Over the past year, there has been a drastic change in the political scenario in Syria, which is now engulfed with violent sectarian conflict. Gateway House speaks to former Indian Ambassador to Syria, Rajendra Abhyankar, about the changing political scenario and the implications of the ongoing conflict in Syria.
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With turmoil in the Middle East, a drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iran-Israel-U.S. conflict, the international community has paid little attention to the democracy of a small group of people - the Bahrainis. More worrisome, however, is that politics now responds to the elite.
By forcing regime change in Libya, and attempting the same in Syria, and by promiscuously arming disparate groups of Wahabbis and Salafists to achieve this aim, NATO is creating more room for instability in the region. What Syria needs is engagement, not isolation; it needs dialogue and not the arming of rebels.
What are the implications for India if Iran is attacked? How effective has the response been by gulf nations to their own protests? Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad, India’s former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, discusses the dynamics of West Asia with Gateway House’s Alisha Pinto and Azadeh Pourzand.
The scope for any process on nuclear talks with Iran to founder on distrust, misunderstanding and political in-fighting in both Tehran and Washington remains formidable. Equally disturbing are the wider political realities. Can the upcoming talks in Istanbul launch a process that can, over time, lead to agreement?
As the al-Assad regime faces increasing international pressure to step down from power, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attempted to make political reforms recently. However, Syria has strong relations within West Asia and the denouement will profoundly impact developments in this region.
The author outlines the partnership between NATO and Wahhabi extremists, and how the West assisted in an armed Sunni movement, which has spread to many countries in West Asia. Consequently, the Shia population suffers from serious discrimination at the hands of Wahabbi.
Despite recent regime changes and agitation in the Middle East, the international community's attention has been diverted from the Indian Ocean - via Maldives. After President Nasheed's forced resignation, the country is now in political turmoil.
The upcoming Kuwaiti elections will take place in the backdrop of a new wave of political reform, triggered by the Arab Spring. If Kuwait's Emir, Sabah Al-Sabah, proactively implements the debated changes, he can ensure that Kuwait remains in the vanguard of the Arab world.
The year 2011 saw various events - the Arab Spring, anti- corruption protests, Europe's sovereign debt crisis - transform countries and reshape the world order. Gateway House takes a look at what these events mean for India, and presents India's top foreign policy cheers and jeers for the year.