Prospect of “Negev” Meeting in Morocco

2023/01/17 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online - Interview: An expert on West Asia affairs stated that choosing the usurper Zionist regime as the leader of the new regional coalition with the participation of Arab states is a very big strategic mistake. He added that the possibility of the formation of a regional coalition and implementation of what is being discussed in the Negev negotiations will not be easy to achieve. There are many reasons for this, including the deep differences of the Arab countries and their conflicting interests with each other, as well as their conflicts with the Zionist regime, and the formation of a new extremist government in Israel has also added to the existing challenges.

In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Ali Abdi, referring to the efforts of some countries in the region to hold the Negev (Negeb) Meeting in Morocco with the participation of Morocco, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain, clarified: This meeting is a continuation of the meeting that was held in the past months and during the Lapid-Bennett government and it was planned on the basis of creating a kind of regional convergence against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Axis of Resistance; they are trying to create a basis for the formation of a regional coalition, especially in the military and security dimensions, around the axis of confronting Iran and its regional arms.

Saying that the regimes that have the most confrontation with Iran in the region have a central role in holding this meeting, he added: The US, as the superpower that intervenes in the region, the Zionist regime, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and Morocco are active in this regard and are trying to bring Jordan to the meeting as well; of course, it is very desirable for them to be able to include Iraq in this group, and among these countries, the UAE also plays a leading role.

Referring to the official positions of those countries regarding the objectives behind holding such meetings, the analyst of West Asia affairs said: When the idea of creating “Arab NATO” or “Regional NATO” against Iran was raised, it was denied by some officials of those countries, including the king of Jordan, but in implementing the integrated air defense against Iran’s drone and missile power, the UAE purchased about three “Barak 8” air defense systems from the Zionist regime and deployed them in its air bases. Therefore, negotiations in the upcoming meeting of the Negev will be conducted in the same direction.

Abdi stated that the main supporter of holding the upcoming meeting of the Negev is the Biden administration and this is within the framework of their policies, adding: It is desirable for the United States that in those negotiations finds more role to play, beyond the security and military topics, in cooperation in economic, diplomatic and technological fields among the countries present in the Negev, and be placed in the full regional connections and confront Iran and its regional arms in those arenas as well.

While explaining the remarks of an American official who had said the United States intends to hold a joint meeting with the presence of foreign ministers of Tel Aviv and four Arab countries that have tried to normalize relations, with an aim of curbing the extreme policies of the new Zionist regime cabinet, led by Netanyahu, he continued: There are many variables regarding the perspective of the achievements of the Negev meeting. The new government of the Zionist regime is more extreme than the previous government, and it has taken certain measures in this direction in the early days, including the visit of “Ben-Gvir” to the sacred Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, which caused condemnation of the United Nations Security Council.

Abdi added: This measure by Ben Gvir was described as provocative and caused significant Palestinian and Arab reactions. Even countries such as the UAE, which have very complex and deep ties with Israel, have apparently issued statements condemning the move. Therefore, if this government wants to proceed with this procedure, it will definitely face serious challenges with plans such as formation of the Arab NATO. In fact, if Netanyahu’s government wants to allow radical figures like Ben Gvir to act as they want in the field of foreign policy, it will have consequences on regional alliances.

He emphasized: The regimes that have normalized their relations with Israel or are intended to establish open and secret relations with it, should at least be able to convince the public opinion of their people. Although those regimes are generally autocratic, semi-autocratic and authoritarian, they are forced to consider minimums. In this regard, we are even witnessing challenges for the US in its relations with Israel and the plans of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and even Turkey for relations with that regime. This approach will have an impact on the policies of Russia and China. Certainly, the sum of such issues will face realization of that coalition with many ambiguities.

The expert on West Asia affairs, stating that choosing the Zionist usurper regime as the leader of the new regional coalition with the presence of Arab countries is a very big strategic mistake, adding: If it were not for the efforts of the United States and Israel to create a coalition against Iran, those Arab countries could never have such an understanding with each other. But at the same time, unfortunately, some of those countries have put their regional approach in conflict with Iran and it cannot be ignored. The US is now seeking to take advantage of “Iranophobia” approach which, for at past the past two decades, it has been fueled and intensified in this region.

Abdi stated that, unfortunately, the approach of Iranophobia has intensified in some Arab countries, and noted: Iran’s diplomatic apparatus, especially in the field of public diplomacy, has not been able to deal well with that policy and must have a new and effective design.

The expert on West Asia affairs, emphasizing the necessity of Iran’s vigilance to deal with those schemes and considering the necessary measures for different scenarios, said at the same time: The possibility of forming such a regional coalition and the implementation of what they are looking for in the Negev negotiations, for many reasons, including the deep differences of Arab countries and their conflicting interests with each other, as well as the conflicts with the Zionist regime, it is not easy to reach, and formation of a new extremist government in Israel has added to the existing challenges.

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