MIDDLE EAST

Three summits and America’s return to normal

Saudi Arabia received US President Donald Trump with warmth and served him traditional food such as dates and Kleicha. The national Ardha dance was also performed. The meeting embodied intercultural communication. After joining the Saudi traditional dance, Trump cheerfully said to his wife: “it was very beautiful”. She smiled as she watched him.

Trump’s visit built great momentum as the kingdom lavishly welcomed its great guest. The visit will redraw the future roadmap of the region and divide its history into the era before and after the visit. The scene has changed.

Those who oppose voices of moderation spoke out loudly against the visit via the Muslim Brotherhood mouthpieces as they fear that Trump’s decisive action against political Islam and terrorism. They spoke out against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and condemned the strategic alliance between Gulf countries, primarily Saudi Arabia, and the US. They strongly criticized the visit, insulted it and disparaged it.

Muslim Brotherhood commentators strongly criticized Trump’s visit because they lost the bliss which Obama gave them during his term and which they hoped they will continue to have if Hillary Clinton was elected. Clinton has been a prominent supporter of Muslim Brotherhood movements in the region following the Arab Spring and she supports their young cadres.

The other group that criticized the visit are the remnants of Arabist movements. They stood against the visit and made statements claiming they care about Arabism and seek to protect it from foreign colonizers. This is an old and outdated rhetoric because alliances are first established on the bases of mutual interests and then on achieving goals.

Trump’s Saudi visit marks the beginning of a new phase and establishes the foundation of strong economic cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the US to safeguard interests and build collective national security

Turki Aldakhil

National security

Partnership aims to maintain national security. The most dangerous regimes in the Arab world were those that committed to Baath ideology. Arabist regimes are the ones which invaded Arab countries and killed their people. Iraq and Syria are examples.

Outdated speeches based on delusions do not create a future for people and do not strengthen state institutions. America is an ally and it came to the Gulf as a government and not through its private sector. It discovered the oil which we enjoy its riches and it is through this oil that cities were built in barren deserts.

The three summits in Riyadh caused pain to those who fear over their fates and over their systems and ideologies especially that these summits solidify partnership and establish for strict agreements which Barack Obama would have rejected because he wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to revive. He deferred attacks against ISIS and pampered, protected and sponsored the Iranian regime.

Speaking about Iran once, Obama said the Iranians have strategic thinking and are not impulsive, adding that they had a vision, cared about their interests and responded to costs and benefits. He noted that this did not mean Iran was not a religious country that embraced all the ideas, which he despised, adding, however, that Iran was not North Korea. He also said that Iran is a strong and big country that believes it is an important party on the global arena but he did not think it has a suicidal aim, adding that it can respond to incentives.

Trump’s take on Iran

Trump, on the other hand, says Iran was a terrorist state that is behind the destruction of the Middle East. Trump’s administration officials including Secretary of Defense James Mattis agree that Iran is a state that sponsors terrorism across the world.

Trump’s Saudi visit marks the beginning of a new phase and establishes the foundation of strong economic cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States in order to safeguard interests and build collective national security.

It also strengthens fight against terrorism and against organizations that spread hatred and political Islamist movements and restrains Iran, besieges it and curbs its interferences in the region. All these constitute Saudi Arabia’s and America’s practical path in the next days. Trump has also vowed to discipline Iran in Syria and Yemen.

Trump’s visit has cheered the Gulf because the US has returned to its normal position as a power that views Gulf’s security as part of American security. It is an administration that has resolved all the fatal mistakes former President Barack Obama committed. Trump is a brave new president who knows how to safeguard his country’s interests.

This article was first published in Al-Bayan on May 24, 2016.
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Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 24 May 2017 KSA 10:34 - GMT 07:34
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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