In the Middle East, Polarisation is Crystallizing…

In the Middle East, Polarisation is Crystallizing… 1 June, 2017

As a boiling cauldron, the Middle East is witnessing the rise of a new bloc centred upon the United States, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as an alternative to the Russia-Iran duo. Turkey, constrained by the circumstances beyond its control, currently sides with the second camp, which may not bode well for the future…
As the first stopover of his first visit abroad as US President, Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia during the time of Iranian presidential elections and pleased his Arabian ally extremely with an astronomical military deal. A similar content is also visible in the eyes of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. There are several reasons for this: While the Trump Administration has slashed its Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for some countries, the amount reserved for Egypt remains the same; Riyadh and Cairo have finally reached an understanding as regards the Tiran and Sanafir Islands in the Red Sea, and Saudi Arabia has resumed delivering shipments of petroleum products after abruptly suspending them in October 2016 following an Egyptian vote in favour of a Russian-drafted UN Security Council resolution on Syria that Saudi Arabia strongly opposed. These countries, which were accorded secondary status during Barack Obama era owing to their weak performance in human rights as well as US rapprochement with Iran, are rejoicing once again in the attention they draw from Washington.

Issue 86