Viorel Cibotaru: Events in Middle East point to war against terrorism

The latest developments in the Middle East point to a nonconventional war against terrorism. “This war cannot be stopped or neglected,” former minister of defense Viorel Cibotaru, director of the European Institute of Political Studies of Moldova, stated in the public debate “Military and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East: impact on the Republic of Moldova and position of the Republic of Moldova” that was staged by IPN News Agency.

According to Viorel Cibotaru, the idea that a war against terrorism is taking shape in the region is shared by the EU and by Russia, which is calm in this regard as it knows that the U.S. will not attack Iran to destroy or occupy it. “It is a matter of limitation of the access of these Iranian organizations that stimulate terrorism,” he said.

The ex-minister of defense noted that what is happening in the Middle East and in the neighborhood of Moldova’s borders has nothing to do with the neutrality status of the Republic of Moldova. There is a normative framework saying Moldova should be active and should also use the available instruments. “I refer to the Association Agreement with the EU and, in particular, to the agreement of 2012 on participation in unblocking, peacekeeping and post-conflict operations. There are also common operations. There are Moldovans who are taking part in such actions in Africa. I see no reasons why Moldovans cannot take part in operations in Iraq, Syria, Libya,” stated Viorel Cibotaru.

According to him, Moldova has very clear understandings within the UN and made commitments to the U.S. The United States provides substantial assistance in preparing Moldova for peacekeeping operations, operations to alleviate the consequences of calamities, etc.. It offered over US$ 4 million in this regard. Instead, Moldova pledged to provide contingents for UN operations, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. But it does not honor these obligations.

Viorel Cibotaru considers the United States’ intention to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan derives from the wish to allow the peaceful, economic and social stabilization processes in these countries to take place without its military presence. Regrettably, these attempts led to the escalation of conflicts. No one is yet ready for an ordinary war, not speaking about a world war with the use of chemical or atomic weapons.

In another development, the ex-minister of defense said there could be Moldovan merchants who fight in Libya, Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan through the agency of the private Russian subunits “Vagner”.

He also said that most of the states in the Middle East were created artificially after World War One, after the collapse of the British, French and Ottoman Empires. So, these continue to be a very important source of rivalry in the area not only from religious viewpoint, but also as regards the constitution of states, if we think about the Curds, the Iranians, the inhabitants of Iraq. Yes, the tensions have a powerful religious motivation, but there are also these statehood, reconstitution, reconfiguration motivations that represent an element of conflict themselves, especially if we refer to the relations between the Emirates in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates – the discrepancies between them and these players, such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel,” stated Viorel Cibotaru.

According to him, on the one hand the geopolitical aspect is important firstly as regards the energy resources – petroleum and gas - which are also key words in this area. The big battle is given for resources and it is motivational in many of the moves made and actions taken by the great powers. Here we see a very active game of the United States, China, the Russian Federation, the European Union at economic level and as regards the participation in NATO, for example. This resulted in the recent developments.

The debate “Military and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East: impact on the Republic of Moldova and position of the Republic of Moldova” was the 123rd installment of the series “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the German foundation “Hanns Seidel”.

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