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PRESS RELEASE

Link between Citizens and State Critical for Peace and Security in West Asia: M Hamid Ansari

January 19, 2016

New Delhi: In a scholarly narration of the backdrop leading to turbulence in West Asia and the challenges emanating from it, Shri M Hamid Ansari, the Hon’ble Vice President of India today said that ‘a dangerous mix of realpolitik and professed ideology challenges the status quo in West Asia and has become a threat to regional and world peace.’

Shri Ansari was delivering the keynote address on the opening day of the 2nd West Asia Conference on ‘Ideology, Politics and New Security Challenges in West Asia’, organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) on January 19, 2016.

Insisting that the link between citizens and the state through the mechanism of accountability is critical for domestic cohesion and internal security, the Vice President pointed out that this was not sufficiently visible in the region.

The authoritarian order in West Asia and North Africa, the Vice President said, is characterised by lack of transparency, information scarcity, nepotism, political subservience, absence of a sense of equal citizenship, ambiguous accountability, political irresponsibility and absence of Rule of Law.

The turbulence in the Arab land has not been immune to regional and extra- regional inputs, he noted. Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen were subjected to political and or material interventions from across national border. The objective in each case is to prevent, retard, or reverse the change sought by visible majority of the public, reflected the Vice President.

The picture of West Asia at the end of 2015 was one of total disarray, a situation in which regional and global powers, together with empowered local groups, are engaged in political and military action in half a dozen different battlefields, he pointed out.

Citing a recent analyses of the States of West Asia, which identified among its characteristics, the politics of coercion or co-option into the State structure rather than developing durable resilience of the system, whose legitimacy is based on the full participation of the people in the body politic, the Vice President concluded that the failure to implement this principle in sufficient measure is central to the crises that have afflicted the region.

The two-day conference will consider the ideology, politics and new security challenges unfolding in the West Asian region. Scholars from India, West Asia and other parts of the world are participating in the Conference to discuss evolving trends and their implications for regional peace and stability in West Asia.