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Middle East Press (17 Jun 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Syria Pays for ISIS Attack in Tehran By Huda al Husseini: New Age Islam's Selection, 17 June 2017





New Age Islam Edit Bureau

17 June 2017

Syria Pays For ISIS Attack in Tehran

By Huda Al Husseini

How Iran Exploited Tehran Terror Attacks For Its Own Gain

By Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

What Qatar’s Role in Yemen Tells about the Gulf Crisis

By Dr. Manuel Almeida

Why Gulf Experts Missed the Qatar Crisis

By Sinem Cengiz

Mediating the Qatari Crisis

By Mashari Althaydi

The SCO and Middle East: Expanding Stakes and New Approaches

By Talmiz Ahmad

Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau

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Syria Pays For ISIS Attack in Tehran

By Huda al Husseini

16 June 2017

What happened was expected, but who would have imagined that the response would be as it came. Terrorist attacks targeted a main institution that is the Parliament Building; it is a symbolic building, the shrine of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini. As for the terrorists, they were Iranian citizens.

The reaction of a group of Syrians was: “We, the Syrians, have suffered a lot from terrorism, ISIS, al-Assad and the Iranian regime; we stand in solidarity with all the victimized peoples everywhere.”

Iran mixes between ISIS and the Gulf states. In fact, ISIS represents a more serious threat to the Arab countries than to Iran. Iran’s situation is better than that of Arab countries because extremist groups, whether Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Popular Mobilization and its militias in Iraq, or the Houthi groups in Yemen, are all pro-Iranian militias.

Security Taken By Surprise

The Iranian security was taken by surprise by what happened and stopped all the communication networks “because of terrorist activities.” This is the biggest terrorist operation in Iran in 10 years. The Iranians were confused because the reaction on the ground did not match with what local television stations reported, trying to ease the impact of the attacks.

In fact, a number of terrorists had made their way through many checkpoints, and according to a report, they dressed as women. It took several hours to control the situation and kill the terrorists.

The success of ISIS in carrying out a terrorist operation in Iran was expected due to already known reasons, but during the last couple of months, observers have seen a remarkable development and predicted the occurrence of a terrorist operation.

In late March, the organization broadcast a video in Persian, calling on the Sunni minority in Iran to rebel against the Shiite-dominated Iranian institutions. The Iranian Broadcasting Corporation described the video as nonsense and said that it was an attempt by ISIS to cover its increasing losses in Iraq. Iranian officials revealed last year that they had stopped several ISIS attacks. After the video, ISIS published 4 editions of its online publication ‘Rumiyah’ in Persian. It is published in English, French, Russian and Indonesian.

With the rise of ISIS, Iranian officials including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have warned that they will take “decisive actions” if ISIS militants came just 40 kilometres near Iran’s border.

Charlie Winter, a senior researcher at the International Centre for the Study of Political Extremism and Violence, says that ISIS used to publish the translation of selected articles and statements in Persian, but this was the first time that ‘Rumiyah’ was published in Persian. (Rumiyah is derived from the name of Rome, and the organization considers that when it occupies the Italian capital, then the whole world will be under ISIS control).

According to Winter, the organization has been publishing articles in Persian and translated videos since 2015. However, with the Persian edition of ‘Rumiyah’, “it seems that a logical progress has already taken place.”

Winter had co-authored a report published by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, based in The Hague, in which seven Iranians committed suicide attacks in Iraq and Syria between December 2015 and November 2016.

In the first issue of ‘Rumiyah’ in Persian, ISIS called for killing of ‘infidels’, and to consider killing as Halal and a form of prayer.

The cover of the second issue was a blood-stained knife, with tips on how to kill the infidels with a knife (we have seen this in the London Bridge attacks that took place recently in Britain).

The other four issues were translations from previous editions of ‘Rumiyah’.

Online Propaganda

ISIS online propaganda is an important pillar in its strategy that is used to attract sympathizers from all over the world, thousands of whom have travelled to Syria and Iraq. It is difficult to measure the degree of its success in Iran.

