Dagestan hopes tourist will replace terrorists

(Eurasia LIFT)  President of Dagestan, Mr Magomedsalam Magomedov, insists that his focus is on creating jobs and improving living standards in Dagestan, one of Russia’s poorest regions, to drain support for Muslim extremism.

Dagestan has hopes of exploiting the tourist potential of its picturesque location on the shores of the Caspian Sea and the rich ethnic diversity of the 33 peoples who comprise its population of 2.6 million. But the terrorist threat hangs over its investment plans.

Mr Magomedov admitted that official corruption and abuses by security forces had fuelled radicalism and encouraged young men to “go into the forest” and join Wahabbist militants fighting to establish an Islamist regime.

The more the authorities make mistakes, the less is their chance to be popular and that gives greater opportunities to our enemies to criticise us. I work according to one principle, that all our actions must be on legal grounds.
We categorically don’t want to permit extrajudicial punishments or illegal detentions. Such operations unfortunately happened in the past and perhaps even now, but every one of those events is a matter for our individual attention and scrutiny.
We will not allow innocent people to be treated harshly. This is also grounds for bandits to say that the authorities do not respect their people and their rights. We will take care of and defend the rights of our citizens.

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