Is­rael leads Mid­dle East to re­gional, civil wars: ex­as­sis­tant for­eign min­is­ter, Hus­sein Haridy

The Daily News Egypt - - Front Page - By Emad El Sayed

All de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion are in favour of Is­rael, and lead it to re­gional and civil wars, former Egyp­tian as­sis­tant to the for­eign min­is­ter, Hus­sein Haridy, said.

He added that the US pres­i­dent’s speech in Oc­to­ber, the res­ig­na­tion of Le­banese Prime Min­is­ter SaadAl-Hariry, and the re­cent de­vel­op­ments in Saudi Ara­bia, all re­vealed a plan to elim­i­nate Iran’s in­flu­ence in the Arab re­gion, as a pre­lude to a gen­eral con­fronta­tion, where all con­flict­ing par­ties would stand to lose, ex­cept Is­rael. If the Is­raeli plan suc­ceeds, they would end up with a dec­la­ra­tion of the Greater Is­rael.

Haridy warned that Egypt should not en­ter any mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion out­side of Egyp­tian ter­ri­tory, not­ing that in case the re­gion be­comes plagued with wide con­flicts and con­fronta­tions, Egypt could be a haven to dis­man­tle those clashes.

Haridy pre­dicted a gloomy sce­nario for the Arab re­gion and sug­gested some so­lu­tions to avoid that sce­nario in the fol­low­ing in­ter­view:

What did you make of the de­ten­tion of a num­ber of princes and se­nior busi­ness­men in Saudi Ara­bia?

The de­ci­sions of Satur­day evening (4 Novem­ber) in Saudi Ara­bia were not sur­pris­ing. They had an in­ter­nal back­ground re­lated to the power strug­gle and a re­gional back­ground as well.

If we fo­cused on the in­ter­nal sit­u­a­tion, the de­ci­sions were not sur­pris­ing. Since the ap­point­ment of Mo­hammed bin Sal­man as deputy crown prince, min­is­ter of de­fense and chair­man of the Com­mit­tee of Se­cu­rity and Eco­nomic Af­fairs, ev­ery­one was betting that Saudi Ara­bia is pre­par­ing bin Sal­man to be the crown prince. When Prince Mo­hammed bin Nayef was ousted as crown prince, it was clear that there was a sce­nario to de­clare Mo­ham­mad bin Sal­man as the new king of Saudi Ara­bia.

Af­ter Satur­day’s de­ci­sions, I ex­pect that Prince Mo­hammed will be­come King of Saudi Ara­bia in his fa­ther’s life, for the first time in the Saudi his­tory.

To en­sure the success of this sce­nario, the prince must en­sure of the loy­alty of those sur­round­ing him.The sce­nario is im­ple­mented in sev­eral stages and within a year or less, Mo­hammed [bin Sal­man] may be crowned King of Saudi Ara­bia. He was ap­pointed as head of the an­ti­cor­rup­tion com­mis­sion to per­son­aly su­per­vise the elim­i­na­tion of all those threat­en­ing his throne.

Al-Hariry’s res­ig­na­tion was not sur­pris­ing but the un­ex­pected part was that he an­nounced it out­side Le­banon, which has not hap­pened in any coun­try’s his­tory so far. More­over, this res­ig­na­tion has not been ac­cepted yet, and even if it was ac­cepted, he would con­tinue in the gov­ern­ment un­til an­other prime min­is­ter is ap­pointed. In­ter­na­tional di­men­sions are mainly based on the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s view, whose pri­or­i­ties in the re­gion are to limit Ira­nian in­flu­ence and elim­i­nate ter­ror­ist groups.

Al-Hariry’s res­ig­na­tion from Riyadh has proved that the Sun­nis in Le­banon, or the Hariry fam­ily at least, are work­ing ac­cord­ing to Saudi or­ders.The let­ter of res­ig­na­tion it­self was a dec­la­ra­tion of war against his part­ners in the coali­tion that he ac­cepted lead­ing.In fact, the nonSunni part­ners and Hezbol­lah con­sist of Le­banese mem­bers and can­not be elim­i­nated, for the sake of plu­ral­ism and to avoid see­ing Le­banon on the ba­sis of sec­tar­i­an­ism.

Al-Hariry’s talk about cut­ting off Iran’s hands in­di­cates that the Saudi-Ira­nian con­fronta­tion has reached its peak, and could take the form of mil­i­tary con­flict.

The cor­ner­stone of Trump’s pol­icy, which was an­nounced on 13 Oc­to­ber, is to prove to Congress that Iran is not com­mit­ted to the nu­clear agree­ment of 2015. If so, Iran will be sanc­tioned.We noted that the US ad­min­is­tra­tion seeks to la­bel the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion, mak­ing it sub­ject to all the sanc­tions im­posed on those listed as ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions.

When the re­gion is in­flamed in con­flicts, we look at what Is­rael gains, no?

