The Gulf Today - - OPINION -

Mon­day, Jan­uary 14, 2019 SYR­IAN peace ini­tia­tives have moved ahead and it is good to read that the Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump an­nounced that Us-led coali­tion in Syria has be­gun with­draw­ing its troops (“The Us-led coali­tion in Syria has be­gun with­draw­ing its troops”, Jan.12, 2019, The Gulf To­day).

All ef­forts that lead Syria to­wards peace and pros­per­ity are counts. May God help all stock­hold­ers of

this hor­ri­fy­ing war.

Al­though it re­mained un­clear how long it would take Wash­ing­ton to with­draw its forces, which have led the bat­tle against the Daesh group since 2014.

Adding to the con­fu­sion, a mil­i­tary spokesman said the US had al­ready be­gun “the process of our de­lib­er­ate with­drawal” from Syria.

On the other hand A Kur­dish­led group, the Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces, is cur­rently flush­ing the mil­i­tants from the last pock­ets of land they con­trol in the Euphrates River Val­ley.

The bat­tle against die-hard ex­trem­ists in re­mote ar­eas along the Iraqi-syr­ian bor­der and the hunt for Daesh supremo Abu Bakr Al Bagh­dadi, the world’s most wanted man, could last in­def­i­nitely.

The Us-led coali­tion, which also

in­cludes coun­tries such as France and Bri­tain, was formed in mid-2014 to counter Daesh, which had seized swathes of Iraq and Syria. Mo­hammed Ir­fan

By email CHANGE IS GOOD FI­NALLY Mace­do­nia has agreed to change its name to the Repub­lic of North­ern Mace­do­nia after reach­ing a his­toric deal with Greece, (“Mace­do­nia re­named”, Jan 12, The Gulf To­day.)

Mace­do­nia’s par­lia­ment passed on Fri­day an amend­ment to the con­sti­tu­tion to re­name the coun­try Repub­lic of North Mace­do­nia, as agreed with Greece to put an end to a 27-year dis­pute.

In 1963 the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia was re­named the “So­cial­ist Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia” when the Fed­eral Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Yu­goslavia was re­named the So­cial­ist Fed­eral Repub­lic of Yu­goslavia. It dropped the “So­cial­ist” from its name a few months be­fore declar­ing in­de­pen­dence from Yu­goslavia in Septem­ber 1991.

Eighty-one deputies in the 120seat par­lia­ment voted in favour. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the op­po­si­tion VMRODPMNE, who op­posed the agree­ment with Greece, boy­cotted the vote.

The agree­ment sig­nals an end to the 27-year dis­pute over the exyu­goslav repub­lic’s name, Mace­do­nia prime min­is­ter Zo­ran Zaev said on Tues­day.

The use of the name “Mace­do­nia” is dis­puted be­tween the south­east­ern Euro­pean coun­tries of Greece and the Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia, for­merly a state within Yu­goslavia.

Jack Thomp­son


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