Vice President Ansari stresses on “the will” to promote correct policy on West Asia

November 21st, 2007 - 4:04 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov.21 (ANI): Underlining the geo-political importance of West Asia in world politics, the Vice President of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, today stressed the need to have “the will” to take a correct policy on the region.
Saying any discussion of contemporary West Asia must begin with three questions of what is happening in the region, why is it happening and what is the way out, the Vice President said diagnosis and commentary on the first and second questions inevitably propel us towards the third.
“The correctives are suggested by the diagnosis itself. The question is of the will to undertake it. Simple logic, however, is not synonymous with state logic!” the Vice President said, inaugurating an international conference on “Emerging Security Concerns in West Asia” organised by Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation and Rosa Luxumburg Foundation of Germany.
Setting the right tone for the two-day conference, the Vice President pointed out that external security concerns pertaining to West Asia have been around for over a century. He said ‘emerging security concerns’ cannot be viewed in a vacuum and in a single dimension. “They need to be seen both from the internal and the external perspectives and in terms of the historical experience of individual societies”.
Ansari, who had guided the West Asia programme of Observer Research Foundation before taking up government responsibilities, said a Middle East Peace Process is lingering on promissory notes whose encashment has been deferred repeatedly.
He said the quagmire in Iraq has dented the prestige and power of the US which has failed to abandon the doctrines of ‘pre-emptive strikes’ and of ‘regime change’ while America’s stand-off with Iran is threatening peace in the region as well as the world.
The Vice President noted that while the greater part of the region and its population are Arab, the principal factors in the strategic calculus are non-Arabs. Two are on the periphery Israel and Iran, while one is beyond it the US. “The interaction of these with the region, and with each other, is having a decisive impact,” he said.
The Vice President noted that the US today is not the sole super power of 2003, being faltered by its policies of unilateralism, creative destruction and pre-emption. “The US has been mauled by non-state actors in Iraq” and “its policies have given impetus to terrorism” while “its intentions are suspect”, he said.
On the Iran standoff , the Vice President talked of suggestions that creative thinking should focus at direct negotiations without pre-conditions, but with some confidence building measures by Iran, between Iran, the European Union and the United States. The Vice President said veteran US diplomat, who was recently in Delhi, was cautiously optimistic about such talks taking place in 2008.
Maharajakrishna Rasgotra, former Foreign Secretary and now the President of the Centre for International Affairs, ORF, stressed the need for unity among the Hamas and Fateh movements for peace in the region.
Rasgotra, the chairman of the National Security Advisory Council, suggested that Asia and the Arab world should join hands and work towards a West Asia peace plan. “Why not an Asian-Arab initiative instead of the US, Western efforts? Is Middle East peace is of concern to US and Europe” he asked.
Making the opening remarks, Rasgotra said after the Lebanon war, now new divides have cropped up after the Iraq invasion by the United States.
General V.P. Malik, President of the Institute of Security Studies, ORF, also stressed on the need for peace and stability in West Asia for world peace.
The two-day conference is looking at various aspects impacting the emerging security situation in the region, including role of ideology, ideological radicalization, political developments in the region and their impact on stability and security, role of external and regional powers and desirable policy options for India and Europe.
Many foreign scholars and experts like Prof. Faisal O. Al-Rfough, former Minister of Culture in Jordan, Prof. Norman Paech, MP of the German Bundestag, Dr. Michael Brie, vice-chairman, RLF, Dr. Siret Hursory (Turkey), Prof. Khaldoun H. Al-Naqeeb (Kuwait), Mr. Mohammed Wahby (Egypt), Dr. Werner Ruf, Dr. Sabine Hofmann, Dr. Claudia Haydt, Dr. Erhard Crome (all Europe), Dr. Sadegh Zibakalam (Iran) and Dr. Sahar Al Majali (Jordan) are taking part in the conference besides domain experts from India. (ANI)

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