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France’s deployment of its military forces in Mali is the process which is bound to legitimize increased external military intervention in Africa. It has served as an opportunity for other Western countries to intervene in the internal affairs of African countries. By deploying its military forces to Mali France served the interests of its Western strategic allies in their African policy”, - Head of the Governance and Democracy research programme at the Africa Institute of South Africa Sehlare Makgetlaneng.  


“We understand how our Arab and Iranian colleagues feel regarding the postponement of the conference on establishing a weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the Middle East. The situation is unacceptable, but there should be no complaints against Russia. The convenors did not have the authority to make the decision to postpone, and Russia did not agree with the decision. We continue to work toward the convening of the conference and insist on fixing a concrete date,” – Mikhail Ulyanov, Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


“Syrian crisis is among the main negative trends of the period. The Syrian state and armed forces have succeeded in denying its enemies and their backers the rapid victory that the latter expected. By protracting the struggle and creating a situation of rough equilibrium or a hurting stalemate, the Syrian regime has scored, and shown that it cannot be kept out of any settlement. Negotiations with the opposition are essential in the national interest. This may enable some common middle ground to be identified”, - former Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Colombo, Dayan Jayatilleka.


“The Korean peninsula where bellicose rhetoric between North and South Korea has gained momentum is another hotbed of tension. Despite the statement of the North’s readiness to start war with the South, I'm sure that there will be no real swar. Otherwise, it would mean the end of the North Korean regime. There are no reasons to rely on Russia’s and China’s (primarily China’s) military aid. And alone North Korea is clearly going to lose.  It should be taken into account that here is neither nuclear weapons in North Korea, no reliable delivering mechanisms with a range of over 1,800 km”, - PIR Center Senior Vice President, Lieutenant General (Retired) Evgeny Buzhinsky. 


“The main reason why the Arab states had agreed to the indefinite extension of the NPT was that they wanted security from nuclear weapons. Now you are telling them that this is impossible, and the official nuclear powers, the members of the Middle East Quartet, are washing their hands. The Arab countries may well respond by saying, ‘In that case we are going to provide our own security, and we don't need the NPT for that,’” - Jayantha Dhanapala, President of the Pugwash Movement of Scientists.


“In Israel, a new government coalition was created. Despite the opinion that this coalition is unstable and unlikely to last for a long, I would have said the opposite - it is very stable. The new government will deal with the pressing problems of Israel, not with a scam with a Palestinian state, which is uninteresting for Israeli leaders and voters. If Ramallah was really interested in dialogue, not in provocations, it would start with any Israeli government”, - President of the Institute of Middle East Studies Evgeny Satanovsky.


“Syrian authorities have agreed to form a group for negotiation with opposition. But the gap between the Syrian regime and the Syrian rebels is very wide. After the developments of the past two years, it is most unlikely that the two parties will be able to achieve a diplomatic settlement of this conflict and negotiations seem to be an unrealistic option at this stage. The Syrian conflict could be settled on the battlefield, not at the negotiation table. Rebel forces are making steady progress, even if a slow one. The US veto on arms supply to the Syrian rebels makes it likely that the stalemate will continue and there will be no quick end to this conflict”, - Chairman and Founder of the Gulf Research Center, President of Sager Group Holding, Abdulaziz Sager.


“Among the major and most serious threats coming from Afghanistan are religious extremism, terrorism, and conflict escalation. But the greatest problem to Central Asia is drug trafficking. The issue of drug trafficking in Afghanistan is directly related to the internal situation in the country and the survival of Afghans after military devastation. More than 30% of the drugs in the world are produced in Afghanistan. Most of them are transported through the territory of Central Asia, then in Russia and Europe. Only 10% of the total drug traffic delivered from IRA can be seized on the borders. The bulk of the drugs reaches their consumers”, - director of the private research and educational center "Bilim Karvon" ("Caravan of knowledge"), Farhad Tolipov.


“On the global level international security has been deeply disturbed by the third nuclear test by DPRK on February 12. The nuclear test, as well as the reaction of international community had been anticipated by many of the international security experts. Another issue is the lack of advances on negotiations between Iran and IAEA on its nuclear program. Syria civil war is another unsolved point of big concern, with a death toll of 70,000 as of February 2013”, -  Founder and Chair of the Nonproliferation for Global Security Foundation, Irma Arguello.



“The civil war in Syria and, in particular, the fact that jihadist elements have become more assertive is a major negative development. I would call attention to the sustained attacks by Salafis al-Nusra brigades against the Kurds in northeastern Syria since last November as a particularly dangerous development. Developments in Iraq are also a source of concern. The standoff between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq is getting closer to an open confrontation, and recent terrorist attacks in northern Iraq are an ominous sign,” - Halil Karaveli, Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center.