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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    .....
    Last edited by Vrej1915; 08-28-2015, 11:07 PM.

    Comment


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
      Nah he is spot on as far as you are concerned. That post represents you and mr muradian/lragir perfectly as the mouthpiece for western propaganda that you are. I very much doubt your ability to have any original thoughts at all since all you are capable of is reposting garbage from one garbage publication produced by one garbage of an author. I think garbage is actually a very accurate description of you period.
      Dumdum

      Comment


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        Georgia: How Much Is Too Much NATO?
        August 27, 2015,
        by Giorgi Lomsadze
        http://www.eurasianet.org/node/74846


        For his part, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg, on his first trip to Georgia, appeared to try to play things in the center.

        The center, he said at its opening, was all about making the Georgian army “more capable and more modern.”

        “There is more Georgia in NATO and more NATO in Georgia,” he added, in case anyone hadn’t noticed.

        Georgia, NATO’s only eager ally in the South Caucasus, has heard this line before, albeit in the future tense. In December 2014, NATO promised that “there will be a lot more Georgia in NATO and lot of NATO in Georgia.”

        The catchphrase refers to the so-called Substantial Package, a military-reform collaboration program that NATO adopted at its summit in Wales last September. The program also includes sending “embedded” NATO trainers to Georgia and holding joint exercises.

        As far as Moscow is concerned, though, there is too much NATO in Georgia.

        “Those, who in such a situation continue to actively drag Tbilisi into NATO, must be aware of their responsibility, especially given the regrettable experience in the region in 2008,” observed Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Interfax reported.

        Mindful of the Russian reaction, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili made sure to emphasize that the new training facility means no harm to any country.

        Georgian Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli, though, was more direct. She emphasized at the opening that the center testifies to the “irreversibility of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” and expressed the hope that Georgia’s efforts to become NATO compatible will be reflected in any decisions about membership that the Alliance may make at its next summit, in 2016 in Warsaw.

        Hedging, Stoltenberg said that he cannot “pre-judge” summit decisions, but added that “Georgia already has the necessary tools to make progress toward membership.” As NATO so frequently does, though, he added that work remains to be done.

        Earlier summits have fallen short of Georgian expectations to receive a Membership Action Plan and resulted in new homework assignments.

        Nonetheless, NATO caution or Russian threats aside, Khidasheli isn’t giving up. “We optimistically view the future . . . “ she declared.

        Comment


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
          Georgia: How Much Is Too Much NATO?
          August 27, 2015,
          by Giorgi Lomsadze
          http://www.eurasianet.org/node/74846


          For his part, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg, on his first trip to Georgia, appeared to try to play things in the center.

          The center, he said at its opening, was all about making the Georgian army “more capable and more modern.”

          “There is more Georgia in NATO and more NATO in Georgia,” he added, in case anyone hadn’t noticed.

          Georgia, NATO’s only eager ally in the South Caucasus, has heard this line before, albeit in the future tense. In December 2014, NATO promised that “there will be a lot more Georgia in NATO and lot of NATO in Georgia.”

          The catchphrase refers to the so-called Substantial Package, a military-reform collaboration program that NATO adopted at its summit in Wales last September. The program also includes sending “embedded” NATO trainers to Georgia and holding joint exercises.

          As far as Moscow is concerned, though, there is too much NATO in Georgia.

          “Those, who in such a situation continue to actively drag Tbilisi into NATO, must be aware of their responsibility, especially given the regrettable experience in the region in 2008,” observed Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Interfax reported.

          Mindful of the Russian reaction, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili made sure to emphasize that the new training facility means no harm to any country.

          Georgian Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli, though, was more direct. She emphasized at the opening that the center testifies to the “irreversibility of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” and expressed the hope that Georgia’s efforts to become NATO compatible will be reflected in any decisions about membership that the Alliance may make at its next summit, in 2016 in Warsaw.

          Hedging, Stoltenberg said that he cannot “pre-judge” summit decisions, but added that “Georgia already has the necessary tools to make progress toward membership.” As NATO so frequently does, though, he added that work remains to be done.

          Earlier summits have fallen short of Georgian expectations to receive a Membership Action Plan and resulted in new homework assignments.

          Nonetheless, NATO caution or Russian threats aside, Khidasheli isn’t giving up. “We optimistically view the future . . . “ she declared.
          LOL that is one hell of a model right there. Georgia has pissed off the biggest regional power and has gained zero security guarantees for doing so. So is it safer now? What a bunch of idiots.
          Hayastan or Bust.

