An unprecedented number of meetings at the highest level begins in the Russian capital
This article originally appeared at RSPL, translated from Russian by Olga Seletskaia exclusively for SouthFront
Moscow became the second Mecca for Arab leaders. Since the end of August the Russian capital will be visited by the heads of the key countries in the Middle East, including President of Egypt Field Marshal Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed Al Nahyan, King Abdullah II.
Emir of Qatar, the Emir of Kuwait, and then the King of Saudi Arabia are expected to visit Russia in mid-September. The value of these events is unprecedented, as the entire Arab world will visit Moscow.
One of the central events, that opens the all-Arab Marathon, will be the visit of Field Marshal Al- Sisi, the main Russia’s partner in the Middle East. The visit begins on August 25. In addition to the military cooperation, the talks will focus on the settlement of the conflict in Syria and Egypt, and on Russia and Egypt’s role in overcoming it. Also, on August 26, President and Field Marshal Al- Sisi will discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin the possibility of acceding to the BRICS, as well as the creation of a free trade zone with the EAEC.
“President Putin is an outstanding leader. Our dialogue is objective and logic. We have an understanding on various regional issues, in particular on the fight against terrorism. We agree on everything that relates to the bilateral cooperation between our countries. In this regard, we need to make every effort to achieve our goals and to implement our dreams. And, importantly, your president shares the aspirations of our people and strongly contributes to progress in this direction,”- Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi said in an interview.
As reported by the official representative of the Presidential Administration of Egypt Ala Yousef on Monday, Tuesday is the first day of the visit to Russia, and Al- Sisi will meet with Sergey Naryshkin, the Speaker of the Russian Parliament. Al Sisi will also hold talks with a number of Russian ministers, including the Head of the Industry and Trade Denis Manturov. Al-Sisi will also discuss investment cooperation with Kirill Dmitriev, the General Director of the Russian direct Investment Fund.
” You know that the hallmark of the Egyptian- Russian relations have long remained stable, and at this stage we would like to give them the impetus to further development… The Egyptian people, fearing for their past and worrying about the future, dared to make a move. I hope I can meet my people’s expectations and realize their hopes, “- said the Field Marshal.
It is no coincidence that Vladimir Putin became partners with Field Marshal Al- Sisi, who is pursuing the policy on the return to Egypt the status of the Arab center , as it had during Gamal Nasser’s time. A gift from the Russian President had a meaning: Field Marshal received from Vladimir Putin Kalashnikov machine-gun – one of the symbols of the past relationships between Egypt and the USSR.
The Field Marshal will pay his visit to Moscow with the delegation, which includes representatives of big business, police, ministers and influential politicians who are decision-makers. Old Putin’s friend King Abdullah II, the King of Jordan, will be the next to visit Moscow. Putin and Abdullah II will discuss the latest developments in the region and the world, in particular their efforts to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israelis on the basis of the decision to create the two states. They will also discuss the developments in Syria and Iraq.
The problem of settlement and final solution to the Palestinian issue is perhaps one of the most important topics for the entire Arab world, anxiously tracking developments in this area. In fact, Palestine is a symbol of pan-Arab revival, and Moscow’s participation in the formation of a national state of Arabs could become a historic step for Vladimir Putin as the leader of the Greater Middle East. Note that the Palestinian issue is on the agenda since the middle of last century, when Israel declared its independence, without taking into account the interests of the inhabitants of Palestine, who were subjected to repression.
The revival of the pan-Arab project – these are the tendencies that are taking place in the Middle East in opposition and strengthening the regimes, on the one hand, and the smoothing of contradictions with the Persian monarchy – on the other. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with the rest Arabic monarchies, is actively supporting the resumption of regional leadership by Cairo, which could lead to a return of discussions on the establishment of the United Arab state. Such a formation would be able to bury the”Islamic state” project and to resolve the Syrian crisis. It can qualitatively reformat international centers taking into account interests of Moscow as a major ally.
