Opinion| Russia And China Promote Stability In The Middle East After The US Withdrawal From The Region

(MENAFN- Daily News Egypt) Three main current political scenes cannot be ignored when talking about the Middle East. They, in order, are the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation, Syria's return to the Arab League, and the Egyptian-Iranian talks to restore bilateral relations. These surprising radical shifts certainly mean a positive change in the map of balances and interests in the region towards more stability and cooperation. These transformations could not have taken place in light of the American presence in the region, which was seeking to fuel dormant disputes, demonize some Arab leaders, freeze the Palestinian cause, strengthen the Israeli presence, impose international isolation on Iran, and weaken cooperation between Arab countries through raising potential concerns, and finally interfering in the internal affairs of states under the pretext of spreading democracy. These recent transformations also confirm that the US withdrawal from the region has given space to both Russia and China combined to fill the political vacuum in the region and seek to create a consensual geostrategic environment to bring about economic partnerships and constructive political balances that help strengthen their presence as active poles in the new global system.

The difference between the American approach and the Russian-Chinese approach in the Middle East lies in the fact that the United States sought to fully control the policies of the Arab countries and impose itself as a major dominant force on both the domestic and foreign policies of the countries of the region, while Russia and Chinese present themselves as partners that avoid interference in domestic affairs. Accordingly, it can be said that American policies were based on the principle of“divide and rule”, which relied on provoking disputes between countries to ensure hegemony, while the Russian-Chinese attempts depended on adopting conciliatory approaches that depended on upholding common interests and respecting the independence of states.

This political approach was demonstrated in the Iranian-Saudi reconciliation, where China presented itself as a mediator seeking peace and renouncing differences. Indeed, this Chinese policy has produced positive results for both sides, which greatly strengthened the Chinese position in the Middle East. The most important results of this reconciliation are first: easing tension and conflict between the two largest countries in one of the most sensitive regions of the world, which is the Arabian Gulf region of great strategic, economic, and political importance. Second: This agreement prompted a rearrangement of the map of conflicts and alliances in the region. Third: This agreement confused the Israeli calculations regarding its conflict with Iran. Over recent years, Tel Aviv has sought with all forces to form a strategic alliance with some Arab countries, especially in the Gulf region, to confront what it describes as the“Iranian threat.” Fourthly, and most importantly, the agreement represented a break in the regional and international isolation attempts that Tel Aviv and Washington are trying to impose on Iran, which certainly led to calming many conflicts in the region in which Iran was involved to take revenge on the American side, which imposes itself strongly on the political scene in the region.

The Egyptian-Iranian talks today are also a direct result of China's consensual policy, which led to Saudi Arabia's reconciliation with Iran, which certainly redrew the map of balances in the region. These bilateral talks and the restoration of relations with Iran will achieve a lot of gains for both parties and bring more stability to the Middle East. Among the most prominent of these gains is that, firstly, Iran and Egypt enjoy a strategic location in the region, and that strengthening political and economic relations between them is capable of blocking the way for Israel and the United States, which seek to place Cairo in the anti-Iranian camp, in preparation for the region's mobilization against Iran. Second: Cairo is a meeting point between major Islamic countries, due to its geographical and political location, in addition to Egypt's influence in the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the League of Arab States, and this will certainly help Iran to break the international isolation imposed on it faster. Third: the restoration of relations will certainly lead to securing the waterway of the“Suez Canal” and ensuring the safe passage of ships through the“Bab al-Mandab” Strait, which is under the control of the Iranian-backed“Ansar Allah” group. Fourth, and most importantly, this will lead to limiting the policies of the new Israeli government, which seeks to increase the crises in the region and to show the Arab countries as accomplices to the Israeli occupation.

On the other hand, Russia played an important role in supporting Syria's return to the Arab League after a hiatus of 11 years, at a time when Washington categorically rejected this step. Also, the return of Syria to the Arab world has many advantages. The first and most important of these advantages is that the return of Syria to the Arabs once again confirms the recovery of the Arab world after the catastrophe of what the West called the“Arab Spring”, which led to the dismantling and undermining of many Arab countries and left the rest of the countries subject to the control of American policies that tried to impose governments that work to achieve its interests in the region. Certainly, the return of Syria confirms the integration of cooperation between the Arab countries and sincere efforts to support joint Arab action and affirms the revival of the idea of the Arab regional system.

Thus, we see that the Russian-Chinese efforts in the Middle East seek to present a model different from the Western model that seeks only to achieve its interests and impose its hegemony, regardless of the interests of the other parties. There is no doubt that the Russian-Chinese model tries to avoid the mistakes of the United States and European countries and seeks to establish the foundations of a new order based on the rejection of differences and the exchange of common interests, and this certainly works to enhance stability in the Middle East. Undoubtedly, the US withdrawal from the region gave the countries of the region a real opportunity to recover and cooperate with other poles in the international system capable of mitigating the severity of crises in the region.

Dr. Marwa El- Shinawy: Academic and writer


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