Deal of the Century: US Invites «Israel» to Bahrain Summit on Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

Washington has invited the “Israeli” entity to participate in an American-led so-called Mideast “peace” conference expected to take place in late June in Bahrain, Channel 13 reported Monday, citing a senior “Israeli” official.

The official told the network the invitation was sent as a hardcopy, which is en route to “Israeli” entity in diplomatic mail channels.

The entity was expected to accept the invitation, the official added.

The “Israeli” entity’s so-called Finance Ministry had earlier told the Associated Press that it had not been invited.

The White House announced Sunday it will unveil the first phase of its long-awaited so-called Mideast “peace” plan at the conference, saying it will focus on economic benefits that could be reaped if the “Israeli”-Palestinian conflict is resolved.

The plan envisions large-scale investment and infrastructure work, much of it funded by wealthy Arab countries, in the occupied Palestinian territories.

But officials say the June 25-26 conference will not include the core political issues of the conflict: final borders, the status of al-Quds [Jerusalem], the fate of Palestinian refugees or “Israeli” security demands.

The Palestinian Authority prime minister said Monday that any American “peace” plan that ignores the Palestinian people’s aspirations for an independent state is doomed to fail.

Mohammad Shtayyeh’s comments immediately cast a cloud over the summit.

“Any solution to the conflict in Palestine must be political… and based on ending the occupation,” he said at a Palestinian cabinet meeting. “The current financial crisis is a result of a financial war waged against us and we will not succumb to blackmailing and extortion and will not trade our national rights for money.”

US President Donald Trump’s Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, said it was “difficult to understand why the Palestinian Authority would reject a workshop designed to discuss a vision with the potential to radically transform lives and put people on a path toward a brighter future.

“History will judge the Palestinian Authority harshly for passing up any opportunity that could give the Palestinians something so very different, and something so very positive, compared to what they have today,” Greenblatt said.

In another setback, Bashar Masri, a Palestinian industrialist with vast business holdings throughout the West Bank, said he had turned down an invitation to the conference.

“I will not participate in this conference, and none of the representatives of our companies will participate,” he wrote on Facebook. “We reaffirm our clear position: We will not deal with any event outside the Palestinian national consensus.”

The Palestinians severed ties with the US over a year ago over Trump’s recognition of al-Quds as the so-called “capital” of the “Israeli” entity. They have repeatedly expressed fears that the White House will try to buy them off with large sums of investment in exchange for freezing their demands for an independent state. They believe the US is trying to rally support from other Arab countries to bully them into accepting a plan that would legitimize “Israeli” control of the occupied West Bank.

In a joint statement with Bahrain, the White House said the gathering will give government, civil and business leaders a chance to rally support for economic initiatives that could be possible with a “peace” agreement.

“The Palestinian people, along with all people in the Middle East, deserve a future with dignity and the opportunity to better their lives,” Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said in a statement Sunday.

“Economic progress can only be achieved with a solid economic vision and if the core political issues are resolved.”

The tiny island nation of Bahrain, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, has signaled its willingness to open relations with the “Israeli” entity. Prominent rabbis in 2017 said King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had told them that he hoped the Arab boycott of “Israel” would end.

Bahrain hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are widely believed to be seeking closer ties to the “Israeli” entity, viewing it as a potential ally against Iran, a shared enemy.

Kushner and Greenblatt have been leading efforts to draft the plan, but after more than two years of work, they have not released any details.

A senior administration official in Washington told reporters Sunday that invitations to the conference are being sent to individuals in the United States, Europe, the Gulf, the wider Arab world and “some” Palestinian business leaders.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement.

There were no details on who might attend, or whether the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank was invited.

In the absence of direct talks with Palestinian leaders, US officials often talk of engaging Palestinians in the private sector and “civil society” groups.

It is unclear how any large-scale projects would be carried out in the Gaza Strip. The US and Israel consider Gaza’s Hamas rulers to be a terrorist group and have no direct contacts with them.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza — territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War — for an independent state. Breaking from the policies of its predecessors, the Trump administration has refused to endorse a two-state solution.

Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, and subsequently moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The US has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars of aid for the Palestinians and closed the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington.

The Palestinians have already said they would reject any peace plan offered by the US, saying Trump is unfairly biased toward Israel.

Kushner said it has been disheartening that the Palestinian leadership has attacked the plan before it is unveiled.

