A most interesting interview…! Here’s a short snippet:Islam v West? ‘Major civilizations on collision course’
Now, delving into current MENA affairs, in the recent ‘State’ visit of al-Sisi to Moscow…
In a 2+2 meeting in Moscow, Egypt’s defence minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and foreign minister Nabil Fahmy discuss arms deal, stress closer relations.
In his first trip outside the country since ousting former president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with his Russian counterparts in Moscow to discuss a planned $2 billion arms deal.
The deal includes a Russian air defence system and, if signed as expected, will be the biggest military purchase from Russia since the Soviet era, marking a possible rekindling of a historic alliance that ended in the 1970s when former president Anwar Sadat reoriented Egypt’s position in favour of the US.
El-Sisi insisted in an interview earlier this week that closer relations with Russia are no replacement for existing relations with other countries.
His high-profile visit to Russia, in the company of Egypt’s foreign minister Nabil Fahmy, featured a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who expressed his firm support for El-Sisi’s presidential bid, not yet announced from the field marshal but widely anticipated.
El-Sisi stressed that the meeting represents “a new departure” for Egyptian-Russian military and technological cooperation, reported Egypt’s state news agency MENA.
Aside from Putin, the two-day talks were headed by Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
Now, what is not reported by most…
The goal behind the Russian-Egyptian cooperation and arming Egypt is Russia’s need for another base and focus point in the Mediterranean Sea, other than Syria, as it is unstable and its fate is unknown, Konstantin Sivkov, First Vice President at the Academy for Geopolitical Issue said.
Speaking during the Russia Today programme which was aired on Russian TV on November 13, 2013, Sivkov said Russia’s need for this base are many, the least of which is the water, fuel and food supply, as well as a place for sailors to rest.
During the programme Dimitri Jantiv, Middle Eastern Studies expert at the Institute of Asian and African Countries, noted that the American’s anger over this will be limited since the Egyptian army is in control of a number of things, including “the aircraft that freely flies over Egypt’s airspace, the warships that sail through the Suez Canal, the joint manoeuvres and the intelligence information.”
The interviews revealed the expected outcomes of Egyptian Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Russia and the reason behind Russia’s support for him.
A Russian naval base was established, just as Russia wanted, and, as mentioned in the video, it was established to coincide with Al-Sisi’s last visit to Russia.
Now, I question whether a naval base has been set in concrete, but, I’m positive that Israel, muchless the US, must be none-to-thrilled with that agreed-upon Russian Air Defense battalion in Egypt…!
Most especially, considering the fact the Israelis don’t have the same back-door accessibility to the Russian ADA systems, like they do with all the US/Nato ADA systems…!
So, needless to say… US says Russia shouldn’t weigh in on Egypt’s vote
Moving along to Syria…
I’ve stuck a fork in the Syrian Peace Farce awhile ago…!
So while we have no viable options…
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that President Barack Obama had again asked for policy options on Syria but that none have yet been presented to him.
Kerry told reporters Obama was concerned about the deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Syria and also by the fact that peace talks between the opposition and government had not produced a discussion of a transitional government as had been planned.
As a result, Kerry said, “he has asked all of us to think about various options that may or may not exist.”
“The answer to the question: Have they been presented? No, they have not. But that evaluation, by necessity, given the circumstances, is taking place at this time,” Kerry said. “And when these options are ripe and when the president calls for it, there will undoubtedly be some discussion about them.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said in Washington that Obama expected his national security team to constantly re-evaluate policy options on Syria and other issues.
We’re still knee-deep in the big muddy…
Attempts to provoke the Syrian government to “slam the door” at the Geneva II peace conference are wrong and illogical, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
“With claims that the use of force remains a possible option, steps are being taken to politicize all humanitarian issues at the UN Security Council,” Lavrov told reporters following his talks with visiting German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Probably, they wish to force the Syrian government to slam the door shut, Lavrov said. “These attempts are wrong. One must implement what has been agreed.”
Lavrov said the attempts to derail the political process on Syria have been systematic, with the United States and France going most steadily along that track.
This has caused concern in Moscow, said the top Russian diplomat.
He added that no artificial deadline should be set for the intra-Syrian negotiations, and that Moscow is content with Damascus’ readiness to discuss the implementation of the 2012 Geneva communique step by step.
There are no options, yet, persist we must…
President Obama announced during a meeting here Friday night with King Abdullah II of Jordan that he would seek to renew a five-year aid package to help Jordan bear the burden of the more than 600,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war there.
Mr. Obama, amid broader discussions with Abdullah about the stalemate in Syria, also announced that the United States would guarantee $1 billion in loans to help keep Jordan’s wavering economy afloat.
The president briefly outlined that aid package as he spoke to reporters at Sunnylands, the Southern California estate where Mr. Obama met the king for what the White House called a working dinner.
Mr. Obama’s discussions with the Jordanian king are part of an intensive diplomatic outreach to the Middle East over the next month, as the United States conducts risky negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, gropes for a political solution to the fighting in Syria, and tries to nudge the Israelis and the Palestinians toward a peace agreement.
‘Intensive Diplomatic’ outreach, my arse…!
And, so much for the House of Saud’s supposed muzzling…
Frustrated by the deadlock of the second round of Geneva 2 talks, Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. Meanwhile Russia has accused the US of once again hijacking peace talks and pushing for regime change.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Russian-made antitank guided missiles and Chinese man-portable air-defense systems are up for grabs, already waiting in warehouses in Jordan and Turkey.
An Arab diplomat and several opposition figures with knowledge of the Saudi efforts have told WSJ that these supplies are likely to tip the battlefield scales, as the rebels will become capable of taking on the government’s air power and destroying heavy armored vehicles.
“New stuff is arriving imminently,” a Western diplomat with knowledge of the planned weapons deliveries told the American publication.
Leaders of the Syrian opposition said they don’t yet know the total amount of military aid that will be shipped. The new weapons are expected to reach southern Syria from Jordan while the opposition in the north will get arms from Turkey, the Western diplomat said.
In wrapping up, where the f*ck are the Adults in the room…?
To be sure… Defending Indefensible Ambassdors…
God help us all…!