Impeachment proceedings against Pervez Musharraf are gaining momentum. Once he is replaced, however, the parliamentary infighting will continue as a new power structure coalesces. In the meantime, Pakistan lists as its economy implodes and lawlessness spreads in the provinces.
Al Qaeda and the Taliban have carved out Pakistani havens for themselves near the Afghan border and continue to gain political and military strength.
As American presidential campaigning intensifies, we are seeing a convergence between the candidates and the Bush administration on the issues of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
Last week’s Paris Summit for the Mediterranean confirmed the likelihood of EU primacy over any future Mediterranean Union. More importantly however, the Summit was notable for the inclusion of Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, which marks a major thaw in Euro-Syrian relations.
This past week, Iran noticeably softened its anti-West rhetoric, and European negotiators hinted that Iran may cooperate and abandon its nuclear program. Meanwhile, Israel conducted a massive military exercise simulating a mock attack on Iran, and the Bush administration has begun funneling $500m towards Iranian insurgency groups.
This past week, Turkey’s Constitutional Court began hearing a trial that could see the governing AKP (Justice and Development Party) outlawed, and its members banned from politics for five years. Meanwhile, two days ago, the government detained 21 people on grounds of coup-plotting.
This week’s spectacular attack on a prison in Kandahar demonstrates the Taliban’s reconstitution in southern Afghanistan and presages a violent summer fighting season. NATO and the Afghan army will reduce the Taliban’s capabilities, but the Taliban will remain a robust force until their sanctuary across the border in Pakistan is eliminated – an unlikely event in 2008.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is being investigated for bribery and tax evasion. His popularity has plummeted, and he may be indicted within the month in which case he has pledged to resign.
Dubai recently announced its partnership with China in the creation of a billion dollar investment fund. Saudi Arabia recently announced its commitment to double oil exports to China by 2010.
Syria announced last week the existence of back-channel peace negotiations with Israel.