The head of the Syrian government, Bashar al-Assad, visited the Emirate last March (18), during the 11-year-old Ukraine crisis, following the 2011 Arab Spring. It is now a matter of concern whether the polarization of global politics, behind the creation of unipolar-centric global politics, is giving rise to a new possibility in Arab politics. International political analysts, however, are fearful of new plots in West Asian politics.
If not, why is the United States so critical of this visit? Because, at the height of the Arab Spring, the UAE directly supported the anti-government movement in Syria after Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, and their view is that the Assad government is never benevolent to Syria. As a result, the UAE had direct support from the United States to oust him. The question is: why is this visit as important for the Arab world as it is for Syria, as it is for the West? First, the visit undoubtedly completed the sixteenth round of the failure of all political and military efforts to overthrow the Syrian government.
The second reason, a little more complex and meaningful, is that the visit is tantamount to acknowledging the legitimacy of Bashar al-Assad’s leadership in Syria. The Syrian president’s visit comes just 11 years after the Syrian civil war broke out in March of that year as part of an international conspiracy. Assad was elected president last year, pioneering recognition of his legitimacy through foreign trips, joining the Arab League, and developing geopolitical ties.
The third aspect is the improvement of efforts to bring it back to the Arab League. Fourth, to achieve the economic and commercial development of Abu Dhabi with Damascus. As a result, the Abu Dhabi Embassy in Damascus reopened in 2018.
Arab states have been trying to restore relations with Syria since 2015. They are doing so despite strong US economic and political sanctions against Damascus, a longtime ally of Muscat. As a result, they (the Arab states) see Syria as the current ‘Switzerland of the Middle East’ (West Asia) for its growing role as a neutral force and mediator in the region’s fragmented geopolitics. That’s why Western analysts are swollen with oil purple- which is undoubtedly frightening them.
By the way, 2022 will be an eventful and memorable year for the whole world. Because the global context of this year has been such that the world is moving towards the polarization of the new cold war. Because of this, China is in a confrontational position with the United States and its allies over Taiwan and the South China Sea. In this case, the efficiency of Quad and AkUS is disproportionate to the desired BRI of China. According to the foreign policy of Bangladesh, it is better to have a proportional relationship with the two super-powers.
Besides, when will the so-called proxy war between the United States, Ukraine, and Russia over the ongoing Ukraine crisis end? There is no end to the analysis. Many are calling it the Third World War. In this case, China is in a dilemma. It would be better to adopt a strategic approach. Bangladesh, like the major democracies, should play a silent role in supporting the pros and cons of the war.
This is because the West should have understood long ago that Russia was preparing for war by occupying Crimea in 2014 with the aim of expanding NATO and expanding its influence in Europe. Putin’s last move may put his opponent in a crisis which cannot be resolved immediately without diplomatic means. Otherwise, the way this battlefield is being built could turn into an all-out battle which could be an uncertain battle. It is important to remember that this war is over, though. The rest of the world will have to bear the brunt of it. Developing countries will be the biggest consumers. In this case, NAM needs to be vigilant.
However, in the current global context, how will the political map of the Arab world change? Needless to say, in this potential global polarization, the United States has deeply embroiled the two countries in trying to keep the interests of the Arab world in line with its rivals, China and Russia. One is the problem of China’s Uyghurs, and the other is Russia’s struggle for secession in the Caucasus. Despite these two crises, Iran, Russia, and China continue to build strategic relations with the Muslim world in the fields of technology, economic development, and cultural advancement.
Also, the Arab states are ready to build relations with different countries of Europe in their own equation. As a result, it remains to be seen whether changes in the map of Arab politics will be centralized from the West. Turkey, meanwhile, claims to be on par with other European countries in terms of economic development, despite being the only Muslim country to join NATO.
However, despite Turkey’s important geopolitical, energy, and other relations with Russia in the ongoing Ukraine crisis, it is safe to say that there is no alternative but to support Russia geographically, despite its balanced foreign policy stance.
Over differences with the US administration, Saudi Arabia, another major power in the Muslim world, is forging closer ties with China and Russia. As a result, China is investing heavily in New City, Saudi Arabia’s strategic new tourist city. Besides, special importance is being given to Chinese education now. Saudis are also being sent to Chinese universities to study on scholarships, and the Saudi government is investing in various fields in China. In addition, Washington is angry that another Middle Eastern country, the United Arab Emirates, has given China the task of building a strategic port. Despite its cancellation, deep ties have developed between Russia and China. Ukraine, meanwhile, is trying to re-establish ties with Syria, which is supporting the crisis. Moreover, Egypt has also increased its arms imports from Russia, deepening trade ties and maintaining close ties with the Cairo Russia-China bloc, angered by Israeli initiatives over the digging of the Suez Canal alternative and the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and opposing the United States. Syria-Yemen. The effect is easily conceivable.
Overall, in the context of ongoing global politics, the new Cold War or Shadow War will give the Arab world a new look on the political map, and a strong sphere of influence may emerge. In front of which will be Iran. Economic and geographical importance will increase for powerful countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, Pakistan, and Indonesia, and undoubtedly for the United States and China-Russia.
In that case, the active role of the OIC, formed in 1969, and the Arab League, formed in 1945 by the Arabian Peninsula and the Arab countries of North Africa, is desirable.In this case, strengthening the social, economic, and geopolitical relations between the two Arab regions could be one of the goals of the two organizations.
After all, the Arab world needs to realize that the greater the distance between itself and its neighbors, the more it benefits the West and Israel. Thus, there is no hesitation in saying that a change in the political map of the Arab world will open the door to new possibilities in the new equation of Syria-UAE relations and world politics.
The writer is a Student of the Department of Political Science, University Of Chittagong.