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Russia, US are interested in current status quo in Middle East — expert

Their efforts will be geared to stabilizing the situation in the region, Lebanese General Amine Hoteit said

BEIRUIT, June 15. /TASS/. The leaders of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, at their forthcoming meeting in Geneva on June 16 will pay considerable attention to the Middle East and joint in efforts to identify their possible settlement, Lebanese General Amine Hoteit, an expert on military-strategic issues, told TASS in an interview.

"Moscow and Washington are interested first and foremost in preserving the current status quo. Their efforts will be geared to stabilizing the situation in the region and fostering ceasefire after the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian groups in early May," he stressed.

At the same time the analyst does not expect that some important agreements will be achieved in Geneva regarding the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel.

"As far as the situation in Syria is concerned, its development will largely depend on progress in negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program," General Hoteit stressed. "It is obvious that the United States' return to the deal with Tehran will have a favorable impact on the situations in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen."

In his opinion, "the US policy in the Middle East over the past decade was utter failure in contrast to Russia's success in gaining a considerably firmer foothold in the region after the armed interference in the conflict in Syria in response to a request from the legitimate government in Damascus".

"The odds are the Biden Administration will not try to catch up, but will most probably shape its Middle East policies in line with the new realities," Hoteit said. He believes that "the forthcoming meeting of the Russian and US presidents in Geneva has every chance to succeed, but resetting bilateral relations will require confidence-building measures and a transitional period, during which both sides will demonstrate their good will".

Earlier, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that Putin and Biden at their summit in Geneva on June 16 would discuss the outlook for the development of Russian-US relations, strategic stability, information security and struggle against cybercrime. Also, they will touch upon regional problems: the Middle East, Syria, Libya, the Iranian nuclear program, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula and Nagorno-Karabakh.