لا حلول في قمة بوتين ترامب بل حلحلة

يوليو 14, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– تشخص أنظار العالم نحو القمة التي ستجمع الرئيسين الأميركي دونالد ترامب والروسي فلاديمير بوتين في هلسنكي الإثنين المقبل. ويترقّب حلفاء الدولتين الأعظم في العالم المتموضعون على ضفتين متقابلتين في حرب مشتعلة على جبهات عدة، ما ستحمله القمة من جديد ينعكس عليهم بالتبريد أو التصعيد. وكثير منهم يخشى تفاهمات تتضمّن تسويات وربما مساومات على حسابه. وليس خافياً أنّ سورية التي ستحتلّ مكانة متقدّمة في القمة ليست موضوعها الوحيد، كما أنّ ما يتصل بها سينعكس حكماً على سواها.

– تتفاوت المقاربتان الروسية والأميركية للقمة بما هو أبعد من كون لكلّ منهما أولوية مطالب من الآخر، وإلا صارت سهلة مقايضتها أو البحث بمقايضتها. فالتفاوت هو في اختلاف الوظيفة التي تحتلّها القمة في كلّ من النظرتين. ففي النظرة الروسية هي محطة لترصيد التوازنات واستكشاف فرص التسويات بين حلفين بعد جولات مضنية من المواجهة، كانت سورية أبرزها وأخطرها بلا شك، وسعي لتحويل النصر في سورية تعبيراً عن توازن دولي إقليمي جديد يتيح رسم خريطة قوى ومصالحات، تمثل روسيا في قلبها حلفاً يضمّ الصين والهند وإيران وكوريا وسورية وسواها، بينما تنظر أميركا للقمة كما في كلّ تسوية بعد خسارة جولة مواجهة، كإطار ممكن لعزل النصر في ساحته ومنع تداعياته على سائر ساحات المواجهة. وبمثل ما تريد روسيا تحويل النصر السوري مدخلاً لتعويم التفاهم النووي مع إيران، تريد أميركا اختتام المواجهة في سورية بإخراج إيران منها، لتسوير الانتصار السوري عند حدودها، والانتقال للمواجهة مع إيران بجعلها، وهي المنتصرة في سورية، في موقع الخاسرين.

– روسيا تتطلّع للإجابة عن سؤال هو: هل نضجت واشنطن لتقبل التسليم بعالم متعدّد الأقطاب، والتعامل مع عالم جديد بقواعد جديدة؟ والجواب بالنفي واضح من تفاصيل العلاقات الأميركية الأوروبية، حيث الصلافة والتعجرف علامات واضحة لإنكار وجود شركاء في العالم، بل أعداء وأتباع فقط. وأمام روسيا معادلة واضحة هي أنّ واشنطن تقبل تسوية في سورية لا تنتج معادلة إقليمية جديدة، ولا تنتج خصوصاً ضعفاً لـ «إسرائيل» وقوّة إيران. وهذا يعني ربط التسليم بالنصر السوري بمعادلتي سور أممي حول الجولان المحتلّ تحت عنوان اتفاق فك الاشتباك، وانسحاب إيراني، بينما المقاربة الروسية تنطلق من النصر السوري لتقول لا استقرار في الإقليم بلا حوار شامل حول مشكلاته، والبحث عن تسويات منصفة لأزماته، والتخفف من أعباء الاستنزاف في سورية لاختبار التحالف السعودي «الإسرائيلي» تحت شعار مواجهة إيران وصفقة القرن، ليس ما يمكن أن يطلب من روسيا، الجاهزة لمفهوم التسويات الشاملة، وما عدا ذلك فمصير فك الاشتباك في الجولان كما الوجود الإيراني ووجود المقاومة في سورية شأن سوري سيادي، لا تملك روسيا قدرة الدخول على خطه إلا ضمن معادلات التسويات الشاملة التي تطال بحث مصير الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي» للجولان والتفاهم النووي مع إيران.

– لن تفشل القمة، لأنّ بديل المواجهة ليس حاضراً في الجعبة الأميركية، لذلك ستؤسّس لحوار طويل بين موسكو واشنطن لإحاطة الملفات المتفجرة. وفي سورية سيكون العنوان عاماً وغامضاً، تشجيع الحلّ السياسي من بوابة جنيف، وتشجيع انسحاب القوات الأجنبية من سورية، بانتظار أن تختبر واشنطن مشروعها لحصار إيران ولصفقة القرن، وبالانتظار لن تحصل واشنطن على طمأنة القلق «الإسرائيلي» في الجولان، ولا على مقايضة للانسحاب من سورية عندما تدق ساعة الشمال، وتبقى صيغة جنيف والتشاور الوزاري بين موسكو وواشنطن منصات صالحة لتلافي المفاجآت.

– المهمّ بعد القمة سينتهي الانتظار وسينطلق الجميع إلى الملفات المجمّدة، ومنها الحكومة اللبنانية.

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Foreign Minister S.Lavrov’s interview with Channel 4, Moscow, June 29, 2018

The Saker

June 29, 2018

Foreign Minister S.Lavrov’s interview with Channel 4, Moscow, June 29, 2018

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3285972

 

Question: Foreign Minister, the summit is happening in Helsinki. Russian President V.Putin and US President D.Trump together. Is this the post-West world order that you have talked of in the past? Has it now arrived?

S.Lavrov: Well, I think that we are in the post-West world order, but this order is being shaped and it will take a long time. It is a historical epoch, if you want. Certainly, after five or so centuries of domination of the collective West, as it were, it is not very easy to adjust to new realities that there are other powerhouses economically, financially and politically, China, India, Brazil. African countries are going to be very much on the rise, as soon as they resolve at least some of the conflicts, which are there on the continent. Well, Russia certainly would like to be an independent world player. Independent in the sense that we do not want to violate and international law and norms, but the decisions, which we would be taking on the basis of international law, would not be influenced by pressure, money, sanctions, threats or anything else.

Question: Russia is shaping this world order that is clear.

S.Lavrov: It is not Russia is shaping this world order, its history. It’s the development itself. You cannot really hope to contain this new powerful, economically and financially, countries. You cannot really ignore their role in world trade and world economy. Attempts are being made to slow down this process by new tariffs, new sanctions for good or bad reasons in violation of the WTO principles and so on. But I think it is a logical reaction: trying to slow down something, which is objective and does not depend on any single administration in any country.

