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Обновленное издание книги Саудовская Аравия. XXI век на родине Ислама: от “всемирной бензоколонки” к “лаборатории инноваций и совершенства” за авторством нашего члена, востоковеда и бизнесмена Константина Дударева, наконец, вышло в свет в марте 2017 годав «Издательском доме Недра».

Эта замечательная нига – это рассказ от первого лица о различных сторонах сегодняшней жизни этой самобытной и во многих отношениях уникальной страны, в которой ему довелось жить и работать около 10 лет. Она повествует о первом опыте вхождения на ее рынок российских компаний, об особенностях ведения бизнеса, традициях, обрядах и обычаях, которые следует знать новичкам.

В 28-ми главах книги рассказывается о крупнейших экономических проектах, которые, по расчетам руководства, уже в обозримом будущем должны обеспечить переход королевства из категории «развивающихся» стран в клуб 10 наиболее промышленно развитых держав. Упоминается и о «Видении 2030» - принятой недавно руководством страны масштабной программе социально-экономических реформ, направленных на избавление от сырьевой зависимости и создание полноценной экономики, основанной на инновациях и прорывных технологиях

Большое внимание уделяется нынешнему состоянию и перспективам развития нефтегазового сектора, доходы от которого используются как мощный рычаг для динамичного преобразования страны. Раскрываются принципы и критерии, в соответствии с которыми формируется политика КСА в области цен на нефть на мировом рынке, изложены задачи программы развития ядерной, солнечной и других возобновляемых источников энергии, состоящие в превращении королевства в экспортера электроэнергии в страны Азии, Африки и даже Европы.

Интерес вызывают главы, в которых рассказывается о многомиллиардных проектах по реконструкции святых мест ислама в Мекке и Медине, внедрении IT-технологий в инфраструктуру хаджа, больших успехах в области развития образования и здравоохранения, строительстве жилья и социальных объектов.

«Саудовская Аравия. XXI век на родине Ислама… - это первая в нашей стране книга, которая дает возможность составить представление о сегодняшнем дне королевства, восполняет недостаток сведений об этой важной для нас соседней стране, являющейся сегодня флагманом арабского и мусульманского мира. Ориентированная на деловые круги и на широкий круг читателей, книга раскрывает потенциал сотрудничества и приобретает особую актуальность в наши дни, когда обе страны встали на путь создания «стратегического партнерства» как в борьбе против терроризма, так и в налаживании широкомасштабного и взаимовыгодного торгово-экономического и научно-технического сотрудничества. Она представляет практический интерес для российских бизнесменов, заинтересованных в выходе на весьма привлекательный и перспективный рынок КСА.

В 2016 году Ассоциация книгоиздателей РФ удостоила работу Дипломом «Лучшая книга года-2015» в номинации «Деловая литература».

ДударевКонстантин Петрович– выпускник МГИМО, около 25-ти лет работал в качестве журналиста, а затем бизнесмена в странах Ближнего Востока и Северной Африки. владеет арабским, английским и французским языками.

«Всемктоинтересуетсябизнесомсэтойстраной, «хаджем» вМеккуиМединунравамиикультурологиейэтнографиейиполитикойнефтьюиагро-аутсорсингоматакжесобственножизньюибуднямиКоролевстваСаудовскаяАравиярекомендуюпрочитатьНепожалеетевремени

Журнал «Международная жизнь», 26.05.2015

Сергей Филатов, обозреватель

«Есть все основания считать, что эта первая и пока единственная в России книга о сегодняшнем дне соседней арабской страны действительно поможет российскому бизнесу освоить весьма перспективный, но и очень специфический рынок Саудовской Аравии, а обычному читателю – «приподнять чадру» и увидеть сегодняшний день остающегося пока для нас загадочным королевства…»

«Независимая газета», 23.11.2015

Н.И. Петров, редактор журнала «Азия и Африка сегодня»

«Книгу Константина Дударева можно считать библиографической редкостью на российском книжном рынке, где после выхода в 1986 году в свет знаменитой «Истории Саудовской Аравии» профессора Алексея Васильева книг по Саудовской Аравии практически не издавалось… Однако в отличие от своего предшественника автор использовал свой опыт журналистской работы, чтобы подробно описать различные стороны повседневной жизни королевства, делая книгу интересной не только для деловых кругов, но и для обычного российского читателя…»

Книгу можно купить на сайте Издательского дома «Недра» - www.nedrainform.ru , а также на сайтах интернет магазинов.

Как писали классики марксизма, «призрак бродит по Европе». Правда, в этот раз призрак не коммунизма, а иранского природного газа. Причем бродит уже достаточно давно: с 90-х годов ХХ века с завидной регулярностью в Тегеране говорят о желании выйти на газовый рынок ЕС и даже позиционируют свою страну как единственно возможного альтернативного России поставщика «голубого топлива». Стоит ли Москве опасаться появления конкурента — разбиралась «Лента.ру».

Страна невыполненных обещаний

Пытаясь привлечь внимание европейцев иранские власти то говорили о своем желании присоединиться к так называемому проекту газопровода «Набукко», который должен был обеспечить доступ азербайджанского и туркменского газа на европейский рынок, то заявляли о готовности прокладывать свою собственную, отдельную, ветку газопровода (трубопровод «Парс»), который бы обеспечил иранцам еще один выход к турецкой границе и позволил бы далее осуществить транзит топлива в страны Восточной и Южной Европы. Так же до начала гражданской войны в Сирии Тегеран раздумывал о выходе на средиземноморский рынок за счет строительства газопровода Иран-Ирак-Сирия (некоторые конспирологи даже считают, что указанные планы спровоцировали западных и арабских оппонентов Тегерана на дестабилизацию сирийского режима, чтобы сорвать строительство трубопровода). Наконец, недавно иранские чиновники заговорили о возможности наладить экспорт топлива в черноморский регион и начали обсуждать перспективы создания необходимой газотранспортной инфраструктуры в государствах Закавказья.

Правда, в большинстве (если не во всех) случаев речь идет лишь об определенной политической игре. Обещая европейцам природный газ и намекая на свою готовность «подвинуть» на рынках стран ЕС и европейской части постсоветского пространства Россию, Тегеран пытается добиться дальнейших уступок по санкционному вопросу, а также побудить западные государства активнее восстанавливать экономические связи с Исламской Республикой Иран (ИРИ). Впрочем, пока что всерьез указанные заявления воспринимает как раз российская сторона, всеми силами старающаяся укрепить свое присутствие в нефтегазовом секторе Ирана, чтобы не допустить ситуации, когда иранский природный газ действительно попадет на европейский рынок.

Не все объясняется санкциями 

На практике дискуссия о перспективах поставок иранского газа в ЕС никогда не давала иных результатов, кроме подписания ни к чему не обязывающих документов. Главным оправданием со стороны Ирана в неспособности реализовать свои обещания были наложенные на него ограничительные меры. Отчасти эти утверждения верны. Накануне введения санкций 2010 года, положивших конец всякому сотрудничеству Ирана и ЕС в нефтегазовой сфере, между ИРИ и некоторыми европейскими компаниями при двусторонней правительственной поддержке были подписаны соглашения о намерениях организовать экспорт природного газа в Евросоюз. Однако боязнь оказаться под американскими санкциями за взаимодействие с Тегераном заставила европейцев отказаться от своих планов после 2010 года.

Впрочем, подписание Ираном и шестеркой международных переговорщиков в 2015-м Совместного всеобъемлющего плана действий (СВПД), нацеленного на урегулирование проблемы иранских ядерных испытаний, и последовавшее за этим снятие ряда ограничений на экономическое сотрудничество Тегерана с внешним миром, ясно продемонстрировали, что дело было не только и не столько в санкциях. Более того, с уверенностью можно сказать, что в среднесрочной перспективе иранский природный газ на рынке ЕС не окажется.

Во-первых, несмотря на то, что Иран владеет крупнейшими запасами природного газа, его добывающие мощности и газотранспортная инфраструктура остаются неразвитыми. Поэтому Тегеран физически не в состоянии нарастить добычу и экспорт природного газа за рубеж, даже если бы имел очень сильное желание сделать это. Текущий объем добычи в стране составляет приблизительно 251 миллиард кубометров в год, из которых экспортируется лишь шесть миллиардов. При этом ИРИ вынуждена импортировать из Туркменистана схожий объем «голубого топлива», чтобы отвечать по своим экспортным обязательствам, а также в зимний период удовлетворять потребности своих северных провинций в топливе. Чтобы значительно увеличить объемы добычи газа, Ирану потребуются десятки миллиардов долларов инвестиций, которые невозможно привлечь одномоментно. Однако даже при наиболее оптимистичном сценарии, как считают иранские и западные эксперты, в течение трех – пяти лет Тегеран едва ли сможет добиться увеличения газодобычи выше уровня 300 – 310 миллиардов кубометров в год.

Рабочие возле трубопровода, по которому газ поставляется из Ирана в Пакистан

Во-вторых, увеличение газодобычи не означает одномоментный рост объемов газа, доступного для экспорта за рубеж. Это, в свою очередь, определено стратегией экономического развития ИРИ, а также структурой внутреннего потребления энергоресурсов. В то время, как иранцы обещают ЕС свой газ, наращивание его экспорта не является приоритетом для Тегерана. В первую очередь получаемый газ предполагается предоставить внутренним потребителям, пустить на нужды нефтехимической промышленности (одного из главных двигателей иранской диверсификации), а также использовать для реализации программы по поддержанию уровня нефтедобычи на старых месторождениях за счет закачивания газа в нефтеносные слои. Только после этого газ пойдет на продажу за рубеж.

Сложность ситуации определена и тем, что объемы газа, потребляемого внутри страны, постоянно растут. Благодаря последовательной реализации программы по переводу иранской экономики на газ, проводящейся в последние десятилетия, доля «голубого топлива» в структуре потребляемых энергоресурсов к 2017-у составляла 60 процентов (против 35 – 40 процентов, приходящихся на нефть). В дальнейшем эта тенденция лишь усилится, поскольку реализация указанной программы (предусматривающей, например, перевод общественного и частного транспорта на газ) продолжается. Субсидирование цен на энергоносители внутри ИРИ также подстегивает рост внутреннего потребления газа при не самом эффективном его использовании. В этих условиях, большинство добываемого к 2020 году в стране «голубого топлива» будет по-прежнему «съедаться» иранской экономикой, а не идти на зарубежные рынки.

В-третьих, при выборе рынков сбыта газа слова и дела иранцев заметно расходятся. Иранские эксперты близкие к правительству признают, что, на текущий момент, власти их страны считают поставки «голубого топлива» на удаленные рынки (в страны ЕС) весьма рискованным, сложным и дорогостоящим проектом. Вместо этого, Тегеран видит главной целью налаживание экспорта энергоресурсов в соседние страны. Помимо очевидной экономической выгоды Тегеран рассчитывает таким образом получить и инструмент влияния на эти государства. В итоге, на практике, по крайней мере, в течение ближайших пяти лет ЕС не будет приоритетным рынком сбыта для ИРИ.

Россия верит

В текущих условиях, как уже было сказано, единственной страной, которая верит в возможность поставок иранского газа в Европу, является… Россия. У ее руководства, конечно, нет иллюзий, что в ближайшие пять лет ИРИ будет способна бросить России вызов на газовом рынке. Однако Москва явно ведет работу на долгосрочную перспективу. Причем ставка делается не на сдерживание развития иранского нефтегазового сектора, а на увеличение присутствия в нем российских компаний и перенаправление иранских экспортных потоков на неевропейские рынки. Так, основные отечественные энергетические корпорации уже активно ведут переговоры с Тегераном о сотрудничестве. Россия явно поддерживает проект трубопровода «Мир», который позволит Тегерану поставлять газ в Пакистан и, потенциально, в другие азиатские страны.

Кроме того, в августе 2016-го на саммите президентов Азербайджана, Ирана и России в Баку Владимир Путин завел речь о необходимости тесного сотрудничества и координации между тремя государствами в нефтегазовой сфере. В частности, он предложил план, по которому Россия через Азербайджан будет поставлять газ на север Ирана, в то время как российские компании будут получать для своих нужд иранский газ в Персидском заливе. Реализация подобного проекта позволила бы Ирану больше не зависеть от поставок топлива исключительно из Туркменистана, в то время как Москва могла быть уверена, что контролирует судьбу, по крайней мере, части иранского газа и не даст ему попасть на европейский рынок.

Иными словами, иранский газ все еще остается призраком для ЕС, но внимание охотника за привидениями он уже привлек. 

Статья опубликована на сайте Lenta.ru

https://lenta.ru/articles/2017/02/27/dreamy_gas/

Среда, 01 Февраль 2017 17:02

Moscow offers stage for Palestinian talks

Moscow recently hosted its second intra-Palestinian meeting, where high-ranking members of numerous Palestinian political organizations, including Fatah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, directly engaged in conversation. In contrast to the first negotiations of the kind, which were held six years ago, the dialogue has become more inclusive, involving a dozen groups. 

Although the Jan. 15-16 talks brought together Russian Foreign Ministry officials and enabled the parties to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia emphasized the unofficial and purely intra-Palestinian status of the meeting, noting Russia was only involved as the host.

The event was organized by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Foundation for the Support of Islamic Culture, Science and Education.

The venue and date for the talks raised some questions. Foreign observers wondered why Palestinians would hold talks among their own factions in Moscow, especially when another meeting had just been held in Paris a few days before. Other factors in this process include the Beirut intra-Palestinian meeting that also took place a few days before the Moscow event; UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which addresses the illegality of Israeli settlements; and, naturally, US President Donald Trump’s statements about moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Obviously, Trump’s rise to presidency and the subsequent changes expected in US Middle East policy acted as catalysts for this diplomatic flurry, which will have little true influence on the peace settlement.

Trump’s Islamophobia and his seemingly pro-Israeli stance do not augur well for Palestine, but then, they’re not a safe bet for the Jews, either.

Palestinians feel the need to demonstrate their ability to constructively interact with the international community and their genuine desire to resume negotiations. At the same time, they appear to be seeking more active support from other powerful extra-regional players — above all, Moscow, which has been playing a greater role in the region. Moreover, Russia has close ties with various factions within the Palestinian leadership.

Moscow, in turn, seeks to extend its role as a mediator in the Middle East beyond the Syrian agenda. Testifying to this were the first intra-Palestinian meeting, the 2015 intra-Syrian consultations and Syria-related cooperation with Turkey and Iran. Thus, the Kremlin’s courtesy is developing into a clear alternative to America’s straightforward approach, which is typified by irksome lecturing.

The Moscow talks produced a Jan. 17 joint statement that Palestine should soon see the formation of a national unity government. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ consultations with the parties’ officials would determine the particular structure of this government. Russia’s leading Orientalist, Vitaly Naumkin, who moderated the meeting, believes that under a positive scenario the government could be established by this summer, followed by elections for the Palestinian National Council. Palestinian diasporas worldwide, as well as residents of the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem, would be able to cast their ballots.

The participants think these steps could help overcome disunity among Palestine’s political establishment and society. The moves could also help resolve the conflict, because the Israelis would be deprived of their argument concerning the absence of a Palestinian representative to talk with, which they perennially use to justify their reluctance to conduct bilateral talks.

Hamas’ inclusion in a new government is a very sensitive issue, an Achilles’ heel of the plan. Paradoxically, many countries still regard Hamas, the party that won the democratic elections held at the West’s insistence, as a terrorist group.

The political process is very likely to reach a deadlock if, as projected, Tel Aviv and several members of the world political community insist on politically isolating a government that includes Hamas members, even though Hamas has significantly softened its stance over the past decade. The ball, however, is now in Israel’s court. Admittedly, the Palestinians may be counting on the mediation of Moscow, given its growing influence in the region.

The Palestinians are counting on Moscow’s assistance in several other matters as well. One issue is Israel’s continued settlement building and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem. Second, Palestinians are concerned with Trump’s inflammatory promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Both Russian and Palestinian experts see that proposal as inflicting catastrophic damage to the entire peace process.

Finally, the talks also focused on the Middle East Quartet, which the Palestinian attendees unanimously considered discredited.

The issues discussed, as well as the assessments made, were predictable. As for the final communique, Moscow regarded it as “the best possible.” Such moderation makes one think again about the best strategy for the Palestinians in the current international situation, on the one hand, and about how to modify the international community’s approach to a settlement, on the other.

Today, the Quartet’s inefficiency, as well as the gradually declining interest of the world community in the endless and hopeless Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are apparent. Some actors will probably keep paying tribute to the Quartet’s symbolic role in the region from time to time and will be full of good intentions. But now, the more marked right-wing bias in the West presupposes the diminishing involvement of Europe and the United States in the Middle East. In the medium and short term, Israel will benefit from and be fully content with the current situation. Nevertheless, Russian experts say that in general this approach is disastrous for Israel as it will end up in a stalemate.

Until now, nothing has prevented Tel Aviv from relishing the situation. The growing role of regional powers, whose attitude toward the seemingly unchangeable conflict has become ever-more ambivalent, does not seem to affect the Israeli stance, either. Though support for the Palestinians remains sine qua non for any Arab politician at the emotional level, many of them are faced with much more acute issues at the pragmatic level. Moreover, Arab and Israeli leaders share some similar concerns, such as security issues and religious radicalization.

In this case, it is vital to back up the Palestinians. To address the matter, Palestinian political elites should restore public trust, which they lost after their failed attempts in the past to reconcile with each other. The unity government will be the first step to reach this objective. If Israel impedes its progress, it will be necessary to start all over again.

If global and regional political actors — even if some opt out — manage to sacrifice short-term self-interest for the sake of enhancing a strategy that will allow for a new regional balance of power, it will be possible to come to grips with the problem.

However, the developments in the Middle East over recent years demonstrate that, increasingly, tactics beat strategy.


Article from Al-Monitor: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/moscow-russia-palestine-israel-peace-process-talks.html

John Kerry’s speech this week clearly and rationally explained why the status quo will not enable Israel to maintain its Jewish and democratic character. Are Israelis paying attention?

By Elie Podeh and Nimrod Goren

Throughout 2016, analysts were wondering what – if at all – will be President Obama’s final move regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The options discussed included a presidential speech (like the Cairo speech in 2009), updating the Clinton parameters of 2000, and the advancement of a resolution at the UN Security Council. Eventually, all answers were somewhat right: UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was not initiated by the U.S., but it was definitely encouraged by the American administration. Obama himself did not deliver a speech, but his Secretary of State, John Kerry, did, conveying the frustration and disappointment of the administration from both sides, and especially from Israel’s settlement policy.

The Kerry speech introduced parameters for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They did not differ much from the Clinton Parameters, and were more ambiguous and concise. Still, it was a much-needed move in light of the regional changes that took place since 2000, and of issues which gained traction since (such as Israel’s request that Palestinians recognize it as a ‘Jewish state’). The updated parameters provide Israelis – public and politicians alike – more clarity regarding the two-state solution and the steps needed in order to get there. They also generate new momentum by enabling the discussion on an end-game agreement to be based on a recent document, which is part of a set of international moves to advance conflict resolution, and not on a plan devised sixteen years ago.

The Trump effect

A key difference between the Kerry parameters and those of Clinton is the reference made by Kerry to the Arab Peace Initiative (which was not yet published in 2000) and to regional ramifications of Israeli-Palestinian peace. Kerry highlighted the unique opportunity that Israel is currently facing – an opportunity to establish normal ties with Arab countries, and to even launch a joint security framework. Kerry stressed that the fulfillment of this opportunity is clearly linked to progress towards Israeli-Palestinian peace, contrasting recent claims by Netanyahu that normalization between Israel and Arab countries can precede Israeli-Palestinian peace. In his speech, Kerry tried to convince Israelis that peace will bring them concrete regional benefits. He focused on relations with the Arab world and on chances for enhanced security, but he could also have mentioned the EU’s offer for a Special Privileged Partnership with Israel and the future Palestinian state, as another incentive for peace.

Kerry refrained from addressing a major change that took place since the Clinton parameters were issued – the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip following the Hamas takeover of Gaza. The Palestinian divide is a major obstacle on the road for a two-state solution, and is one that the international community tends to avoid due to the sensitivity of dealing with Hamas. It is worth remembering that because of this obstacle, the negotiations between Olmert and Abbas in 2007-8 were aimed to reach a “shelf-agreement” only; one that will be implementable only after the restoration of Palestinian unity. While the Quartet report of July 2016 focused on this thorny issue, Kerry decided to skip it altogether.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the 2016 AIPAC Police Conference in Washington D.C., March 21, 2016. (Photo courtesy of AIPAC)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the 2016 AIPAC Police Conference in Washington D.C., March 21, 2016. (Photo courtesy of AIPAC)

Paradoxically, it was Trump’s victory and his positions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue that may have increased Obama’s motivation to make a final move. The UN Security Council resolution and the Kerry speech leave a legacy for Trump to deal with, but they also provide clear guidelines for future American administrations and for other countries that want to contribute to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. These steps demonstrated the continuity in American policy since 1967 regarding the occupied territories and Jerusalem.

Despite efforts along the years to mask and downplay differences between Israel and the U.S. on these issues, the American position – of Republican and Democratic administrations alike – has remained remarkably the same. A different policy by the Trump administration, if such will actually be taken, will be the exception. One can only wonder why hasn’t the Obama administration introduced its clear-cut positions earlier, during a time that still allowed the international community to act on them.

Looking in the mirror

The Kerry speech put a mirror in front of the Israeli government and society. Kerry clearly and rationally explained why the continuation of the status quo will not enable Israel to maintain its Jewish and democratic character in the long run. The ongoing occupation and the expansion of settlements makes the two-state solution gradually less feasible, and may lead to an irreversible situation. Those in the Israeli Right, who are ideologically committed to the settlements, do not have a reasonable answer to this dilemma, except for their wishful thinking that the Palestinians will somehow disappear or move to Jordan. The renowned Palestinian scholar Edward Said defined the role of intellectuals as “speaking truth to power.” In our case, it was the opposite. The power Kerry spoke explained the unsolvable contradiction between the occupation and Israel’s Jewish and democratic nature.

Netanyahu and his government responded to the American move with unprecedented bashing of an acting American administration. Netanyahu is looking forward to Trump’s inauguration, expecting a much more sympathetic approach by the next president. However, while American positions may change, the international consensus regarding the Palestinian issue is not likely to erode. This was demonstrated at the UN Security Council, and will be demonstrated again at the upcoming international conference in Paris. The Israeli government’s enthusiasm of Trump’s victory, should be replaced with genuine concern for Israel’s global standing, and for a change of policy that will help Israel regain the international legitimacy it is currently losing.

While American and international actions are important, they alone will not change facts on the ground and resolve the conflict. Eventually, Israelis and Palestinians themselves will have to take the lead. For this to happen, a courageous and pro-peace leadership is needed, as well as a strong civil society that challenges policies that jeopardize the two-state solution and lead Israel to increased isolation.

Prof. Elie Podeh is a Board Member at Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, and teaches Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr. Nimrod Goren is the Head of the Mitvim Institute. This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

Material by +972 https://972mag.com/kerrys-parameters-force-israelis-to-take-a-hard-look-in-the-mirror/124070/

Четверг, 29 Сентябрь 2016 00:46

How the US Armed-up Syrian Jihadists by Alastair Crooke

The West blames Russia for the bloody mess in Syria, but U.S. Special Forces saw close up how the chaotic U.S. policy of aiding Syrian jihadists enabled Al Qaeda and ISIS to rip Syria apart, explains ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

“No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort”, a former Green Beret writes of America’s covert and clandestine programs to train and arm Syrian insurgents, “they know we are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘Fuck it, who cares?’”. “I don’t want to be responsible for Nusra guys saying they were trained by Americans,” the Green Beret added.

In a detailed report, US Special Forces Sabotage White House Policy gone Disastrously Wrong with Covert Ops in Syria, Jack Murphy, himself a former Green Beret (U.S. Special Forces), recounts a former CIA officer having told him how the “the Syria covert action program is [CIA Director John] Brennan’s baby …Brennan was the one who breathed life into the Syrian Task Force … John Brennan loved that regime-change bullshit.”

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

In gist, Murphy tells the story of U.S. Special Forces under one Presidential authority, arming Syrian anti-ISIS forces, whilst the CIA, obsessed with overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad, and operating under a separate Presidential authority, conducts a separate and parallel program to arm anti-Assad insurgents.

Murphy’s report makes clear the CIA disdain for combatting ISIS (though this altered somewhat with the beheading of American journalist James Foley in August 2014): “With the CIA wanting little to do with anti-ISIS operations as they are focused on bringing down the Assad regime, the agency kicked the can over to 5th Special Forces Group. Basing themselves out of Jordan and Turkey” — operating under “military activities” authority, rather than under the CIA’s coveted Title 50 covert action authority.

The “untold story,” Murphy writes, is one of abuse, as well as bureaucratic infighting, which has only contributed to perpetuating the Syrian conflict.

But it is not the “turf wars,” nor the “abuse and waste,” which occupies the central part of Murphy’s long report, that truly matters; nor even the contradictory and self-defeating nature of U.S. objectives pursued. Rather, the report tells us quite plainly why the attempted ceasefires have failed (although this is not explicitly treated in the analysis), and it helps explain why parts of the U.S. Administration (Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and CIA Director Brenner) have declined to comply with President Obama’s will – as expressed in the diplomatic accord (the recent ceasefire) reached with the Russian Federation.

The story is much worse than that hinted in Murphy’s title: it underlies the present mess which constitutes relations between the U.S. and Russia, and the collapse of the ceasefire.

“The FSA [the alleged “moderates” of the Free Syria Army] made for a viable partner force for the CIA on the surface, as they were anti-regime, ostensibly having the same goal as the seventh floor at Langley” [the floor of the CIA headquarters occupied by the Director and his staff] – i.e. the ousting of President Assad.

But in practice, as Murphy states bluntly: “distinguishing between the FSA and al-Nusra is impossible, because they are virtually the same organization. As early as 2013, FSA commanders were defecting with their entire units to join al-Nusra. There, they still retain the FSA monicker, but it is merely for show, to give the appearance of secularism so they can maintain access to weaponry provided by the CIA and Saudi intelligence services. The reality is that the FSA is little more than a cover for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra. …

“The fact that the FSA simply passed American-made weaponry off to al-Nusra is also unsurprising considering that the CIA’s vetting process of militias in Syria is lacklustre, consisting of little more than running traces in old databases. These traces rely on knowing the individuals’ real names in the first place, and assume that they were even fighting-age males when the data was collected by CTC [Counterterrorism Centre] years prior.”

Sympathy for Al Qaeda

Nor, confirms Murphy, was vetting any better with the 5th Special Forces operating out of Turkey: “[It consisted of] a database check and an interview. The rebels know how to sell themselves to the Americans during such interviews, but they still let things slip occasionally. ‘I don’t understand why people don’t like al-Nusra,’ one rebel told the American soldiers. Many had sympathies with the terrorist groups such as Nusra and ISIS.”

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

Others simply were not fit to be soldiers. “They don’t want to be warriors. They are all cowards. That is the moderate rebel,” a Green Beret told Murphy, who adds:

“Pallets of weapons and rows of trucks delivered to Turkey for American-sponsored rebel groups simply sit and collect dust because of disputes over title authorities [i.e. Presidential authorities] and funding sources, while authorization to conduct training for the militias is turned on and off at a whim. One day they will be told to train, the next day not to, and the day after only to train senior leaders. Some Green Berets believe that this hesitation comes from the White House getting wind that most of the militia members are affiliated with Nusra and other extremist groups.” [emphasis added.]

Murphy writes: “While the games continue on, morale sinks for the Special Forces men in Turkey. Often disguised in Turkish military uniform, one of the Green Berets described his job as, ‘Sitting in the back room, drinking chai while watching the Turks train future terrorists’ …

“Among the rebels that U.S. Special Forces and Turkish Special Forces were training, ‘A good 95 percent of them were either working in terrorist organizations or were sympathetic to them,’ a Green Beret associated with the program said, adding, ‘A good majority of them admitted that they had no issues with ISIS and that their issue was with the Kurds and the Syrian regime.’”

Buried in the text is this stunning one-line conclusion: “after ISIS is defeated, the real war begins. CIA-backed FSA elements will openly become al-Nusra; while Special Forces-backed FSA elements like the New Syrian Army will fight alongside the Assad regime. Then the CIA’s militia and the Special Forces’ militia will kill each other.

Well, that says it all: the U.S. has created a ‘monster’ which it cannot control if it wanted to (and Ashton Carter and John Brennan have no interest to “control it” — they still seek to use it).

U.S. Objectives in Syria

Professor Michael Brenner, having attended a high-level combined U.S. security and intelligence conference in Texas last week, summed up their apparent objectives in Syria, inter alia, as:

Video of the Russian SU-24 exploding in flames inside Syrian territory after it was shot down by Turkish air-to-air missiles on Nov. 24, 2015.

Video of the Russian SU-24 exploding in flames inside Syrian territory after it was shot down by Turkish air-to-air missiles on Nov. 24, 2015.

–Thwarting Russia in Syria.

–Ousting Assad.

–Marginalizing and weakening Iran by breaking the Shi’ite Crescent.

–Facilitating some kind of Sunni entity in Anbar and eastern Syria. How can we prevent it falling under the sway of al-Qaeda?  Answer: Hope that the Turks can “domesticate” al-Nusra.

–Wear down and slowly fragment ISIS. Success on this score can cover failure on all others in domestic opinion.

Jack Murphy explains succinctly why this “monster” cannot be controlled: “In December of 2014, al-Nusra used the American-made TOW missiles to rout another anti-regime CIA proxy force called the Syrian Revolutionary Front from several bases in Idlib province. The province is now the de facto caliphate of al-Nusra.

That Nusra captured TOW missiles from the now-defunct Syrian Revolutionary Front is unsurprising, but that the same anti-tank weapons supplied to the FSA ended up in Nusra hands is even less surprising when one understands the internal dynamics of the Syrian conflict, i.e. the factional warfare between the disparate American forces, with the result that “Many [U.S. military trainers] are actively sabotaging the programs by stalling and doing nothing, knowing that the supposedly secular rebels they are expected to train are actually al-Nusra terrorists.”

How then could there ever be the separation of “moderates” from Al-Nusra – as required by the two cessations of hostilities accords (February and September 2016)? The entire Murphy narrative shows that the “moderates” and al-Nusra cannot meaningfully be distinguished from each other, let alone separated from each other, because “they are virtually the same organization.”

The Russians are right: the CIA and the Defense Department never had the intention to comply with the accord – because they could not. The Russians are also right that the U.S. has had no intention to defeat al-Nusra – as required by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2268 (2016).

So how did the U.S. get into this “Left Hand/Right Hand” mess – with the U.S. President authorizing an accord with the Russian Federation, while in parallel, his Defense Secretary was refusing to comply with it? Well, one interesting snippet in Murphy’s piece refers to “hesitations” in the militia training program thought to stem from the White House getting wind that most of the militia members were “affiliated with Nusra and other extremist groups.”

Obama’s Inklings

It sounds from this as if the White House somehow only had “inklings” of “the jihadi monster” emerging in Syria – despite that understanding being common knowledge to most on-the-ground trainers in Syria. Was this so? Did Obama truly believe that there were “moderates” who could be separated? Or, was he persuaded by someone to go along with it, in order to give a “time out” in order for the CIA to re-supply its insurgent forces (the CIA inserted 3,000 tons of weapons and munitions to the insurgents during the February 2016 ceasefire, according to IHS Janes’).

 

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video]

U.S.-backed Syrian “moderate” rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video]

Support for the hypothesis that Obama may not have been fully aware of this reality comes from Yochi Dreazen and Séan Naylor (Foreign Policy’s senior staff writer on counter-terrorism and intelligence), who noted (in May 2015) that Obama himself seemed to take a shot at the CIA and other intelligence agencies in an interview in late 2014, when he said the community had collectively “underestimated” how much Syria’s chaos would spur the emergence of the Islamic State.

 

In the same article, Naylor charts the power of the CIA as rooted in its East Coast Ivy League power network, its primacy within the intelligence machinery, its direct access to the Oval Office and its nearly unqualified support in Congress. Naylor illustrates the CIA’s privileged position within the Establishment by quoting Hank Crumpton, who had a long CIA career before becoming the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism.

Crumpton told Foreign Policy that when “then-Director Tenet, declared ‘war’ on Al-Qaeda as far back as 1998, “you didn’t have the Secretary of Defense [declaring war]; you didn’t have the FBI director or anyone else in the intelligence community taking that kind of leadership role.”

Perhaps it is simply – in Obama’s prescient words – the case that “the CIA usually gets what it wants.”

Perhaps it did: Putin demonized, (and Trump tarred by association); the Sunni Al Qaeda “monster” – now too powerful to be easily defeated, but too weak to completely succeed – intended as the “albatross” hung around Russia and Iran’s neck, and damn the Europeans whose back will be broken by waves of ensuing refugees. Pity Syria.

Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, which advocates for engagement between political Islam and the West.

Article published in Consortiumnews.com

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/29/how-the-us-armed-up-syrian-jihadists/

IMESClub's Council Chairman, one of the greatest world experts on the Middle East was named this week as a mediator in the Syrian peace talks and advisor to Staffan de Mistura. 

We share the article by Reuters on the matter.

 

A Russian academic named this week as a mediator in the Syrian peace talks is an acclaimed expert on the Arab world with the trust of the Kremlin, a sign of the influence Moscow has won at the negotiating table after a five-month military campaign.

Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy on Syria, said he had appointed Russia's Vitaly Naumkin, 70, as a new consultant to support him in brokering peace talks in Geneva between the sides in Syria's civil war. De Mistura said he also wants to appoint an American, who has yet to be named.

The posts reflect the roles of the Cold War-era superpowers as co-sponsors of peace talks that began this week in Geneva, with Moscow a leading supporter of President Bashar al-Assad and Washington friendly with many of his enemies.

Naumkin's position is likely to ensure that Moscow retains its clout at peace talks, even as President Vladimir Putin has announced he is pulling out most of his forces after an intervention that tipped the balance of power Assad's way.

Reuters spoke to nine people who know Naumkin, and all described a talented and well-connected scholar who speaks fluent Arabic and has rich experience mediating in conflicts.

He has close working relationships with Russia's leaders, and describes himself as a protege of Yevgeny Primakov, a former Russian spy chief, foreign minister and prime minister who once served as an architect of Soviet policy in the Middle East and later as an informal mentor to President Vladimir Putin.

Naumkin did not reply to a Reuters request for an interview, but acquaintances said his views were likely to reflect Russia's policies.

"He has a political line, it's our good political line," said Alexei Malashenko, a long-standing Naumkin acquaintance and scholar in residence at the Moscow Carnegie Center think tank.

 

TIES TO OFFICIALS

Another person who knows Naumkin, who gave an assessment of his role on condition of anonymity, described him as a talented academic who would defer to senior Russian officials on policy.

Several of the people who spoke to Reuters said Naumkin was in regular contact with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's deputy foreign minister and presidential Middle East envoy.

De Mistura nevertheless said Naumkin's job would be to help the U.N. mediation team, not serve Russian interests: "He reports to me, not to his own mother country."

Born in the Ural Mountains, Naumkin studied Arabic language and history at Moscow State University, before serving for two years in the Soviet army teaching Arabic to military interpreters.

He gained a reputation as an outstanding simultaneous interpreter and was called on to translate at high-level meetings between Soviet officials and Arab leaders. It was in this role that he built up a rapport with Primakov, whom he met in Cairo in the 1960s.

Primakov later invited him to work as an academic at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow, according to Naumkin's own account. Naumkin did pioneering research into Socotra, an island between Yemen and Somalia, and spent periods living in Yemen and Egypt.

"He knows the Middle East not by hearsay, not from inside an office, but he's lived within it," said Alexander Knyazev, a Kazakhstan-based analyst who has known Naumkin for years.

In the early 1990s, Naumkin facilitated back-channel negotiations between rival sides in a civil war in the mainly Muslim ex-Soviet state of Tajikistan.

Naumkin arrived in the Tajik capital at the height of the fighting together with Harold Saunders, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State. Unsolicited, they offered their services as mediators to the Tajik leader.

When he accepted, they went to the Tajik foreign minister's house and slaughtered a sheep to celebrate, according to Kamoludin Abdullaev, a Tajik researcher who was present.

Naumkin's role in the talks was to make sure the opposition's views were heard.

"He was very assertive. The ... negotiations ended successfully," said Mars Sariyev, a former Kyrgyz diplomat who took part on the talks.

 

SYRIA MEDIATION

Naumkin has already played a back-room role in Syria negotiations, coordinating two rounds of talks in Moscow, backed by the Russian foreign ministry, to try to unite some of Syria's disparate opposition.

Those talks produced no major breakthrough, though not through any fault of Naumkin's, according to Nikolai Sukhov, an Arabist scholar and former student of Naumkin.

People who know Naumkin said he would be unflagging in his efforts to broker a solution in Geneva, would be on good terms with both sides and would not let emotion or frustration get in the way, even if the talks falter.

Western diplomats say it may be useful to have Naumkin in the room at the talks. One said it would encourage the Syrian government delegation to stay at the table despite its reluctance to sit down with its opponents.

Another said it could also be reassuring to the opposition, since the Kremlin has leverage over Damascus: “If the hypothesis is that the Russians will be putting pressure on the regime, maybe it is good to have this guy there.”

 

(Additional reporting by Olga Dzubenko in BISHKEK, Jack Stubbs and Dmitry Solovyov in MOSCOW, Olzhas Auyezov in ALMATY and Tom Miles and Suleiman Al-Khalidi in GENEVA; writing by Christian Lowe; editing by Peter Graff)

Массовые протесты, прокатившиеся волной по арабским странам, дали импульс «тектоническому сдвигу» на Ближнем Востоке. Происходит тотальное переустройство всей системы культурных, социальных, экономических и политических отношений.

Вызвано оно, в основном, внутренними причинами – как политэкономическими, так и культурно-цивилизационными, но очевидна и связь с наиболее тревожными трендами глобального развития. Утрата управляемости международными процессами, возвращение в них фактора силы, повышение роли случайности, укрепление мировой периферии, кризис национальных государств и идентичностей находят здесь концентрированное выражение.

Исследование подготовлено командой авторов ИВ РАН, членов IMESClub.

 
Доступно для скачивания в PDF на:
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Supervised by: Vitaly Naumkin
 
 Research team: Irina Zvyagelskaya, Vasily Kuznetsov, Nikolay Soukhov

The mass-scale protests in Arab countries triggered a tectonic shift in the Middle East.
Its entire system of cultural, social, economic, and political relations is undergoing reconstruction.

This reconstruction can be attributed to mostly internal causes – political, economic, cultural, and civilisation-related – but there is an obvious link to the most alarming trends of global development. Its gist lies in the loss of control over international processes,the return of the factor of force, the growing role of accidents, the strengthening of the world’s periphery, and the crises of national states and identities.

The material for discussion has been prepared upon the request of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club by the research team of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, IMESClub members.
 
Available for download [PDF] in:
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Supervised by: Vitaly Naumkin
 
 Research team: Irina Zvyagelskaya, Vasily Kuznetsov, Nikolay Soukhov

Пятница, 11 Март 2016 16:46

Remembering Harold Saunders

Harold H. Saunders has passed away. It's a huge loss for all who knew him, who worked with him on numerous issues of international agenda including the Arab-Israeli Peace Process, public dialogue in Central Asia and Caucasus and etc. It's a huge loss for the international relations. Deep condolences to his family. 

 

Harold H. Saunders, assistant secretary of state in the Carter administration and the recently retired director of international affairs at the Kettering Foundation, who spent more than 20 years in high foreign policy positions in the United States government, died on March 6, 2016, at his home. He was 85. The cause of death was prostate cancer.

“Hal Saunders served with distinction under six U.S. presidents and was a significant figure in America’s international affairs for more than 50 years. We were fortunate to have had his good counsel for much of that time,” David Mathews, Kettering Foundation president, said. “In addition, we will remember his interest in young people. He reached out to college students and built a network devoted to sustained dialogue, one of the primary themes of his work in recent years.”

“He tackled some of the greatest challenges of our times —  protracted conflict, destructive relationships, weak governance, dysfunctional democracy and the need for a new world view,” Dr. Mathews continued.

Saunders joined the National Security Council staff in 1961 and served through the Johnson and Nixon administrations as the council’s Mideast expert, a period that saw the Six-Day War of June 1967, the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the Kissinger shuttles.  He was appointed deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs in 1974, director of intelligence and research in 1975, and was appointed by President Carter to be assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs in 1978.

During his tenure as assistant secretary, Saunders was a principal architect of the Camp David Accords and the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. In the early morning hours of November 4, 1979, a call was patched through to his home from Tehran, and over the next two hours he listened to the overrun of the American Embassy. For the next 444 days, Saunders worked tirelessly to free the American hostages, culminating in their release on January 20, 1981.

For his contributions to American diplomacy, Saunders received the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Service, the government’s highest award for civilian career officials, and the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award. After leaving government service in 1981, he was associated with the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution for 10 years before joining the Kettering Foundation as director of international Affairs.  In 1981, he also became U.S. co-chair of the Task Force on Regional Conflicts for the Dartmouth Conference, the longest continuous dialogue between American and Soviet now Russian citizens.

“Hal Saunders served with distinction under six U.S. presidents and was a significant figure in America’s international affairs for more than 50 years. We were fortunate to have had his good counsel for much of that time,” David Mathews, Kettering Foundation president, said. “In addition, we will remember his interest in young people. He reached out to college students and built a network devoted to sustained dialogue, one of the primary themes of his work in recent years.”

“He tackled some of the greatest challenges of our times —  protracted conflict, destructive relationships, weak governance, dysfunctional democracy and the need for a new world view,” Dr. Mathews continued.

Harold H. Saunders was born in Philadelphia on December 27, 1930, and graduated from Germantown Academy there.  He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in English and American Civilization and received a doctorate in American Studies from Yale University in 1956.  He was president of his class at Princeton, later served on the Board of Trustees at Princeton and received the Class of 1952’s “Excellence in Career” award.

Over the past 35 years, Dr. Saunders developed and practiced the process of Sustained Dialogue, which he described as a “five-stage public peace process” to transform racial and ethnic conflicts.  He was the author of four books, co-author of another and co-editor of still another, all dealing with issues of international peace.

In 1999 he wrote A Public Peace Process: Sustained Dialogue to Transform Racial and Ethnic Conflict.  That experience led to his founding the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (now the Sustained Dialogue Institute), which he served as chairman and president until his retirement on December 31, 2015. He is also the author of The Other Walls: The Arab-Israeli Peace Process in a Global Perspective (1985), Politics Is about Relationship: A Blueprint for the Citizens’ Century (2005), and Sustained Dialogue in Conflicts: Transformation and Change (2011).

Through IISD/SDI he moderated dialogues among citizens outside government, from the civil war in Tajikistan to deep tensions among Arabs, Europeans, and Americans and all factions in Iraq.  More recently, he had been collaborating with established organizations in the U.S., South Africa, Israel and the Americas to embed sustained dialogue in their programs.

Dr. Saunders was the recipient of many awards.  From Germantown Academy, he received its first Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002.  He was given Search for Common Ground’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy in 2010.

He served on the board for the Hollings Center, the executive committee of the Institute for East-West Security Studies and on the boards of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, Internews,  and Partners for Democratic Change and had been a member of the International Negotiation Network at the Carter Presidential Center.  He served on the governing council of the International Society of Political Psychology, which presented him the 1999 Nevitt Sanford Award for “distinguished professional contributions to political psychology.” 

He taught international relationships and conflict resolution at George Mason University and at Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.  He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

He was awarded honorary degrees of doctor of letters by New England College, doctor of international relations by Dickinson College, doctor of humane letters by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and doctor of arts, letters, and Humanities by Susquehanna University.  He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and had participated in a Roman Catholic-Reformed Churches dialogue.

