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Editorial

A Bridge Between Asia & Europe

This innovative, online, journal is for everyone who takes an interest in Central Asia and Europe. Therefore, we have no choice other than to be experimental, free-spirited, although responsible, in our work. Indeed, our position is always impartial, while we go out of our way never to endorse the views of either national governments, individual commentators, or vested interests. That clearly stated, we welcome features, interviews and investigations, seeking to give a platform for each position from across this historically significant region and, as such, public figures, creatives, diplomates, scientists, as well as entrepreneurs, will be frequent guests within these virtual pages. Alongside, it must be stressed, less established, but rising, critics. All in all, our intention is to make this an open, highly interactive, fashionable, not to mention collaborative experience, for every one of our readers.

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Editorial

Kazakstan’s strategic partnership with US

The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev recently paid an official visit to the US and concluded a hectic schedule of his meetings there including political, economic and strategic. The Kazakh leader was accorded warm welcome by the US administration. The chief purpose and event of his state visit was meeting with the UN Security Council dedicated to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in his capacity of Chairman of the UN Security Council. The President also had a meeting with US President Donald Trump to discuss numerous bilateral issues related to enhancement of trade and business between the two countries so as to enhance and give boost to the economy of Kazakhstan. The Kazakh President has concluded more than 20 contracts with representatives of large US business organizations for a total of more than 7 billion USD. Agreements and contracts deal with various industries ranging from aviation and railroad communications, to energy, agriculture and space. He has also exchanged his vision regarding dealing with state terrorism particularly with reference to North Korea and other nuclear and non nuclear states. His role was highly appreciated by US President Donald Trump in expanding relations with US as strategic partner in the region of Central Asia. Nazarbayev also signed the Agreement on Enhanced Strategic Partnership with US. Both the leaders expressed need to consult on sanctions in order to avoid any unintended consequences for the economy of Kazakhstan.

Although numerous political analysts reflected upon the visit of the Kazakh leader to the United States as a big success but decision of falling into the basket of US during these critical times when new alliances are generating in the region can be devastating with possible reducing influence of US in the Central Asia. The slogan of Kazakh leader ‘first the economy, and then – the policy’ steered the entire course of his discussions. In the matter of non proliferation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction Nazarbayev emphasized on, ‘Non-proliferation of WMD through confidence-building measures’ and voluntary reduction. He warned that the growth of WMD production only increases the risk of nuclear, chemical, biological, radiological weapons falling into the hands of destructive forces. Abroad the President RK has performed brilliantly but its time to see if he can find similar appreciation at home.

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Editorial

Putin ready for upcoming elections

It is hardly a surprise Russian president Vladimir Putin will take part in Russian Spring 2018 Elections. On December 6, Putin announced his participation at a meeting with workers of the GAZ plant at a rally-concert in commemoration of the plant’s 85th anniversary. 10 days later he confirmed he would run as a self-nominated candidate but added that he would need the support of public as well as that of the parties.

The support seems to be there already. According to Russian polls cited by RIA agency, almost 70% of Russians are keen to vote for Putin. He is viewed as the man who brought stability and is willing to stand up to the West. The state’s firm control of the media has surely helped to secure this perception.

Will there be any viable political opponent to Putin in the upcoming elections? So far there are only a few official nominations and none is a real competitor.  As of 20th of December, Vladimir Zhirinovsky (71), the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and a Russian MP have announced their resolve for candidature for the position. This is Zhirinovsky’s fifth and probably last nomination. Another one is Elena Semerikova, head of “Women dialogue” political party. Finally, the spotlight is on Kseniya Sobchak, a socialite and a former reality TV star, who had declared her intention to register as an “Against all” candidate.

Sobchak, whose father was a mentor of Vladimir Putin in the earlier days, is not held back by rumors of being “allowed” to run by Kremlin. Her registration could add flavor to otherwise boring elections. There can also be an attempt to divert people’s attention from Alexei Navalny, Putin’s critic (the latter is hardly expected to be registered due to convictions for organising unsanctioned protests).