Question: But Europe has something to fear from that world order that you have just mapped out there.

S.Lavrov: What was that?

Question: Well the world order that you have mapped out involved all sorts of countries. You did not mention whether the EU fits into that. Do they need to worry about that new world order?

S.Lavrov: Well, the EU is of course part of the collective West with the addition of new members from Eastern Europe. But the European Union is certainly a very important pillar of any world order. As for the Russian Federation, it is our biggest trade partner in spite of the fact that after the unfortunate developments and the wrongly understood interpretation of what the coup d’état is. The volume of trade since 2014 between Russia and the European Union went down 50%, but it is still more than $250bn and it is our number one trading partner, as a collective, as a Union. But the European Union certainly is now fighting to make sure that it is not lost in this new world order that is being shaped. It is not easy, because the reliance on the United States is something, which quite a number of the EU members want to keep. There are some other EU members, who believe that they should be a bit more self-sufficient in military matters for example. The initiative of President F.Macron and Germany to consider some kind of European defence capabilities being beefed up is a manifestation of this case.

I am watching the EU summit, which is going on right now, and the discussion on migration brought an interesting thought to my head, namely it is about the relations between NATO and EU. NATO bombed Libya, turned Libya into a black hole through which waves of migrants, illegal migrants, rushed to Europe. Now EU is cleaning the broken china for NATO.

Question: You talk about NATO’s involvement in Libya, but then there is Russia’s involvement in Syria and that has also created millions of refugees.

S.Lavrov: Yes, but I would challenge you that the Russian involvement in Syria on the basis of legitimate request from the legitimate government, recognized by all as the representative of Syria in the United Nations, took place in September 2015, four years and a half into the Arab spring embracing Syria. The bulk of the refugees already was outside Syria by the time that we came to the rescue of the legitimate government.

Question: Well you talk of the legitimate government that is also the government responsible for killing of hundreds of thousands of its own citizens, making millions homeless. “A gas killing animal”, as President D.Trump, your ally, puts it. Do you rest easy being allied with that kind of government?

S.Lavrov: Well, I would not go into the names, which President D.Trump used to describe some of the world leaders. It is not something done in concrete, it might change. What I want to say is: it is a war. It is the war, which was started by mistakes made on the part of everyone, including the Syrian government. I believe these disturbances could have been handled politically at an earlier stage. But we have now on our hands what is the result of outside forces having tried to use the situation in order to reshape the map of the Middle East and Northern Africa by trying to get into Syria without any invitation and trying to promote their own agenda there. So, the efforts, which we are now undertaking together with Turkey and Iran, and both of them are present on the ground, Turkey without invitation, Iran with the invitation from the government, but we managed pragmatically to create what we call Astana Process, Astana Format. The Syrian government, given the fact that Russia, Iran cooperate with Turkey on the basis of decisions, which lead to de-escalation, accepted Astana Process as such. It is part of the process together with the armed opposition, they regularly meet, and try to create conditions for the resolution of UN Security Council 2254 to be implemented.

Question: Let me ask again about Syrian President B.Assad. A lot of people would like to know what is there to like about President B.Assad?

S.Lavrov: We do not like anybody. The diplomacy and politics are not about liking or disliking, it is for human beings as individuals to use this terminology. President Assad is protecting the sovereignty of his country. He is protecting his country and in a broader sense the region from terrorism, which was really about a couple of weeks from taking over Damascus in September 2015.

We did not want the repetition of tragedies, which happened during last couple of decades through the “adventures”. Maybe even more than a couple of decades. It started closer to the end last century in Afghanistan, when the US decided to support militarily, financially and otherwise mujahedeen, who were fighting the Soviet troops. I would not dwell upon why the Soviet troops were there. By the way USSR was also invited legally by the government, which was recognized legitimate. The US decided to use the mujahedeen to fight the Soviet troops, hoping that after the job is done, they could handle those mujahedeen. That is how Al Qaeda appeared and the US lost total control of this beast, whom they had created basically. Then there was an adventure in Iraq on the very false pretence. Now everybody knows this, even Tony Blair admitted that this was a mistake. But the fact of the matter is just like Al Qaeda was born in Afghanistan, ISIL/Daesh was born after the intervention in Iraq. After Libya was invaded in gross violation of the Security Council Resolution, and Syria is now, there is another beast that was born – Jabhat al Nusra, which changes names, but is another terrorist organization. Whatever the civilized West is trying to bring to the Middle East and North Africa turns out to be in favour of terrorists.

Question: That is a very impressive whistle-stop tour of history, but I want to ask about the present though and about President Assad. You said that it is not about liking President Assad. Does that mean that Russia would be prepared to see him go? Do the job, finish the war and then he goes?

S.Lavrov: It is the position, which is not Russian position, it is the position of the Security Council, endorsed by each and every country on Earth, that the future of Syria must be decided by the Syrian people themselves. That there must be a new constitution.  On the basis of the new constitution there must be elections. Elections should be free, fair, monitored by the UN and all Syrian citizens, wherever they are, should be eligible to vote.

Question: So, it is irrelevant to you whether he stays or goes, that is for the Syrian people?

S.Lavrov: Yes, that is for them to decide. I believe that this view, which was rejected for quite some time after the Syrian crisis began, is now shared by more and more countries.

Question: When Russia withdraws from Syria? President V.Putin first raised the prospect in March 2016, he said that Russia had largely achieved her objectives there. Again, December 2017. By the end of this year can we expect Russia to be out of Syria?

S.Lavrov: No. I do not think that this is something, which we can intelligently discuss. We do not like artificial deadlines, but we have been consistently reducing our military presence in Syria. The last reduction took place a few of days ago. More than 1,000 troops have come back to Russia, some aircraft and other equipment as well. It depends on what is the actual situation on the ground. Yes, we managed together with our colleagues, with Syrian Army, with the help of opposition, which I would call “patriotic opposition” not to allow plans to create a caliphate by ISIL happen. But some remnants of ISIL are very much there. Jabhat al Nusra is still there. They are now preventing the deal on the southern Syrian de-escalation area to be implemented fully. So there are some leftovers. Besides, we do have, not actually full-fledged bases, but two places where our naval ships and our aircraft are located in Syria and they might be usefully kept for quite some time.

Question: Clearly, Syria will be on the agenda at the summit. Just want to talk about some other things that might be. For example, you have mentioned sanctions. Do you think that sanctions will be lifted, given that the EU has just talked about extending them? Do you think you can get President D.Trump to commit to that?