Arab autumn in Moscow starts not only with the visits of Putin’s friends from Jordan and Egypt: The Russian President will meet with the first representative of the Persian monarchy – Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed al-Nahyan. According to the Kremlin press service, during the meeting with Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the parties will exchange views on issues of stability and security in the Middle East and North Africa. Meetings with the Emir of Qatar, the Emir of Kuwait, and then with the King of Saudi Arabia will follow.
“Russia is playing a very important role in the Middle East. Our relationship is a priority. We have huge common goals, and if we achieve them, our cooperation will thrive’ – said the Crown Prince Mohammed Al Nahyan .
In an interview with the “Russian planet ,” Vyacheslav Matuzov, President of the Society of friendship and business cooperation with the Arab countries, stressed that the Arab “Hajj” in Moscow is an direct challenge to America, who is trying to impose on all countries the opposing Russia policy. But Arab leaders have all come to us, thus making a strategic choice in favour of Moscow. The leader of Qatar – an avid friend of the Americans – is visiting Moscow on September 14, followed by the Emir of Kuwait, and then by the leader of Persian monarchies – Saudi King Salman.
“A certain political climate is being created nowadays, the climate that affects Russia’s positions in international arena. It shows that Russia is not isolated, nor there is an economic embargo; because when Saudi Arabia or the Emirates leaders are paying visit to Moscow, this indicates that Moscow is all right. The Arabs have always treated us positively and they are prepared to do everything necessary to strengthen the Russia’s position in the world – because they are interested in strengthening their positions, even for purely personal, selfish interests. Now they need an ally to counterbalance the pressure of the Americans,”- said the expert.
“Vyacheslav Matuzov noted that the main challenge in our cooperation with the Arab world lies in diplomatic sphere. Current developments are aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Arabs – both military and economic, – which leads to a change in the balance of power in the Middle East. Israel is actively opposing such a balance. In this context, pro-American and pro-Israel lobby are concerned about the turn of the Russian leadership towards the Arab world. Thus, the negotiations, which are scheduled with the Egyptian president, might be held by people of different views.
The results of these meetings will depend on the political will of our leaders, how firmly they will monitor the progress of negotiations. According to the information from Egyptian sources, Egyptian delegation consists of major business representatives, ministers; in other words, it is the most powerful economic and military-political “attack” of Arabs in Moscow. And Moscow must adequately receive these people and find adequate proposals to their suggestions, proposals that are beneficial to both Russia and the Arab world. So, much depends on those who will lead these negotiations “, – said Matuzov.
The expert emphasizes the role of Egypt as a geopolitical center, which acts on behalf of all Arabs, including the Gulf countries. Therefore, a decisive turn of Cairo towards Russia marks the final and the biggest failure of American policy in the Middle East and the Islamic world. Consequences of the United States’ betting on the terrorists like the ” Muslim Brotherhood ” in Egypt, the extremist forces who are to topple down Washington’s unwanted governments are well experienced by the Arabs .
“This movement of the Arab world to Russia is not accidental – it is the result of the policy that Americans have been conducting over the years. It is obvious to everyone who was behind the Arab revolutions, coups and wars in the region. It was the Americans who sternly demanded that Field Marshal Alsisi brought back to power Mohammed Mursi, the “Muslim Brotherhood” puppet. Americans received a cold negative response. It is the “Muslim Brotherhood” (BM) that is the US’ agent in the Middle East. It is them who started the military conflict in Syria, as evidenced by coded telegrams of the American ambassador in Damascus, dated between 2005 and 2010 “, – the expert explained.
Summing up, Russia’s foreign policy in no way can be limited by the current borders of the former USSR, as stated by Yevgeny Satanovsky and other experts who favour Israel’s interests. If Libya had not been intervened, the Syrian conflict would have not happened, and the Ukraine would have not flared – they all are the links of one chain. So when all the Arab countries are turning to Russia with the hope, their hope should be justified. It is important to provide the Arab world with an opportunity to fulfill the dream of Gamal Nasser to unite the Middle East and to address the issue of Palestine. Second chance won’t be given.