Earlier this month, Kushner insisted that the plan he has helped craft is a detailed, fresh approach that he hopes will stimulate discussion and lead to a breakthrough in solving the decades-old conflict. At a think tank in Washington, Kushner described it as an “in-depth operational document” not anchored to previous, failed negotiations, high-level political concepts or stale arguments.

Advertisements

Here is where all the US bases are located near Iran

The Pentagon doubled down on the deployment of its carrier strike group on Friday, saying it would beef up its Middle Eastern theatre command’s assets with additional Patriot missile defence batteries, an amphibious assault ship full of Marines and an amphibious dock ship to complement the recently deployed USS Abraham Lincoln and several nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers.

Iran has dismissed both Washington’s threats and President Trump’s simultaneous offer to negotiate with the country’s leadership, with a deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards saying the US was mistaken if it felt it could intimidate Tehran into talks with threats and sanctions.

Senior US officials have claimed that the troop buildup was a response to Iranian behaviour. Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan called the carrier deployment a “prudent repositioning of assets in response to indication of a credible threat” by Iranian forces. National Security Adviser John Bolton said the move was a reaction “to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” and was aimed at sending “a clear and unmistakable message to [Tehran] that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

no one you follow@NerbieDansers

i wonder what pentagon PR flack came up with calling US military bases “lily pads”

See no one you follow’s other Tweets
However, in light of the vast network of bases that the US has surrounding Iran from virtually all directions, it’s worth asking what the US’s real goal is in the present escalation. Because even without those fresh deployments, the US already has thousands of troops surrounding the Islamic Republic.

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet, whose area of responsibility includes the Middle East and North Africa, has at least 7,000 US troops at its permanent base in Bahrain. In Kuwait, meanwhile, the US Army’s Central Command has its forward command post, where some 13,000 troops are stationed.

ALSO READ  US sends B-52 bombers to Middle East to deal with Iran ‘threat’

Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates contains 5,000 plus US personnel, while Qatar’s massive Al Udeid Air Base has roughly US 10,000 troops.

Along with the bases, the US has special forces troops operating in Yemen, while Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan station thousands more troops, although some politicians in Baghdad have recently threatened to evict the estimated 5,200 troops based in their country.

Along with the bases, the US also has access to a large series of smaller ‘cooperative security locations’, also known as ‘lily pads’with 200 troops or less, as well as access to airfields and ports in countries including Oman, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.

On Saturday, Iranian Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi brushed aside US allegations about Iran posing a threat to US forces in the Middle East, accusing the Trump administration of using “fake intelligence.”

“These are all allegations which are being produced by the same people who, in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq, did the same,” Ravanchi said, likely referring to John Bolton’s role in pushing the invasion during his work as an adviser in the administration of President George W. Bush.

Given the presence of US troops at bases in virtually every one of Tehran’s neighbours, perhaps it’s Iran’s leaders who should be the ones complaining about “credible threats” and “escalatory indications.”

Source: Sputnik

The new Warsaw pact… but now against Iran حلف وارسو الجديد… لكن ضدّ إيران

The new Warsaw pact… but now against Iran

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The US Secretary of State wants to restore the image of a strong alliance “Warsaw Pact” which was the capital of Poland during the days of the Soviet Union by announcing an alliance that focused on Iran from the same capital, accompanied with a meeting in the middle of the next month during his tour in the region with the determination of the administration of the US President Donald Trump to prevent turning Yemen and Syria into another Lebanon according to Saudi Arabia and Israel. He tries to hide the mission which he talked about by saying that the efforts of all in the Middle East must be united against Iran, without mentioning the magical word which will be uttered at Warsaw Conference “the Saudi-Israeli alliance”.

Many countries will be invited as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Morocco, and some Latin American countries, but with the comparison with the Conference of Friends of Syria groups sponsored by Washington in 2012 to overthrow the Syrian country and which included all the European countries and most of the Arab countries, and Islamic countries as Indonesia, Turkey and Pakistan, where Israel was absent to ensure its success, Warsaw Pact will not be important because it will express the size of decline of the US influence not only in the region but also in the world. It is enough to notice the absence of the European allies of America and its partners in the NATO at their forefront Turkey. Therefore, the attendance will be restricted on marginal countries that cannot wage confrontations against Iran. Therefore, the conference will have one function; to crowd Washington’s Arab allies with Israel for confronting Iran and the forces of resistance.