S.Lavrov: Actually, I have mentioned sanctions only in the context of the deterioration of relations. We are not pleading to remove them. It is not our business, it is for those, who introduced sanction, to decide whether they want to continue or whether common sense would prevail.

Question: Well, your President has very recently said that he would like them lifted.

S.Lavrov: Yes, absolutely. We would not mind them lifted, but we would not mind also using the spirit to build up our own capacity in key sectors of economy, security and other areas on which an independent state depends. In the recent years, we have learned a lot, including the fact that in these issues you cannot rely on the West. You cannot rely on Western technologies, because they can be abruptly stopped at any moment. You cannot rely on the items, which are essential for the day-to-day living of the population, coming from the West, because this could also be stopped. So we are certainly drawing lessons. But we certainly would not be against sanctions being lifted and we would reciprocate, because we do have some countermeasures in place.

Question: What are you prepared to give in this Summit? For example, if D.Trump says he wants NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden back in the US, is that something that you would consider? Is this something that you can put on the table?

S.Lavrov: I have never discussed Edward Snowden with this Administration.  President V.Putin addressed the issue some years ago. When he was asked the question, he said this is for Edward Snowden do decide. We respect his rights, as an individual. That is why we were not in the position to expel him against his will, because he found himself in Russia even without the US passport, which was discontinued as he was flying from Hong Kong.

Question: So that is not going to be up for discussion?

S.Lavrov: I do not know why people would start asking this particular question in relation to the Summit. Edward Snowden is the master of his own destiny.

Question: Given that the US intelligence believes that the presidential elections were meddled with, can Russian President V.Putin give D.Trump any assurances that the upcoming mid-term elections in a few months’ time would not be meddled with by Russia?

S.Lavrov: We would prefer some facts. We cannot intelligently discuss something, which is based on “highly likely”.

Question: Well, it is more than highly likely, is not it?

S.Lavrov: No. The investigation in the US has been going on for how long? A year and a half now?

Question: Well, Robert Mueller indicted the Internet Research Agency, the Russian “troll factory”.

S.Lavrov: Indictment is something, which requires a trial and I understand that they have submitted their own case and they have challenged quite a number of things, which were used for the indictment. So let’s not jump the gun. I love Lewis Carrol, but I do not think that the logic of the queen, who said “sentence first, verdict later”, is going to prevail. So far, you take the presidential election in the US, take Brexit, take the Salisbury case, take the tragedy with the Malaysian Boeing MH17 flight, it is all based on “investigation continues, but you are guilty already”. It cannot work this way.

Question: But is Russia frightened of the truth? Because it just seems whenever the authority whether it is the UN or the chemical weapons watch dog OPCW, whenever they try to get to the facts, Russia objects.

S.Lavrov: No, I believe that the public and respected journalists like you have been misinformed. The OPCW must operate on the basis of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which says bluntly that there is only one procedure when you want to establish facts. First, experts of the OPCW must themselves without delegating this authority to anyone go to the place of the alleged incident. They must themselves with their own hands and with their own equipment take samples. They must continue holding the substances in their hands until they have reached a certified laboratory. In the recent cases, especially in the infamous case of Khan Shaykhun April last year, when the Syrian government was accused of using aerial bombs to deliver chemical weapons to Khan Shaykhun, the OPCW never visited the place, they never took samples themselves. When we asked where did they get samples they said: “the Brits and the French gave it to us”. We asked why do not you go there?

Question: Have you lost faith in the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Wait a second, that is important information. Let’s not speak slogans, let’s speak facts. So they did not go there. But they said that “we got the samples”. We asked “where from?”. They said “well the British and the French got it for us”. “Why do not you go?”, we asked. “Why it is not very safe.” We told them if the Brits and the French made it there or rather they know people who can get there safely, why do not you ask Paris and London to ensure safety for your own inspectors to get there. We told the same to the French and to the British, they said: “no, it is something, which we cannot share with you, how we got hold of this”. So, no procedures, regarding the taking of the samples, and the chain of custody, meaning that the inspectors themselves cannot delegate to anyone the delivery of samples to laboratory. These procedures, embodied and enshrined in the Convention, were violated. The Report on this Khan Shaykhun case, submitted by this Joint Investigating Mechanism last fall was full of “highly likely”, “by all probability”, “we have good reasons to believe” and so on and so forth. We invited the authors of the Report to the Security Council, trying to get some credible information from them. Impossible, they were stonewalled, they refused to talk. We said: “guys, if you want to work on the basis of violation of the Convention’s procedures, this cannot continue”. We did not extend their mandate, but we suggested a new mechanism, insisting that this new mechanism must not violate the procedures embodied in the Convention.

Question: Do you still have faith in the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Until recently we did. But the organization was grossly manipulated a couple of days ago, when the Brits and others convened the special sessions of the state parties to the Convention. They passed a decision by vote, which basically violates the Convention in all its provisions, giving the Technical Secretariat the right to establish guilt. I think that this is a step, which was not thought through very thoroughly, because it is very dangerous.

Question: Well, it is dangerous potentially for Russia, because now the chemical weapons watchdog can apportion blame to the likes of Russia. Are you fearful of the truth?

S.Lavrov: No, I am fearful of the future of the OPCW and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Question: Will you withdraw from the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Well, if people prefer to violate the Convention, if they say that this is the “will of the majority”. When they convened this conference, all kinds of tricks were used, including mobilizing small countries, who do not have any representation in the Hague, paying for their travel expenses, paying for their hotel bills. We know all this and they know all this. So, when the Convention is grossly violated, I do not think that you can really avoid raising concern. We will try to repair the situation, because this decision will go to the regular conference of the state parties. But if this is not repaired, I believe that the days of the OPCW will be counted, at least it would not remain as a universal organization.

Question: The OPCW has also investigated the case of the Skripals. I wanted to ask you, do you think that using a nerve agent to poison a former spy and his child, a policeman on the streets of a cathedral city in Britain is an act of a rational state?