Dr. Saunders’ first wife, the former Barbara McGarrigle, died in 1973. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Carol Jones Cruse Saunders, a son, Mark and daughter-in-law, Robin Stafford, daughter Catherine, a step-daughter, Caryn Hoadley, and her husband, Brad Wetstone, three grandchildren and two step-grandsons.

Посол Королевства Саудовская Аравия в России Абдулрахман бин Ибрахим Ал Расси — об истории и современных подходах Саудовской Аравии к развитию отношений с Россией

Сегодня саудовско-российским отношениям исполняется 90 лет. 16 февраля 1926 года Советский Союз направил королю-основателю Абдель Азизу Ибн Аль-Сауду послание, в котором заявил об официальном признании Королевства Саудовская Аравия, называвшегося тогда Королевством Хиджаза и Султанатом Неджда и присоединенных территорий, став первым в мире государством, признавшим КСА. В ответ король выразил полную готовность налаживать дружественные отношения с правительством и народом Советского Союза.

Обмен посланиями стал отправной точкой в политическом диалоге между двумя странами. Высшей точкой этого диалога стал в то время исторический визит в СССР саудовского министра иностранных дел (а впоследствии короля СА) принца Фейсала бин Абдель Азиза. Визит состоялся в 1932 году — в год провозглашения Королевства Саудовская Аравия — и стал важным моментом в развитии двусторонних отношений. При этом следует отметить, что частные контакты между российскими и саудовскими общественными и политическими деятелями поддерживались и прежде. В своем «Очерке саудовско-российских отношений с начала XX века» саудовский исследователь д-р Абдельрахман Аль-Шбейли, член Культурного центра имени Хамад Аль-Джасера, упоминает, что первые контакты в саудовско-российских отношениях состоялись в Кувейте на заре прошлого века, задолго до признания королевства правительством России. Среди контактов такого рода были и встречи российских представителей с имамом Абдель Рахманом и его сыном — будущим королем-основателем КСА Абдель Азизом.

Говоря о саудовско-российских отношениях, нельзя не отдать дань памяти человеку, стоявшему у истоков этих отношений и сыгравшему важную роль в их историографии. Речь идет о дипломате Кериме Хакимове, главе советской миссии в Джидде. Как вспоминала в своем последнем интервью его супруга Хадиджа-ханум, Керим Хакимов строил большие планы по укреплению отношений с королевством. Но в апреле 1938 года связи между Россией и Саудовской Аравией, развивавшиеся к тому времени на протяжении нескольких лет, были заморожены.

Замораживание двусторонних отношений более чем на полвека не принесло пользы нашим народам и лишило их возможности взаимного общения. Восстановление отношений между Россией и КСА потребует терпения и совместных усилий. Новый старт развитию двусторонних связей был дан 17 сентября 1990 года с подписанием Совместного заявления о возобновлении дипломатических отношений между нашими странами на незыблемых принципах и основах. Так был начат новый этап в развитии двустороннего сотрудничества, укреплявшегося в ходе дальнейших исторических визитов в Россию короля Абдуллы бин Абдель Азиза в сентябре 2003 года (тогда он был наследным принцем) и короля Салмана бин Абдель Азиза в 2006 году (тогда он был эмиром Риядского округа), а также президента Российской Федерации В.В. Путина в Саудовскую Аравию в феврале 2007 года.

Эти важные вехи демонстрируют всю глубину российско-саудовских отношений. Наряду с общими историческими факторами Россию и Саудовскую Аравию объединяют схожие подходы по целому ряду аспектов международных отношений. Оба государства основывают свою внешнюю политику на принципах невмешательства во внутренние дела суверенных государств; обе страны занимают похожие позиции в ООН, а в экономическом плане разделяют международную ответственность, которую налагает на них членство в G20.

Исходя из этого, руководство Саудовской Аравии приняло решение о выстраивании стратегических связей с Россией, сознавая при этом, что в основе таких отношений должно лежать реальное экономическое партнерство, приносящее обеим сторонам прямые и серьезные дивиденды.

Каждый, кто следит за развитием двустороннего сотрудничества, не мог не заметить, что после двух визитов преемника наследного принца Мухаммада бин Салмана в Россию и его переговоров с российским президентом Владимиром Путиным в июне и в октябре 2015 года в сотрудничестве двух стран открылись новые горизонты, а в двусторонних отношениях произошли качественные перемены. В ходе визитов состоялось подписание соглашений и меморандумов о взаимопонимании по наращиванию сотрудничества во всех сферах. Наиболее важным из подписанных документов стало соглашение об инвестировании $10 млрд в рамках партнерства между Саудовским фондом публичных инвестиций и Российским фондом прямых инвестиций.

Встреча Хранителя двух святынь короля Салмана бин Абдель Азиза Аль-Сауда с российским президентом Владимиром Путиным в ноябре 2015 года на полях саммита G20 в Турции дала мощный импульс наращиванию двустороннего сотрудничества во всех сферах.

Последовавший за саммитом интенсивный обмен визитами подтвердил высокую заинтересованность обеих сторон в дальнейшем расширении отношений. Следует отметить визит в Москву саудовской делегации, состоявшийся в ноябре 2015 года. В состав делегации вошли высокопоставленные представители 24 правительственных ведомств, принявшие участие в IV заседании Межправительственной комиссии по торгово-экономическому и научно-техническому сотрудничеству. Одновременно состоялись выставка и форум саудовского бизнеса под слоганом «Инвестируй в Королевство» с участием более 100 предпринимателей из Саудовской Аравии. В ходе этого визита представители деловых кругов двух стран подписали 15 контрактов.

Уделяя должное внимание всестороннему развитию двусторонних отношений, в королевстве не забывают, что в России проживает более 20 млн мусульман (около 13,6% населения), и неизменно стремятся окружить заботой российских паломников, совершающих хадж в святые места. Ежегодно хадж совершают около 16–20 тыс. российских мусульман и еще несколько тысяч совершают умру (малый хадж).

Все эти факты свидетельствуют о широких перспективах всестороннего развития и укрепления двусторонних отношений вплоть до создания стратегического партнерства во всех сферах.

Речь идет о выстраивании стратегических отношений, основанных на твердом фундаменте и деловых связях. Я убежден, что в этом году мы ощутим позитивные результаты работы, проделанной в области двустороннего сотрудничества, особенно в торгово-экономической, инвестиционной и культурной областях.



Источник: http://izvestia.ru/news/604194#ixzz42SM1njeU