          Comment


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Quand Washington veut le beurre et l’argent du beurre...



            L'alliance turco-américaine ne brisera très probablement pas l'appui US aux Kurdes, seule force structurée à même de remporter des victoires significatives contre l'EI.
            Lina KENNOUCHE |
            OLJ
            25/08/2015


            http://www.lorientlejour.com/article...du-beurre.html

            Washington et Ankara auraient finalisé dimanche leurs discussions en vue d'une opération commune « à laquelle pourraient s'associer l'Arabie saoudite, le Qatar et la Jordanie, ainsi que la France et la Grande-Bretagne » pour déloger les membres de l'État islamique du nord de la Syrie, selon le ministre turc des Affaires étrangères, Mevlut Cavusoglu, dans une interview accordée à Reuters. L'agence de presse avance que « l'objectif sera de chasser les jihadistes d'un rectangle de 80 km le long de la frontière et de fournir un appui aérien aux rebelles syriens jugés modérés ».

            Sauf que, jusque-là, aucune information qui porterait à croire qu'un accord a été conclu n'a filtré du côté de la diplomatie américaine. Il y a tout juste un mois, alors que la Turquie ouvrait ses bases aériennes à la coalition et acceptait de s'associer à ses opérations militaires, ses allégations sur l'existence d'un accord pour la mise en place d'une zone de sécurité au nord de la Syrie avaient été démenties par le représentant du département d'État américain, Mark Toner. Si une convergence américano-turque dans le cadre d'une action commune contre l'EI demeure probable, elle pourra difficilement induire une évolution dans la position américaine au détriment des Kurdes de Syrie. Les divergences dans l'ordre des priorités entre Washington et Ankara s'expriment à travers, d'un côté, le soutien américain aux forces terrestres kurdes qui ont démontré leur efficacité tactique et opérationnelle dans leur combat contre les membres EI, et, de l'autre, la poursuite des bombardements turcs contre le PYD, vitrine du PKK, pour affaiblir ce dernier.


            (Lire aussi : La Turquie bombarde l'EI... mais à ses conditions)



            Une force incontournable
            Washington pourrait difficilement suspendre son soutien à la seule force capable de remporter des victoires face à l'EI, les Kurdes constituant un groupe structuré, ethniquement homogène, avec une base populaire acquise, une direction et un poids unifié. Après les (vaines) tentatives américaines d'investir, pour cette mission, des responsables tribaux comme Nawaf al-Bachir, chef d'al-Baqara, une des plus grandes tribus de Syrie, et Ahmad Jorba, les Kurdes sont apparus comme la seule force apte à remporter des victoires significatives contre l'EI à Kobané, Aïn Issa, Tall Abyad, et qui, dans les projections américaines, pourraient encore atteindre Raqqa, capitale de l'EI en Syrie.



            (Pour mémoire : Le chef du Pentagone érige les Kurdes d'Irak en modèle de lutte anti-EI)



            Les forces kurdes, qui se trouvent actuellement sur la rive est de l'Euphrate, veulent tenir en échec les tentatives de l'EI (rive ouest) de s'emparer des couloirs qui séparent Afrin de Kobané, dans la mesure où seule une continuité territoriale peut leur assurer la concrétisation du projet d'unification des trois cantons de Djazeera, de Kobané, et, plus à l'ouest, d'Afrin, une zone autonome qui s'étend du nord-est de la Syrie jusqu'au nord-ouest de l'Irak et la région pétrolière de Kirkouk. Si, en juillet dernier, le coordinateur américain de la coalition internationale contre le groupe État islamique (EI), John Allen, a rappelé que les États-Unis ne soutiennent pas la création d'une entité autonome kurde dans le nord de la Syrie, il semble néanmoins peu probable que les Américains cessent de jouer la carte du nationalisme kurde en Syrie et en Irak.

            Pour Daniel Meier, chercheur au CNRS Grenoble et spécialiste du Moyen-Orient, en dehors des Kurdes, les États-Unis ont peu d'alternatives crédibles en Syrie, et pourraient être tentés d'appuyer la constitution de la zone autonome kurde sur le modèle de l'Irak. « En Irak, l'alliance américano-kurde trouve sa logique dans l'ère Saddam et post-Saddam, et avait pour but de détacher une zone d'influence proaméricaine au nord de l'Irak. Après 2003, les Kurdes ont été des alliés dans la conception d'un Irak confessionnalisé. Les États-Unis avaient trouvé en eux des alliés fiables », explique Daniel Meier. Selon lui, l'alliance americano-kurde, qui a rencontré un succès en Irak, est importante dans le contexte actuel syrien, mais il souligne les contradictions de la politique américaine qui « soutient le PYD en Syrie, branche locale du PKK, identifié comme un mouvement terroriste. Ce sont des politiques à deux vitesses, illustration de l'attentisme qui reflète l'absence de vision claire ».

            Comment


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              Turkey has no potential to become regional leader despite its leadership’s desire – Ruben Safrastyan
              30.08.15


              http://www.tert.am/en/news/2015/08/3...astian/1776681

              Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Armenian National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), does not see any further developments in Azerbaijan-Turkey relations.

              In an interview with Tert.am, speaking of the Azerbaijani-Turkish relations, particularly of the domestic and foreign political tensions in Turkey, as well as of Azerbaijan’s actions on the Nagorno-Karabakh-Azerbaijani border, the expert said the two nations actually continue cooperating in certain areas.

              “We should not just forget that the two states have an agreement, which reads that, if necessary, Turkey can support Azerbaijan in all possible areas,” Mr Safrastyan said.

              Both Russia and Iran have intensified their policies toward Azerbaijan. However, Azerbaijan’s foreign policy has not displayed any fundamental changes.

              “Azerbaijan continues its regional and international policy, which is mainly aimed at creating optimal conditions for the ruling elite – receiving profits from the sale of oil and gas,” Mr Safrastyan said.

              Elaborating on domestic political developments in Turkey, the expert said:

              “The justice and development party’s activities have from the beginning been chiefly directed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”

              The Turkish president’s steps are often unpredictable. Turkey’s current situation is largely the result of Erdoğan’s activities.

              “This is a new phenomenon in Turkey. On the one hand, a political crisis is unfolding inside the country, which resulted in snap elections being fixed because formation of a coalition failed. On the other hand, in terms of foreign policy, Turkey is getting even deeper in regional problems,” Mr Safrastyan said.

              The Turkish president is pursuing an obviously adventurist domestic and foreign policy, which is only to Turkey’s detriment.

              In their foreign policy, Recep Erdoğan and his team aim at making Turkey the region’s leading political force. However, Turkey has not the sufficient resources.

              Elaborating on Turkish-Kurdish clashes in the territory of western Armenia in the context of possible impact on Armenians, Mr Safrastyan said:

              “Whatever state system is in Turkey, when the domestic political situation grows tense, Armenians are the first to be affected. The tenser the situation in Turkey is and the stronger strikes on the Kurdish movement the Turkish armed forces deliver the greater threat is to the Armenian community in Istanbul as well as to the converted Armenians in western Armenia.


              -----

              Էրդողանը ցանկանում է Թուրքիային տարածաշրջանում դարձնել առաջատար ուժ, ինչի անհրաժեշտ ռեսուրսն այդ երկիրը չունի. Ռ. Սաֆրաստյան
              30.08.15

              http://www.tert.am/am/news/2015/08/3...astian/1776681
              ԳԱԱ արևելագիտության ինստիտուտի տնօրեն, թուրքագետ Ռուբեն Սաֆրաստյանը Թուրքիա-Ադրբեջան հարաբերությունների հետագա նոր զարգացումների միտումներ չի տեսնում: Tert.am-ի հետ զրույցում անդրադառնալով այդ երկու երկրների հարաբերություններին՝ մասնավորապես Թուրքիայում ստեղծված ներքին և արտաքին քաղաքականության լարվածությանը, ինչպես նաև ղարաբաղաադրբեջանական սահմանում Ադրբեջանի գործողություններին, թուրքագետն ասաց, թե ըստ էության շարունակվում է երկու երկրների համագործակցությունը որոշակի ոլորտներում:

              «Պարզապես չպետք է մոռանալ, որ երկու երկրների միջև գոյություն ունի համաձայնագիր-պայմանագիր, որտեղ նշված է, որ անհրաժեշտության դեպքում Թուրքիան կարող է Ադրբեջանին ցույց տալ օգնություն հնարավոր բոլոր միջոցներով»,-նշեց նա:

