What does 2017 bring for Middle East?
The defeat of militants in Syria, the fulfillment of the OPEC deal, the strengthening of Russia's positions and the collapse of the US positions became key events of 2017 in the Middle East, the experts told the correspondents of Vestnik Kavkaza, summing up the results of the outgoing year.
The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, first of all drew attention to the fact that this year was a time of serious strengthening of Russia's position in the Middle East. "Due to our efforts and well-chosen strategy, the year turned out to be extremely successful, the Russian positions in the region have increased seriously over this time. First of all, the fulfillment of the OPEC deal due to the agreements with Saudi Arabia should be noted. Throughout the year, this deal was provoding growth in revenues to Russia' budget, so that the success of our policy in the Middle East had a direct impact on the social situation in the country," he stressed.
The key event was the completion of the main stage of the struggle against terrorist groups in Syria. "All of our recommendations and practical actions proved to be effective, our strategy and tactics in Syria worked brilliantly, a decisive blow was dealt against ISIS. The situation in Syria remains complex, the crisis has not been settled, but our authority in Eastern affairs has never been so great. In 2017, all major invitations to negotiation came from Moscow," Andrei Baklanov pointed out.
"It would be great if we continue to confirm this course to expand our influence. It is worth emphasizing that Russia's influence is positive, because we do not carry a war or confrontation for the region, on the contrary, we strive to overcome all this. Objectively, our success is success peoples of the region," the deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association concluded.
The senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, summed up the results of the year for Iran. "The year of 2017 was a jubilee for Russian-Iranian relations, since Iran's scientists and politicians decided to mark 500 years of the establishment of political and diplomatic relations between Russia and Iran this year, which had only a positive effect on bilateral ties," he said. .
"We cannot fail to note the number of contacts between Russia and Iran at the highest level this year. The presidents met twice this year - in March in Moscow and in November in Tehran. Active negotiations were held throughout the year, including on the future of Syria, and in the whole 2017 was successful for Russian-Iranian relations. Speaking of the larger regional events, the most important, of course, was the victory over militants in Syria and Iraq," Vladimir Sazhin added.
The head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies, Yuri Mavashev, characterized the year of 2017 as the time of the "solemn procession" of states that had previously been called third world countries. "This procession of the Muslim countries of the Middle East and parts of Africa is characterized by a desire for sovereignty and an independent determination of one's destiny. "In my opinion, Washington completely lost control of the situation that it created this year. The year showed very clearly that the current processes on the The Middle East no longer fit into the framework of American plans for the region," he said.
One of the key examples of this independence from the US was the creation of the Iran-Russia-Turkey format. "The tripartite meeting of Presidents Rouhani, Putin and Erdogan in Sochi demonstrated that the regional centers of power realized that their rivalry leads to a situation that nobody controls the situation inside the region. And it is really important that the countries of the Middle East started to think about the interests of the region in whole," Yuri Mavashev pointed out.
This important experience of the Middle East settlement of 2017 provides a positive example of an intra-regional independent solution of problems for the whole world. "Now the cost of friendship with other states for the US will increase significantly," the head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies summed up.