Chinese Army is located in the Shenzhen which is 27 far from Hong Kong as the situation has become increasingly pessimistic and inexorable for China. If consequences of a possible bloody intervention to be considered in Hong Kong, it could be verbalized that the Chinese government has the intention to intimidate protesters rather than making a bloody intervention to protesters whose majority are university students and have many goals for their future life. Expecting a gradual softening about the protests in this crisis in which the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has demonstrated its seriousness, is a policy that is understandable for Chinese rule in the process so far. However, it is also important to underline that serious threatening statements from the Chinese Communist Party officials continue to come to the fore in parallel with the gradually rising violation. Also, figuring out the reflex of Chinese authorities is still a misery on this situation. In addition, the occurrence of such an initiative will have serious consequences for China, both nationally and internationally. It is a strong possibility that the city of Shenzhen, which is called the showcase of modern China, which is located near the city as a result of the situation completely out of control in Hong Kong, also would its share from the chaotic environment. In such a scenario, the crisis may not be limited to just Hong Kong. Long Yongtu, former Chief Negotiator for Hong Kong Trade, said that Shenzhen is at risk in such a situation. China, which has increased its influence in the international arena with its breakthrough in recent years, does not want to damage the prestige it gained globally as a result of all the efforts and development during the reform process started in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping.

For this reason, the image of “Calm Power” and the concept of “Peaceful Rising which the Chinese administrations have succeeded in creating in the international arena, are seriously tested with the outbreak of Hong Kong events.

 

China’s Current Challange: The Problem of Preserving Peaceful Rising and the Calm Power Image

 

The expansionist policy of the USSR during the Cold War and the fact that China was founded on the foundations of socialism inevitably led to the emergence of an aggressive country and administration perception towards China. However, as Deng Xiaoping had been pioneered a new vision opened the doors of the country to the world by starting the new reform process in order to break this situation, the perception of peaceful upswing started to gain ground in the international society regarding China. Moreover, China’s efforts to develop economic relations, especially with the western countries, has led to an increase in global influence of it and thus changed the perception of “China the unknown”. With the announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative by Xi Jinping in 2013, these concepts found a strong response globally. In the ensuing process, China has approached and is approaching the countries it is associated with with the promise of prosperity. Particularly in view of the issue of political influence, the Chinese administration is careful not to cause any creation of the image of a “new modern colonialism”. On the other hand, it is another important issue for China to be voiced among the international public opinion that the Belt and Road Initiative is a kind of debt trap.

Therefore, any possible intervention in Hong Kong can lead to irreversible loss of prestige and more importantly to completely eliminate the image of “calm power built upon the political ground”. The image of China that has failed to achieve absolute stability in its domestic policy while promising the world prosperity will seriously affect relations in almost all areas, particularly economic and political relations. In addition, Hong Kong’s special status will become degenerated if the Chinese army intervenes with army. According to the 1997 Hong Kong’ handover to China agreement, the Beijing government can only send troops to the region only if the Hong Kong government directly requests it.

However, if the intervention is made without any request, this movement will be seen as “a direct occupation” in the eyes of the international community. US President Trump recently threatened China to if they act with such an intervention, international agreements will be criticized.

A Hong Kong with its streets surrendered by the anarchy, an image that has been severely damaged by the loss of all its value on the international level, and the Chinese economy, which has suffered the worst performance since 1992 with a growth rate of 6.2% in the last quarter, would not be the Beijing administration’s favour at the moment. However, it should be noted that the reaction of the Chinese administration on the protests is still unpredictable.

[1] http://povertydata.worldbank.org/poverty/country/CHN

[2] https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/beijing-may-have-already-lost-hong-kong-as-a-city.729080#.XVhbW-WuCX0.twitter

[3] https://www.demosisto.hk/about?lang=en

[4] https://www.businessinsider.com/carrie-lam-warns-hong-kong-abyss-protesters-airport-2019-8

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/13/what-do-the-hong-kong-protesters-want

[6] https://www.france24.com/en/20190819-usa-china-hong-kong-donald-trump-trade-deal-democracy-protests-tiananmen-square

The French president continues his mediation in the Iranian case. After the G7 discussions, Emmanuel Macron and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani met on Saturday. On that occasion, the President of the Islamic Republic warned that his country could break away a little more from its commitment to military nuclear power. “If Europe cannot implement its commitments, Iran will take a third step to reduce its JCPOA commitments” (the 2015 nuclear agreement), threatened Mr Rouhani. However, there is still hope. The Iranian president added that “this step, like the two previous ones, will be reversible”. Mohammad Javad Zarif told the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that this step could be taken on 6 September.