S.Lavrov: Rational state? Not at all. It is an act of crime. We from the very beginning suggested that we investigate this together, because it is our citizen. At least the daughter is our citizen. The father, I think, has a dual citizenship, he is a Russian citizen and a British subject. From the very beginning we suggested a joint investigation. We asked so many questions, including the questions related to the Chemical Weapons Convention’s procedures. In response, we were told that the British side does not want to listen, because we have to tell them only one thing. “Did V.Putin order this or did V.Putin lose control over the people who did?”. That’s all that the Brits wanted to discuss. The inconsistences in the situation with the Skripals are very troubling. We never managed to get consular access to our citizen in violation of all international conventions on diplomatic and consular relations. We never got any credible explanation why the cousin of Yulia Skripal has not been given visa, she wants to visit the UK and see her cousin. And many other things related to the act itself.

Question: But why would Britain give consular access to the country suspected of being behind this attack?

S.Lavrov: You know that the investigation continues. The Scotland Yard said that it would take a few more months. UK Foreign Secretary B.Johnson recently mentioned that the place is being disinfected four months after the incident. The policeman became miraculously fine. The Skripals became miraculously fine. People now talk about levelling the house, where they lived, levelling the house of the policeman. It all looks like a consistent physical extermination of the evidence, like the benches of the park were removed immediately and, of course, the video images, when the policemen or special forces in special attire go to take a look at this bench, while people without any protection are moving around. It looks very weird.

S.Lavrov: Mr. Lavrov are accusing the British state of a cover-up of this whole incident?

S.Lavrov: I do not exclude this, as long as they do not give us information. You know that about 10 Russian citizens have died in London during the past years. All 10 cases have been investigated in the secret format. We do not understand why. One of the wise guys said: “who is to benefit?” Certainly, the UK benefited politically from what is going. Come to think of it, it is an interesting situation, thereby the country, which is leaving the European Union, is determining the EU policy on Russia. When they were running through all capitals of the European Union, saying “you must expel the Russian diplomats, you must expel them”. So they did. Most of them, some did not. Then we privately asked those, who decided to join Britain in this action whether any proof was given in addition to what was said publicly. They said no. But they said that “we were promised that later, as investigation proceeds, we would be given more facts”. Do you think it is ok?

Question: But you ask who benefits and there are many in the West, who say that the chaos whether it is Brexit, whether it is the Skripals, whether it is D.Trump in the White House…

S.Lavrov: You forgot Catalonia and you forgot the forthcoming elections in Sweden, as the Prime Minister said. Macedonia, Montenegro…

Question: Ok, we will include that later. But answer me this: does the chaos benefit Russia, as some in the West say?

S.Lavrov: You have to be within the historical and chronological framework. You mean the chaos benefits Russia couple of weeks before the presidential elections and months before the World Cup. What do you think?

Question: I am asking you. Does chaos benefit Russia?

S.Lavrov: I want to clarify the issue. Does chaos benefit Russia couple of days before the presidential elections and couple of days before the World Cup? Is it the question?

Question: Well you talked about the new world order that you are hoping that Russia will help shape. Much easier to shape that world order if the EU is in chaos, you are holding the ring in the Middle East, if you are calling the shots in Syria. Russia potentially benefits.

S.Lavrov: No, this is absolutely wrong. It is misreading what I have said. I did not say that Russia wants to shape the new order. I said that Russia must be one of the players on the equal basis, discussing how the objective reality of multipolarity, being developed in front of our eyes, could be managed the way, which would be acceptable to all. That is what I have said. The interests of those, who determine the Russophobic policy in the West, are absolutely diametrically different. Their interest is to punish Russia, to downgrade Russia.

Question: Why, do you think?

S.Lavrov: Because it is very painful to lose half millennium of domination in the world affairs. In a nutshell this is the answer. This is not the criticism, this is a statement of fact. I understand when people used to call the shots in India, Africa, Asia, elsewhere and now they understand that this time has passed.

Question: Is Brexit good for Britain? Is it good for Russia?

S.Lavrov: This is for the UK subjects to discuss.

Question: Good for Russia, though?

S.Lavrov: I do not understand why we should be thinking in this way. It is something that the Brits decided. It is something, which they still discuss with the EU: the divorce, the problems inside the country. We also know, of course we follow the news, that the Parliament has one position, some public activists want rethinking.

Question: Does it look like chaos to you in Theresa May’s Britain?

S.Lavrov: Look, it is something, which happened by developments inside the UK. We only want clarity. What will be the basis on which we continue to work with the European Union. What will be the basis on which we might someday restore the relations with the UK, when they take some reasonable course and not overly ideologised, “highly likely” attitude. I believe that this must be must be very much understood by those in the West, especially by the liberals, who keep saying that the “rule of law must prevail”. In my view, rule of law means that unless proven guilty you cannot sentence people. That is what is happening with Skripal, MH17, with the OPCW being an instrument of those, who would like to make this “highly likely” the order of the day in Syria.

Question: Just returning to the Summit for a couple of final questions. Does it help Russia in her dealings with D.Trump that so many people think that you have compromising materials,  so-called “kompromat”, on him?

S.Lavrov: Look, I hear this for the first time that we have the compromising material on D.Trump. That’s what the Special Counsel R.Mueller is trying to dig. Actually, I stopped reading the news from this investigation. You know that when R. Tillerson was Secretary of State, he once stated publicly that they have an “undeniable proof”. Then, during our contact, I said: “Rex, can you give this undeniable proof to us? Because we want to understand what is going on. Maybe this is something that we can explain”. He said: “well, we cannot give it to you, we cannot compromise our sources and besides, your special services, your security people know everything – ask them”. Is it the way to handle serious things? It is a matter, which is used to ruin the Russian-American relations. To answer the way, in which he did, I believe that it is not mature. It is very childish, I think. I think that the people, who are trying to dig something to prove that we have decided the future of the greatest country on Earth through some Internet agency, are ridiculous. I understand that the Democrats in the US are really quite nervous. I understand that the UK is nervous. There were leaks in the Times, saying that the Cabinet members are nervous that D.Trump and V.Putin might get along.

Question: So you do read the papers?

S.Lavrov: I read the extracts, which my people give me. I love reading papers with a cup of coffee, but do not always have time.

Question: Finally, on that point of kompromat. The ex-FBI Director J.Comey has said and I quote “it is possible that the current President of the United States was with prostitutes, peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013”. Do you think that this is possible?

S.Lavrov: Well, he said that this is possible, ask him.

Question: Do you think that this is possible? It has happened in Moscow allegedly.

