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Putin's Middle East blitz visit and his surprises

Putin's Middle East blitz visit and his surprises

12.12.2017
Tags: Putin, Russia, Syria, Assad, Egypt, As-Sisi, Turkey, Erdogan, Middle East, International Relations, Politics, Analytics, Israel, Palestine, USA,

Middle East blitz-visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin commentators of the main Turkish television channels called "an action with surprises". The first stop of the Russian leader was the Russian airbase Khemeymim in Syria. The second is Egypt, and in the end Turkey.

The Turkish media put an emphasis on Putin's visit to his country, calling it "the result of telephone conversations of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's December 10" with his Russian counterpart "after US President Donald Trump said his country considers Jerusalem the capital of Israel." The statement issued by the Kremlin at that time stressed that Moscow and Ankara "reaffirmed their commitment to the achievement of a just and viable solution to the Middle East crisis, based primarily on the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN Assembly, as well as the realization of the right of the Palestinian people to their own state ". 8 December, speaking at a rally in Sivas province, Erdogan specified: "Together with Putin we will discuss the events concerning Jerusalem and Syria". So he outlined the alleged Turkish agenda, translating into the second or third positions the development of bilateral relations with Russia in the trade, economic and energy spheres. At the same time, the Turkish leader sharply criticized US and European policies in the Middle East, saying that after the talks with Putin, the upcoming meeting of the heads of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries in Istanbul will be "a turning point on the issue of Jerusalem" and this forum will adopt " road map ", in which specific actions to resolve the crisis in Jerusalem and the Middle East settlement must be documented.


Meeting Vladimir Putin with Bashar Assad. Air Base Khmeimim in Syria

However, the bravura tone of the Turkish commentators began to drift off quickly when, unexpectedly - in any case for the Turkish philistine - the Russian leader made a stop in Syria. On the basis of Khmeimim, Putin made an important statement. "I order the Minister of Defense, the Chief of the General Staff: to proceed to the withdrawal of the Russian group of troops to the points of their permanent deployment," the Supreme Commander-in-Chief said addressing servicemen. He also stressed that "the Russian Armed Forces, together with the Syrian army, defeated the most efficient group of international terrorists in Syria and preserved this state." There, Putin held talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad. And only a little later the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov specified that the head of the Russian state visited Syria "on the occasion of announcing the beginning of withdrawal of the contingent, when the conclusion is over, it is not known. Clearly, it's not a matter of one day. " Thus, a new trend was identified, which directly concerns Turkey and Iran, with which Moscow has an agreement on de-escalation zones in Syria.

After Putin went on a working visit to Egypt. With his colleague Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Russian leader discussed the problems of ensuring stability and security in the Middle East and North Africa, the development of Russian-Egyptian relations in the political, trade, economic, energy and humanitarian spheres. At the same time, the presidents of Russia and Egypt expressed their satisfaction with the successes in the elimination of the terrorist hotbed in Syria. Moscow announced its readiness to resume flights to Cairo, a contract was signed for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Ed-Dabaa with the participation of Rosatom. Of course, in Cairo arose the theme of the status of Jerusalem. The parties indicated their commitment to the UN format on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. As you know, Russia is part of the so-called "Middle Eastern Quartet" together with the United States, the EU and the UN. However, the US with its statements about the status of Jerusalem ignored the opinion not only of other participants in the process, but also of the UN resolution of the last 50-60 years. In Cairo, the Russian president first commented on Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "Our countries together advocate for the early resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli dialogue on all controversial issues, including the status of Jerusalem," he stressed. - Long-term and fair agreements are necessary, which would meet the interests of both sides. And, of course, these agreements must comply with the decisions of the international community that were adopted earlier. Russia fully supports all decisions that were taken earlier on this issue by the UN Security Council. We consider counterproductive any steps that anticipate the outcome of the dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis. We believe that such steps are destabilizing, do not help resolve the situation, but, on the contrary, provoke conflict. "


Working visit of Vladimir Putin to Egypt. Cairo, 11 December 2017 year

In general, developing close cooperation with Moscow, Cairo is just beginning to return to a big regional policy, getting an opportunity, according to the former assistant to Egyptian Foreign Minister Hussein Huraydi, to act as a bridge for establishing integration relations between Russia and the Persian Gulf countries on the basis of mutually beneficial interests ". At the same time, experts know that the Islamic world may disagree about Syria and Iraq, but when it comes to the Palestinians - and especially about the status of Jerusalem as a shrine - it seems to be a united front. But who exactly now will be able to have a direct impact on the situation, bringing to the fore the problem of Islamic unity? It is unlikely that Egypt. And in general, the Air Force points out, "the disagreements between 56 countries of the Islamic world are much larger, they are more complex and deeper than the problem of Jerusalem."

Finally, Turkey. And here is another "surprise". Turkish television channels, directing the broadcast of Putin's arrival in Ankara, began to read out the statement they received from Peskov, according to which the negotiating agenda of the Russian leader with his Turkish counterpart was determined in the following sequence: the situation in Syria (including steps to further political settlement and the convocation of the National Congress); trade and economic relations, construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, as well as other "very different topics". Commentators at the same time added that under "different topics" one must bear in mind the status of Jerusalem. The talks between Putin and Erdogan lasted an hour. At the final press conference, the Turkish president, briefly touching upon the prospects for the development of trade and economic relations and the start of construction of the nuclear power plant, immediately moved on to the problem of the status of Jerusalem, attacked Washington and Israel. And only then did he turn to the analysis of the situation in Syria, noting the transition of the process to the sphere of the Geneva format of a political-diplomatic settlement. As for Putin, the Russian president, noting the positive trends in the development of cooperation between the two countries in various fields, including military-technical, assessed the situation in Syria after defeating IGIL (the organization whose activities are banned in the Russian Federation), recalled the positive Turkey's contribution to the process of political and diplomatic settlement of the Syrian crisis. And only after that he commented on the status of Jerusalem, repeating almost literally what he said about this in Egypt.


The arrival of Vladimir Putin in Turkey. 11 December 2017 years

But the "surprises" did not end there. The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Federica Mogerini, said that "the military conflict in Syria has not been completed." According to her, "there are no" real reasons to agree that the Syrian war has come to an end, and the situation may soon normalize. " And 14 December, the chief of the United armed forces of NATO in Europe, Curtis Scaparotti, intends to visit Turkey, which will discuss security problems in the region.

Stanislav Tarasov
A REGNUM
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