German ex-Chancellor makes predictions in Moscow on future of world civilizations

Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt yesterday gave his predictions on the future development of world civilizations at a lecture in Moscow. Schmidt named the US, Russia and China as the three most important world powers, and said that the state of affairs in Latin America had not changed over the last 20 years. The development of Latin American countries continues to be impeded by weak economies, incompetent governments and a high population density.

Schmidt also said that Africa and Asia would see many more local wars over the next ten years, which would cause migration to Europe. This, in turn, could cardinally alter the geopolitical situation in the world.

The former chancellor believes that the greatest threat to international political stability comes from Europe, where the Balkans remain a tinderbox. In Schmidt's opinion, Europe will continue its integration process and will oppose the US more and more often. China and South-East Asia will also follow this line of development.

Schmidt said that the situation in the Middle East had not changed as a result of war in Iraq. However, he suggested that the Arab-Israeli conflict could soon turn into open warfare. The former chancellor declined to predict the UN's future role in the geopolitical situation, but he said that there was a clear danger of conflict with the Islamic world in the next ten years. On the grounds that Muslims make up one fifth of the world's population, Schmidt called on the US, Russia and other world powers to fight against a possible crisis in relations with the Muslim world.

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