Under the title “Questions of Emirati Normalization”, Middle East Monitor published an article by the writer Bakr Sidqi, in which he talked about three “penetrations” that the UAE has achieved in the past months. Explaining that these breakthroughs require thinking.
In the article “Questions of Emirati Normalization”, the writer said that the first breach was with Israel. Where relations exceeded the normal level of opening embassies or exchanging political visits.
The Emirati normalization with Israel has reached the level of joint military exercises in the Red Sea, which means that they have reached an alliance relationship.
The writer explained that the second breakthrough is the shift from the attack on the Assad regime due to the use of chemical weapons. To move to the opening of the Emirati embassy in Damascus at the end of 2018, then the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Damascus about two weeks ago.
The third breakthrough was the UAE’s relationship with Turkey, which was visited by the UAE’s strongman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Where he was received with a protocol dedicated to heads of state.
During that visit, an investment package worth 10 billion dollars was signed.
The writer considered that what unites the three countries, despite their many differences, is that they are pariahs to varying degrees and to different degrees, according to him.
The writer said that Israel is pariah in its Arab environment as a state (or rather it was even before the Abraham agreements) regardless of the party that rules it.
In addition to being “disliked” in many Western circles, it is seen in the public eye as a heavy moral burden.
The United States is also a strategic ally of Israel, regardless of the political changes in Washington and Tel Aviv, the relationship between the two countries is not free of political tensions. It often translates into US interventions in Israeli domestic politics with the aim of getting rid of an unwanted government and replacing it with another through elections.
Syrian Arab Republic
With regard to Syria, the writer explained that the regime is today more isolated and ostracized than Israel, although this ostracism does not extend to the Syrian state, if we can refer to it as a Syrian state in the current circumstances.
He said, “Despite the “normalization atmosphere” that has pleased the regime in recent months since the meetings of its foreign minister, Faisal Miqdad, with some of his Arab counterparts on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September. The project to transfer gas and electricity to Lebanon through Syrian territory. And the phone call with the monarch Jordanian King Abdullah II, the regime is still far from obtaining international recognition of its legitimacy.”
With regard to Turkey, the writer explained that its relative isolation by its NATO allies, the Americans and the Europeans, is linked to Turkish regional policies and, to a lesser extent, to Turkish internal affairs.
He said that Western governments, especially the US administration, do not hide their dissatisfaction with the Turkish policies that President Erdogan has become responsible for drawing, because he put in his hands all the powers and authorities.
And about its isolation from some Arab countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular, it is mainly related to Turkey’s position on Sisi’s coup in Egypt in 2013, and its repercussions.
This isolation began to disintegrate a few months ago in the Egyptian-Turkish meetings to settle differences, which have not yet reached an agreement between the two parties.
The writer pointed to the deteriorating nature of relations between the UAE and Turkey, expressing his surprise at how the reconciliation between bin Zayed and Erdogan took place.
He said, “This is not only because he is the most senior official in the three anti-Erdogan countries, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. But also because the atmosphere of hostility between Ankara and Abu Dhabi has reached levels that are difficult to imagine to overcome. As Ankara continued to accuse the Emirati leadership, and the Crown Prince in particular, of financing The coup attempt in July 2016. It continues to hold it responsible for the killing of 251 Turks who were shot dead by the soldiers of the coup.
Politics is not based on constants
The writer went on to explain that politics is not based on ideological or principled constants, but on “pragmatism and realism.”
And the writer added, “In any case, regardless of the Turkish motives for normalization with the UAE. With the clarity of the motives of both Israel and Assad, the question remains about Abu Dhabi’s motives for the three normalization campaigns mentioned above.”
In answering the question, the writer demanded that it not be assumed that it is an ideological principle on the part of the Emirates.” Which it override in the above-mentioned normalization campaigns, especially with regard to Israel, because normalization with Israel was perhaps the most consistent with absolute pragmatism.
As for its normalization with Bashar’s regime, it can be read where the UAE brings the leader of the coalition hostile to the Arab Spring revolutions. In this sense, the Syrian killer had to be rewarded for his violent “success” in burying the revolution of the Syrian people.
Finally, regarding the sudden normalization with Ankara, the writer saw this as the most important breakthrough, because the previous hostility with it was based mainly on ideological choices, that is, hostility towards the Muslim Brotherhood and towards political Islam in general.
The writer concluded his article by saying: “The United Arab Emirates, which has always been satisfied with its economic and financial role. It has changed due to the Arab Spring revolutions. It has thus taken a direct military role in Libya and Yemen. It has regional political ambitions to compete with other countries in the region.”
He considered that the above-mentioned normalization campaigns are just steps to enhance this regional role in preparation for arrangements that take into account the power vacuum left by the United States, the return of Russia, and Iranian expansion that has reached its climax.
He pointed out that this is clearly demonstrated in the competition between Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar for the leadership of the Arab region. With the remaining major regional powers represented by Turkey, Iran and Israel.