If we re­turned to the pre-Trump time, we will find that the US strat­egy, de­spite the nu­clear agree­ment with Iran, was to form an axis of Amer­ica, the Sunni Arab states and Is­rael in the face of Iran.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is that Obama wanted to post­pone the es­tab­lish­ment of this axis un­til the es­tab­lish­ment of the Pales­tinian state. Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion wants to es­tab­lish this axis and then set­tle the Pales­tinian is­sue, in what the cur­rent US ad­min­is­tra­tion calls “the deal of the cen­tury”.

This axis will be es­tab­lished, ei­ther of­fi­cially or un­of­fi­cially, af­ter which the Pales­tinian is­sue will be dealt with, but the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion so far hasn’t said on what ba­sis his strat­egy will rely. Will he adopt the po­si­tions of the suc­ces­sive US ad­min­is­tra­tions since Clin­ton - a twostate so­lu­tion - or not? The US ad­min­is­tra­tion is ex­pected to an­nounce these de­tails be­fore the end of this year. It should be noted that the US vice pres­i­dent will visit the Mid­dle East next month, a visit linked di­rectly to out­lin­ing the US pol­icy.

Has that war re­ally be­gun?

We have en­tered into a pe­riod of in­tense psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare. This is what was stated in the Trump speech last Oc­to­ber, Al-Hariry’s let­ter of res­ig­na­tion and the an­nounce­ment by the Saudi Min­is­ter of Gulf Af­fairs that the launch­ing of the Houthi mis­sile on Saudi Ara­bia is a dec­la­ra­tion of war.

Where will the theatre of that war be?

The the­atres of mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions will be­gin in Le­banon, pass­ing through Syria to Ye­men, mean­ing that no party would be ca­pa­ble of stop­ping this war once it breaks out.

What role should Egypt play?

Egypt has to avoid this re­gional con­fronta­tion at any price.The prin­ci­ples of the Egyp­tian for­eign pol­icy agrees with the foun­da­tions of the in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions af­ter the Sec­ond World War and the prin­ci­ples of peace­ful co­ex­is­tence as em­bod­ied by the Non-Aligned Move­ment, which is the guid­ing prin­ci­ples of Egypt’s for­eign pol­icy for decades, ex­cept un­der [former Pres­i­dent] Morsi’s rule. We should stick to this po­si­tion.

But some ob­servers ac­cuse Egypt of fol­low­ing the direc­tions of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi in the re­cent pe­riod?

The in­ter­nal and re­gional sit­u­a­tions have been dy­namic and Egypt has dealt with it in­tel­li­gently. Egypt’s poli­cies were tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion this sit­u­a­tion in the con­text of pre­serv­ing our na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests and non-in­ter­fer­ence in Arab regimes’ af­fairs. Egypt is the only state that ad­vo­cates these prin­ci­ples be­cause the key to solv­ing cur­rent crises in the re­gion is to re­turn to those prin­ci­ples.The col­lapse of the Iraqi, Syr­ian and Libyan armies led to the emer­gence of ter­ror­ist groups, which are mainly tools in the hands of in­ter­na­tional, re­gional and Arab pow­ers, threat­en­ing the sovereignty, in­de­pen­dence and unity of Arab coun­tries.

Egypt deals with this dur­ing the anal­y­sis of all fac­tors. Con­se­quently, the re­sults of the Egyp­tian pol­icy may seem to some that it ap­peases cer­tain coun­tries, but in fact it deals with the re­gional and global changes, while at the same time de­fend­ing its na­tional se­cu­rity.The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion in Septem­ber 2014 formed the in­ter­na­tional coali­tion to com­bat ter­ror­ism, but the theatre of op­er­a­tions were in Iraq and Syria only, while it did not deal with the ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions in Si­nai and Libya, adding a big bur­den on Egypt.

Should the Egyp­tian army par­tic­i­pate in these po­ten­tial con­fronta­tions?

Egyp­tian forces should not be sent in any form out­side of Egyp­tian ter­ri­tory. This is a sce­nario that should not even be con­sid­ered.The prin­ci­ple of send­ing Egyp­tian forces out­side the borders should be com­pletely re­jected, what­ever the de­vel­op­ments, be­cause it will be a trap for the Egyp­tian army.

So Saudi Ara­bia will fight Iran on its own?

Saudi Ara­bia will not go into war alone, but will join a war against Iran. I mean that the war will be led by Is­rael and the theatre of war will be South Le­banon, Iraq, Syria and Ye­men, the coun­tries with armed non­state en­ti­ties such as Shi­ite Hezbol­lah, the Pop­u­lar Crowd and the Houthis.

Why was the em­pow­er­ing of Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man ac­cel­er­ated?

There was a US-Saudi dis­pute over Iran’s nu­clear deal dur­ing the rule of King Ab­dul­lah, but the emer­gence of Mo­hammed bin Sal­man changed the sit­u­a­tion.

What is the role of those ar­rested in this mat­ter?

The em­pow­er­ment of Prince Mo­hammed and the de­ci­sion to con­front Iran would find op­po­si­tion within the de­ci­sion-mak­ers in the King­dom.

How can the con­flict sce­nario be avoided?