Rouhani is still ready to negotiate

Mr Rouhani also criticized once again the Europeans for not having taken “concrete measures” to maintain economic exchanges with Iran, which had been suffocated by American sanctions. For his part, Emmanuel Macron once again “stressed the importance of the ongoing momentum to create the conditions for de-escalation through dialogue and the construction of a lasting solution in the region”, according to the Elysée. For France, “the important thing was to check, after the G7 debate on Iran, that the parameters of the negotiations remain valid and that President Rouhani is still available to negotiate. And ” it is,” asserts a French diplomatic source.

Paris believes that Iran must return to its JCPOA commitments on the one hand, and Donald Trump must take a break from its economic sanctions, for example by allowing Iran to export some of its oil. On the other hand, neither French nor Iranian sources indicated whether the two leaders had referred to Emmanuel Macron’s call for a Trump-Rouhani meeting, for which each sets as a condition that the other make the first concessions.

Tensions are rising between Israel and Hezbollah

Paris also “reiterated the need for Iran to comply fully with its nuclear obligations and take the necessary measures for the restoration of peace and security in the Middle East,” the Elysée said. More specifically, the French President called on Iran to “act to put an end to the fighting and open negotiations in Yemen” and called for “the utmost restraint in Lebanon” as tensions between Israel and Hezbollah rise. Mediation should therefore take a long time.

In conflict resolution, Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) play a crucial role between the states. CBMs help create a conducive environment for resolution of conflictual issues. They, however, are not direct means of conflict resolution. The efficacy of CBMs is not limited to a rival state’s military affairs but it encompasses a broad range of areas ranging from social to cultural contacts to economic affairs between the states. They are a tool to augment the level of confidence and trust between the rival states (Zulfqar, 2013). In the modern day world, CBMs are a broadly acknowledged concept which includes an extensive variety of measures including economic, political and military arenas.  According to the commonly held belief, CBMs initiated during 1970s in Europe in backdrop of confrontations between the West and the East. However, the process of CBMs was already in practice in various different parts of the world but it was not characterized necessarily as such.

For example, CBMs were practiced in the South Asian region since the partition of the Indian sub-continent. The cases in point can be traced from 1949 with the Karachi Agreement in 1949, the pact between Liaquat and Nehru in 1950 known as Liaquat-Nehru Pact, the Indo-Pak Border Ground Rules Agreement in 1960, the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) in 1960 which is said to have remained intact even during wars, the Tashkent Declaration in 1966 which was signed under the good office provided by the USSR and the Simla Agreement in 1972 (Salik, 2010). Zulfqar (2013) adds to this and argues that CBMs are not a new phenomenon between India and Pakistan. Pakistan and India signed various agreements between them to resolve their bilateral problems which they inherited from the partition. She quotes all the events as quoted by Salik (2010) and adds the Rann of Kutch Agreement of 1966 to the list of CBMs between India and Pakistan. She further argues that the terminology of CBMs was not applied to the agreements between the two before Brasstracks Crisis in 1987 which added nuclear dimension in the relationship between India and Pakistan (Zulfqar, 2013).

Confidence Building Measures between Pakistan and India

There are different types of CBMs between the two arch-rival neighboring countries – India and Pakistan. These CBMs can be differentiated in atmospheric and military and nuclear related CBMs.

The Military and Nuclear Related CBMs

According to Micheal Krepon, Co-founder of Stimson Center, the military and nuclear related CBMs between India and Pakistan can be differentiated in three categories: Constraint Measures, Communication Measures and Transparency Measures (Zulfar, 2013).

1. Constraint Measures:

The Constraint Measures may encompass: routine inspection to show compliance with agreements, establishment of demilitarized zones between states and abstaining from military activities (more of skirmishes) in bordering areas between the states. In order to establish a nuclear restraint regime with its neighboring rival India, Pakistan has been putting efforts in this context even before the overt nuclearization of both countries. Pakistan has proposed various proposals over the years including mutual acceptance of safeguards by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), signing of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1967 simultaneously, creation of nuclear weapon free zone, signing of regional test ban treaty, bilateral inspection of each other’s nuclear facilities and joint declaration to renounce development of nuclear weapons. However, none of these proposals could succeed to get India’s affirmation. Moreover, in 1998, Pakistan proposed establishment of a Strategic Restraint Regime in the region to avoid the risk of nuclear war between the two nuclear powers. It was renewed in 2001 during disarmament conference in Geneva. Like previous proposals, this could also not materialize.