S.Lavrov: I do not know what people can invent again. I think that I have read this story a couple of years ago, when all this started. Again, if people base the real policies vis-à-vis a country, state-to-state policies on the basis of “it is “possible”, on the basis of “highly likely”, this is shameful. I believe that what is being done in the context of the Russiagate in the US, as President V.Putin has repeatedly said, is the manifestation of deep domestic controversy, because the losers do not have the guts to accept that they have lost the elections.

Question: Foreign Minister, thank you very much.

S.Lavrov: Thank you.

 

US Warns India Not to Buy Russian Weapons

US Warns India Not to Buy Russian Weapons

PETER KORZUN | 01.06.2018 | SECURITY / DEFENSE

US Warns India Not to Buy Russian Weapons

The US does not shy away from openly threatening its allies and friends into submission. America’s major defense partners could face tough sanctions for purchases of Russian military equipment. Since January 29, the US has been imposing punitive measures under the CAATSA on foreign entities and individuals who cooperate with Russia in the field of defense or intelligence gathering. Congress is not inclined to give the administration the right of waiver to make an exception from the rule for some close allies. Despite that, many of them remain adamant in their intent to purchase the weapons they need from Russia.

Washington is exerting pressure on Turkey to make it abandon the plans to purchase Russia S-400 Triumf state-of-the-art air defense systems. So far, Ankara stood tall refusing to bow. US Congress is already considering the proposals on halting US arms sales to that country.

Unlike Turkey, India is not a NATO ally but its desire to acquire the Triumf triggers a negative reaction in the US. American lawmakers not only express concern over the planned deal but also issue warnings that sensitive American military technology may be banned from being shared with India in future. According to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, “There is a lot of concern in the US administration and Congress with the S-400.” India’s decision will be made final before the October Russia-India summit. During the informal talks in Sochi in May 2018, President Putin and Prime Minister Modi discussed the ways to get around the US potential sanctions when the deal goes through. Both countries have pledged to jointly create a plan to keep it out of CAATSA. New Delhi has just concluded price talks on the S-400 deal with Moscow, saying it will go ahead, no matter what the US says or does.

Those who follow the news on arms trade know well that India is interested in purchasing 22 American Predator Guardian drones for its Navy. It’s also willing to acquire the weapon the US has not sold anyone so far: 80-100 Avenger (Predator C) armed drones for the Air Force. The price may be as high as $8 billion. The F-16 production on Indian soil is also in doubt. All these projects are questioned as the US sticks to its guns implementing the “do it or else” policy. But it will hardly work with India, a nation known for its independent foreign policy. It has never bowed to any pressure from outside since its independence.

Iraq, Egypt, the UAE, Qatar, Morocco, Indonesia and Vietnam are among the countries threatened by sanctions if they go on with the plans to purchase Russian weapons. Many of them are particularly interested in the S-400. There is a catch here. If you make an exemption, others will feel humiliated and demand waivers too, but if you punish nobody then what is CAATSA for? Perhaps, the entire policy of punishing others in case of non-compliance with US laws is fundamentally wrong. It may not push Russia out of the international arms market but rather make its products a commercial success. After all, it’s an open secret that the S-400 is much more capable than the US Patriot air-defense system.

Turkey is told that if it buys Russia arms, the US won’t sell it F-35 aircraft. India may not get drones in case it purchases the S-400s. The essence is the same: sovereign countries are to be deprived of their right to have the best. They’d better be satisfied with what the US imposes or face punitive measures for daring not to comply. But many of them will not. For instance, there is little doubt that the pressure will make US-Indian relations hit a rough patch.

Defense Secretary James Mattis sought waivers for allies buying Russian weapons but failed to persuade Congress to give the administration this right. Besides, State Secretary Mike Pompeo holds a different view on the issue.

The “arms twisting” approach is prevalent in US foreign policy and even NATO allies are no exception. According to The Times, President Trump is expected to scale back America’s commitments or even issue an ultimatum over further American involvement in Europe.

No world leaders taking part in the St. Petersburg’s economic forum (SPIEF-2018) in May were happy about the US ultimatums as well as the sanctions against Russia, especially at a time it is leaving recession behind and oil prices are going up. The complains were made heard and concerns voiced at the conference held in the country, which is the prime target of American attacks. Nobody admired the trade wars the US has unleashed. May was the month the US stepped up its attacks on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline – the project Germany, Austria and some other European countries want to go through so much.

Israel was the only country to greet the US withdrawal from the Iran deal. Nobody endorsed the President Trump’s decision to cancel the meeting in Singapore with the North Korean leader (it may still take place, the talks are underway).

The US and its European allies appear to go separate ways on defense. On May 27, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called for a European operation in North Africa to stem the immigrants’ flows. Austria will take over the EU Presidency for six months starting in July. The idea has been being floated since a long time ago. Europe’s main security concern is the protection of its borders, not taking part in US ventures in faraway places or provoking Russia by deploying forces near its borders. The EU is gradually moving to its own deterrence and defense posture, which may not necessarily meet US interests.

The US policy of diktat will backlash, bringing together those who are threatened by US sanctions. The EU is about to fight back, Turkey sticks to its guns, India has refused to bow. American allies will have to work out their own approaches to international problems, using quite different instruments to achieve the desired goals. The US global standing will be weakened. By trying to isolate others America will isolate itself. But the addiction to teach, dictate and bark orders is too great to get easily rid of. It takes time to realize that the times have changed. What worked well yesterday has become counterproductive today.

Mass Rally in New Delhi to Protest Netanyahu’s Visit to India

January 14, 2018

India protest Netanyahu visit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in New Delhi on Sunday for a six-day visit which comes a few weeks after India voted to nullify the US recognition of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of the Zionist entity in the UN General Assembly.

Scores of Muslims have taken part in a rally in New Delhi (the video below) to say “no” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s forthcoming visit to India.

During the rally, the protesters set an effigy plastered with Netanyahu pictures on fire. Anti-Israeli protests were also held in about 1,000 villages across India, according to media reports.

On December 6, US President Donald Trump recognized the holy city as the Israeli capital, ordering the State Department to launch the process of moving the US Embassy to Al-Quds.

Later on December 20, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted 128 to 9 to condemn the US decision. It declared the US move “null and void,” although this declaration is non-binding.

India voted in favor of the document, which was harshly criticized by Tel Aviv, which declared that it refuses to accept the UNGA’s decision.

