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Plan to Create Anti-Iran Arab NATO a Nonstarter

Plan to Create Anti-Iran Arab NATO a NonstarterPlan to Create Anti-Iran Arab NATO a Nonstarter

Washington's plans aimed at creating a Saudi-led military alliance in the Middle East are unlikely to be implemented, political commentator and expert on Syria Husnu Mahalli told Sputnik in a recent interview.

"This project, if carried out, would lead to confusion since some forces would be targeted against the others. Libya is a fine example. Libya is a 100% Sunni country. All warring factions in Libya are Sunnis. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates provide support to some of these militias, while Bahrain and Saudi Arabia assist other forces. Turkey and Qatar back the third group, with Italy supporting the rest. My guess is that this plan is going to fail, taking into account my 40 years of experience covering Muslim nations, including the Arab world," he said.

Earlier this year, reports emerged indicating that the Trump administration was in talks with its key allies in the Middle East, including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to create a regional military alliance to ostensibly counter Iran's influence.

  Collective Response

The new coalition, if created, is expected to adopt a collective response clause, mimicking NATO's Article 5.

The bloc would also share intelligence with Israel. However, neither Washington, nor Tel Aviv would become its formal members.

US President Donald Trump also floated this idea last week during his visit to Saudi Arabia.

While in Riyadh, he urged Muslim leaders to create "a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future."

"We have also started discussions with many of the countries present today on strengthening partnerships, and forming new ones, to advance security and stability across the Middle East and beyond," he said during a speech.

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