2. Communication Measures:

Communication measures would include creating communication among political decision-makers of the states in conflict and the establishment of hotlines is the most effective arrangement for conflict resolution or crisis management purposes. In 1971, hotline between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India was established and it was decided after the 1990 crisis that the hotline will be used on weekly basis between the DGMOs of both the countries. Besides this, a new hotline was created between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India in 2004. It has been observed that hotlines between the two countries remain satisfactorily functional only during the peacetime but during crisis they remain dysfunctional. However, it remained functional during Kargil Conflict in 1999 and the border confrontation in 2001-02 and it remained dysfunctional during Brasstracks in 1988.

3. Transparency Measures:

Transparency measures encompass presence of foreign observers at military exercises, strength of armed forces, arms transfers and arms production, exchange information of military expenditures, verification measures and prior notification of military maneuvers encompassing their extent and scope. In 1988, an agreement was signed between India and Pakistan on prohibition of attack on nuclear facilities and installations. The agreement was ratified in 1991 and in the following year it was implemented. Irrespective of their state relationship, both states would exchange lists of their nuclear facilities and installations. In addition to this, two agreements were signed in 1991 and 1992 which included firstly, advance notice of troops movements, military maneuvers and exercises and secondly, permitting landing of military aircraft, permitting over flight and prevention of space violations.

Atmospheric CBMs

According to Micheal Krepon, atmospheric CBMs are useful in indicating readiness to relations after a severe crisis. They are informal in nature and do not include complex implementation procedures unlike military and nuclear CBMs which require political capital investment by the national leaders of the states. These CBMs can be reciprocal and unilateral. Some examples of atmospheric CBMs will be people to people contacts, humanitarian assistance during natural disasters, cultural exchanges and release of fisherman or political prisoners. Atmospheric CBMs between India and Pakistan were practised during SAARC Summit-2004 in which both countries reached to Composite Dialogue which included discussion of eight areas including Kashmir, Nuclear CBMs, Siachen issue, Terrorism, Sir Creek et cetra. After this composite dialogue sports links were resorted, bus and train services were started and people to people contacts were initiated. Additionally, in 2007, some progress was also made on Nuclear CBMs which agreed to reduce accident risks related to nuclear weapons. An initiative was also taken on antiterrorism institutional mechanism fronts.  

Other than these two categories of CBMS, there are also economic CBMs between India and Pakistan.

Economic CBMs

A new category dealing with investment and trade, economic CBMs have been introduced between Pakistan and India. The prospects of having good economic relations with India have been discussed in Pakistan since the year 2012. A number of CBMs have been initiated over the years beginning with the granting of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to India (yet not granted), easing non-tariff barriers and opening investment doors and increasing customs cooperation between the two countries. However, India granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 but it withdrew it in February, 2019 after the Pulwama Attack in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The Confidence building Measures (CBMs) initiatives between India and Pakistan

The CBMs initiatives between India and Pakistan include pacts, ceasefire agreements, efforts and initiatives, joint commissions and statements, Dialogues and Composite Dialogues (Effendi & Choudhry, 2016).

There have been two ceasefire agreements between India and Pakistan. The first one was of 1949 and the second one took place in 2003. Some of the pacts between India and Pakistan include Liaquat-Nehru Pact of 1950 which was signed to protect rights of migrated minorities  in both countries, Indus Water Treaty (IWT) 1960 to share river waters between the countries, Tashkent Declaration 1965 which was signed to concluded 17-day war, Simla Agreement 1972 signed for the settlement of post-fall of Dacca situation. Hotline between DGMOs was also part of this agreement. Some of the Joint Commissions and Statements include 1982 joint commission which was established to strengthen bilateral relations, joint statement on nuclear issues in 2004, joint statements on drug trafficking, economic cooperation and terrorism in 2004, Delhi joint statement in 2005, 2005 joint statement to start bus service from Amritsar India to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. Some of the initiatives and efforts encompass 1959 offer by Ayub for Joint Defence against the threat from North i.e. China in wake of 1959 Tibet insurrection by China which Nehru rejected, peace plan of 1964 which could not be materialized because of Nehru’s death in 1964, 1976 Smajhota bus Service between Lahore and Amritsar, 1981 no-war pact offered by Pakistan but it was rejected by India because Simla agreement was already a no war pact. There have also been many other efforts and initiatives between India and Pakistan (Zulfqar, 2013; Effendi & Choudhry, 2016).

Despite all these Confidence building measures between India and Pakistan, the relations between the two are far from normalization. Both India and Pakistan have to come together for the regional stability as well as prosperity. The issue of Kashmir is a long awaited dispute between the two which should be resolved as per the UN resolution of 1948 which declared that the future of Kashmir would be decided by the people of Kashmir through free and fair plebiscite. Therefore, India and Pakistan have to take steps to resolve this long awaited dispute. They have to come together for a better future of people of the region as war breads hatred and seeds of hatred ruin the generations.

