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U.S. Strategic Adviser: Riyadh Will Remain Washington’s Strategic Ally | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) welcomes Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prior to their meeting on June 13, 2016, in Washington, DC. Molley Riley/AFP

Riyadh-Strategic adviser to former U.S. President George W. Bush asserted to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper the strategic relations between Riyadh and Washington at the economic, political and security levels, adding that the outcomes of the joint Gulf-U.S. summit lately held in Riyadh, have placed things in their right context.

Ali Tulbah also asserted the need to preserve such strategic alliance and work jointly to create what could be called a “peaceful Iran” to reinstall stability in the region.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper: “The Gulf-U.S. strategic alliance should be enhanced due to Iran’s aggressive activities and its proliferation in each of Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and other parts of the region.”

Tulbah confirmed that “the U.S. support for Syria’s opposition, though important, remains insufficient to change the equation of the current war or conflict in that part of the world.”

He said that the U.S. and its allies in the Gulf should develop stronger tools to boost their joint strategic work in the long term, adding that in this partnership, Saudi Arabia is considered the key in fighting extremism and terrorism.

Tulbah, who is Managing Director at McLarty Associates, an international strategic advisory firm, said that currently it is no secret that Russia and Iran are providing the Assad regime with necessary support, the reason why the conflict has been dragging.

However, he said, the U.S. has never believed that a military solution could be placed in Syria.

Tulbah said: “Russia does not want to play an effective role in the ongoing talks in Geneva because it wants to keep (Bashar) Assad on top of the regime.”

Commenting on the current visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the United States, Tulbah said it comes as part of a strong U.S.-Saudi political will to enhance mutual relations at the economic, security and military levels.

He said U.S.-Saudi relations are considered the base of the U.S.-Gulf ties, which aim at providing political and security stability in the region.

When asked about the reasons behind the U.S. position vis-a-vis the Syrian crisis and the reasons behind the prolongation of the rule of the Syrian regime, Tulbah said: “At the beginning, the U.S. had cared to help solve the crisis peacefully, however, the Syrians did not imagine that the situation could worsen to such a tragic level, and to shake the stability of our regional allies.”

He said that the U.S. should exert an effort to provide stability and stop the civil war.

Tulbah asserted that the U.S. does not wish to see more woes in Syria. The strategic adviser said he agrees with high-ranking U.S. officials who officially announced that the U.S. had to make more efforts to support the Syrian opposition.

Tulbah asserted that “Saudi Arabia has proved it was playing an effective role in leading the international efforts to fight terrorism across nations, and therefore, mutual cooperation between Riyadh and Washington to fight terrorism is the base for any international achievement.”

He said that the Saudi role in fighting terrorism could be considered as a “school from which we can benefit, and therefore, partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia includes sharing the experiences of each other in this regard.”