Some analysts believe that the ideology of ISIS has little interest among Sunni Iranians constituting between 5 and 10 percent of the total 81 million populations, although Sunnis in Iran are routinely subjected to harassment, discrimination and marginalization. However, ISIS remains a threat to Iran.

Last August, Intelligence minister Mahmoud Alawi said that the authorities had prevented 1,500 Iranians from joining ISIS.

Last week, in the eastern province of Nangarhar in Afghanistan, where reports confirm that ISIS is active, the Afghan authorities published a video of a man claiming that he is from western Iran’s Azerbaijan and had joined ISIS through the Telegram application, the most widespread means of communication in Iran.

He said: “By the name of God, I am Yasser from Western Azerbaijan” claiming that an unspecified number of Iranians have joined and arrived in Nangarhar. The fact that the four attackers of the parliament and the shrine of Khomeini came from a Sunni Kurdish town, means that Iranians of different ethnicities have joined ISIS. The Kurdish media are full of stories from Iranian Kurds groups (also from Iraq’s Kurds) who joined ISIS and the Fatah al-Sham group that is linked to al-Qaeda. The Kurdish channels that are loyal to ISIS aired dozens of videos of Iranian Kurds reaching Raqqa and Mosul.

Difficult To Gain Sympathy

ISIS has long sought to launch an attack inside Iran, where 90 percent of the population is Shiite, and the proportion of Shiites in Tehran amounts to 95 percent. Thus, it is difficult for ISIS to gain sympathy or potential in recruiting new members in Iran, which is also the case in the Arab and Muslim world with Sunni majority.

ISIS or others, plotting a terrorist operation within Iran was expected. There is rising anger among Sunnis and the Arab world against Iran and its interference in Arab countries and the Middle East to achieve its ambitions, and its support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad that is responsible for a large number of civilian casualties, its support for former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Lebanese Hezbollah and Shiite militias in Iraq.

Even at the level of non-political and non-religious groups, there is a considerable hostility towards the Iranian regime.

On the other hand, these extremist Sunni radical groups, whether ISIS, al-Qaeda or others, are seeking to overthrow Arab regimes before overthrowing the Iranian regime. Therefore, the Iranian regime seeks to distort the image of Saudi Arabia to protect itself as it knows that Persian nationalism is against Saudi Arabia, and this hostility brings together the Iranian opposition and religious clerics. This is where the sectarian religious factor fades.

What has happened is a setback for the government and officials who were till now proud that Iran was a safe haven in a terrorized Middle East. What has happened shook the confidence of many Iranians regarding their security forces because they discovered that their mysterious security system can be penetrated and decoded.

Deeply Involved In Syria Conflict

Iran has been deeply involved in the Syrian conflict. It has given billions of dollars to the Assad regime, where millions have been displaced and turned into refugees. It is therefore illogical for Iran to remain immune to the Syrian backlash, not to mention that it has supported terrorism in the region and the world.

The attack of ISIS will not have a moderate effect on Iran’s regional policies. The first response on the field was the images of General Qassem Soleimani on the Iraqi-Syrian borders, with mercenary fighters from the Afghan Fatimiyon brigade.

The regime tends to use this terrorist attack to continue its support for the Assad regime and the Popular Mobilization in Iraq, under the pretext that it is better to fight ISIS outside Iran rather than inside one’s own country. However, ISIS was able to destabilize Iran.

The Itimad newspaper published an article in which it considered the attack as a ‘golden opportunity’ to show national unity and warned of ‘childish’ retaliation attempts.

Another newspaper pointed the finger at Michael D’Andrea, the new head of the CIA’s Iran Operations. The problem in this case is that the one who prepared the poison will be suffering from it, and the pain may have reached Iran.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/06/16/Syria-pays-for-ISIS-attack-in-Tehran.html

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How Iran Exploited Tehran Terror Attacks for Its Own Gain

By Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

16 June 2017

This week, Iran’s state-owned media made outlandish accusations and vigorously lashed out at the US and Saudi Arabia over the attacks in Tehran. They were following Tehran’s agenda as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and other Iranian leaders escalated anti-US and anti-Saudi sentiment by issuing incendiary statements.