   Daniel Cerdà is a famous artist in Barcelona, with an incredible talent for the guitar. But moreover, he’s also a graduate in Law from the University of Barcelona in Catalonia. With a father originally from Alicante, and a mother from Switzerland, this versatile man reflected a lot on the last separatist events in Barcelona, and even wrote a short essay about it. Here is his poignant interview that takes us from his childhood to the school system the ‘Generalitat’ implemented.

I’ve always thought that political opinions are determined by our personal experiences. In my case, the way I think and behave are strongly marked by the fact that my mother is from Switzerland, my father from Alicante and I was born in Barcelona.

When I was a child living in Switzerland, some Swiss took good care of reminding me that I was just ‘a fucking Spanish migrant’. Shortly after that, when I returned to Spain and moved next to Alicante, some people just stayed focused on my Catalan origins, and I was sometimes called ‘the fucking ‘catalufo’.

The worst is that, when I came back to Barcelona, some Catalans insulted me because I used to live outside of Catalonia.

Of course, in the three cases, this verbal violence was more the exception than the rule, but what is sure is that you will always meet someone who is willing to emphasize his or her difference from the rest of the group.

At the end, since the childhood my experiences have taught me to seek a refugee in the independent Republic that my home is. I also refused to participate in any kind of nationalism. I think nationalism is by definition excluding, and highlights differences that are supposed to make a certain group better than another.

On another hand, with the passing of the years, I’ve overcome all this. I reconciled with these different origins that are integral parts of my personality. What happened to me has reinforced my trans-nationality. I know that this concept of ‘citizen of the world’ would disgust many separatists, but they should know that their concept of ‘nation’ has the same effect on me.

As Josep Pla (a famous Catalan writer and journalist in the XXth century) said:  ‘Nationalism is particularly devastator, selfish and solvent and a factor of democratic weakening, even if it defends the existence of some collective rights, it prones populism, and almost every time it is incompatible with individual rights.

If a stranger asked me how we got into such a situation, that is to say a fracture between the separatists and the pro-union, I could tell him or her the following answer.

I grew up during the democratic transition (1975-1978). I remember perfectly the day Franco died, and the two weeks of vacation they gave us in high school.

During the 40 years of Franco’s dictatorship, Spain suffered a lack of liberties, and any divergent thought could put you in jail. The basque and Catalan separatisms were silenced. Culturally, some Catalan associations intended to secretly preserve their language and their customs. The school system used to teach the point of view of the regime, glorifying the Nation and the Caudillo.

After Franco’s death in 1975, there was a general amnesty. In 1978 a constitution was redacted by jurists and by the different new political parties in Spain.

It was agreed that the new administrative system of Spain would be decentralized. Seventeen regions were created, each of them with their own political institutions. In 1979, Catalonia decided to precise its relationship with Spain with an ‘Estatut de autonomía’.

This affected my education, because when I was in high school, the classes were delivered in Spanish, and Catalan was a subject like every others. When the ‘Departament d’Ensenyament de la Generalitat de Catalunya’ began its reforms, it was decided that all the subjects would be taught in Catalan, and Spanish would become a language-class.  Without any doubt, this was a tremendous change that affected all the generations from 1980.

This language immersion would become every time more important: Spanish classes were reduced from 5 hours to 3 hours, then 2. Regarding the History-Geography program, this one was also adapted. I remember the first thing I learnt was to draw the regions of Spain. My daughters started geography with the Catalonia’s map and their counties.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t taught the History of Catalonia when I was at school, just Spain’s one, from the Iberians to contemporary history. It is now the reverse for my children, who are learning mainly Catalonian history, and from time to time Spanish one. These are just examples highlighting that we need to find a balance for our school system.

Regarding the inhabitants of Catalonia, what we have now is a multi-faced Catalan society:

–      In the countryside, the majority of the families have really ancient Catalan roots, and the nationalistic sentiment is strong

–      In the cities (above all Barcelona and Tarragona), we have a multicultural population, Spanish people from other regions who came for work, or their children, and migrants (the majority from South America).

All of them have a different vision of the concept ‘integration’.

And that’s how we arrive to the current events: we have a divided society, and a group of politicians playing with people’s feelings, promising a paradise of wealth and happiness if independence is proclaimed. Meanwhile, specialists warn us about the potential negative effects of such a political change.