              Ռուբեն Սաֆրաստյանն ասում է, թե Ադրբեջանի նկատմամբ ակտիվացել է և՛ Ռուսաստանի, և՛ Իրանի քաղաքականությունը, բայց դեռևս Ադրբեջանի դիրքորոշման մեջ սկզբունքորեն փոփոխություններ արտաքին քաղաքականության ոլորտում չեն գրանցվում:

              «Ադրբեջանը շարունակում է իր քաղաքականությունը տարածաշրջանում և աշխարհում, որի հիմնական նպատակն է երկրի վերնախավի համար օպտիմալ պայմաններ ստեղծել՝ նավթի և գազի վաճառքից շահույթներ ստանալու»,-նկատեց արևելագիտության ինստիտուտի տնօրենը:

              Խոսելով Թուրքիայի ներքաղաքական զարգացումների մասին, թուրքագետն ասաց, որ «Արդարություն և զարգացում» կուսակցության գործունեությունն ի սկզբանե և մինչև օրս հիմնականում ուղղորդվում է Թուրքիայի նախագահ Ռեջեփ Թայիփ Էրդողանի կողմից: Պարզապես, ըստ նրա, հաճախ Էրդողանը գործում է շատ անկանխատեսելի: Այն վիճակը, որում հիմա հայտնվել է Թուրքիան, զգալիորեն Էրդողանի գործունեության արդյունքն է:

              «Սա նոր երևույթ է Թուրքիայի համար, մի կողմից երկրի ներսում քաղաքական ճգնաժամ տեղի ունեցավ, որի արդյունքում վաղաժամկետ ընտրություններ նշանակվեցին, չհաջողվեց կոալիցիա ստեղծել, մյուս կողմից՝ երկրի արտաքին քաղաքականության ոլորտում Թուրքիան ավելի է մխրճվում տարածաշրջանային խնդիրների մեջ»,-ասաց թուրքագետը:

              Նրա խոսքով՝ Էրդողանի արտաքին և ներքին քաղաքականությունն իր վրա կրում է արկածախնդրության շատ վառ արտահայտված դրոշմ: Թուրքիան դրանից միայն տուժում է: Արտաքին քաղաքականության ոլորտում Էրդողանի և նրա թիմակիցների գործունեությունը նպատակ ունի Թուրքիային դարձնել տարածաշրջանում առաջատար քաղաքական ուժը, բայց դրա համար Թուրքիան չունի անհրաժեշտ ռեսուրսներ:

              Անդրադառնալով թուրք-քրդական բախումներին, որոնք տեղի են ունենում Արևմտյան Հայաստանում, և պատասխանելով հարցին, թե այդ լարվածությունն ինչ ազդեցություն կարող է ունենալ հայերի վրա, թուրքագետն ասաց. «Ինչ պետական կարգ էլ որ լինի Թուրքիայում, երբ սրվում է ներքին քաղաքական իրադրությունը, առաջին հերթին տուժում են հայերը: Դրա համար, ինչքան Թուրքիայում սրվի վիճակը, ինչքան թուրքական ուժերն ավելի ուժեղ հարվածներ հասցնեն քրդական շարժմանը, այնքան վտանգը հայ համայնքի վրա ուժեղ կլինի, ովքեր ապրում են Ստամբուլում, ինչպես նաև այն դավանափոխ հայերի համար, ովքեր ապրում են Արևմտյան Հայաստանում»:

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              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Resolving the Syrian war is not the silver bullet for stopping ISIS
                29/08/15