After Friday prayers, the government staged demonstrations during a funeral ceremony, with chants of “death to the US” and “death to Saudi Arabia.” Khamenei said the attacks in Tehran will only hurt the US and Saudi governments, and “will not damage the Iranian nation’s determination.”

This is part of Iran’s broader agenda to fuel hatred of the US, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab nations, and thereby create more instability that will enable Tehran to further expand its regional influence. Iran is also taking advantage of the Tehran attacks to crack down on domestic opposition, including minorities such as the Kurds and Sunni Arabs. Tehran’s sectarian agenda is anchored in deepening the gap between Sunnis and Shiites.

Iran will use the Tehran attacks to dispatch more of its forces to Syria and Iraq, and to send more financial and military aid to militias and proxies across the region. Khamenei is exploiting the attacks to buttress his long-held, three-pronged narrative that Iran has enemies, it is a victim, and it is a force against terror groups, particularly Sunni ones.

This narrative is totally inaccurate. Iran is listed as the top state sponsor of terrorism by various intelligence reports. Even the State Department under former US President Barack Obama said Iran “remained the foremost state sponsor of terrorism… providing a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to groups around the world,” particularly Hezbollah.

It added: “Iran continued to be deeply involved in the conflict in Syria, working closely with the (Assad) regime to counter the Syrian opposition, and also in Iraq where Iran continued to provide support to militia groups.” It was also “implicated for its support to violent Shia opposition group attacks in Bahrain.”

My research at Harvard University revealed that roughly 40 percent of world-designated terrorist groups are supported by only one government: Iran’s. More fundamentally, the argument that Shiite Iran is at the opposite end of the spectrum regarding Sunni extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh is totally inaccurate.

There is plenty of credible and substantiated evidence that Iran not only supports Shiite fundamentalist groups, but has backed leaders of other extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda. For example, a bipartisan 9/11 commission report pointed out that there was “strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of Al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.”

Iran supports any terror and extremist group that shares its anti-American and anti-Saudi agenda. It is deplorable that whenever there is a terrorist attack in another country, Iranian leaders and media blame the grieving nations. It is despicable to display jubilance over such attacks and to try to score political points.

For example, when the Paris attacks occurred, Kayhan newspaper — considered a mouthpiece of Khamenei, who appoints the editor in chief — had a front-page headline that read: “The rabid dog of the Islamic State (Daesh) bit the leg of its owners.”

Iran is blatantly taking advantage of the Tehran attacks and people’s suffering to advance its regional ambitions, suppress opposition and fuel anti-American, anti-Saudi and anti-Sunni sentiment.

Source: arabnews.com/node/1116201#

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What Qatar’s Role in Yemen Tells about the Gulf Crisis

By Dr. Manuel Almeida

16 June 2017

Soon after the eruption of the current crisis centered on Qatar, Kuwait set itself once again to play the role of mediator. Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah was quoted by his country’s state news agency as affirming Qatar’s readiness to “understand the reality of the qualms and concerns of their brothers” of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

By now it should be evident to Doha what those concerns are, as they were conveyed during the previous diplomatic spat in 2014. They go beyond its support for the Muslim Brotherhood — whose longstanding links with violent extremism continue to be underestimated in the West — and all sorts of Islamist militants.

Take Yemen. Exactly 10 years ago, a cease-fire between the government and the Houthis ended what is known as the fourth Saada war, named after the governorate the Zaydi revivalist group calls home.

The high-profile peace-broker was none other than Qatar’s then-Emir Sheikh Hamad bin-Khalifa Al-Thani, who traveled to Yemen himself. Qatar’s cosy relationship with Iran, at the time already accused by Yemeni government officials of backing and radicalizing the Houthis and incentivizing their armed insurgency, played an important role in placing Doha in the mediator’s seat.

By mid-June 2007, the Qatari peace plan had taken shape. It included temporary exile in Doha for key Houthi leaders Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, Abdul Karim Al-Houthi and Abdullah Al-Ruzami, as well as a joint committee with representatives from Qatar, the Yemeni government and the Houthis.

Yet the fighting in the north did not abate, and various Yemeni factions and government officials blamed the Doha Agreement for giving the insurgents equal standing to the government. The following year, when Qatar’s mediation appeared to bear fruit, the conflict resumed. Doha withdrew and failed to live up to its promises to invest in the areas most affected by the war.

Qatar’s foreign policy transformation under Sheikh Hamad was often described as a “friends with everyone approach,” before things started to unravel when some of its gambles in the era of the Arab uprisings did not pay off.

Less publicized was the existence of an implicit pact that would come to influence Qatar’s regional policy, arguably to a substantial degree. Fearful of the threat represented by Islamist activity at home, the government provided the Brotherhood and like-minded groups with a safe haven and its largesse, in exchange for a guarantee of non-interference in Qatar’s domestic scene.

Among the many radical Islamists finding solace in Doha were the Taliban, which opened an office while living luxuriously there; Egyptian preacher Yusuf Qaradawi, with his incendiary fatwas (religious edicts) sanctioning suicide bombings; and during the 1990s Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of 9/11.

During the Arab uprisings, Qatar made a big bet that various Arab governments would be overthrown and replaced by Islamists, highly organized compared to other weak or non-existent political opposition. Perhaps in the minds of Qatar’s leadership was the 1979 Iranian revolution, which started as a people’s revolution and ended up dominated by the ayatollahs.

In Yemen, this approach was translated in a huge spike in Qatari support for Islah, the political faction dominated by the local branch of the Brotherhood, which features a radical Islamist faction with many overlaps with Al-Qaeda.

Already the most powerful opposition group in Yemen and now with Qatar’s political, financial and media backing, Islah played a dominant role in the uprisings against ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. In a famed speech in April 2011, just a few months before signing a GCC-sponsored power-transfer deal, Saleh said: “We derive our legitimacy from the strength of our glorious Yemeni people, not from Qatar, whose initiative we reject.”

Qatar found itself in a close relationship with the leadership of the Houthi militias, while at the same time backing their nemeses Islah, as well as Al-Qaeda. When the present diplomatic crisis erupted, the Houthi leadership was quick to express its support for and solidarity with Qatar.

Saleh was often accused of turning a blind eye to Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, while capitalizing on generous US funds for counterterrorism. But he once exposed an alleged Qatari request not to confront Al-Qaeda and let Doha mediate with the terrorist group instead.

Qatar’s role in Yemen, oblivious to the fragility of the state and the complexity of the local political and tribal landscape, is a good illustration of its regional policies’ reckless opportunism. But Qatari backing for Al-Qaeda in Yemen and Syria, all sorts of extremists in Libya, radical elements of the Brotherhood and even Lebanon’s Hezbollah is only part of the story.

It is also about deserving the trust of those who treat it as an ally and abandoning its hubristic regional policy, which seems devoid of concerns about long-term consequences. In a highly volatile Middle East, the world’s richest country per capita could surely play a more lucid and stabilizing role.

Source; arabnews.com/node/1116206

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Why Gulf Experts Missed the Qatar Crisis

By Sinem Cengiz

16 June 2017

The Gulf is of great strategic importance due to its energy resources and geographic location. Yet despite this, the history of the region’s international relations was neglected by academics for decades. Traditionally, Middle East studies have centered on the Arab-Israeli conflict or on the role of Islam. But with developments since the 1970s such as Iran’s 1979 revolution, the 1991 Gulf war and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, interest in the Gulf has increased.

This can be seen in the opening of research centers in Gulf countries in recent years. But this interest is mainly in the context of oil and security, preventing academics and experts from comprehensively understanding domestic and socio-political issues in the region. This reductionist view is not limited to Western scholars but also Turkish ones.

