Syria possibly is set to come out of the years of visible isolation as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is planning to invite Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to the Arab League summit, which is scheduled to take place on May 19, 2023 in Riyadh. In this regard, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan will be visiting Damascus to hand over a formal invitation to Assad to attend the summit – which is seen as the most significant development in the Arab rapprochement with the Syrian government. Meanwhile, according to diplomatic circles, Riyadh and Damascus are in talks to reopen embassies in both countries, which is seen as a policy shift demonstrating new and independent positions on Syria. Residents of Aleppo say – they went to bed one night and woke up seeing being under occupation of armed fighters supported by the Obama administration. In December 2016, the city was liberated from the captivity of Al Qaeda and its affiliates and since then they have been trying to recuperate, but with US-EU sanctions opposing their reconstruction plans, the recovery has been in slow motion.
Aleppo residents have hoped that as quickly as their lives were turned upside down by outside forces, the turning point of recovery and prosperity would be just as quick. Syria stands today on the threshold of a recovery which may hold peace and prosperity in the near future for 21 million inhabitants.
Meanwhile, the normalization of diplomatic relations between Riyadh and Tehran heralded the beginning of a new era in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia and Iran have been into open rivalry for years. In the aftermath of the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6 in Syria and Turkey, the Arab world came out in force with humanitarian aid to both countries.
On the other hand, the US, following their Syrian policy, refused any aid to be distributed to Aleppo and Latakia, two of the hardest hit areas in Syria, instead insisting to focus aid deliveries strictly to Idlib, under the occupation of Al Qaeda affiliated jihadists. On April 1, 2023, Syrian Foreign Minister Mekdad and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met in Cairo in advanced talks to restore full diplomatic relations. Media reports indicate that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad may meet soon once the month of Ramadan ends on April 23. During their meeting, Mekdad and Shoukry discussed restoring Syrian unity and sovereignty over their entire territory, earthquake recovery, and an end to foreign interference in Syria.
It may be mentioned here that Abdel Fattah Al Sisi has aligned Cairo’s foreign policy with that of Riyadh. In the 2015 Qatar diplomatic crisis, Cairo’s positions were consistent with those of Riyadh.
Egypt and Syria both suffered under the Obama project to create a new Middle East through regime change, where Barack Obama made frantic bids in destabilizing the Middle Eastern nations through so-called Arab Spring, which was aimed at unseating the current rulers and replace with America’s own puppet regimes where Obama would term them as democracies.
It is essential to mention here that, while the United States has always been vowing of combating militancy, Obama administration pushed Egypt into dark era, where Egyptians suffered almost a year of murders and tortures under the Muslim Brotherhood backed Morsi regime before the people revolted and took back their country under Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Turkey and the US have supported the Muslim Brotherhood which was used by the United States in the so-called Arab Spring. Only recently, Turkey began moving-away from their romance with Muslim Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, an Emirati ship containing more than two thousand tons of aid has docked at Latakia port in Syria. These aid items include food supplies, medical equipment and winter clothing. This aid is sent under UAE’s Operation Gallant Knight 2, aimed at supporting people affected by earthquakes in Syria and the neighboring Turkey. The United Arab Emirates earlier sent one thousand tons of aid to Syria in March and Saudi Arabia also sent aid. Recently, when President Bashar Al-Assad and the First Lady visited the UAE, they were warmly greeted. Earlier Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates had reopened their diplomatic missions in Damascus.
In Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan faces his last election in May 2023, and the voters will be evaluating his role in the Syrian crisis which brought over 3 million refugees flooding into Turkey.
Meanwhile, US Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf said, Arab countries engaged in a rapprochement with President Bashar Al Assad should “get something” in return, accusing his Syrian regime of being behind an illegal drug trade devastating the region.
Barbara Leaf said the US had sent a message that it would not follow suit by its recent imposition of sanctions on two Assad family members for their suspected role in the smuggling of the amphetamine known as Captagon.
Leaf, who has visited Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, and Tunisia in the past two weeks, said the drug was “a new, terrible scourge across the region” and blamed much of its trade on the Assad government.
“The profiting from the Captagon trade is just another terrible example of why this [Syrian] regime deserves to be treated as the rogue it is”, said Barbara Leaf, whose portfolio is the Near East region.
“We don’t intend to normalize”, she said from London. “This regime is such a disaster for its people but also for its neighborhood”.
Many Arab countries downgraded ties with the regime in Damascus for its violent suppression of the 2011 revolt against five decades of Assad family rule.
Barbara Leaf said Washington has had discussions with its Middle East allies about “their shift in policy”.
“They want to try engagement”, she said. “Our approach on that score is that make sure to get something for that engagement.
“I would put ending the Captagon trade right at the top, alongside the other issues … that go to providing relief to the Syrian people from the terrible decade of oppression that they suffered”.
It may be mentioned here that, the The Canadians are among the many foreign nationals in Syrian camps run by Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. The US are military partners with the Kurds while about 900 US soldiers occupy the main oil wells in Syria, and prevent the Syrian people access to their own energy resources. Media reports said, 19 Canadian women and 13 children are expected to fly from Syria to Canada after an agreement was reached with Canada for repatriation. The prison camps are a dangerous breeding ground for terrorism, and are unsafe for humans. Almost no food, water and cholera runs rampant in the squalid camps well visited by foreign journalists. The US backed Kurds are in charge, but have either a lack of funding, or the corruption among the US military partners has led to the unlivable situation.
Just prior to the 2011 conflict, a massive offshore gas field was discovered in Syria. This has not yet been exploited because of the conflict. With the proceeds of the gas field, hospitals and schools can be constructed. Even after 12 years of conflict, Syria still offers free medical care and education.
In 2011, most of the Arab leaders were following orders directed from the Oval Office.
Meanwhile, many western democracies sent their young men and women to fight as terrorists in Syria. US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany and Belgium are among the top countries who have prisoners in the Kurdish prison camps in northeast Syria. Eventually, the US will have to leave Syria, and the Kurds will have to repair their relationship with Damascus. At that point, the foreign terrorists, their wives and children, will have to be dealt with.
But it seems, America’s era of dominating the world – both justly and unjustly has started gradually getting vapored. Following Washington’s open involvement in a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, a large number of countries in the world are working out of the dollarized economic system. Every nation is establishing alternative paths. Washington has already warned of dire consequences if foreign nations abandon dollars in inter-state economic transactions. But such warnings would actually backfire as it evidently proves – America is nervous at the global tendency of de-dollarization.
Middle Eastern nations now need to come out of their decades-old unnecessary fear of the US and spend billions of dollars in just keeping Washington happy. They need to now realize; the US has actually been extorting billions of dollars by blackmailing the Gulf nations. They also need to understand – it was America which had created Al Qaeda, Islamic States (ISIS) and been the main culprit behind destabilizing Iraq, Libya and several Arab nations.
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