Morocco and Israel to normalize their relations
Morocco is a country that has a long Jewish history. It has long been expected that Morocco will eventually normalize relations with Israel because before the formation of Israel in 1948, Morocco was home to Jewish people. Several thousand Jewish populations have been settled in Morocco for decades and Jewish trace their legacy back to Morocco. Israel and Morocco
developed diplomatic ties on a very basic level during the 1990s but those relations were halted by
the outbreak of a second uprising of Palestinians in 2000. The diplomatic ties were never ended
entirely because till this day about 50,000 Jews travel to Morocco every year to learn and connect
with their history there.
Recently on Thursday, Morocco and Israel have agreed to fully normalize diplomatic and official
ties with Israel. In a US brokered deal, Morocco is the fourth Arab country to normalize ties with
Israel along with United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Bahrain by setting the conflicts aside in past
four months. In order to acquire a firm deal between Morocco and Israel, US will recognize
Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara where Morocco is facing a decade long territorial
conflict with Algeria-backed Polisario Front, a movement to establish an independent country in
a territory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu encouraged and appreciated the Morocco
for reaching a deal and called it another ray of light and peace. He further announced that there
will be direct flights between Morocco and Israel along with great diplomatic missions.
US has been trying to entice Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel but Saudi Foreign Minister Prince
Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud replied that Riyadh will only consider recognizing Israel if peace deal
will peace deal will “delivers a Palestinian state with dignity and with a workable sovereignty that
Palestinians can accept”.
Palestinians are feeling abandoned by the peace deal made by multiple Arab States and calling it
a betrayal against them. Palestinians believe that the peace deal will affect the status of their long
standing demand of Israel leaving the territory that rightfully belongs to Palestinians before
receiving any recognitions. Bassam as-Salhi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s
Executive Committee reacted belligerently and condemned deals made by Arab countries saying
that it is a retreat from Arab Peace Initiative (2002) that Israel must end its unlawful occupation of
Palestinian lands. Moroccan King Mohammed told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a
phone call on Thursday that negotiations between Israel and Palestine is the only way to resolve
the conflict and that he stands by the idea of Two-State solution.
U.S to Impose Sanctions on Turkey for Purchasing Russian S-400
The Trump administration is set to impose sanctions on Turkey for acquiring Russian S-400 missile defense system. The US House of Representatives adopted the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), for passing sanctions against Turkey. The bill was passed with a vote of 355 in favor while 70 votes against it. Since 2019, when Turkey received the S-400 Russian air defense system worth
$2.5 billion, Capitol Hill has been pushing Trump to impose mandatory sanctions on her NATO
ally. As an immediate response to this purchase, the US quickly expelled Turkey out of the F-35
fighter jet program. But President Donald Trump who spent much time in office improving
relations with Turkey, stalled the imposition of the penalties. The Pentagon has been warning that
the S-400 could likely jeopardize the F-35, if its radar is used to scan the jet passively. This would
allow the Russian system to easily identify the target and destroy its combat. Through the NDAA,
the US is to impose sanctions against the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline and Turkish Stream
pipeline. The sanctions would also include blocking US exports to Turkey, banning the officials
from making US transactions, or barring the US banks or other international monetary institutions
from making loans to Turkey. Such a move could be detrimental for the future Turkish economy.
Another response that is being considered by the lawmakers in the US is to further arms sales to
Ukraine. Two experts familiar with the issue said that the Trump administration would impose
sanctions “as mild as possible”. This would placate the Congress without causing damage to the
US extensive US-Turkey military partnership. In response to this pressure on Trump to impose
sanctions, he wrote on Twitter, “I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will veto.” But if the US Senate accepts
the bill, which it is likely to, the President will have no more authority to stall the sanctions any
further. This time the situation is tough for President Trump, who has only a few weeks left in the
office, because if the bill is passed and signed, it gives the President only 30 days to impose the
sanctions. However, if Donald Trump fails to impose penalties against Turkey, the new Presidentelect Biden would be obligated to enforce them as soon as he takes the office. Biden might go
ahead imposing the new sanctions but how harsh or mild they will be, depends on the nature of
the relationship between two countries. Relations with Turkey are a concern for the Biden
administration. This is the case due to the location, economic and military strength of Turkey,
which makes it a valuable ally for the US, especially against Russian threat. The US Congress
perceives close ties between Turkey and Russia as a political issue, which could also be detrimental
to the NATO operations.
Nuclear Escalation between Pakistan and India: Where It Could Lead?
Nuclear tension is increasing between India and Pakistan after the incident of the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019. The two superpowers of South Asia are steps away from nuclear war, things got worse
when Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down an Indian fighter jet on 26th Feb 2019 in Balakot. Indian defense minister announces that India may revoke its existing commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack known as ‘no first use’, that means India could Strike Nuclear weapon at any point.
Many analysts Expressed their views by saying both the countries became more aggressive
towards each other after 1998 when both became a nuclear power. Mr. Imran Khan mentioned the
risks of nuclear war between two countries on different occasions, on the other hand, Satinder
Kumar Sikka who was the part of Indian Nuclear program in 1998 argues that India should be able
to use nuclear weapons if there is an increased risk that Pakistan would do so first. “If we are
threatened by Pakistan, we have every right to retaliate”.
India tested its first nuclear weapon in 1974 and the government committed to no first use in 2003,
China is also in the list of No first use of Nuclear weapons but now Indian stance has been changed
& using the nuclear weapons at first. If India firms up the change in its no first use policy, Pakistan
might take this as a signal that India could strike at Pakistani nuclear installations. And that might
in turn, ready Pakistan to use up all its nuclear weapons first. “And so, you get this destabilizing
dynamic where as soon as the crisis becomes nuclearized, there is a reason for both sides to go
first for their upper hand.
The increasing tension between both the countries will further increase if any incident happens
again within the territory of India, without any investigation India is going to blame Pakistan and
could respond with force. In response to that Pakistan Military will retaliate and hence the conflict
will be promoted in this scenario, one party needs to be calm to avoid such conflict that could lead
to nuclear war. There is a lot of expansion in the nuclear stockpile from both the sides till 2025
both the countries will have 400-500 nuclear weapons. Increasing this much nuclear weapons is
an alarming situation for the region.