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US will try to minimize its losses in Middle East during Geneva summit, says expert

According to Abdel Bari Atwan, the Biden administration is likely to change its policy on Damascus with the help of Moscow

CAIRO, June 15. /TASS/. US President Joe Biden will try to minimize the losses of US policy in the Middle East over the past several years during the upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor-in-Chief of Rai al-Youm, an Arab world digital newspaper, told TASS on Tuesday.

"The US conducted a very wrong policy in the Middle East, especially during the presidency of Donald Trump. They lost in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, where they are pulling out their forces already. <…> At the same time, Russia has managed to recover and reinforce its positions and interests in the region. <…> And I think that among other things, this summit will deal with minimizing Washington’s losses in the Middle East," the expert said.

According to him, the Biden administration is likely to change its policy on Damascus with the help of Moscow. "Naturally, during the meeting, they will talk about Syria, where Russia prevailed, along with the Syrian regime [of President Bashar al-Assad]. <…> The US will try to enter the Middle East by different means, through Russia," Atwan said.

The expert does not rule out that Washington may begin to cooperate with the Syrian government. "It is generally recognized that the US spent $90 bln and armed 65 countries across the world to topple the regime in Syria, however, their plans failed, while Russia, for its part, was successful in facilitating and strengthening Syrian sovereignty. So the upcoming summit is an opportunity [for the US] to end the war, pull out its troops and recover relations with Syria, like Saudi Arabia is doing now, for example," he added.

Earlier, the Kremlin and the White House announced that the much-awaited summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden would take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16. According to the Kremlin, the heads of state will discuss the conditions and prospects for further fostering Russian-US relations, strategic stability matters as well as pressing issues on the international agenda, which include cooperation in fighting the pandemic and regulating regional conflicts. This will be the first face-to-face meeting between Putin and Biden since the 46th US president took office.