In the year 2014, the BJP sat in the Parliament with a un-precedented
thumping majority, while the opposition was whittled down to being
insignificant. The former Chief Minister of Gujarat and now the Prime
Minister of the largest democracy roared from the ramparts of the Red
Fort at Delhi. The genome of Indian politics had undergone a mutation.
Suddenly, Modi made Nehruvian socialism seem too small and tepid.
His words were emphatic and a rational persuasion to the poor, the

despaired and the destitute who now saw the main opposition party-
Congress as a giant octopus slumbering supinely, with overgrown

tentacles spread over a span of 70 years. The puissance of his diction left
the opposition with puckered faces, as he promised the people a war

against black money, corruption, inflation, women’s rights, poverty, un-
employment, farmer friendly schemes- a plethora of promises.

People swayed and even the literate class swooned under the spell. The
idea of a homogenized Hindu Rashtra was ingrained in the psyche of
the people, and it catalyzed Modi’s rise in the new savior avatar; as if he
and only he could save the nation and create a new social order. His
campaign had kick started with the saffronisation of Indian politics, and
by the time he took his oath of allegiance to the Constitution, he had the
whole nation delirious with the fever of hyper-nationalism. The
invincibility of Modi became a cliché.
Rabindranath Tagore, the legendary Nobel laureate considered
nationalism to be a passion without compassion. He even went to the
extent of calling nationalism a crude epidemic of evil. He strongly
believed in the community of a nation, and populist nationalism a threat
to the harmony of the nation.
Soon thereafter, humanity was hurtled in a fit of fury unleashed by the
Hindutva elements throughout India. Rule of law went to the winds as
India was encompassed in violence against women, against minorities-

the Dalits and more specifically the Muslims; venerating the cow and
lynching human beings based on hideous assumptions, parochial biases
and religious prejudices. The insidious indifference of the government
and its machinery jerked the people out of the illusory utopia. The
anatomy of this ‘New Democracy’ now lies exposed and bare, even
though this regime tried its best to humor the ghost framers of the
Constitution and the liberal glitterati of India.
In the political jungle amidst the power tussle polemic petti-foggery has
become the new normal to hoodwink the people. High pitched speeches

reached the crescendos of bigotry; rhetorical sermons of hyper-
nationalism created a sense of false bravado. Crafty discourse and

engineered outlooks impaired rationale, and hence the judgment; only
to leave the common-man who voted for Modi high and dry.
Henchmen, the road soldiers intoxicated by power in their communal
frenzy wounded the pluralistic ethos characteristic of mutual existence.
Well playing the egoist politics of hyper-nationalism, the jingoist media
soldiers landed in the lap of this governing regime wrangling absurd on
the TV shows, thus, strangulating the weak voices of the liberal
dissenters. These media honchos furthermore confused and
camouflaged the ineffectiveness of the government policies, yet extolled
the illusory development. The promised melodramatic ‘good days’ are
yet to arrive even when the term of this government is coming to an end.
The Bhartiya Janta Party is an extremist Hindutva ideologue, and as
such the government has a fixed stand viz a viz the internationally
accepted unresolved territorial dispute of the State of J&K. However,
their ignorance of history and the majoritarian pursuit of power
triggered off a tidal wave of anger in the disputed State. The 2018 will be
remembered as the bloodiest year ever in the history of J&K. The harsh
militaristic policy has however failed to stifle the discontent, or muzzle
the voices seeking resolution of the dispute; rather the State has
descended into the cosmos of chaos. The 14th February suicide bomber

3.

attack on the military convoy at Lethpora, Pulwama was only a
consequence of this prevalent chaos.
Since 2014, Modi government has been consistently building the war
rhetoric against Pakistan, and Lethpora attack provided an opportunity
for the same. We almost went to war had Pakistan not returned the
forbidden fruit-Air Commodore Abhinandan. This regime has no scope
for introspection nor for a peaceful dialogue neither will it accept any
third party arbitration as suggested by Norway and Russia. The logjam
between the people of the state and the government at the centre; then
the simultaneous stalemate between India and Pakistan relations has
banished peace to an obscurity, even though a lull exists. Peace as a
paradigm does not exist.
However, pertinently in the context of the state of J&K whichever
regime comes to power in India, the dispute even if through dialogue
cannot be expected to be resolved to any ending unless all mainstream
political parties at the Centre come to a consensus that it has be resolved
through referendum/plebiscite which in the given scenario appears
improbable. The change of regime implies only softer and harsher
approach in dealing with the issue and not the actual outcome.
On a broader front the anemic policies, moral bankruptcy and narrow
bigotry of this ruling regime have legitimized injustice. And, when a
sense of injustice prevails in the society, the road to ruin opens for that
nation. So, calling the bluff! Modi’s promise of a political nirvana proved
to be a hoax.
New elections to the parliament have ensued. He promised to be a
prophet of change yet Modi’s politics is too trapped in unreason. It has
seethed into the executive organs too: the bureaucracy, the enforcement
agencies and even the judiciary. All efforts of the ruling regime were
directed to build Imperialism with the help of these organs and the
favorite crony-capitalists. The misadventure of war with Pakistan was to

protect its imperialistic designs, and logically to save its fascist face by
selling to the nation the cryptic-currency of emotions.
It is incumbent upon every government to frame policies and operate
from the notional perspective of harmony in relations whether internally
within the State or externally between different States. The power of
superiority over other nations comes not from the heavy devastative
machinery, but from a stronger economy, stable politics and a peaceful
society. Power of the people still exists. Therefore, sovereignty vests in
them and not the head of the State. He or She is merely the trustee of
such an authority entrusted by the people for the well being of the
community-nation. The very idea of India as an imperialist nation is a
farce. The sub-continent needs a liberal India and a politically stable
Pakistan; an adjuvant patron China and a progressive Afghanistan. I am
sure the respective leaders can make it happen. India chose wisely!
While the keys to PEACE lie in the hands of the people of these nations.
Let the floodgates open and let harmony usher in.

The launchers of Russian-made S-300 missile defense systems deployed to Syria have been erected, new satellite images released on Tuesday showed.

“Due to the current regional tension and the detected erection of the launchers it is possible that the mentioned activity indicates an increase of the operational level and alertness,” ImageSat said in their assessment of the images.
The camouflaging of the fourth launcher “is rare and raises question marks about the operational level of the whole battery and specifically of the covered and folded launcher,” they added.

Russia delivered the launcher, radar and command and control vehicle of the advanced surface-to-air missile system to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in early October as a response to the downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli airstrike on Iranian targets the previous month.

Satellite images show S-300 components deployed in Syria, February 5th, 2019. (Credit: ImageSat International [ISI])
Credit ImageSatInternational

Moscow said it would also impose electronic countermeasures over Syria’s coastline to suppress satellite navigation, onboard radar systems and communications of warplanes attacking targets on Syrian territory.

The incident has led to one of the lowest points in the relationship between Jerusalem and Moscow in years. Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would be heading to Moscow later in the monthto meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, their first-such official meeting since the crisis.

With the help of the Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah, Assad has regained control over the majority of Syria and is rebuilding his army, focusing first on intelligence and air defense divisions which could pose a threat to Israeli aircraft.
Syrian air defenses are largely antiquated Soviet-era systems, with SA-2s, SA-5s and SA-6s, as well as the more sophisticated tactical surface-to-air missiles, such as the SA-17s and SA-22 systems. Moscow has also supplied the short-range Pantsir S-1 to the Assad regime.

The advanced S-300 would be a major upgrade to the Syrian air defenses and would pose a threat to Israeli jets on missions as the long-range missile defense system can track objects, such as aircraft and ballistic missiles, over a range of 300 kilometers.
A full battalion includes six launcher vehicles, with each vehicle carrying four missile containers for a total of 24 missiles, as well as command-and-control and long-range radar detection vehicles.

The system’s engagement radar, which can guide up to 12 missiles simultaneously, helps guide the missiles toward the target. With two missiles per target, each launcher vehicle can engage up to six targets at once.

Israel has been carrying out airstrikes in the war-torn country against Hezbollah and Iranian targets. While the number of airstrikes in Syria attributed to the Jewish state has dropped since the downing of the Russian plane, Israel has stressed that it will continue to operate when necessary.

“We are operating both against Iran and against the Syrian forces that are abetting the Iranian aggression,” Netanyahu said at the end of January. “We will strike at anyone who tried to harm us. Whoever threatens to eliminate us, bears full responsibility.”

 

This article was found on The Jerusalem Post you can find it here https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Russian-made-S-300-missile-defense-system-active-in-Syria-579764

Interview with Frederic Encel and Emmanuel Navon, two leading geopolitical experts at the Netanya Academic College, one of the leading academic college in Israel, that plays an important role in shaping French-Israeli relations. Netanya is indeed a city with an important population originally from France. The Academic College regularly holds Geopolitical conferences with important French figures.

Link to Frederic Encel website : http://www.fredericencel.org/

Link to Emmanuel Navon website : http://navon.com/

Dear Mr. Encel, what do you think of the “Yellow Vests” in France :

Macron is constantly criticized for being low on the polls but this is a wrong analysis. Macron is still popular, he still has the same amount of people that voted for him. The last poll published in LeMonde, he would still perform 25% if the elections were today. He did 26% at the last elections.

The influence of Netanyahu is only a secondary factor. The Primary factor dictating his Iranian Policy is Saudi Arabia.

 We recently saw that Trump’s Foreign Policy was under intense pressure in the mainstream media in the US. We often have the depiction of Donald Trump being crazy. What do you think, as an expert, of his Foreign Policy? Is it coherent?

Frederic Encel :

Trump’s base is remaining the same and still supporting him no matter what.

Yes but even Fox news recently criticized him

Fox News criticism are not significant and are very different from CNN’s criticisms.

To come back to Trump Foreign Policy , before the elections Trump had announced a very strong Alliance with Russia. It didn’t work as we see now. However for China, he announced already the commercial war in his political campaign, so he is coherent with what he promised.

Regarding North Korea there was an aggressive attitude from Trump, to finally arrived to an agreement a minima, with little content. A small agreement but still an agreement.

Do you think it is a success for the American Foreign Policy?

This agreement is a big success for American allies in the region mainly South Korea but most importantly Japan.

Credit : https://newspunch.com/saudi-arabia-israel-may-set-up-joint-military-hq-says-cia-chief/

Regarding Iran, Trump threatened but he went even further in its will to modify the JCPOA agreement with Iran. His Iranian Foreign Policy is led by Saudi Arabia will to purchase 110 billions dollars worth of American military equipment. Trump is consistent and following his campaign promises. These purchases from Saudi Arabia should boost the job market in the US , especially in the Industrial sector. When we know what is the plue-value on the sale of American military equipment.

Saudi Arabia is one of the only country in the world that can buy so much American Military Equipment

When Trump come to Saudi Arabia in 2017, he doesn’t even know where his Qatar, and is not interested.  What he knows is that Saudia Arabia is key to American Industrial Success.

What about the influence of Netanyahu regarding Iran? Are you saying it’s a secondary factor?

Yex exactly the influence of Netanyahu is only a secondary factor. The Primary factor dictating his Iranian Policy is Saudi Arabia.

So if Netanyahu was not influent, why moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem? It is an extremely significative gesture, that no American President had the courage to do before despite promising it their electoral campaign.

Trump cared about Israel only during the electoral campaign. Trump was rich enough not to need support from the American Jewish community that votes democrats anyway.

American Jews besides Florida votes mostly outside the Swing States. He did it only to win the support of the Evangelical community – that didn’t even vote in mass for him-.

Since his election, he plays a lot the Jerusalem Card, and he knows in a good businessman that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that is capable and able to buy so much American Military Equipment.

Saudi Arabia is obsessed by Iran, especially since the arrival of MBS in power. Everything for Trump is good to reinforce the Sunni Axis against Iran and basically reinforces Iran’s enemies.

This way Trump Transfer his US Embassy in Jerusalem, win the support of the evanlegic community, and abroad, in support for Arab support (we cannot say there was any strong official Arab opposition in the embassy move)  for this embassy move he reinforces the sanctions to Iran. “Chapeau L’artiste” (well done).

On this question is strategy is well done or at least is coherent, not idiot.

Is there any modern Kissinger that dictates Trump his Foreign Policy, do you think Tillerson or Pompeo are the ones behind this Foreign Policy Architecture?

It is a good question, I have only one hypothesis for it, it is Trump himself. I work on it since a while and I can tell you that I don’t know anyone in the Trump administration that could be assimilated as a “Kissinger-type” adviser on Foreign Policy.

Regarding his Foreign Policy of Economic War against China?

I will not be severe against Trump Economic Policy as he was elected by Americans in order to protect his country economy.

Emmanuel Navon arriving

Mr, Navon what do you think about Trump Environmental Foreign Policy, as many young diplomats readers things its retarded and clearly a mistake.

The Environmental issue has become theologic, Trump has the right to question himself on the real causes behind Global warming.

The agreement was very badly negotiated by Obama, and he thinks that the price paid by the US is too high.

Israel Is getting closer and closer to GCC countries of Sunni states, is it a trend that is going to get stronger in the coming years or just a temporary phenomenon?

It totally depends on Iran’s attitude. As Iran is financing many proxies in the region created tensions in several countries.

The real challenge would be in Syria, where Iranian influence is growing, however, it would be limited by Russia , as Russia didn’t save Syria to give it to the Iranian.

The Russian Strategy is excellent in Syria , as they avoided sending men.

 

Interested in pursuing an academic career? Netanya Academic College can permit you to do that : https://www.netanya.ac.il/englishSite/AboutNetanyaAcademicCollege/Pages/NetanyaAcademicCollege.aspx

In the 21st century, the Middle East will witness a new and unalike kind of war. Despite economic pressures, ethnic and sectarian dissections, terrorism activities, religious radicalism, organized crime and environmental crisis, the likelihood of water war has escalated in recent years in the region due to the scarcity of this natural resource and due to the drought waves for decades.

Water scarceness is of boundless geopolitical significance. Nihilists and visionaries likewise are susceptible to assume that this resource has or would have profound geopolitical insinuations. Water resources are a fundamental factor for local clashes in the region, fuelled by deteriorating economic development plans in the Middle East, which would exacerbate war dynamics on that issue.

Prospects of war in the Mideast

The Arab world is 14 million square kilometers, of which 87 percent is desert. About 50 percent of renewable Arab water resources are located outside the Arab region. This is evident in the trajectory of international rivers, such as the Nile, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Studies show that the share of Arab citizens in renewable water will shrink from 1200 cubic meters annually to 400 cubic meters per capita per year by 2025. Furthermore, 15 Arab nations have fallen below water poverty line, meaning that they will not be able to meet their basic water requirements by 2025.

Water will likely be a reason of conflicts in the years to come.

Since water and food security are interrelated, and since economic, military and security aspects are of due importance for any country, a lack or absence of any of these elements would lead to either internal war or a regional war; thus, affecting the face and future of the region. In a panoramic view, the picture is becoming increasingly murkier as the Arab population continues to grow, while water resources are destroyed by armed conflicts or become scarce due to droughts which have depleted groundwater resources.

Renewable and non-renewable water resources have shrunk. This has been the case in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt; however, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have been spending huge amounts of money on desalination process which would be adequate as long as oil and gas prices are high.

The Levant and Iraq have been amongst the worst affected by scarcity of rainfall and water shortages in the past two decades. Turkey insists that any agreement on sharing of the Tigris and the Euphrates water Syria and Iraq depend heavily on political harmony between the three countries. Of course, the Kurdish issue is the essence of any water deal between the three states as well as oil and gas cooperation.

Countries in charge should all sit and discuss water security for the generations to come to avert them any wars that would lead to enormous toll of deaths if conflicts break out

Shehab Al-Makahleh

The Israelis also recognize that the dearth of water resources is weakening their position strategically. Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had been stressing on the interdependence of security and water. Shimon Peres, former head of the State of Israel, believes that water is more important than land, and that control of water sources makes Israel a geographically closed and independent country as no other neighboring country would dare threaten Israel’s sovereignty.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon said that in fact (the Six-Day War) began the day Israel decided to turn the Jordan River water inside Israel by diverting the branches of the river to exercise more pressure on Jordan later on and to twist the government’s arm to accept Israeli conditions and terms.

The Israelis are also cognizant of the complexity of their water crisis. The water level of the Sea of Galilee has dropped to the lowest level in a century, and the salt water infiltrates heavily into the underground crevices. Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are among the countries most forced to settle water issues and reach an understanding on sharing their water resources. Jordan is one of the countries most affected by the water crisis, and the water agreement between Amman and Tel Aviv was essential in the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement. The question here is: Will Israel respect this deal in the future?

Regional water wars

At present, many factors can lead to insecurity and be the main causes of instability and war. Religious or ethnic differences, poverty, hunger and lack of resources are the most important. The geographical distribution of water is one of the major geopolitical dimensions of natural resources. This distribution is an important factor in the ability of governments to control these assets. Political reasons of war on natural resources including water is a sufficient drive to ignite new conflicts among Middle East countries as such a valuable resource is key to prosperity and development at all levels.

Will there be a war on water in the Middle East?

In Sudan and Egypt water is a trouble and causes serious issues.

The 21st century is undergoing demographic increase in the Middle East, posing pressure on water. Economists believe that scarcity of water in the region is more threatening than anywhere else in the world. For millennia, this scarcity has played an essential role in determining political relations in the region. Ideological, religious and geopolitical differences have also been associated with water-related tensions.

Though competition over water resources in the Middle East region is very old, rivalry has intensified in recent years. To cite as an example, the Sudanese-Egyptian-Ethiopian competition over the Nile Water and the Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi rivalry over the Tigris and the Euphrates water can trigger a regional war for many years.

Future of Water Security

Climate change, low rainfall and poor water resources management, and the absence of a sound economic plan for water and soil use are among the factors that will lead to increased competition for wars over this resources. Israel is also trying to control Palestinian and Lebanese water sources in order to increase water productivity. Thus, water crisis and the inability of the countries of the region to manage such a calamity would be conducive to internal conflicts, which may affect food security and other vital interests of the region, leading to further battles on water.

To conclude, the countries in charge should all sit and discuss water security for the generations to come to avert them any wars that would lead to enormous toll of deaths if conflicts break out.

This article has been written by Shehab Al-Makahleh on the website Al Arabiya English you can find it here http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/11/19/Water-geopolitics-in-the-Middle-East-.html#