May 21, 2019, 6:48 PM
News Code: 83322971
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Anti-Iran summit in Saudi Arabia, failed meeting in advance

Tehran, May 21, IRNA - An expert on Middle East affairs says the Mecca summit, due to serious disagreements among the Persian Gulf states with Saudi Arabia, will not realize Riyadh government’s demand for a regional consensus against Iran and the meeting will fail in practice.

On May 18, the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, invited the leaders of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf to convene on May 30 at a two emergency meetings on threats that endanger the region on in Mecca.

King Salman's statement states that attacks that target two Saudi Arabia's oil and commercial vessels in the territorial waters of the UAE, have serious implications for regional and international peace and security.

On the morning of Sunday, May 12, contradictory news of a horrific explosion in the Fujairah port of eastern UAE was released, initially denied by the UAE authorities, but the UAE Foreign Minister further announced that four ships near the territorial waters of the region has been subjected to subversive measures. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of involvement in the attack.

It now seems that the goal of holding these meetings by the Riyadh government is to continue Iranophobia policy of compliance with US policy in the region, which could justify the presence of US troops in the Persian Gulf.

Kamran Karami, a Middle East expert in the exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), has been focusing on these developments.

** Saudi interests in organizing Arab summit meetings

'Indeed, if these meetings were to be interpreted as a kind of Saudi aggression against Iran, it seems more likely to be due to the tensions that exist in the Persian Gulf region in Iran-US relations.

He went on to say, 'The Saudis' goal is more aggressive rather than being defensive and coordinated at the level of the Arab states to be portrayed as a security-military dimension, and those actors who have already been invited in 2017 on Arab NATO by Riyadh.”

The regional expert said that Saudi Arabia is currently affected by the tensions and is pursuing more and more a defensive and coordinated action at the level of the Arab heads of state, and follows the idea that, if space moves towards tension, it can get a coordinated response. And the Saudis are inclined that Egypt would to play a more serious and militaristic role.

He recalled that King Salman and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi had already traveled to Egypt, and were giving Egyptian incentives to pursue this policy in order to persuade the country to participate in their conference and to have a more active presence in the Arab NATO. But the point about Egypt is that Egypt announced a month ago that it will withdraw from Arab NATO, and it does not seem natural that Egypt wants to play an operational role in the tension between Iran and the United States in favor of players like Saudi Arabia.

** Saudi defeat in forming regional consensus against Iran

The Middle East expert said the Saudi objective was to create this consensus at the level of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), but given the differences within PGCC and the disagreement with Qatar showed that there was no consensus on the level of Persian Gulf Cooperation Council that has similar actors, both governments, and shared commonalities among nations.

Karami added, 'Saudi Arabia's second goal is to create this consensus throughout the Arab world, because Saudi Arabia defines its level of participation in the Arab world and believes that the vacuum created in the Arab world provided a good opportunity to play its historical role.'

He elsewhere in his remarks said that Saudi Arabia's other goal was defined at the third level of the Islamic world and sought to be able to reach consensus in both Asian and African countries, but the 2017 experience in the Arab NATO debate, which included Arab and Islamic actors, as well as the coalition debate against terrorism in 2016, shows that Saudi Arabia is actually in the process of consensus building not going anywhere.

The Middle East expert also said that the Saudis themselves realized that there were disagreements even at the level of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, and that there were many differences in the Arab world, and in the Islamic world, basically, many of these actors don’t define themselves in this alliance, Saudi Arabia define, therefore, it should be said that the consensus making by the Saudis at these three levels, which can reach a desirable level, has not yet taken place, and at the current time it seems that such an effort fails.

Karami added, 'The idea of Saudi Arabia is that there will be some kind of harmony between the various actors despite the differences that exist, and that an Arabic Islamic force will be formed that will be based in Riyadh and run by the country, but with the serious differences between these actors Saudi Arabia’s demand will not be realized.


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