SourceSputnik

الملك ترامب يموت في طهران والميادين تحت إمرة الإمام

الملك ترامب يموت في طهران والميادين تحت إمرة الإمام

يناير 6, 2018

محمد صادق الحسيني

لا شك في أنّ شخصاً جاهلا كالرئيس الأميركي ترامب لا يتقن لعبة الشطرنج. ولا شك في أنه، وبسبب جهله هذا لم يخطر بباله أنّ الإيرانيين هم ملوك هذه اللعبة التي تحتاج إلى عقل استراتيجي عميق في التفكير والتخطيط وتوزيع القوى واستخدامها حسب متطلبات الميدان.

ومرة أخرى وبسبب جهله هذا، قام ترامب بتحريك الملك، أي ورقته الأخيرة في الصراع الدولي الدائر على إنهاء سيطرة القطب الواحد، الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، على العالم، قام بتحريك الملك الى داخل الميدان الذي يتمتع به «العدو» أو الخصم، ألا وهو إيران، بسيطرة مطلقة على الميدان. وهي خطوة قاتلة في لعبة الشطرنج التي قد يكون ترامب بالكاد قد سمع بها. إنّ تحريك الملك الى ميدان تكون فيه سيطرة «العدو» مطلقة على الميدان لا يمكن أن تعني إلا مقتل الملك وخسارة الميدان.

وهذا بالضبط ما حصل مع ترامب الجاهل عندما أصدر أمر عملياته بتحريك أذناب أميركا، من بعض الإيرانيين الذين ركبوا موجة تحرك شعبي مطلبي تقرّ الحكومة الإيرانية نفسها بمشروعيته وعملت ولا زالت تعمل على تلبية مطالبه، والى جانبهم مجموعة من مجرمي الحرب الصهاينة وعلى رأسهم نتن ياهو وأعراب الجزيرة الذين يتقدّمهم مجرم الحرب الأكبر محمد بن سلمان، كما الذيل المسعور مسعود البرزاني الذي سمح لأجهزة الاستخبارات الصهيوأميركية باستباحة المحافظات العراقية الشمالية وتحويلها مراكز تجسّس وتخريب ضدّ الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران والسماح باستخدام أراضي تلك المحافظات كمنصة لإطلاق بقايا فلول داعش لتعيث فساداً وقتلاً في إيران، كما حدث يوم أمس في بلدة پيرانشهر.

نقول إنّ ما حصل مع ترامب بعد إصداره أمر العمليات المشار إليه أعلاه قد خسر آخر ورقة استراتيجية في يده والتي كان يتوهّم بأنّها ستنجح في قصم ظهر العمود الفقري لمحور المقاومة، أيّ الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران، ذلك المحور الذي أذاقه سلسلة من الهزائم على الصعيد الإقليمي، بدءاً من إفشال الفتنة الداخلية في لبنان بعد اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري عام 2005. حيث عاود مرة أخرى عبر قاعدته العسكرية المتقدّمة في العالم العربي، ايّ الكيان الصهيوني عام 2006 بشنّ حرب تدميرية على لبنان بحجة ضرب حزب الله. ولكن هزيمة الجيش «الاسرائيلي» المذلّة يومها أمام حزب الله جعلت السيد الأميركي يتّجه الى محاولة جديده لتحقيق مشروعه للسيطرة على «الشرق الأوسط» والذي أطلق عليه حينذاك اسم مشروع «الشرق الأوسط الجديد».

ثم قام في العام 2008 بتحريك عملائه المحليين في لبنان بهدف إحداث فتنة داخلية يتمّ عبرها ضرب حزب الله وزجّه في حرب أهلية تبعده عن الهدف الأساسي الذي هو تحرير فلسطين…

ومن بعد ذلك لجأ الكاوبوي الأميركي بعد فشل محاولته تلك إلى شنّ حرب تدميرية جديدة ضد المحور من بوابة الحرب على المقاومة الفلسطينية في قطاع غزة في مثل هذه الأيام من عام 2008/2009…

ولتحقيق الهدف نفسه بعد فشله مجدّداً جدّد الكرة بفتح المعركة الاستراتيجية ضدّ حلف المقاومة والتي شملت رقعتها، ومنذ العام 2011، كلاً من سورية ومصر، عبر ضخ التكفيريين إلى سيناء وإشعال الوضع فيها، والعراق واليمن، متذرّعاً بقيام طلائع الشعب اليمني أيّ أنصار الله بالانخراط في حلف المقاومة وتوجيه كلّ إمكانيات تلك الحركة الطليعية الى المعركة ضدّ المحتل الصهيوني في فلسطين، الأمر الذي جعله يحث حكام مملكة آل سعود لشنّ حرب مدمّرة عليه منذ ما يزيد على الألف يوم من دون أن يتمكن من إخضاع الشعب اليمني أو كسر إرادته، ولما عجز أمام تلك المهمة لجأ الى وسيلة جديده محاولاً توجيه ضربة لحلف المقاومة، وذلك عندما قام محمد بن سلمان باحتجاز رئيس الوزراء اللبناني وإجباره على قراءة بيان استقالته وشنّ هجوم لاذع ضدّ إيران وحزب الله في محاولة لتفجير لبنان وجرّ حزب الله الى حرب أهلية.

لكن صلابة محور المقاومة وإدارته المنقطعة النظير لمعركة التصدّي للعدوان على دول وأحزاب هذا المحور والدور الفعّال لروسيا الصديقه كانت هي العوامل التي ألحقت الهزائم الكبرى بالمشروع الأميركي وتعزيز وترسيخ دور المقاومة وإحداث انقلاب استراتيجي في موازين القوى الدولية. أيّ أنّ دحر المشروع الأميركي للهيمنة قد خلق الظروف الملائمة لعودة روسيا الصديقة بقوة كبيرة الى المسرح السياسي والعسكري الدوليين وبروز ما يشبه التحالف الضمني بينها وبين جمهورية الصين الشعبية. وهو ما يعني النهاية الفعلية لسيطرة القطب الواحد، أي الولايات المتحدة، على مقدّرات العالم وخيراته.

وهذا بالضبط ما دفع الجاهل ترامب إلى ارتكاب حماقته الجديدة بمحاولة العبث بالشأن الداخلي الإيراني متوخياً ضرب الدولة الإيرانية وتدميرها وتحقيق هلوسات ملك آل سعود السابق عبد الله بن عبد العزيز الذي اشتهر عنه أنه دعا الأميركيين يوماً الى «ضرب رأس الأفعى» وكان يعني بذلك إيران طبعاً.

