Arab countries are close to recognizing Bashar al-Assad’s legitimacyю They will invest heavily in the reconstruction of Syria, and Russia will be left with nothing, as always.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are close to recognizing Syria
A number of capitals of the Gulf countries talk about a possibility of normalizing relations with Syria. Such opinions were voiced in Riyadh, Manama and Abu Dhabi. Cairo took up the ball as well.
Such a development would mean the recognition of Bashar al-Assad’s legitimacy, who recently won the presidential election in a landslide victory. Egypt and the Gulf countries will then take an active part in the reconstruction of Syria. The West, which has taken a tough position not to recognise Bashar Assad’s victory, will get outplayed both politically an economically. In turn, Russia, which does not have economic sovereignty, risks losing Syria.
Signals about Syria’s imminent return to the Arab world appeared in 2018, when the UAE opened its embassy in Damascus. The same year, Bahrain announced that its embassy was resuming its work in the Syrian capital too. At the same time, Syrian opened embassy in Manama and said that the two countries had never interrupted air traffic.
Saudi Arabia has recently conducted two meetings with the Syrian officials:
- the Minister of Tourism of Syria Muhammad Radwan Martini paid a visit to Riyadh,
- on April 31, a Saudi intelligence delegation met with the Syrian administration in Damascus.
This was reported by The Guardian.
According to Arab experts, the kingdom is seeking to seize the initiative in the region from Iran amid the reluctance of the United States to support the Saudis in the war in Yemen. It is not ruled out that the kingdom wants to seize the initiative not only from Iran, but also from Russia. Winning the war is not enough — it is of paramount importance to gain a foothold in Syria economically. Russia does not demonstrate such experience on post-Soviet space, unlike the Saudis, who cooperate with Chechnya, Ingushetia and Tatarstan for reasons that we list below.
The only country in the region that still takes a negative stance towards Bashar al-Assad is Qatar. The Foreign Ministry of Qatar confirmed a few days ago that Doha would not seek to restore diplomatic relations with Syria until profound changes take place in the country.
In 2019, Qatar announced that it would recognize Damascus only after it was recognized by the Arab League.
Nevertheless, this is not a categorical position, so the question of normalizing relations between the Arab world and Damascus is only a matter of time. It will develop slowly not to annoy the United States. For example, it was reported that Arab countries wishing to restore relations with Syria would work under the guise of humanitarian missions.
Why Arab countries recognise Bashar al-Assad
In a comment for Pravda. Ru, Boris Dolgov, a leading researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Historical Sciences, said that Arab countries do consider supporting Syria because:
- The Syrian army, with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, has liberated 90% of Syrian territories. Now these territories remain under the control of the Syrian leadership.
- The presidential election in Syria showed massive support of the Syrian people for Bashar al-Assad, his government and political course.
- Syria is becoming attractive economically for many Arab companies, as it needs an economic recovery.
“I must say that Egypt has long been supporting the Syrian administration. Egypt may not be Syria’s ally, but it is definitely an important partner. Arab countries are trying, or at least showing their willingness to help Syria. For the time being, there are only words and no action. We can wait and see,” Boris Dolgov said in an interview with Pravda. Ru.
Moscow is pleased to be a resource colony for the West
On May 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Assad, in which he confirmed Russia’s intention to continue working on a “political settlement” of the Syrian crisis. Putin’s envoy for the Middle East and African Countries, Mikhail Bogdanov, said that “holding early elections (!) In Syria is a possible option if the government and the opposition succeed in carrying out a constitutional reform.” He called on the UN Special Representative in Syria Geir Pedersen “to arrange a new meeting of the constitutional committee in the near future.”
Moscow has also joined the Turkish-Qatar Syria settlement project, which involves a dialogue with pro-Turkish terrorists.
Arab media conclude that Moscow was not satisfied with Assad’s re-election and took it an opportunity to bury all possible political solutions to resolve the Syrian crisis.
Boris Dolgov believes that Russia runs the policy of double standards in many areas, including in Syria.
“A significant part of the financial and economic bloc of the government eyes integration into the Western community, and Russia’s development as a part of the Western world, although Western countries treat Russia just as a gas station and want it to be their raw material appendage.
“Part of the Russian leadership agrees with this, since they get big profits from it. This explains so many concessions that Russia has been making to the West in so many areas, including crisis phenomena, in which Russia plays a significant role. It goes about the Syrian crisis, the crisis in Ukraine, the relations with Western Europe and the United States. Therefore, Russia’s ambiguous policy in the Syrian crisis is part of Russia’s general position in geopolitics, which, alas, can not be built on an equal footing with the West,” Boris Dolgov said in an interview with Pravda. Ru.