The first round of the elections will be held on Sunday 18 March 2018. In the absence of a viable political opponent, Putin’s victory seems imminent. Once re-elected, Vladimir Putin will become Russia’s second longest serving leader since Stalin.

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Editorial

Trump made a capital mistake

US President Donald Trump has announced lately Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as announced that US will shift US Embassy there. As per international laws Jerusalem is not even a city of the state of Israel than how can it be its capital. Those states who had accepted illegitimate state of Israel are hesitant to digest this unruly, unlawful decision of Mr Trump. When Israel was carved out on Palestinian lands under the auspices of Britain and the UNO, it was clearly stated that Jerusalem will not be the part of Israel. In 1947 UN General Assembly had passed a Resolution 181 (29) which established that Jerusalem will be ‘Corpus Separatum’ (independent city) due to its sanctified position among the followers of all the three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This city was to be governed by the UNO. The same narrative was adopted later in 1948 when Resolution 194 was adopted maintaining the status of Jerusalem as earlier.

In 1949 Israel entered into numerous ‘Armistice Agreements’ (peace agreements) with Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. In all these pacts the status of Jerusalem was maintained. However, under a system Eastern Jerusalem went under the control of Jordan which included parts like Al-Aqsa Mosque, Qubba Al-Sakhra, West wall and Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These areas remained under the control of the Muslims till 1967 war, when Israel had occupied the Western Jerusalem. But the world did not accept this occupation and its status remained as ‘Occupied Palestine’ and on 22nd Nov 1967 a Declaration 242 was adopted restraining it from being part of Israel. In another Resolution 2253 passed on 4th July 1967 Israeli occupation was declared as illegal and illegitimate and restricted Israel from such actions in future. 99 countries had voted in favour of this Resolution but no further action was taken to take back occupied areas. It was in 1980 that Israel had announced formally that Jerusalem will be its capital and asked all states to shift their Embassies to Jerusalem. This step of Israel provoked the peace loving states and many Islamic states discontinued their relations with Israel. Meanwhile the UN Security Council passed Resolutions 476 and 478 during 1980 declaring occupation of Israel as illegal and announced that all the member states should honour UN Resolutions. It also stated that no state shall move Embassies to that city. In the year 1990 when Israeli troops tortured Muslims in Mosque Al-Aqsa, the UN Security Council through Resolution 672 lashed Israel for committing atrocities on illegally occupied areas of Palestine. Further in 2004 International Court of Justice also termed Jerusalem as ‘Occupied Palestinian territory’. Israel was also obstructed from erecting a wall. Despite the fact that US had expressed her readiness to shift Embassy in 1995 all the heads of the state till Mr Trump had avoided this action.

In reaction to this relentless announcement of the US government protest marches have been staged. The entire Muslim world is provoked. Even the non Muslim states like Britain could not resist calling US action as madness. Teressa May has went to the extent of declaring Donald Trump’s visit to the UK as ‘unwelcome’. Turkey has also announced heralds of war. Many Islamic countries have banned sale and purchase of Israeli products that can be identified from Bar Code 729.

Predictions of Quranic Verses and Prophet’s tradition as to the assemblage of the Israelites refer to the End Times: Assemblage of Israeli tribes around the holy land of Jerusalem is marked as the devastation of the Muslims and that of the city of Madina Munawarra.

Besides predictions it is a matter of fair play and justice to take back occupied territories of Palestine and end up illegal occupation. Hostility of Trump for the Muslim world is self evident and open. So is the case of US allied states. The world is under the process of formation of new camps. Hostilities are growing. Syrian down fall in the wake of ISIS and American Russian rivalry is leading fast the world to a 3rd World War. Is the world ready for it? War mongering instincts are getting stronger. Humanity and ethics are getting to the ebb. Has all our education and high sounding claims of civilization taught us blood hunger?  It’s again going to be late before we learn! Humanity has not learnt to be peaceful. Peace has turned out to be a slogan only – a means to legalize terrorism. UNO has to this day satisfied only the Wolf. The greatest of the lessons for today is to learn ‘live and let the others live’ otherwise in the fight of occupation no one will remain to enjoy the occupation. Earth will end up as a war ravaged and devastated plain.

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