والهدف دائماً الحفاظ على أمن قاعدتهم العسكرية المتقدّمة في فلسطين المحتلة. كما أنّ الهدف المهمّ الآخر من وراء هذه الحماقة يتمثل في الرغبة في السيطرة على إيران وتحويلها حاملة طائرات ثابتة على الحدود الجنوبية لروسيا الاتحادية وعلى الحدود الغربية للصين وذلك في إطار عمليات الحشد الاستراتيجي الطويل المدى ضدّ روسيا والصين.

ولكن «غزوة» الداعشي الأول دوّنالد ترامب، قد كُسرت قبل أن تبدأ، وذلك لأسباب عديدة كان من أهمّها الإدارة الحكيمة والمرنة لهذه الأزمة من قبل المرشد الأعلى للثورة الإسلامية كما من قبل الحكومة الإيرانية ومسؤولي الأجهزة الامنية ذات الاختصاص، والتفاف الشعب الإيراني العظيم حول الثورة الإسلامية ومبادئها، الأمر الذي أدّى وبسرعة فائقة الى عزل عناصر المرتزقة الدواعش وغيرهم من المسمّيات والذين تمّ تسريبهم الى بعض المناطق الإيرانية بمساعدة غرف العمليات الأميركية/ «الإسرائيلية»/ السعودية في كلّ من أربيل والرياض وغرفة عمليات الحرب النفسية في تل أبيب.

ولكن أحد كبار جنرالات «سي أي آي» المتقاعدين والذي يُعرف عنه بأنه مسؤول الملف الإيراني الحالي في الوكالة، مايكل دي أندريا، شكّك في أنّ الأخير لديه القناعة بمقدرة الولايات المتحدة على تغيير النظام في إيران، رغم أنه وضع الخطط اللازمة أَي دي أندريا لتصعيد الوضع في إيران وصولاً الى الاشتباكات العسكرية واسعة النطاق بين فلول داعش المحتشدين في حفر الباطن السعودية وفِي قواعد بيشمرغة مسعود البرزاني والذين سيتمّ تسريبهم الى الداخل الإيراني بتمويل سعودي يقدّمه محمد بن سلمان.

أيّ تكرار السيناريو السوري تماماً وخلق الظروف «والمسوّغات» لتدخل أميركي عسكري في إيران بهدف إسقاط نظام الجمهورية الإسلامية وإعادة إيران الى حظيرة الطاعة الأميركية، وهذا ما أفشله وعي الشعب الإيراني وحكمة القيادة الإيرانية.

إنّ هزيمة مشروعكم في طهران سوف تشكل قوة دفع إضافية لحلف المقاومة لمواصلة تطهير أرض العراق وسورية من خلايا داعش النائمة والتي تقومون بإمدادها بوسائل البقاء من مال وسلاح. كما أنها ستشمل الأرضيّة لاستكمال هجوم حلف المقاومة الاستراتيجي والذي لن يقتصر على تحرير الجليل فقط، وإنما سيكون هدفه الوصول الى القدس وتحريرها كما صرّح بذلك الأمين العام لحزب الله في مقابلته مع فضائية «الميادين» مساء الأربعاء الفائت، حيث لن يبقى لدى سيد البيت الأبيض لا ملوكاً ولا عبيداً من الأعراب المتصهينين يستطيع استخدامهم في نسج المؤامرات ضدّ حلف المقاومة منعاً لتحرير فلسطين.

أخيراً وليس آخراً:

فإنّ ما يؤكد فشل مشروع ترامب/ نتن ياهو/ بن سلمان لتدمير إيران هي المذكرة التي رفعها عدد من جنرالات وكالة المخابرات المركزية الأميركية الى الرئيس ترامب، والتي يقولون له فيها إنّ سياسته تجاه إيران خاطئة، وإنهم لا يوافقونه عليها. وقد طلبوا منه تغيير هذه السياسة والتعامل مع إيران على أسس جديدة ومختلفة عن الأسس التي ينطلق منها حالياً…

وكفى الله إيران القتال بفضل قيادتها الفطنة والثاقبة النظر والتي قرأت ترامب حتى قبل تصدّره سدة الحكم، وها هي تستدرجه إلى داخل القلعة لتقول له كش ملك.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

 

مقالات مشابهة

How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Roads

November 22, 2017

by Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times (cross-posted by special agreement with the author)

Syria war, Sochi peaceA pacified Syria is key to the economic integration of Eurasia through energy and transportation connections

Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani will hold a summit this Wednesday in Sochi to discuss Syria. Russia, Turkey and Iran are the three power players at the Astana negotiations – where multiple cease-fires, as hard to implement as they are, at least evolve, slowly but surely, towards the ultimate target – a political settlement.

A stable Syria is crucial to all parties involved in Eurasia integration. As Asia Times reported, China has made it clear that a pacified Syria will eventually become a hub of the New Silk Roads, known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – building on the previous business bonanza of legions of small traders commuting between Yiwu and the Levant.

Away from intractable war and peace issues, it’s even more enlightening to observe how Turkey, Iran and Russia are playing their overlapping versions of Eurasia economic integration and/or BRI-related business.

Much has to do with the energy/transportation connectivity between railway networks – and, further on the down the road, high-speed rail – and what I have described, since the early 2000s, as Pipelineistan.

map2

The Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, a deal brokered in person in Baku by the late Dr Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski, was a major energy/geopolitical coup by the Clinton administration, laying out an umbilical steel cord between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

Now comes the Baku-Tblisi-Kars (BTK) railway – inaugurated with great fanfare by Erdogan alongside Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, but also crucially Kazakh Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev and Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov. After all, this is about the integration of the Caucasus with Central Asia.

Erdogan actually went further: BTK is “an important chain in the New Silk Road, which aims to connect Asia, Africa, and Europe.” The new transportation corridor is configured as an important Eurasian hub linking not only the Caucasus with Central Asia but also, in the Big Picture, the EU with Western China.

BTK is just the beginning, considering the long-term strategy of Chinese-built high-speed rail from Xinjiang across Central Asia all the way to Iran, Turkey, and of course, the dream destination: the EU. Erdogan can clearly see how Turkey is strategically positioned to profit from it.

map1

Of course, BTK is not a panacea. Other connectivity points between Iran and Turkey will spring up, and other key BRI interconnectors will pick up speed in the next few years, such as the Eurasian Land Bridge across the revamped Trans-Siberian and an icy version of the Maritime Silk Road: the Northern Sea Route across the Arctic.

