17 february 2020
Central Asia news
Several weeks ago ISIS (also known as ISIL and Islamic State) forces reached Turkey’s borders, destroying all ‘infidels’ in their path, by which they mean both Christians and Muslims belonging to other branches of Islam. Support for ISIS has also extended beyond its region: Afghan and Pakistani members of the Taliban have already begun to swear allegiance to this new radical Islamist movement. Specialists in politics and international relations, regional specialists, politicians and informed observers were asked what they think about the subject.
Carnegie Moscow Center presented the “Exploring the Prospects of Russian-Turkish Cooperation in a Turbulent Neighborhood” report compiled by the Carnegie Center and the Global Relations Forum (GRF) in Istanbul. The two organizations established a Working Group dedicated to exploring the potential for regional cooperation between Turkey and Russia under the leadership of Memduh Karakullukchu, vice chairman and president, Global Relations Forum (GRF), and Dmitri Trenin, director, Carnegie Moscow Center.
In one of its final hearings of the 2012 calendar year and one of the final hearings of several of its most distinguished members, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the lower house of the U.S. Congress (House of Representatives) invited experts to speak on Iranian activities and influence in South Caucasia. Presently, all is calm on the ground in South Caucasia. Development in Azerbaijan, recent democratic elections in Georgia and quiet in Armenia indicate a thaw in this region of frozen conflicts after a harsh blizzard of violence and social disarray that touched three decades. However the tone of this hearing was all but calm, as one would expect a hearing on Iranian influence in a critical hydrocarbon transit corridor at the U.S. Congress in modern times to be. Dan Burton, retiring Chairman of the Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia, who just returned from the region, conveyed his observation from abroad that Washington is not the only World capitol in which such uneasy discussion of Iran can be heard.
Author of a piece in a Russian tabloid the other day assumed that Tajikistan was about to abandon Russia as a strategic partner and turn to the United States or "even Iran". The Islamic Republic of Iran meanwhile does not deserve this condescending "even". Like the United States, Russia, and China, this country is one of the key players in the Central Asian region. As far as UNESCO is concerned, Iran or rather its northeastern provinces are part of Central Asia.