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Cybersecurity, migrants in EU, Iran deal impact on Gulf states, Russia's strategy, African development

A round-up of global commentary for the Aug. 17 & 24, 2015 weekly magazine.

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Migrants walk near a wall that is marked with the word 'Calais' as they advance towards the Channel Tunnel access near Calais, France, July 31, 2015. Some 3,000 migrants live around the tunnel entrance in a makeshift camp known as 'The Jungle,' making the northern French port one of the frontlines in Europe's wider migrant crisis.

Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

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Hurriyet Daily News / Istanbul, Turkey
Cybersecurity hinges on transparency
“When the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced in June that hackers had stolen the personal data of 4.2 million current and former Federal government employees, the whole world was shocked...,” writes Yavuz Yener. “OPM has informed all those who had been affected by these attacks.... In contrast ... Turkey has been very reluctant to reveal information about previous cyber attacks it has faced. [W]e, the citizens of Turkey, do not have any idea of what is happening to our personal information that is collected and stored in cyberspace.... Mobilizing the people in an effective cyber security strategy depends on how well the people themselves understand the dangers of this new phenomenon.... [I]t is essential for the government and the private sector to start telling the people of Turkey when they have been hacked.”

The Telegraph / London
Migrant crisis calls for dispassionate action
“The crisis on the Channel coast resulting from renewed efforts by migrants to enter Britain, compounded by French industrial action, is deeply concerning...,” states an editorial. “That is all the more reason for the authorities to remain cool-headed: when passions run high, the [British] Government should act dispassionately. But it must act.... [Prime Minister] David Cameron will be aware of how this crisis will foster Euroscepticism among voters who have their eyes on the EU referendum. Only a firm response will change that.... [T]he EU as a whole must discourage people [from] making such dangerous journeys in the first place and crack down further on trafficking gangs.” 

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Al Arabiya News / Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Iran deal isn’t so easy for Gulf states
“It’s not difficult for Arab Gulf countries to ... sign a friendship agreement with Iran and end the disagreement which lasted for thirty years,” writes Abdulrahman al-Rashed. “Theoretically, this is very easy; however it will be an agreement that is not even worth the ink used to sign it if there are no guarantees.... It’s easy for superpowers like the United States, [which is] more than 7,000 kilometers away from Iran, to sign a deal with the latter.... However, Gulf countries are a [stone’s] throw away from Iranian shores and with our limited capabilities, we cannot be reassured with promises of good intentions. Gulf countries need proofs and guarantees that Iran changed after signing the agreement with the West or they [will be] forced to fortify themselves.” 

The Moscow Times / Moscow
Russia’s ‘debilitating’ strategic drift
“With President Vladimir Putin engrossed in matters of history, religion, geopolitics and war, a sense of strategic drift is unnerving the nation’s elites...,” writes Vladimir Frolov. “In his public statements Putin sounds more interested in glorifying Russia’s past than in charting a course for the nation’s future. He is largely indifferent to his 2012 campaign pledges, which now require a major revision in vastly changed circumstances. If the policy goals he was elected to implement are no longer relevant, and new objectives are not being formulated, it creates a crisis of political legitimacy.... The strategic drift is debilitating. A sense of strategic purpose and direction needs to be restored soon.”

Business daily Africa / Nairobi, Kenya
Development needs to be sustainable
“Africa is at the centre stage of global economic development, however, are we merely dancing to the tune or singing the lead vocals?...” writes Nuru Mugambi. “We all agree that development must take place in Africa. But certainly not at all costs, including losing that which makes Africa unique – our natural capital.... For the greater good, the sustainable or ‘green’ approach is especially critical for governments to integrate into their fiscal and bilateral policies.... The challenge ... is for the stewards of the economy to ensure that ... the immediate and long-term wellbeing of our people and natural capital is genuinely interlinked with the pursuit of returns and prosperity.”