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The lost initiative. Alexei Tsvetkov – the failure of the plan

Radio Liberty 10.11.2018 at 08:00

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

For quite some time from the White house heard rumors about a "wonderful" plan for a peaceful settlement of the middle East conflict, although in recent years they have subsided somewhat. It is, as we say, an offer the PA cannot refuse. But since then, as the screens released film "the Godfather", this formula lost its uniqueness. The fact that this issue has been put on the back burner, you can, of course, blamed on the U.S. elections, who all the attention of the administration – time will tell. But this is unlikely the only factor, and now, perhaps, we can say that and not the main. Let's start with the measures that the White house has taken in respect of autonomy. For the first time recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, although the Palestinians claim the city as such. In addition, Washington announced the cancellation of subsidies to the Palestinian territories in excess of $ 200 million. And in September closed the representative office to the Palestinian authority in the capital of the United States under the pretext that the Palestinian leadership has shown no intention to enter into negotiations with Israel. Against this background it is hardly surprising that the government authority denies meeting trump in-law Jared Kushner in charge of the middle East initiative. From all this it is easy to understand that Washington's hopes on the acquiescence of the Palestinians was based on a consistently tough stance towards them, stick in that Arsenal clearly lacks. But where's the optimism, if you remember that none of the predecessors trump's hard-line approach is not particularly helpful (as, indeed, and soft)? And yet, hope one time it seemed quite justified: the basis for them were the unprecedented close relationship of the tramp with the actual leader of Saudi Arabia, crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known in common parlance as MBS. In recent years, Sunni Muslims whose leader believes himself to Saudi Arabia, has seriously changed the priorities and risk, which, in their opinion, comes from Shiite Iran, covers the problem of the Palestinians, which is now relegated to the background. And in Israel, because of the common enemy in Tehran, Riyadh sees almost ally and has long been leading with him a secret negotiations. As a result, the government authority in Ramallah stronger vulnerable, especially in the hands of the Prince as a diplomatic and financial leverage. Saudi Arabia is turning away investors, collapsing plans fabulous city in the desert, many even doubt that the Prince will remain in the role of heir to the throne of MBS, however, has a reputation for impulsive leader. On the one hand, he opened the country's cinemas, has allowed women to drive a car, promised to diversify the economy and to partially privatize the world's largest oil company Aramco is making it clear that he intends to bring Saudi Arabia out of the quagmire of the middle ages and the hydrocarbon dependence. On the other hand it, together with the UAE, is waging a seemingly endless war in Yemen allied with Iran against the rebels, which the UN has declared the largest humanitarian disaster; put rich compatriots in the dungeon with the aim to obtain their ransom; nor of a sudden started a loud conflict with Oman and with regards to the privatization of Aramco, the deal suddenly suspended indefinitely. The most important miscalculation of the Prince was the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, about such thing the French diplomat Talleyrand at the time said it was worse than a crime, it is a mistake. Suddenly a full deck of trumps, i.e. a set of evidence was in the hands of Turkey, a direct rival of Saudi Arabia in the struggle for leadership among the Sunnis. Instead of having to put the deck on the table, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dispenses the disclosure of material evidence and thus, what is called, cuts the tail of the victim in pieces, not allowing MBS to end the crisis and to pretend that nothing happened. Saudi Arabia is turning away investors, collapsing plans fabulous city in the desert, many even doubt that the Prince will remain in the role of heir to the throne. His authority, yesterday seemed indestructible, heavily tarnished. This is, most likely, and became the main blow at the "great" plan of trump. Characteristically, Israel is one of the few States condemned the act MBS and trying to protect the reputation of Riyadh. It is not clear that in this situation Saudi Arabia would retain sufficient authority to maintain the peace settlement, which meant the White house. Donald trump strongly emphasizes the importance of the Alliance with the Arab Kingdom, and refers to the damage that would be incurred by US in the event of cancellation of the sale of American weapons in the amount of 110 billion dollars. But he has to reckon with the horror and disgust which has caused the murder of the journalist, many influential members of the Republican establishment. And certainly, if not himself, then his son with regret appraises the ruins of the once promising plan. In Ramallah, I think, breathed a sigh of relief. This does not mean that Israel has lost support in the Sunni camp, though Turkey is the least to be the support tend. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly visited arch-enemy of Riyadh. It is possible that this step was, among other things, an attempt of diversification: warn us from folding all your eggs in one basket. Whatever it was, it seems, another route out of the crisis rested in a predictable wall. Alexei Tsvetkov – writer and political commentator Expressed under the heading "Right of the author" opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher