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Trumps’s visit to the region, re-activation of the strategy of pillars

D.Salim m.Alzanoon

President “Trump” chose to start his first tour to visit Saudi Arabia on 23th of the current May since he became the president as the first stop for him in the schedule of his international visit , and the President set to draw sharp contrast with Obama doctrine with visit to Saudi Arabia, this does not represent a change in the spatial dimension only with former US president “Obama” , who preferred to visit Egypt as the first stop, but marks to the end of the previous foreign policy and the adoption of a new vision in foreign policy, more understanding of the complexities of the Middle East crises, and indicate to the practical execution for the management of “Trump” to adopt policies that vary with the policies of the previous administration , so that there is a restoration of work on the strategy of pillars based on the strengthening of the relationship with Arab allies and reduce Iran’s progress in the region with a curb to its nuclear program.

As a result , the relationship between the United States and the Arab countries marked improvement during the first quarter of 2017, and in this context ,  king of Jordan, Abdullah II paid a visit to Washington  in the last February , and the visit of the Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in the month of the last March, and the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the month of last April , in contrast, the US national Security Council began a comprehensive assessment of US policy pursued with Iran, and through that works on the evaluation of the process of suspension of sanctions within the framework of the nuclear deal, and the US administration increased its public criticism to Iran, and the reference to its contribution to the creation of a state of instability in many Middle East countries, and that the desired goal from behind the goal of Iran’s non-nuclear deal has not achieved, and in practice, the US administration continues to put Iran under pressure, which imposed sanctions on 30 businessman and companies from China and North Korea as they violated the resolution of the ban and transferred technology related to missiles to Tehran’s program, and imposed sanctions on the brother of the commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani, due to his responsibility for causing harm to the prisoners and torture them in Iranian prisons.

Strategy of pillars provides an explanation of the tour of “Trump” to the Middle East and start in Saudi Arabia, it comes within the framework of the restructuring of the strategic partnership in the Middle East from the perspective of the compatibility and consistency of risks between the two sides, in terms of the Iranian threat, the peace process, and the face of extremism.

First, the Iranian threat.
The Iranian threat represents a common interest of the United States and Saudi Arabia, and the Trump Management considers Iran as a main backer of terrorism , not only in the Middle East but in the world, and there is an immediate need to curb its ambitions , so Iran will be on the top of priorities to discuss the growing Iranian interference in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen , and its nuclear program and conventional weapons, and discuss tools and mechanisms of confrontation.
In this context , it is possible to discuss the vision of the US Secretary of Defense , “James Mattis , ” based on cooperation in building a wider structural security includes cooperation with Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, aims to strengthen the US partnership in the region in order to deter and defeat threats, where the threats are meant to confront the Iranian nuclear and terrorism which it spreads .

Second: the peace process.
The visit will include three main summits: the first with Saudi Arabia’s political leadership, and the second with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the third with the leaders of Arab and Islamic countries, what constitutes an appropriate opportunity to discuss how to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations under the “Arab and Islamic umbrella”, through a regional conference for the launch of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

In this context, it is possible for the US administration to present a vision for the settlement of crises in the region, based on the exchange of lands, and leasing other areas, whether regarding to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the settlement of Egyptian -Saudi crisis:

• The process of exchanging wide lands between Israel and the Palestinians precedes the establishment of Palestinian state, so that Egypt would lease areas adjacent to Gaza in Rafah for the Palestinians, without officially detract from its sovereignty, an area adjacent to Gaza in Rafah .

• Saudi Arabia grants Egypt a foothold on the east bank of the Red Sea, weakening the opposition to the Sisi’s decision to hand over islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

• Third, the fight against extremism.

Trump Administration see in Saudi Arabia a natural title to address Muslims in the world, because of its religious status and containing holy places  of Islam which is contrary to the experience of “Obama” who addressed Muslims from Cairo and Istanbul noting that the choice of a place leaves a significant impact on the orientations of Muslims around the world, and mobilize them on a moderate approach in the face of extremism, and that the determination to visit Israel as a second and the Vatican as a third visit has its implications noting that Israel and the Vatican and Saudi Arabia represent the three centers of heavenly religions , and that indicates that the United States is determined to promote dialogue among civilizations and religions , and create a united religious front in the face of religious extremism . Therefore, the face of extremist organizations will be on the top of priorities of the debate, with a discussion of the foundations and the military, security, economic, social mechanisms to address it.

Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies