Events in the Middle East are rapidly unfolding as alliances are becoming more intense and it is being recreated and formed again. Although such a situation was usual in the past, the speed today has clearly intensified as current affairs have become a major base of a new Cold War that has in fact begun and can easily be detected.
The new Kingdom of Saudi Arabia led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is at the center of all these events. Saudi Arabia influences these events and it’s also affected by them. What is happening today is the result of decades of tension and pressure, but the new Saudi Arabia displays its strength in every facet, enunciates its positions more clearly and protects the rights of the state and the people, as well as the rights of the Arab and Islamic nations in a categorical manner.
The Crown Prince’s historic visit to the kingdom’s allies, namely Egypt, Britain, the United States, France and Spain, reinforced old ties and promoted the interests of Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf region as well as of Arab and Muslim countries.
As soon as the Crown Prince returned from his visit, King Salman bin Abdulaziz was receiving the guests of the Arab summit in Dhahran — a summit the King called the Jerusalem Summit because of its emphasis on the status of Jerusalem. The kingdom has historically supported Jerusalem ever since the era of the founding king and up until the formulation of the Saudi initiative, which eventually became the Arab initiative after the Arab League endorsed it. The kingdom has also provided unlimited political, diplomatic, moral and financial support to the Palestinian cause on a permanent basis.
The Dhahran Summit demonstrated two important facts. The first one is that Saudi Arabia never exploits the Palestinian cause as a bargaining chip nor for the furtherance of any agenda. The second one is that Saudi Arabia will expose all those who are exploiting the Palestinian cause to achieve their own aims, whether it’s the Iranian sectarian project or the Turkish Islamist project, or the Gulf state of Qatar which supports the projects of the above countries or the Muslim Brotherhood and all political Islam groups.
There is no place in Arab countries for a Muslim Brotherhood caliphate, an Ottoman caliphate or an ISIS caliphate or a Persian or Turkish colonist. All of them have been thrown into the waste bin of history.Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi
A day after the summit concluded, King Salman and his guests who consisted of leaders and representatives of Arab and Muslim countries, witnessed the biggest military exercise in the history of the region, which lasted a whole month. The drill clearly showed the kingdom’s military capabilities which are still being developed and enhanced.
Forces advancing in Yemen
In parallel, there is a rational openness towards Arab countries which Iran thought they’ve become fully dependent on it, such as Iraq and Lebanon. This is in addition to engaging in a fierce confrontation in Yemen and to achieving political stability in Syria whose crisis has become international and is no longer just regional. The kingdom is also building tight international cases against rivals in Yemen and Syria and against Iranian militias and countries that are submissive to Iran and that have ambitions in the region.
Forces have clamped down on the Houthi militia in Yemen while the Saudi Crown Prince has confirmed that the national army, popular resistance and the Arab coalition are closer than ever to the capital Sanaa. The reason behind the slow progress is the fact that Saudi forces are the savior and friend of the Yemeni people and not their violent enemy. Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki recently said that Saudi Arabia's response to the Iranian ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi militia on Saudi Arabia would be “cruel, strong and painful”. This shows that Saudi Arabia has begun to run out of patience and that it may repel the aggression on its borders and against its security and safety via an unprecedented method that speeds up finalizing the conflict faster than the enemies might imagine.
The Turkish agenda
The Turkish, Qatari and Brotherhood fundamentalist agenda is not in any way less dangerous than the Iranian terrorist sectarian project. However, if this project transforms into a plan to occupy Syria, then it would be a different matter. Leaders’ attempts to transform this project into a bloody colonization and an electoral plan that guarantees a long political future for those who are full of contradictions harm all balances, regardless of the size of slogans or political discord.
Those who are affected by the delusions of grandeur commit repeated political sins without any awareness of the extent of damage they put their countries through. Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein are prime examples in this respect. There are also similar models from the fundamentalist Muslim project in the region and the Gulf.
The issue is clear in the case of Turkey, whose dream of grabbing more power has become more obvious than ever. As a result, there have been continuous contradictions in its political statements, slogans and speeches. The megalomania has reached its peak after inaugurating the new presidential palace, which was constructed for the cost of over $3 billion. The writer of these lines doesn’t forget the first official visit of a political guest in the new palace and the pictures taken with soldiers standing in the background on both sides wearing clothing that remind one of different phases of Turkish history.
Revival of Arab League
Under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, Arab states are restoring their leadership, and the Arab League is slowly regaining its glory. We are witnessing a new phase in the region – a phase in which old balances are thrown behind our backs and a brighter and more exquisite future is built. Mature dreams, wishes and hopes are in the process of realization at a time when the past’s speeches of Arabism, Nasserism, leftism and the Muslim Brotherhood have become a source of ridicule.
There is no place in Arab countries for a Muslim Brotherhood caliphate, an Ottoman caliphate or an ISIS caliphate or a Persian or Turkish colonist. All of them have been thrown into the waste bin of history.
Turkey, like Iran, seems to have little knowledge of modern history of the region. The Ottoman Pashas of the Arab world can only be called assassins, criminals and murderers. This is a historical fact that must not go unnoticed. According to Reuters, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said: “We don’t know how the situation is going to develop on the question of whether it is possible to keep Syria as a single country.” This statement implies a lot.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.