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Lavrov questions Washington’s push to cobble together doubtful ‘Arab NATO’ bloc

According to the US idea, the Arab NATO will bring together six Persian Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

HO CHI MINH CITY, February 25. /TASS/. The United States is trying to impose the creation of the so-called Arab NATO, the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), despite serious doubts of its possible members, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

The steps have been made to reshape geopolitical landscape in a way to obstruct the natural development of events and try to contain the formation of new growth centers, Lavrov told a conference dubbed International Cooperation in a Troubled World, organized by the Valdai International Discussion Club in partnership with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

"One of the examples is the Middle East Strategic Alliance, which now [US President Donald] Trump’s administration is trying to impose on the Persian Gulf states plus Jordan and Egypt while overcoming very serious doubts of potential members, and here Israel is also pursuing its interests around this initiative," Lavrov said.

Another artificially imposed concept is the Indo-Pacific Region, which Washington has started advancing together with Japan and Australia with an apparent goal of containing China and involving India in military and political and maritime processes, Lavrov said, noting that this concept undermines the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the region.

"I want to compare natural processes integrating countries based on their coinciding interests and artificial processes, which they try to forcefully impose on the countries to carry out a joint effort in the interests of one geopolitically oriented power," the foreign minister stressed.

According to the US idea, the Arab NATO will bring together six Persian Gulf states (Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia) and also Egypt and Jordan. In mid-January, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo toured these countries holding a series of talks with their leaders. One of key tasks of the trip is bringing closer the positions of eight countries to create MESA. The goal of the coalition is to counter threats in the region and step up economic and energy cooperation.