The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jayad Zarif commented on the conference by publishing a photo that shows the participants in the Summit of Peacemakers-Sharm al-Sheikh 1996 for peace process in the Middle East and the fight against terrorism. It included former presidents as Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, Hosni Mubarak, and Shimon Peres; it was dedicated to confront Iran and the forces of the resistance. Zarif wrote under that photo “”Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last U.S. anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever.”

Pompeo may not pay attention that it is the first time the Arab anti-resistance rulers met the leaders of the occupation entity in the same conference, and he did not pay attention that the meeting 1996 was a presidential summit that will not be available in Warsaw Conference which will be held at the level of foreign ministers. Because the weakness and the regression of America, the Arab rulers, and Israel are enough to interpret the expectations of its abject failure, especially because what is revealed by the call to the conference is contrary to every speech; the inability to progress in any path that ends the Palestinian cause which the Americans betted on the deal of century to end it through a Palestinian partnership provided by the Arabs who are loyal to America. So this led to a radical change in the balances of the region. Therefore, the conference is recognition of despair of the success of the new formulas which remained targets without realistic roadmap.

Warsaw Conference will end and will not reap better results than Sharm Al-Sheikh summit 1996 or the Friends of Syria 2012 conference, since its attendances are the least and the situation of America and the participants is even weaker than before.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

حلف وارسو الجديد… لكن ضدّ إيران 

يناير 14, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– في استعارة للمكان يريد وزير الخارجية الأميركية أن يلعب على الذاكرة باستعادة صورة حلف شديد القوة كان يحمل اسم حلف وارسو عاصمة بولندا أيام الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، بالإعلان عن حلف يستهدف مواجهة إيران من العاصمة نفسها ليحمل الاسم نفسه، حلف وارسو، متوجاً بالدعوة للاجتماع المفترض منتصف الشهر المقبل زيارته للمنطقة التي ملأها كلاماً عن حزم وعزم إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب على منع تحول اليمن وسورية إلى لبنان آخر بالنسبة لكل من السعودية و«إسرائيل»، مخفياً المهمة التي تحدث عنها بالتلميح بقوله إنه يجب توحيد جهود الجميع في الشرق الأوسط بوجه إيران، دون أن يلفظ الكلمة السحرية التي ستظلل مؤتمر وارسو، وهي الحلف السعودي الإسرائيلي.

– بالنظر للدعوات التي وجهت والتي ستوجه، والتي طالت مصر والسعودية والبحرين والإمارات والمغرب، وما قد يعقبها من دعوات لبعض دول أميركا اللاتينية، والمقارنة مع مؤتمر أصدقاء سورية الذي رعته واشنطن عام 2012، لتنسيق الجهود لإسقاط الدولة السورية، والذي ضم كل الدول الأوروبية وأغلب الدول العربية، وغابت عنه إسرائيل لضمان نجاحه، ودول إسلامية وازنة كأندونيسيا وتركيا وباكستان، سيبدو مؤتمر وارسو هزيلاً، وتعبيراً عن حجم التراجع في النفوذ الأميركي ليس في المنطقة فقط، بل وفي العالم، حيث سيكون كافياً غياب حلفاء أميركا الأوروبيين، وشركائها الكبار في حلف الأطلسي وفي مقدمتهم مع الدول الأوروبية تركيا، وسيكون الحضور لدول هامشية في القدرة على خوض المواجهات المؤثرة على إيران، ويصبح للمؤتمر وظيفة واحدة، أن يكون الشكل الوحيد المتاح لحشد يضم حلفاء واشنطن من العرب مع «إسرائيل» لمهمة مشتركة عنوانها مواجهة إيران وقوى المقاومة.

– علّق وزير الخارجية الإيرانية محمد جواد ظريف على المؤتمر بنشر صورة تظهر المشاركين في القمة الدولية بشأن التسوية الشرق الأوسطية ومحاربة الإرهاب والتي عقدت في شرم الشيخ المصرية عام 1996، بمن فيهم الرؤساء السابقون للولايات المتحدة بيل كلينتون وروسيا بوريس يلتسين ومصر حسني مبارك و«إسرائيل» شيمون بيريز، والتي خصصت يومها لمواجهة إيران وقوى المقاومة، وكتب ظريف تحت تلك الصورة: «أذكّر مَن سيستضيف وسيشارك في المؤتمر ضد إيران: هؤلاء الذين حضروا العرض الأميركي الأخير الموجّه ضد إيران إما ماتوا أو وُصموا بالعار أو هُمّشوا، في وقت أصبحت فيه إيران أقوى من أي وقت مضى».

