Between “isolating Iran” and “Saudi Arabia’s interest” … Where do Washington’s intensive efforts to restore Gulf relations go?


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                The Trump administration has devoted great efforts, especially in the recent period, to turning the page on the differences of the Gulf states between Qatar on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia, with the support of the Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on the other hand.  Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, witnessed a historic Gulf summit on Tuesday, which was considered a cornerstone in building new relations between the components of the Gulf family, which culminated in an important diplomatic work for the US administration led by Trump's advisor Jared Kushner.  What are the undeclared goals of Trump and his administration from these moves that ended with the solution of the Gulf crisis in the last minutes of his presidential term?

                                    <p>Most observers confirm that the announcement of the opening of the borders between Qatar and Saudi Arabia on Monday <strong>And the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council</strong> Tuesday, a joint statement at the Al-Ula summit, an important indication of the path of settlement <strong>Differences</strong> Between Doha and Riyadh, entering a new phase away from the tensions that prevailed within the one Gulf family, specifically between Qatar on one side and Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Bahrain in addition to Egypt on the other side.

The tension between the two parties continued for more than three years, following the decision of the “Saudi axis” to cut ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of “financing terrorism” and supporting Iran, while Qatar continued to deny these accusations.

Narrowing the differences between the two neighboring countries, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, seemed, until recently, elusive, despite the efforts made by various parties, including those affiliated with the Gulf family, especially Kuwait, which today had an important role in pushing the relations between the two sides towards detente, without Overlooked his American counterpart, the first “sponsor” of the consultations led by Trump’s advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. In his speech at the summit, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman praised American and Kuwaiti efforts. He said, “These efforts led to reaching the Al-Ola statement agreement …”.

The American role and the Saudi interest?

The American administration pressed with all its weight to bring the views of the two parties to the dispute closer and to prepare for a common ground, which would be the basis for the restoration of relations between the “brotherly” countries, especially in recent times with the emergence of the results of the American presidential elections that gave the Republican candidate Joe Biden the victory.

Observers point out that the change in Riyadh’s rhetoric and its openness to a solution to the crisis a while ago was imposed by the emergency transformation at the level of the American administration, and the loss of an important ally in Riyadh by Trump losing the presidential race, given that the American president-elect will have another opinion about US-Saudi relations, especially in the related part. Human rights.

“There is a Saudi interest in ending this dispute to appear before the next administration as a responsible actor working for peace,” according to the analysis of France 24 journalist, who specializes in international affairs, Wasim al-Ahmar.

In view of the conditions previously set by each side for the resumption of bilateral relations, it seemed that the two sides had greatly raised the ceiling of their demands to revive the ties that had united them for decades as two governments and two peoples. This breakthrough in the crisis came to confirm that both of them are about to make concessions, first for the benefit of the two countries and secondly in the interest of the region economically and on the security level.

“Multiplication of Tehran”?

Observers consider that the US administration’s move in the Gulf is only taking place with its eyes on Tehran. Consequently, any American decision against Iran cannot be taken in light of Gulf dispersion. And there are those who went on to say that the Trump administration is preparing, in the context of arranging the Gulf house, to strike Iran.

Kanj and journalist Abdel Bari Atwan considered in an article on the London-based “Rai Al-Youm” website that “all the leaks published by American newspapers such as the ‘Wall Street Journal’, Trump’s favorite newspaper, about Kushner and his team’s intention to achieve reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar is a lie, a fabrication and misleading to conceal the goal. The main reason for this aforementioned visit is to strike Iran, in a limited or comprehensive manner, in the coming weeks. ”

Trump is also trying, through the moves of his advisor Jared Kushner, according to Atwan, to “break the isolation of the Israeli occupation state, consecrate its leadership to the Arab nation, liquidate the Arab-Palestinian issue, and increase the amount of hatred for the Palestinian people.” As he put it.

Drying Iran’s financial resources

And media outlets reported that the Trump administration wants through this Gulf reconciliation to tighten the screws on Iran and isolate it more from its regional and international surroundings, by virtue of its relations with Doha, and the drying up of the financial resources that these relations provide to it by the Qatari aviation, which directed towards its airspace following the break with His Saudi neighbor.

“The Gulf reconciliation, from Trump’s point of view, allows strengthening the anti-Iran front in the Gulf, and opens Saudi Arabia’s airspace to Qatari aviation, which will deprive Tehran of the revenues of Qatari aircraft transit fees estimated at $ 100 million,” according to Wasim al-Ahmar’s explanation.

The New York Times had referred to it as “money feeding the exhausted Iranian economy.” It quoted US officials, saying, “These fees allow Iran to easily finance military programs that the Trump administration considers a threat.”

Tehran is following this new atmosphere in the Gulf with open eyes, because it is indirectly concerned with it. Doha was called upon by its “brothers” in the region to reduce its relations with it, while it seems that Qatar is not ready to abandon it, and it views Iran as an important partner in the region in front of Gulf relations that remain shaken by the blow it has received as a result of more than three years of estrangement, and the matter requires, according to Monitors, more time to restore what was damaged. Wasim Al-Ahmar said, “It does not seem that Qatar will change its foreign policy towards Iran just with this reconciliation.”

Boualem Ghobchi



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