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The Return to Saudi Arabia! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The region is undergoing a game-changer phase after the conclusion of former U.S. president Barack Obama’s tenure and the start of U.S. President Donald Trump’s phase. This is happening because of Trump’s stance in considering the fight against terrorism as a priority and Iran as a terrorism-sponsoring country, and for that, he is seeking a coalition to stand against Iran in the region.

Trump also wants to establish safe zones in Syria, backed by Saudi Arabia, in addition to Washington’s approach towards the Yemeni crisis that seems more restrict than Obama’s.

In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there comes Trump’s confused and excited administration.

All this pushed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to visit Oman and Kuwait and to try to build ties with Saudi Arabia. We also saw Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in an attempt to deliver messages to Trump, hoping to succeed in this new trick. Also Hassan Nasralla announced approval upon the ceasefire and political talks in Syria as he claimed that 99% of the possibility to oust the regime was evaded before he changed the subject, moving to the Palestinian cause.

Nasralla added that the meeting between Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu means the conclusion of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Anyone who listens to Nasralla thinks that he was a supporter of negotiations and peaceful solution and not actually one of the most prominent exploiters of the Palestinian cause to serve Iranian goals in the region.

After this full-of-confusion phase, what is next? Let us start from the Financial Times editorial on Trump’s statements over the Palestinian cause to remind him that there is no need to submit new solutions and that the best approach is to revive the Arab Peace Initiative (API) – a Saudi initiative made by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

This means that if serious intention to deal with the Palestinian-Israeli struggle exists then it is a must to return to the Saudi API. Also, seriousness in combating terrorism is embodied in making use of the special Saudi force in combating terrorism that brought Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, deputy premier and minister of interior, George Tenet Medal from the CIA for his intelligence work in the fight against terrorism and his contributions in achieving international security and safety.

Is this everything? No, because if we wanted to reach a solution in Yemen then it is essential to return to the Gulf initiative, led majorly by Saudi Arabia and UAE, that has turned into a U.N. resolution. The condition is similar in Lebanon, regardless of what Iranians say, but the backbone there is Taif Agreement.

Another question is: Where is the Iranian helpful initiative in the region? Where is the Iranian’s effort to achieve peace and stability? It is not a Saudi-Iranian conflict but we are infront of two different methodologies.

On one hand there is Saudi Arabia that is seeking stability and peace as affirmed by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and on the other there is Iran’s continuous pursuit to create more chaos and rifts to reinforce its power.

Despite the confusion, Saudi Arabia proves itself as a rational power that should not be misused – Saudi Arabia has game-changer cards in hand while the Iranian confusion is plain.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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