– لم ينتبه بومبيو ربما إلى أنها ليست المرة التي يجتمع فيها الحكام العرب المعادون للمقاومة في مؤتمر واحد مع قادة كيان الاحتلال، بل لم ينتبه ربما إلى أن اجتماع العام 1996 كان قمة رئاسية، لن تتاح لمؤتمر وارسو، الذي سيعقد على مستوى وزراء خارجية، وأن ما تغير من يومها إلى يومنا هذا من ضعف وتراجع في حال أميركا وحال الحكام العرب وحال «إسرائيل»، كافٍ لتفسير التوقعات كيف سيكون الفشل مضاعفاً قياساً بالفشل السابق، خصوصاً أن أهم ما تكشفه الدعوة للمؤتمر هو خلافاً لكل كلام آخر، العجز عن السير قدماً بجدية في مسار ينتهي بحل القضية الفلسطينية التي راهن الأميركيون على صفقة القرن لإنهائها بشراكة فلسطينية يؤمنها عرب أميركا، لينتج عن المشهد الجديد تغيير جذري في توازنات المنطقة، فيأتي المؤتمر عودة للصيغ التقليدية اعترافاً باليأس من نجاح الصيغ الجديدة التي بقيت أهدافاً بلا خريطة طريق واقعية لتحقيقها.

– سينتهي مؤتمر وارسو، ولن يحصد نتائج أفضل من قمة شرم الشيخ عام 1996 ولا من مؤتمر أصدقاء سورية 2012، وهو أشد هزالاً من كل منهما على مستوى الحضور، وحال أميركا والمشاركين أشد هزالاً مما كانت في الحالتين.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Even a Video Clip Intimidates «Israel»!

By Staff, Agencies

An “Israeli” delegation that canceled its participation in a business conference in Bahrain this week was motivated by a Shia opposition group releasing a video showing a simulated drone attack blowing up the “Israeli” participants.

The video, uploaded to social media by the Saraya Waad Allah group, showed an armed drone targeting the hotel the delegation may have intended to stay at, as well as the conference center where the Global Entrepreneurship Congress is being held April 15-18.

The detailed video complete with captions in Arabic and Hebrew showed an El Al plane arriving at Bahrain’s international airport at 8 a.m. on April 14. The delegation’s motorcade is then followed in the air by a drone to the Meridien Hotel, with the subtitle stating, “Location where the delegation is staying.”

The video ends with a drone exploding at the entrance to the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Center with the date and time of April 16 14:00 AM and the message “the final warning” on the screen.

A number of “Israeli officials”, including the entity’s so-called Economy Minister Eli Cohen, were scheduled to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress that opened in Manama on Monday.

The delegation backed out Sunday, citing an unspecified security threat.

The entity’s Channel 12 reported Monday that the publication of the video prompted the delegation to cancel its participation.

 

Bahrain Crackdown: Afghan Judge Revokes 183 Citizenships of Bahraini Nationals!

By Staff

As part of the continued crackdown against own nationals, the Bahraini regime decided to revoke 183 citizenships of native Bahrainis under the alleged pretext of a ‘Bahraini Hezbollah’ case.

Ironically, the judge who issued the verdict that bans original landowners from their homeland, identified as Badr Abdul Latif Al Abdallah is of Afghan origins. Additionally, he belongs to the third generation of a family that was granted a Bahraini citizenship before it added the name “Al” to its title, a habit that is usually taken by families of non-Arab origins in Bahrain.

Following the unfair sentences issued on Tuesday to revoke the citizenship of 138 individuals, the number of similar cases in the tiny kingdom has now reached 985.

Relatively, yearly figures are classified as the following:

2019: 181

2018: 298

2017: 156

2016: 90

2015: 208

2014: 21

2012: 31

Earlier to the sentence, a report published by the Bahrain Mirror stated:

The revocation of citizenship in Bahrain after 2018 has become no more than a symbolic punitive measure- a pattern and part of a clear plan to purge the country of the opposition at any price, or perhaps a plan to change the country’s demographic makeup the quickest way possible, even by the most brutal means.

Following the total elimination of opposition groups and civil society, the arrests of the most prominent political and human rights figures, the complete suppression of remaining voices, and the ongoing imprisonment of thousands every year, without any deterrent, the revocation of nationalities seemed to be the final touch in cleansing process.

The number of citizens who have been stripped of their Bahraini nationality since 2011 amount to about 800, in a country with an indigenous population of 650,000, which is the biggest evidence of this practice.

