x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Putin has been good for Russia

The former president of Russia wants to win that job again, and a reader approves. Other letter subjects today: crowded buses, Palestinian unity, Chinese expansion, dog waste, Libyan water, and the promise of 4G.

Russia's Vladimir Putin, who will contest the country's presidency next year, is a popular and powerful leader who has restored Russia's reputation after the troubles of Boris Yeltsin's time, a reader suggests. Dmitry Astakhov / AFP
Russia's Vladimir Putin, who will contest the country's presidency next year, is a popular and powerful leader who has restored Russia's reputation after the troubles of Boris Yeltsin's time, a reader suggests. Dmitry Astakhov / AFP

Where I live in Abu Dhabi it is an absolute nightmare to get a taxi to work in the mornings.

Last week, I tried taking the bus, No 56, from a stop on 4th Street not far from my home.

To my shock the bus driver refused to take passengers, as the bus was completely full.

I finally reached my office, late, by the next No 56, where I was squeezed in for a totally uncomfortable ride.

More buses are promised for 2012, but until then people will just have to struggle.

Zelma K De Souza, Abu Dhabi

No principle in US sanctions

I refer to UN vote requires Palestinian unity (September 25).

The Palestinian bid for statehood represents an inspired act of international diplomacy in the face of opposition from certain quarters at home (Hamas) and the potential threat of economic sanctions abroad (from the US).

The Palestinians deserve recognition as a matter of principle, and recognition would be likely to encourage unity within the Palestinian community.

US sanctions, on the other hand, appear unprincipled.

Daud Khan, Dubai

Putin is restoring Russia's reputation

I read Putin to run for Russian presidency (September 25) with great enthusiasm.

I spent 10 years as an expatriate in Russia and observed the recovery of Russia's reputation lost during the reign of Boris Yeltsin.

There has been no doubt in political circles that Mr Putin would stand for president next March, and would make Dmitri Medvedev the prime minister.

Mr Putin is still the most popular and dominant politician in Russia, even though some western leaders find him difficult to deal with, and criticise his "Cold War thinking".

The world will see now whether Mr Putin will have as a priority the task of rearming the Russian armed forces or alternatively economic growth.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi

Restoring water is real governance

I was greatly struck by the fascinating story The mission to restore Tripoli's water (September 26).

For all the posturing of politicians and rebels and men with guns, the real business of a government is to take care of the people, and supplying water in a dry land such as Libya is about as obvious an example as you can think of.

I hope that in future you will be able to tell us about the engineering of this "Great Manmade River" which Libya has been working on for so long. It is also a provocative thought that water is to be found under quite a lot of the North African desert, to judge by the map with your story.

There will, I suppose, be a lot of good stories of all types coming out of Libya for the next few years.

Stephanie Yates, Abu Dhabi

China pushes hard in South Asia

I refer to Hunt for oil raises stakes between Asian rivals in South China Sea (September 22).

Some nerve China has. Their troops have been reported on the Indo-Pak border. They are building a huge dam near the Indo-Bangladesh border. Their border security forces have made illegal incursions into India on the Indo-Tibetan border. They are building a huge naval port at Gwadar in Pakistan. They are supplying nuclear fuel to Pakistan. They have tied up with Sri Lanka to build ports in northern areas. Their warships patrol in the Indian Ocean close to Mauritius on a year-round basis. And who knows what more?

It is high time India showed some courage.

S Mehta, Dubai

Make dog owners clean up the mess

The Abu Dhabi government keeps parks and public places neat and clean, compared with comparable efforts in other emirates.

But in a few places - around Manhal Palace, in the Corniche area, and in the park area behind the Adnoc building - people allow animals to defecate in the parks.

I ask the Government to make and enforce regulations about this.

Also, pet owners know what actions they should take to keep public areas clean.

Name withheld by request

4G service will be great for users

It's very good to hear that 4G wireless is coming to this country (Etisalat puts mobiles on faster track, September 26).

Call it a character flaw if you wish, but I hate waiting for anything to load on any computer or phone, and I know I'm not alone.

I'm already impatient to buy a 4G phone.

Dave McClennan, Abu Dhabi