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“Even though Syria remains in a state of civil war, and even though Egypt represents a very worrisome development, as I pointed out above, there is nonetheless reason to be somewhat optimistic and expect that the security situation in the Middle East will be at least "manageable"; that is because the United States and Russia are cooperating (on Syria) and because the United States and Iran have both demonstrated a willingness to turn a new page in their relationship. So, looking ahead for at least for a few months, I think there is going to be a "window of opportunity" to take steps that can lay the foundations of an improved security climate in the Middle East. But there is no guarantee that this opportunity is not going to be wasted”, - Halil Karaveli, Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center.


“The situation in Egypt and in Syria is the most single reason for concern worldwide. The coup d’état in Egypt and the subsequent clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi led to the political turmoil in country. The authorities declared a state of emergency. The international community has been trying to take steps to stabilize the situation in the country, but all attempts to peaceful resolve the crisis so far in vain. So the violence in Egypt has significantly increased and there is much concern about the repercussions for the region”, – Ambassador (ret.), High Representative of the United Nations for Disarmament Affairs (2007-2012) Sergio Duarte. 


safranchuk“Today the Afghan society exists with a great uncertainty towards its own future. One period of Afghanistan history ends today and there is no clarity how the country will move on and who will become a new ‘global sponsor’ of Kabul”, – Deputy Director of the Institute of Current International Problems of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry. 


“In April was announced the upcoming signing of the agreement "On strategic partnership" between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and in June, during the visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Tashkent, the official signing of this important document took place. Such rapprochement is an important positive sign in context of regional development of the entire Central Asia”, - director of the private research and educational center "Bilim Karvon" ("Caravan of knowledge") Farhad Tolipov.


“The chances that the crisis in Syria will be stopped in the nearest future are diminishing. I don’t believe that in the summer of 2013 there will be some fundamental changes in security situation. In June, Iran's Presidential elections will be held. After them, I think some new balance of power in the region can be seen. Anyway, the situation inside the country and abroad will depend mainly on their results”, - Editor-in-Chief of Kommersant FM radio, Konstantin von Eggert.


“A lot of noise in the Russian media was caused by talks between Tashkent and Washington on establishing the Center for Rapid Response on the territory of Uzbekistan and the intention of the Americans to leave most of the exported military equipment on the Uzbek territory. Despite the fact that a clear decision on the possibility of creating such a base has not been accepted yet, the Russian side expressed its extreme concern. But even if the U.S. military presence in Uzbekistan remains in some form after the withdrawal of ISAF troops in Afghanistan, it could not be regarded as a challenge to Russian interests, since Uzbekistan itself is not interested in such a scenario”, - director of the private research and educational center "Bilim Karvon" ("Caravan of knowledge"), Farhad Tolipov.


"The new president of Afghanistan, who will replace Karzai in 2014, should not only be a good military commander and organizer, but he must also bring fresh ideas and new values to the Afghan people." – Vadim Kozyulin, Senior Research Fellow at the PIR Center.


“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.


“Mali is Africa’s largest producer of gold. It is also a producer of uranium, diamonds and oil.  It has other natural resources such as copper, lead and zinc, phosphate, lithium, lignite, marble, gypsum, kaolin and diatomite. The struggle for access to and control of its natural resources is the key reason behind France’s decision to conduct military operations in the country and why its Western allies have provided it with material support”, - Head of the Governance and Democracy research program at the Africa Institute of South Africa Sehlare Makgetlaneng.