Opinion| Consequences of US withdrawal from Middle East

Hatem Sadek
4 Min Read

The Arab and Middle Eastern region is currently experiencing changes in policies and a shift in attitudes, which are difficult to ignore. The American withdrawal from the Middle East is making everyone feel fear for regional security, combined with a common need for all to re-discuss and establish dialogue, and enhance investment.

This was reflected in the visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed, to Turkey and his meeting with President Recep Erdogan, to end a decade of bloody and political conflicts. It seems that we are in defining moments, as we are witnessing the return of calm in some political relations that have witnessed great tensions. Other countries are slowly getting closer to regaining their position after losing it for long periods. I mean here, Syria, which we may see its return once again with force to its seat in the Arab League, with the desire of parties that in the past believed that the age of its political system is over.

The new political and regional reality is crystallizing as a result of the redistribution of influence following the US withdrawal in the region, and it needs a new political force to fill this void. And apart from the very slow redrawing of the region, as a result of Iran’s endeavor to exploit the successive crises that Turkey, Iran, and Israel are witnessing at the political or economic levels, certainly, within days the indirect negotiations between the United States of America and Iran will resume.

Regardless of the results of those optimistic negotiations, which are nothing more than an indication of other more important talks that must take place somewhere, and deal with what is forbidden to be presented in public. It is Iran that wants to negotiate over the region’s files, while Washington wants to limit the agreement to the technical nuclear aspect. This change is due to the idea that Tehran wants to enhance its gains in the region based on the nuclear file, while the US side does not want Iran to perpetuate these gains, especially in Syria. Therefore, it can be noted that Iran is turning its military presence in Damascus into a long-term political influence.

The impact extends to the Libyan file, which is also witnessing conflicting positions, different interpretations of agreements, and new interpretations that may eventually lead to a return of the crisis to square number zero. On the other hand, fog still prevails in the escalating Sudanese situation between the civil and military sides. It seems that the agreement for Hamdok’s return will not be enough to extinguish the fire of anger that has flared up again in the street, part of which is subject to the religious trend.

The situation is also no different in Lebanon, which lives on the impact of the failure of Najib Mikati’s government in dealing with internal crises. This is despite external attempts to put Hezbollah on the lists of terrorism to reduce it in the political and economic arena. Even Tunisia is still trying to save its civil state from the clutches of the Brotherhood, while Algeria is still concerned about an expired historical conflict with Morocco. This is the situation in the Middle East, and I think it will remain as it is until further notice.

Dr. Hatem Sadek, Professor at Helwan University

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