“To put that figure into context, were the same policy applied to the UK, one million Britons would be made stateless,” says author and political analyst Bill Law.

The authorities have not only withdrawn the citizenships of political defendants in trials, but have also deprived all children whose fathers were imprisoned from having birth certificates and passports issued, as noted by the US State Department said in its annual 2017 report on human rights in countries around the world.

The numbers alarmingly increased during 2018, which recorded the highest number of citizenship revocation affecting 298 citizens, with the total number of citizens stripped of their nationality in Bahrain since 2011 amounting to about 804, according to the statistics of organizations and news reports.

In 2018, a court of cassation issued a final verdict, revoking the citizenship of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the country’s Shia citizens, who was under house arrest before leaving for London to receive emergency treatment.

2018 also witnessed a rare incident in the history of the country’s judiciary, and perhaps in history of all countries of the world, as 115 people were stripped of their citizenship in a single trial, in what was known as the Zulfiqar Brigades case.

News agencies reported on this verdict in surprise, while Amnesty International described the trial as “ridiculous” and “one of the most severe rulings yet, and is further proof that the Bahrain authorities have no regard whatsoever for international fair trial standards.”

After Outcry, ‘Israeli’ Delegation Cancels Bahrain Visit Citing ‘Security Concerns’

By Staff, Agencies

A delegation from the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity that was due to attend a conference in Bahrain this week has pulled out due to alleged ‘security concerns’, the organizers claimed on Sunday.

However, in fact, the cancelation comes after Bahrainis held an extensive campaign against the visit.

A spokeswoman for Zionist so-called Economy Minister Eli Cohen claimed that his planned visit to Bahrain this week had been “delayed because of political issues”. Another ‘Israeli’ minister alleged that this referred to coalition talks after the Zionist entity’s election last week.

‘Israel’ and the Gulf Arab countries are in the midst of a diplomatic push aimed at forging an alliance against their common enemy Iran. Their efforts have become boldly public after years of mostly covert contact due to strong opposition to the ‘Israeli’ occupation of Palestinian territories.

The group of around 30 Israeli business executives and government officials was scheduled to participate in a congress organized by the US- based Global Entrepreneurship Network [GEN] in Bahrain on April 15-18.

This prompted an outcry in Bahrain, with parliament joining calls on social media for the visit to be canceled and street protests held in Manama.

“While we advised the ‘Israeli’ delegation they would be welcome, they decided this morning not to come due to security concerns and a wish not to cause disruption for the other 180 nations participating,” Jonathan Ortmans, GEN president, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, acting ‘Israeli’ minister ‘Israel’ Katz, who also holds the intelligence portfolio, denied that the cancellation of Cohen’s trip was due to security concerns.

“The head of the delegation is busy with political matters right now,” Katz told Hebrew Reshet 13 TV, referring to talks on a new coalition government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who won reelection in the April 9 ballot.

“Cohen had to choose between traveling to Bahrain – a very important trip – and exploiting the election gains.”

EGYPT PULLED OUT OF U.S. EFFORTS TO FORM “ARAB NATO” TO COMBAT IRAN: REPORTS

 

Egypt Pulled Out Of U.S. Efforts To Form "Arab NATO" To Combat Iran: Reports

IMAGE: eipss-eg.org

Source

14.04.2019

Egypt pulled out of US and Saudi Arabia’s effort to form an anti-Iranian “Arab NATO,” Israeli media reported citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

The country told the US and other participants in the Middle East Security Alliance, or MESA ahead of a meeting on April 7th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

One of the anonymous sources said Cairo did not send a delegation to the meeting, the latest gathering held to advance the U.S.-led effort to bind Sunni Muslim Arab allies into a security, political and economic pact to counter Shi’ite Iran.

An Arab source also said that this came as a disappointment:

“We all want Egypt to be a part of an Arab NATO,” said the source, “especially as it has the largest army of any Arab nation, and because it carries importance.”

The reasons behind the decision, according to the sources, is that Egypt doesn’t wish to harm its relations with Iran, as well as it doesn’t believe that US President Donald Trump would be elected for a second term. If Trump is gone that jeopardizes the entire “Arab NATO” idea since the next POTUS may decide not to follow through.

On April 9th, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi visited the US and met with Donald Trump. Trump said that they spoke of security issues, but the Arab NATO nor Iran were mentioned in the press conference following the meeting.

Both leaders praised the warm relations between the countries, which could presumably be spoiled if the reports of Egypt giving up efforts are true.