If the Ira­nian regime of­fers con­ces­sions to the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. For ex­am­ple, af­ter Trump’s speech last Oc­to­ber, Khamenei said Iran was will­ing to limit the range of its bal­lis­tic mis­siles to 2,000 kilo­me­tres, show­ing Iran’s will­ing­ness to com­pro­mise.

Why is Is­rael in­volved in this con­fronta­tion?

One of the goals of this war is to stop the ex­pan­sion of the Ira­nian belt from Tehran to the Mediter­ranean Sea. Is­rael and Saudi Ara­bia share that goal, whether by agree­ment or not.

So Is­rael is the main player in the cur­rent scene?

Is­rael is the cat­a­lyst of events and its in­ter­ests co­in­cide with Amer­i­can arms man­u­fac­tur­ers’. The Is­raeli strat­egy does not only aim at the elim­i­na­tion of Iran but also ex­haust­ing the main Arab forces and drain­ing their eco­nomic re­sources, in prepa­ra­tion for es­tab­lish­ing Greater Is­rael.

What do you mean by Greater Is­rael?

For the first time since the es­tab­lish­ment of the State of Is­rael, it will have borders, as it is con­sid­ered the only United Na­tions mem­ber with­out in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized borders so far. This is the un­de­clared goal.

Is Si­nai part of this scheme?

The Is­raeli scheme had four phases: the first phase was the Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion, the sec­ond phase was the es­tab­lish­ment of the so-called State of Is­rael, the third phase was the 1967 ag­gres­sion, and we are wit­ness­ing now the fi­nal phase.At one time, Si­nai was part of the Zion­ist project since its launch.

It is known that Al-Ar­ish was an al­ter­na­tive to the es­tab­lish­ment of the Is­raeli home­land be­fore the Ot­toman Em­pire re­jected that. Re­gard­less of this re­jec­tion, there was an agree­ment be­tween the British and the World Zion­ist Move­ment to re­place Al-Ar­ish with Pales­tine. When the two state so­lu­tion was sug­gested, the Is­raeli side thought of ex­pand­ing the Gaza Strip west­ward to ab­sorb the den­sity of pop­u­la­tion. This pro­posal was met with ap­proval un­der the rule of the [Mus­lim] Broth­er­hood in Egypt.


So the 30 June rev­o­lu­tion aborted this scheme?

It de­stroyed this project, which put the Zion­ist and Turk­ish forces and those who were be­hind this project in an awk­ward po­si­tion, and made the Arab world pre­oc­cu­pied with con­fronting Iran. Un­for­tu­nately, the en­gine and the ben­e­fi­ciary is Is­rael.


Would the Is­raeli army en­ter into ma­jor wars again?

The Is­raeli army trains for all sce­nar­ios, like a war in south­ern Le­banon, and es­tab­lished a unit to train sol­diers on con­fronta­tions within the tun­nels, while the Arab world is busy with Iran.

So what hap­pens in the Si­nai is re­lated to this sce­nario?

If Egypt recog­nised an Is­lamic emi­rate in El-Ar­ish, the ter­ror­ism will end im­me­di­ately, pro­vided that Egypt agrees to trans­fer Rafah to Gaza.

How do you see Ha­mas’ move to end the Pales­tinian divi­sion and en­ter into a unity gov­ern­ment?

The Ha­mas-Fatah Agree­ment was signed in May 2009 be­cause the Pales­tinian divi­sion was not in the interest of Egypt. It was nec­es­sary for Pales­tine to have a gov­ern­ment of na­tional unity and to have a sin­gle Pales­tinian voice mak­ing de­ci­sions of war, peace, and re­sis­tance. I be­lieve Ha­mas has no hand in what is hap­pen­ing in Si­nai. Ha­mas has read the changes, ac­cepted for the first time the 1967 borders, and ended its re­la­tion with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. These steps were op­tional and no one can force them to ac­ti­vate the Na­tional Unity Agree­ment.

Egypt has re­gained its role in the re­gion and started to in­flu­ence the move­ment of events. There is a con­sen­sus be­tween this role and Euro­pean in­ter­ests, but Turkey’s Er­do­gan op­poses that Egypt play this role, while Iran is in favour of the pres­ence of this role to avoid open con­fronta­tions.

How do you see the dis­pute with Qatar?

I did not agree with the Egyp­tian ad­min­is­tra­tion’s deal­ing with the Qatari is­sue. We have given it more at­ten­tion than it de­serves. Even if it funds ter­ror­ist groups in Libya, we have the abil­ity to de­stroy any forces that are try­ing to in­fil­trate Egyp­tian ter­ri­tory. We have an army, ex­per­tise and ca­pa­bil­i­ties that en­able us to deal with any threat. Egypt should not be di­rectly in­volved in the Gulf dis­putes and the Qatari cri­sis will end if we find po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tions to the sit­u­a­tion in Syria and Libya.



Former Egyp­tian as­sis­tant to the for­eign min­is­ter, Hus­sein Haridy

King Sal­man and Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man of Saudi Ara­bia

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