I like / I dislike
Week 18 [20230304-20230310]


Every Monday, the Research Trainees of the CERESE assess the news of the previous week. You can read their opinions below:


I like the news that Georgia’s ruling party has decided to withdraw the “foreign agents” bill after days of continuous protests by the people. More specifically, the bill would require Georgian non-governmental organizations that receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents” or they would face fines. The ‘Georgian Dream’ Party had previously stated that this law was crucial for uncovering critics of the Georgian Orthodox Church, one of the country’s most powerful institutions. The legislation’s withdrawal is an achievement of the exercise of the people’s right to peaceful demonstration and it was also welcomed by the European Union Delegation to Georgia.



I like Iran and Saudi Arabia’s decision to move towards peaceful coexistence and restore their diplomatic ties after years of strife. For the last seven years, the two countries had been locked in a rivalry, plunging the Gulf into a Cold War climate of tension and skirmishing, which had violently erupted in countries like Syria and Yemen. Along with the announcement of rapprochement, the two countries announced their commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs of third states and respect for International Law, which will bring benefits for the entire Middle East, if upheld. Both countries have publicly thanked China for coordinating the negotiations leading to this decision, which is a huge success for Chinese foreign policy; the US has also expressed its positive attitude towards this development.



I dislike the news about the Russian proposal to cooperate with the Gulf countries in the production of the Su-75 ultra-modern fighter jet, also known as ‘Checkmate’. The General Director of Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, stated that “Rosoboronexport is considering options for the joint designing and manufacturing of high-tech products, including a fifth-generation fighter jet based on the Checkmate light tactical aircraft”, adding that, “the Middle Eastern countries are Russia’s traditional and important partners.” This piece of news is unfortunate because an imminent collaboration between Russia and the Gulf countries for the production of weapons during this period will contribute decisively to the difficult situation in which the Middle East already is.



I dislike the news that hundreds of female students in Iran have been attacked with poisonous gas. Girls and women in Iran live under a regime of fear and constant humiliation and they are now facing another threat which aims to turn them into more submissive targets. More specifically, many students have been recently taken to the hospital as a result of attacks with poisonous gas which took place inside their schools. The young women who were victims of these attacks have been suffering from respiratory problems, fatigue, and nausea. The purpose of these attacks is only one and it is clear: the regime wants to force girls out of school.



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