In addition to the US and Saudi Arabia, the MESA proposed participants include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Jordan.

Two anonymous sources also told Al Jazeera that the project would be moving forward and that Egypt would be pressured into not revoking its membership. The project was initially proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2017, and was perpetuated by US President Donald Trump.

The aim of the Trump administration with the project is to form a a new security body comprising Sunni Middle Eastern countries that would be geared toward countering Shiite Iran’s ‘regional adventurism’. Reportedly, MESA member-states would seek deeper cooperation in the realms of missile defense, military training and counter-terrorism, while strengthening broader political and economic ties.

“It would serve as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, terrorism, extremism and will bring stability,” a spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council asserted in reference to the potential association.

“It’s not a new project. However, its implementation is what matters,” said Qassem Qaseer, a Lebanese political analyst. He confirmed that the US has been working with Arab states for a while now to form such a body, noting that “the issue remains with the different agendas and political approach of its member of states.”

Qaseer said that the Arab countries don’t agree on more than one critical issue, pointing out that the Arab NATO is still an idea with no structure.

“They aim to pressure Iran on the ground by such initiative, although, they need to make it a reality first,” Qaseer said.

A Saudi political analyst, Sulaiman al-Oqaily, also said that there must be one strategy among the Arab nations that form the alliance, as well as a clear target in order for such an endeavor to succeed.

Al-Oqaily claimed that there must be one united Arab bloc that has agreed that the “Arab NATO” would protect the Arab world from all kind of threats and security challenges. “Its members’ motives and determinants have to be the same.”

Al-Oqaily says that the sectarianism with which Iran targets the Middle East is more dangerous than Israel.

“Iran is taking advantage of its culture and religious links to the Arab world to expand there and destroy it. Israel can’t violate the Arab society like Iran, but through its intelligence services.”

Between November 10th and 13th, 2018, Egypt hosted the Shield of the Arabs 1 military exercise, with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan.

Egyptian military spokesperson Tamer al-Rifai back then said the exercises were part of Egypt’s efforts to enhance military cooperation with other Arab countries but declined to speculate on whether they could evolve into some sort of a military alliance. 

Egypt on the other hand, appears to have stable relations with Iran currently.

Iran hailed the reports of Egypt giving up on the efforts. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was cited by the IRNA News Agency, praising the possible decision.

He said that it wasn’t yet confirmed, and Iran was examining whether it was true, but if it was confirmed it would be “welcomed.”

“Egypt is an important and powerful country both in the Arab and in the Muslim world that can play a key role in creating peace, stability and security in the West Asia region,” said Qasemi.

He said that Egypt can exercise realism to help foster unity among Muslim countries and bring them closer together.

Qasemi expressed hope that Egypt, ‘as an undeniable power of Arab world’, can carry out its historical duty in the most sensitive conditions of the region.

In addition the decision, if it were true, would help foster better relations in the region and assist in fighting terrorism, provide security and sustainable stability, and give a boost to mutual understanding and multilateral cooperation.

Qasemi also expressed Iran’s doubt that the Arab NATO endeavor would be successful, arguing that NATO was founded in Western world ‘under certain historical and geographical conditions, based on a series of certain values and necessities and even very certain commonalities’ which is not likely to be copied in the Arab world.

Egypt’s relations with Russia also appear to be on the rise. Russia is a key partner of Iran, especially in Syria.

On March 18thRussian outlet Kommersant reported that Russia had inked a $2 billion contract for the delivery of 20 fighter jets to Egypt.

The contract was signed at the end of 2018 and delivery of the aircraft, as well as weapons for the planes, will begin as early as 2020-21.

Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said that no contracts for aircraft supply were signed in the second half of 2018. So the report may be false.

Regardless, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 9th warned that Egypt would be subject to US sanctions if it did, in fact, purchase the Russian Su-35 fighter jets.

“We have made clear that systems were to be purchased that… would require sanctions on the regime,” Pompeo told the Senate Committee on Appropriations. “We have received assurances from them, they understand that, and I am very hopeful they will decide not to move forward with that acquisition.”

Earlier, on October 17th, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also signed a strategic cooperation treaty designed to increase trade, military, and other ties between their two nations.

Putin said the talks encompassed “the whole spectrum of bilateral relations as well as key international and regional problems.”

He added that he and Sisi discussed expanding arms trade and military ties, pointing out that Russian and Egyptian paratroopers were conducting military maneuvers in Egypt.

%d bloggers like this: