Syria Current Affairs - 2019

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US to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights

US President Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. This is a departure from the earlier stand of US where it treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

What is the dispute over Golan Heights?

Until 1967 Golan Heights was part of Syria. Israel occupied the Golan Heights during the Six Day war (Third Arab Israeli war) held in 1967. Israel annexed the region unilaterally in 1981. This unilateral annexation was not recognised by the international community and the Golan Heights was seen as Occupied Syrian Territory.

Why Israel is ken on Golan Heights?

  • Israel argues that civil war in Syria demonstrates the need to keep the plateau as a buffer zone between Israeli towns and the instability of its neighbour.
  • Israel also fears that  Iran is seeking to establish itself permanently on the Syrian side of the border in order to launch attacks on Israel.
  • Golan’s water resources and naturally fertile soil.

Current Situation

United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) is stationed in camps and observation posts along the Golan. There is a 400-square-km (155-square-mile) “Area of Separation” called a demilitarized zone between the Israeli and Syrian armies.

Further Separation of Forces Agreement of May 31, 1974, created an Alpha Line to the west of the area of separation, behind which Israeli military forces must remain, and a Bravo Line to the east behind which Syrian military forces must remain.

25 km beyond the “Area of Separation” on both sides is an “Area of Limitation” in which there are restrictions on the number of troops and number and kinds of weapons that both sides can have there.

Month: Categories: InternationalUPSC

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Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2019 by Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit has released the report of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2019.

Findings of the Survey

  • For the first time in its 30-year history, three cities have been accorded the title of the world’s most expensive city in the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from The Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • Singapore which top’s of the rankings for the sixth consecutive year is joined there by Hong Kong and Paris.
  • Zurich in Switzerland stood at the fourth position followed by Japan’s Osaka which shared fifth place with Geneva, also in Switzerland.
  • Seoul (South Korea), Copenhagen (Denmark) and New York (US) were jointly placed at the seventh spot.
  • Los Angeles (US) along with Israel’s Tel Aviv was named the 10th most expensive city in the world.
  • The cost of living in Chinese cities remains relatively stable, while Southeast Asian destinations were moving up the ranks.
  • Weaker local currencies have pushed all five Australian and two New Zealand cities surveyed down in the ranking.
  • While parts of Asia remain the most expensive places on Earth, Asian Cities also makes several appearances at the bottom of the list.
  • World’s cheapest cities include Caracas (Venezuela), Damascus (Syria), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Karachi (Pakistan), Lagos (Nigeria), Buenos Aires (Argentina) as well as the three Indian cities of Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi.

 

The Survey compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services in cities around the world by keeping New York as the benchmark city.

Month: Categories: InternationalUPSC

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