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Asia Watch

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s recent controversial comments about the “occupation” of the Western Sahara generated a great deal of pushback from a broad spectrum of Moroccan circles – from the government’s decision to cut down the number of staffers and funding at the UN mission in the Sahara to global protests from France to New York.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on March 14 that “the main part” of the Russian military presence in Syria would be pulled out may have taken many by surprise.

 

The 'refugee crisis' in Europe appears to have acquired a new sense of urgency in the last few weeks, as thousands of Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans,continue to land on Greek islands from various points on the Turkish coastline.

 

Iran reportedly test-fired two ballistic missiles Wednesday with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written on them, a show of force by the Islamic Republic as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel.

 

Iran has just completed the tenth parliamentary elections of its revolutionary era, once again with a large turnout and some unexpected results.

 

The message must be resonating across the international community. The reformists have swept the elections in Iran - a profound moral victory for President Hasan Rouhani.

 

Iran’s moderates have dealt another blow to the country’s hard-liners, winning the majority of seats in last week’s vote for the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body empowered with choosing the nation’s supreme leader.

 

Western officials said Bashar al-Assad’s days were numbered and predicted he would soon be forced to the negotiating table. It did not turn out that way.

 

Israel's defense minister on Wednesday accused Iran of building an international terror network that includes "sleeper cells" that are stockpiling arms, intelligence and operatives in order to strike on command in places including Europe and the US.

 

Although an agreement among Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela is the first of its kind in 15 years, it will not, in itself, be the “magic cure” to low oil prices. It is really the opening move of an energy politics chess game in which the rules for Saudi Arabia have changed.

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image India’s Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari visited Armenia recently to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
 
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Pakistan said on July 27 that India's stipulation for granting visa to Pakistani nationals were "highly regrettable" and was against diplomatic norms.
 
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In dispatching its  PLA (Peoples Liberation Army)  marines to Djibuti in the Horn of Africa on Wednesday (July 12 ) by amphibious ships, from the southern port of Zhanjiang, China has taken a significant step in enhancing its  trans-border military footprint.
 
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In the last few weeks , spokesman of Government of China have been issuing several statements and  making observations against India that sound like war cry. 1962 war between India and China was mentioned , as a reminder to India of the happenings then, which virtually amount to a warning that events of 1962  could be repeate
 
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Images of Kashmiri separatists walking the corridors of the Prime Minister’s office during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s tenure have been replaced with visuals of Hurriyat Conference leaders being arrested and taken into custody by a central agency.
 
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As Aadhaar becomes the norm in India, and gets skewered for the involuntary nature of its imposition, our northern neighbours, as is their wont, want to do a number that will make this appear benign.
 
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On July 18, the global media carried stories of how Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Naif was ousted from his position and replaced by his cousin, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
 
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The alliance that defeated the militant Islamic State group in Mosul was unusual. Fighting alongside the Iraqi army were not only US forces but also Iran-backed militias.
 
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S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore on "India, ASEAN and Changing Geopolitics”
 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
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History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
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Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
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Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
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