What’s particularly interesting in the BTK case is the Pipelineistan interconnection with the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP), bringing natural gas from the massive Azeri gas field Shah Deniz-2 to Turkey and eventually the EU.

Turkish analyst Cemil Ertem stresses, “just like TANAP, the BTK Railway not only connects three countries, but also is one of the main trade and transport routes in Asia and Europe, and particularly Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan ports. It connects Central Asia to Turkey with the Marmaray project in Istanbul and via the Caspian region. Along with the Southern Gas Corridor, which constitutes TANAP’s backbone, it will also connect ports on the South China Sea to Europe via Turkey.”

It’s no wonder BTK has been met with ecstatic reception across Turkey – or, should we say, what used to be known as Asia Minor. It does spell out, graphically, Ankara’s pivoting to the East (as in increasing trade with China) as well as a new step in the extremely complex strategic interdependence between Ankara and Moscow; the Central Asian “stans”, after all, fall into Russia’s historical sphere of influence.

Add to it the (pending) Russian sale of the S-400 missile defense system to Ankara, and the Russian and Chinese interest in having Turkey as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

From IPI to IP and then II

Now compare the BTK coup with one of Pipelineistan’s trademark cliff-hanging soap operas; the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India), previously dubbed “the peace pipeline”.

IPI originally was supposed to link southeastern Iran with northern India across Balochistan, via the Pakistani port of Gwadar (now a key hub of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC). The Bush and Obama administrations did everything to prevent IPI from ever being built, betting instead on the rival TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) – which would actually traverse a war zone east of Herat, Afghanistan.

TAPI might eventually be built – even with the Taliban being denied their cut (that was exactly the contention 20 years ago with the first Clinton administration: transit rights). Lately, Russia stepped up its game, with Gazprom seducing India into becoming a partner in TAPI’s construction.

But then came the recent announcement by Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak: Moscow and Tehran will sign a memorandum of understanding to build a 1,200km gas pipeline from Iran to India; call it II. And Gazprom, in parallel, will invest in unexplored Iranian gas fields along the route.

Apart from the fact of a major win for Gazprom – expanding its reach towards South Asia – the clincher is the project won’t be the original IPI (actually IP), where Iran already built the stretch up to the border and offered help for Islamabad to build its own stretch; a move that would be plagued by US sanctions. The Gazprom project will be an underwater pipeline from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean.

From New Delhi’s point of view, this is the ultimate win-win. TAPI remains a nightmarish proposition, and India needs all the gas it can get, fast. Assuming the new Trump administration “Indo-Pacific” rhetoric holds, New Delhi is confident it won’t be slapped with sanctions because it’s doing business with both Iran and Russia.

And then there was another key development coming out of Putin’s recent visit to Tehran: the idea – straight out of BRI – of building a rail link between St. Petersburg (on the Baltic) and Chabahar port close to the Persian Gulf. Chabahar happens to be the key hub of India’s answer to BRI: a maritime trade link to Afghanistan and Central Asia bypassing Pakistan, and connected to the North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), of which Iran, India and Russia are key members alongside Caucasus and Central Asian nations.

You don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows across Eurasia; integration, all the way.

#BDS India Scraps $500M Military Deal With israel

India Scraps $500M Military Deal With Israel Amid Rising Popular Concern About India’s Complicity in Israeli Crimes

BDS | November 21, 2017

In anticipation of this deal to produce missile systems, Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had entered into a joint venture with its in Indian partner. (Representative Image: Reuters)

Yesterday, media reported that the Indian Ministry of Defense scrapped the $500M deal with Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for its missile systems. Years in the making, the deal had been celebrated in international media and was finalized after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July. In August, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its Indian partner Kalyani Strategic Systems opened a facility in Hyderabad to manufacture the missile systems.

The deal was cancelled after India’s state-run Defense Research Development Organisation asserted that India should not import this Israeli technology.

Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign and BNC secretariat member said:

India’s decision to scrap this massive arms deal with Israel is a huge blow to the Israeli weapons industry. This $500 million deal would have fueled Israel’s military industry, which is deeply implicated in war crimes against the Palestinian people.

It is also a major setback for Israel’s propaganda hubris that its technology is indispensable for India’s development and modernization. As many Indians are recognizing, Israel is marketing military and agricultural technologies in India and trying to cement Indian dependence on Israel.

Israel seeks a flow of Indian cash for it’s own profit and to help finance its criminal wars and apartheid regime.

India is by far the globe’s biggest importer of Israeli weapons, and Israel is enjoying almost unparalleled influence in the Indian military system. Israel is equipping the Indian army with Israeli guns, the Indian airforce and navy with Israeli airplanes and missiles, and is also providing communication systems and technology in all levels of the Indian military.

Over the last two decades, Indo-Israeli military relations have continuously increased despite various corruption scandals and technical failures.

Similar patterns have started to surface in other sectors as well. India’s 16 million-strong farmer’s union AIKS has endorsed the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) “in order to stand for the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.”

Members of Telengana’s state assembly last week denounced state-sponsored trips of Indian farmers to Israel as “a wastage of money.”

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of  the BNC said:

We hope this is the beginning of the end of Indian complicity in Israel’s egregious violation of international law and Palestinian human rights. As Palestinians we ask the Indian people to maintain their proud legacy of commitment to independence,  to growing local knowledge and to respecting other people’s struggles for self-determination.

Israel’s regime of oppression can never be a model for the great Indian nation that once led the non-aligned movement and upheld the right of all nations to self determination and freedom. Israel exports to India what it knows best — technology that represses, militarizes and dispossesses people of their land and water rights. India is better off without that.

Last week it was announced that Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporations are bidding for drilling rights in gas fields claimed by Israel, despite the many controversies linked to territorial disputes in such fields.  In August, India’s Adventz group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop Israel’s Jerusalem Light Rail, which serves Israel’s settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem in violation of international law.

Omar Barghouti said:

As large multinationals increasingly abandon their illegal projects in Israel due to effective BDS pressure, Israel has started dragging India into deals fraught with legal and political problems. Indian companies would be well advised to avoid getting sucked into Israel’s human rights violations as more and more international corporations refuse to get involved in such complicity.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. 

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