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US and NATO seeks to topple unsuitable Arab rules

February 06, 2012, 5:04 UTC+3

Yevgeny Primakov assesses the current position of the United States and its NATO allies on the situation in Syria

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MOSCOW, February 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The current anti-Syrian position of the United States and its NATO allies is explained by the fact that they “are seeking to take advantage of the situation in the Arab world in the wake of 2011 spring in order to overthrow the Arab rules unsuitable for them,” a prominent Russian specialist for Middle East problems, Academician Yevgeny Primakov believes.

“Syria became the victim, mainly because the country is situated closely to Iran,” and “the overthrow of the incumbent (Syrian) rule makes part of the plan for Iran’s isolation,” said Primakov, who occupied the posts of the Russian prime minister, the foreign minister and the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service in various years. “Meanwhile, the rapprochement of Damascus and Tehran took place under the influence of the fact that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not settled yet,” Primakov said in an article published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily on Monday, after Russia and China vetoed down the anti-Syrian resolution in the UN Security Council.

He recalled that during his talks with Hafez al-Assad, who is the father of the incumbent Syrian president, the latter said that he “will seek not to stay all alone against Israel. “The lack of settlement of the dangerous Middle Eastern conflict, which has a permanent tendency of  growing into a crisis, made Damascus gain Iranian support just for a case,” Primakov believes.

The Russian academician explains mounting disagreements between two main religious denominations in the Islam – the Sunni Muslims and the Shiites by the fact that most Arab countries also took a position against Bashar al-Assad’s rule. “After the US military operation in Iraq these disagreements particularly aggravated,” Primakov recalled. “The Syrian authorities are mainly represented with the Alawis, which is a branch close to Shia Islam. Meanwhile, League of Arab States, which mostly brings together ‘the Sunni Muslim countries’, voiced concerns over the formation of ‘the Shiite belt’ from Iraq through Iran to Syria and Lebanon,” Primakov writes.

An irresponsible policy in the Middle East and North Africa should be “confronted with joint efforts,” without which, “no one can do in order to prevent the situation from sliding down into chaos, civil wars and ultimately the disruption of so needed measures for the peace process in the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Primakov underlined.


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