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Russian expert: US starts retreat from Mideast

August 12, 2013, 13:46 UTC+3

"In essence, this is rupture of diplomatic relations," Institute of Religion and Politics Director Alexander Ignatenko said

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MOSCOW, August 12 (Itar-Tass) - The week-long break in the work of the U.S. embassies in the Middle East can give a signal for Americans to retreat from the region, Director of the Institute of Religion and Politics Alexander Ignatenko told Itar-Tass.

“This fact [the closure of the embassies] is unprecedented: in essence, this is rupture of diplomatic relations. We have an impression that Americans can see how they can live without cooperation with Islamic states. And they want to show Islamic states how they will live without the United States,” Ignatenko said.

The U.S. considers its presence in the Middle East unprofitable due to “permanent turbulence” in the region and the high level of anti-Americanism, the expert said, adding, “Earlier, the U.S. said they did not need Middle East oil and the Middle East itself. It started developing shale deposits on its territory to search for renewable energy sources.”

Commenting on the difficult situation in the region, the expert said tension continued to grow in Egypt, between military forces and the Muslim Brotherhood. The future of Egypt depends what methods will allow the Egyptian authorities to neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood’s destructive efforts, he said.

He said the temporary closure of the embassies could have other goals. “I believe that this demarche was made after the presidential elections in Iran. The new president implies he intends to improve relations with the United States,” the expert said.

In his view, “the new Iranian president’s wording warns the states that directly finance Al Qaeda does not prevent its activity or boycott the fight against it.”

On August 3, the United States said it closed its embassies in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Yemen, Sudan, Djibouti, Madagascar, Burundi, Qatar, Rwanda, Bahrain, Oman, the Republic of Mauritius. The United States also closed its consulates-general in Dhahran and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Dubai (the United Arab Emirates). On August 11, they resumed the work, except the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a (Yemen).

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