                The war to stop the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has entered a dark tunnel. And with it the bottomless conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq. The search for a ray of light moves next week from Moscow to Washington, when Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz makes his first visit as monarch for talks with President Barack Obama.
                The three worried Arab rulers received in the Kremlin Tuesday, Aug. 25, by President Vladimir Putin could only talk in circles: Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi,is embattled on three fronts, Sinai, his border with Libya and Cairo; Jordan’s King Abdullah II – is wedged between two wars; and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has sent his army to fight the Yemen insurgency alongside Saudi Arabia.
                For them, resolving the Syrian conflict looked like the silver bullet, the key to ending all their troubles. But whichever Russian or Iranian plans and ideas they considered for a way forward, they were all forced to come back to the same impasse. Even Putin and Obama can’t get around or ignore two solid facts:
                1. In the year since the US built an international coalition for fighting ISIS, the brutal Islamists have not been cut down; they have instead been empowered to seize more turf outside their Iraqi and Syrian conquests, such big oil fields in Libya, an ascending threat to Egypt and big plans for Lebanon.
                2. A major letdown has followed on the high hopes reposed in Iran. The nuclear deal negotiated with the six world powers - and the elevated regional status conferred on Iran - hinged closely on US expectations that Tehran would put up effective military resources for tackling ISIS.
                But the Revolutionary Guards, the popular Syrian and Iraqi forces the Guards established,and the Afghan and Pakistani Shiite militias they imported – none have proved a match for ISIS and jihadi tactics.
                In Syria, ISIS stands fast, unthreatened in the terrain, towns and oil fields they have captured, in the past year - excepting only on fringe fronts, where they have been forced back by local Kurdish rebel fighters.
                Hizballah is a big part of the disappointment. It was supposed to serve as a bulwark against ISIS invading eastern Lebanon from Syria. Instead, these Lebanese Shiite fighters, allies of Assad’s army, are bogged down in a bitter battle for the strategic Syrian town of Zabadani, after failing to breach Syrian rebel defenses in forays from the south, the north or the center.
                The door is therefore open for the Islamist State to march into Hizballah’s strongholds in the Lebanese Beqaa valley and head north to the port of Tripoli for a foothold on the Mediterranean.
                Whether Bashar Assad stays or goes, which might have made a difference at an early stage of the Syrian insurgency, is irrelevant now that his army and allied forces are in dire straits.
                In Iraq, the forces fighting ISIS are equally stumped. The jihadis are in control of a deadly string of strategic towns, Ramadi, Faluja, the refinery city of Baiji, Mosul, and most of the western province of Anbar, including Haditha which commands a key stretch of the Euphrates River.
                Here, too, the Islamist terrorist army’s lines remain intact, unbroken either by the undercover Jordanian Special Forces campaign 200 km inside Anbar, albeit backed by US and Israeli military and intelligence assistance; by the “popular mobilization committees” set up by the Iranian general Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy of the Al Qods chief Qassem Soleimani, or less still by US-trained Iraqi army units.
                This week, the impasse spurred two combatants into chilling escalations:
                --- Iran began shipping its solid propellant missile, Zelzal-3B (meaning “earthquake”), across the border into Iraq, in the hope that this powerful projectile, with a range of 250km , would give the Revolutionary Guards their doomsday weapon for tipping the scales against ISIS.
                --- The Islamists, for their part, embraced a new tactic, known in the west as “SVBIED mobile defense.” Scores of armed vehicles are packed tight with hundreds of tons of explosives and loosed against military convoys on the move and static enemy positions and bases.
                This tactic quickly proved itself by killing the 10th Iraqi Division’s chief, deputy and its command staff, as well as the deputy chief of Iraqi forces in Anbar.
                In Moscow last week, Putin offered his three Middle East guests Russian nuclear reactors, arms, joint pacts for fighting terror and assorted ideas for the future of Bashar Assad. But he too had no practical proposals for bringing the Islamic State down.
                President Obama may likewise offer King Salman all sorts of assistance for standing up to ISIS, but he will find no buyers in Riyadh for his failed policy of reliance on Saudi Arabia’s rival, Iran, for liquidating the Islamist threat looming against the oil kingdom from neighboring Iraq. Neither is US aid much use for stemming the tide of pro-ISIS radicalism spreading among young Saudi men.
                As matters stand today, therefore, the Islamic State faces no tangible threat – even if Iran does go ahead and achieve a nuclear bomb.

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                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Arab sources: First Russian officers in Syria
                  Debka

                  August 30, 2015

                  Russian army officers have arrived in Damascus and Jablah in the Latakia district, where they are building a new military base on the Mediterranean coast, Arab sources reported to the Al Watan newspaper Sunday. Under the caption: “Russian Army Engages in Syria,” they also revealed, “Russia has begun to supply Damascus for the first time with satellite imagery… a decision that will turn the military situation on its head.” Neither report is confirmed from other sources.

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                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Egypt sends Assad secret arms aid, including missiles, with Russian funding
                    30/08/15

                    Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi has begun supplying Bashar Assad with arms, including missiles, after concluding a secret deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his consent to pick up the tab, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal. The first batch of short-range Egyptian-made surface missiles has reached the Syrian forces fiercely battling rebels for weeks for the recovery of the strategic town of Zabadani without breaking through (See picture showing missile with Egyptian factory markings.)
                    It is not clear if the Egyptian missiles have also been passed to the Hizballah forces fighting with the Syrian army, considering that El-Sisi and Hizballah are at daggers drawn.
                    Our sources also reveal that the Egyptian arms consignments are freighted from Port Said to the Syrian port of Tartus by Ukrainian cargo vessels. These ships are today the most popular means of transport for clandestine and Black Market arms freights across the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas.
                    Sums and quantities are yet to be determined, but Western intelligence sources report that Ukrainian vessels called in at Egyptian ports at least three times from July 22 to Aug. 22 and sailed off to Syria laden with weapons.
                    It is a deal that may affect the fate of the Assad regime from five, often conflicting, perspectives:
                    1. By providing Assad with an additional source of weapons, Cairo is reducing his dependence on Iran. This suits the Syrian ruler very well at this time, because he is fully aware of Tehran’s latest steps to draw Gulf rulers and Moscow into supporting a plan for ending the Syrian war, by installing a provisional government in Damascus and so easing his exit.
                    2. A certain parting-of-the ways has developed between Moscow and Tehran on how to terminate the Syrian conflict. By sending Assad arms, Cairo casts its vote for Moscow’s perspective in preference to Tehran’s.
                    3. El-Sisi is now diametrically opposed on Syrian policy to the GCC led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who are patrons of the rebel movement dedicated to toppling Assad.
                    4. He is also on the opposite side to Israel and Turkey. Israel backs the rebels fighting in southern Syria to create a barrier against the encroachment of Hizballah and Iranian Al Qods Brigades up to its northern border and the Golan. Turkey and the US have reached terms on Syrian policy. Saturday, Aug. 30, Turkish jets carried out their first air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State, as part of its deal with the US.
                    5. The Russian-Egyptian understanding on the Syrian question is a signpost that clearly marks the way to deepening military and strategic relations between Moscow and Cairo.
                    Taking the lead on a resolution of the Syrian question, the Kremlin staged a discussion last Tuesday, Aug. 18, with three Arab visitors: Jordan’s King Abdullah, UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Egyptian president. It was led by Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Middle East Affairs, and followed by individual tête-à-têtes between Putin and each visitor in turn.
                    The Russian and Egyptian leaders did their best, according to DEBKAfile’s Moscow sources, to draw the Jordanian and UA rulers over to their pro-Assad policy, or at least accept common ground for a measure of cooperation. In effect, Putin and El-Sisi were out to convince Jordan and the US to back away from the Syrian rebel cause and the Saudi line. Their future actions may indicate how far they succeeded.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Egypt bids for two advanced French helicopter carriers - counterweight to the Iranian navy
                      27/8/15


                      Egypt is in advanced negotiations with France for two highly advanced French Mistral class assault-cum-helicopter carrier ships that were originally destined for the Russian Navy. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that this deal, if it goes through, will substantially beef up the regional lineup of the Saudi, Egyptian and Israeli navies. The new vessels would enable it to contest Iranian naval challenges in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and alter the balance of strength between the opposing sides.
                      Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have given presidents Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi and Francois Hollande pledges to fund the transaction at $800 million per carrier.
                      The Mistrals will join the missile ships of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel and six Dolphin submarines which, according to foreign sources, are capable of firing nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. Their delivery comes at a time of strengthening strategic ties among Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel.
                      The Egyptian navy stands to own the most advanced warships of any Middle East power. The French vessels may also be used as aircraft carriers, because their decks are designed to carry fighter jets as well as helicopters. The only nations maintaining this type of vessel in the region are outsiders – the US, which deploys a Wasp class helicopter for marines; Russia, the ageing Moskva class copter carrier, and France.
                      Originally ordered from France by the Russian Navy, the pair of Mistrals was never delivered owing to the sanctions the European Union imposed on Moscow after the Ukraine invasion.
                      It is a multi-purpose warship, able to accommodate 16 “European Tiger” four-bladed, twin-engined attack helicopters, four large landing craft for dropping 450 marines on shore, 70 armored vehicles, including 14 heavy AMX Leclerc assault tanks.
                      These figures are flexible. If necessary, the French carriers can handle an expanded complement of 900 marines and 40 tanks. It is also a command ship geared to maintain communications with military forces located anywhere in the world. It also carries a 69-bed field hospital. The Mistral has a maximum speed of 18 knots and maximum range of 20,000 miles.

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