Until recent years, in Turkey one could not find a university thesis on the Gulf. The region is only discussed in Turkey when there are crises, high-level visits or major agreements signed. Despite developing relations between Turkey and the Gulf countries in recent years, the focus has been largely on oil and politics rather than the region’s dynamics.

The current Gulf crisis is not related to oil or Qatar’s foreign relations, but to inter-Gulf relations, a historical dispute between the region’s countries and several other issues that do not take their rightful place in mainstream academia.

Knowledge of the region that involves sitting at a desk and relying on secondary sources will never work. One needs to use primary sources, conduct fieldwork and know the language. Sadly, Turkey has a poor record in this regard because it kept a distance from the region for decades and lacked sufficient knowledge of Arabic. As such, “experts” in Turkey do not see the full picture, which has led to a misunderstanding of the causes of the current crisis.

Having lived in the Gulf for 16 years and studied the region for nearly 10, I am familiar with the challenges involved. But lazy scholarship is one of the reasons why scholars did not see the current crisis coming. As a well-known Twitter user wrote: “The Gulf experts who didn’t see this coming are now explaining to you what it means.”

An urgent awakening is needed to solve the region’s problems and to understand it better. Those who claim to be Middle East or Gulf experts have a responsibility not to resort to conspiracy theories to explain developments, and to pay more attention to the region.

Source: arabnews.com/node/1116211

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Mediating the Qatari Crisis

By Mashari Althaydi

16 June 2017

Several mediation efforts have been initiated to end the Qatar crisis. The Turkish President Erdogan has been clear in taking the Qatari side from the beginning. This may weaken his credibility in the mediations because he openly said that Qatar is oppressed and cannot be held accountable.

Would that mean that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, along with Jordan, Mauritania and some other countries, all have no proof against Qatar?

However, according to the Anadolu agency, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mouloud Jawish Oglu said after his visit to Doha that the “crisis must be overcome through dialogue and peace and Turkey is willing to help.”

I wish all the success for the Turkish efforts but I think Turkey will not be more trustworthy, considerate or interrelated compared to Kuwait – the founding state of the Gulf system – whose efforts have not succeeded until now, despite the great respect among Gulf leaders of the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad.

This is not due to the “intransigence” of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and the rest of the Arab and African countries, but rather it is because no one has tackled the essence of the problem yet. As Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid said, the problem is not just a matter of “concerns” that Qatar should be ready to understand!

Tangible Proof

Indeed, it is not a matter of concerns but rather tangible proof and a long history that has not been revealed yet; it is not even a matter of reassuring but rather urging Doha to stop these policies, efforts, information, and troubles.

As the UAE ambassador in Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, told al-Ittihad newspaper: “What should Qatar do? First, it must recognize what the world already knows: Doha has become a financial, media and ideological source of extremism. Then Qatar must take decisive action to solve the problem of extremism for good.”

Turkey’s Erdogan is not the only one who wants to underestimate the problem; even European countries are doing so under the pretext of uniting the efforts to fight terrorism. They are acting as if the Saudi, Emirati, Egyptian, Bahraini and Yemeni speeches disagreed with Doha for some other reasons.

We all want what is good for the Qataris and Qatar. At the end they are part of the Gulf region. However, the “statement of account” of Qatar’s policies for 20 years is what led us here today.

Do mediators have the ability to “understand” the reasons of this anger? Do they really understand the seriousness of the political chaos and the activities encouraging strife?

If they do, it won’t be difficult for them to urge Doha to adopt an upright approach; it will be better for them, their neighbours and the whole world.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/06/16/Mediating-the-Qatari-crisis.html

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The SCO and Middle East: Expanding Stakes and New Approaches

By Talmiz Ahmad

16 June 2017

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) began life in 1996 when China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan set up the “Shanghai Five” as a regional confidence-building forum. It was re-christened as the SCO with the membership of Uzbekistan in 2001.

The accession of India and Pakistan to full membership at the Astana Summit on June 8-9 is the first expansion of the SCO in 16 years. SCO observers are: Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus, while Turkey, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.

The SCO has a total population of 3.5 billion, nearly 50 percent of the world population, and the combined GDP in absolute figures that is over 25 percent of global GDP. It has considerable geopolitical significance in that it links the Asia-Pacific and the Atlantic with South Asia and West Asia, as its secretary general, Rashid Alimov, has recently noted.

West Asian issues have been discussed at the SCO for the last several years. All the members are concerned about the three evils of “terrorism, extremism and separatism” since transnational extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, anchored in West Asia, get several recruits from SCO members and in turn threaten them with radicalisation and violence.

The conflict in Afghanistan and the associated radicalism has affected SCO members over the last 35 years and remains an important area of concern today. Now, the Syrian conflict has captured SCO attention as well. At a recent meeting of SCO defence ministers, the threat from ISIS and the al-Qaeda-affiliate Jabhat Nusra was highlighted.

Russia, with two SCO observers, Iran and Turkey, is spearheading the ceasefire and the peace process, with meetings of government and opposition groups taking place in Astana to complement the UN-sponsored Geneva conferences. The interest of both Iran and Turkey in obtaining full membership of SCO is being strongly backed by Russia and China.

Connectivity Projects

West Asia is also important to the SCO as the pathway for transnational connectivity projects. Thus, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), promoted by Russia, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) sponsored by China, which envisage linkages across the Eurasian continent and the Indian Ocean, and India’s projects from Iranian ports to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia, give central importance to West Asia.

Addressing the sixth China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in 2014, President Xi Jinping saw the West Asian states as “natural partners” in building the BRI projects, and suggested that the two sides should “build a community of common interest and common destiny”.

Besides logistical links, the president also saw wider links between China and the Arab world, including energy, trade and investment, and the new frontier areas of space technology, and nuclear and renewable energy. These perceptions are shared by India, whose prime minister, after very robust engagements with regional nations, has shaped solid strategic and economic partnerships with West Asia.

The biggest concern that the SCO states have regarding West Asia relates to the security situation that is marked by: the regional confrontation, the wars in Syria and Yemen, the rising tide of sectarianism in defining regional differences, and, above all, trans-national militant groups with their lethal assaults and the attacks of their “lone-wolf” adherents which target the region and beyond.

The successful implementation of the BRI land and sea projects requires that the pathways of the routes be secure. However, so far SCO has displayed neither the capacity nor the interest in pursuing this onerous but important responsibility.

New Approach

To play a more credible role in regional security affairs, the SCO needs to put into effect some much-needed changes in its organization and functioning and the range of its engagements.

First, following its recent expansion, it must promote greater internal cohesion and cooperation. For instance, the various BRI and other regional connectivity projects should not be projected as sponsored by specific countries but promoted as cooperative ventures of the grouping as a whole. And, linked with this, the projects themselves should be the product of region-wide consultations and take on board the core interests and sensitivities of partner countries.

Thus, India has found it difficult to associate itself with the BRI initiative since a major project involved, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), takes no account of the disputed character of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). It is a welcome development that the Indian and Chinese leaders spoke frankly to each other on this subject at the Astana summit.

Regional Forum

Secondly, the SCO should approve an “SCO Regional Forum” on the lines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), where members, observers and dialogue partners could engage in a free and frank discussion of security issues with a wide range of interlocutors.

This forum could be supported by a Track-II platform on the lines of the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) that supports the ARF.

Finally, given the importance of the connectivity projects that envisage a central place to West Asian and the significance of ties with the West Asian nations for all SCO members, some major Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE and should be invited to be dialogue partners of the SCO as an institution. Only then will it be possible for the SCO members to shape an effective approach to regional security issues.

Source; english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/06/16/The-SCO-and-Middle-East-Expanding-stakes-and-new-approaches.html

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