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Arab countries hold mixed feelings towards US (2)

By Qin Tian (People's Daily)

11:11, April 21, 2012

Making changes to reduce dependence on United States

Regarding the Syria issue, the relationship between Arab countries and the United States has showed its two-sided feature once again. In general, the Arab League originally proposed the “Arab peace initiative” which was bad for the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad but almost completely accorded with the West' words. However, in the 23rd Arab League Summit held recently, Arab countries' main tone changed to supporting the intermediation by the United Nations and Arab League's Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan to realize a peaceful political solution. It was already not completely same as the West's standpoint. The Gulf countries maintain close cooperation with the United States in overthrowing the Bashar government, but other Arab countries actually do not want to see Syria having a chaotic situation caused by excessive external interventions.

Currently, Western countries led by the United States want to overthrow the Bashar government, but do not want to do it by themselves. Arab countries want international communities, especially the United States, to pressure Syria, but do not want external military interventions. This situation is actually a “sequela” caused by the fact that Arab countries have no independent diplomatic strategy for a long period.

Regarding the structure of the Middle East, Arab countries have a common rival of Iran, and therefore they need the United States' help to contain Iran. Meanwhile, Arab countries also have a common enemy of Israel, and therefore they are dissatisfied with a United States on Israel's side.

The situation that Arab countries both “like” and “hate” the United States will not change in a short period. But, the past year of 2011 was full of changes and chances. In that year, the United States killed Osama bin Laden and withdrew its troops from Iraq and its dependence rate on the oil from the Middle East reduced to less than 15 percent. In addition, the great changes in the Arab countries also greatly reduced the United States' enthusiasm of exporting democracy to the region. The United States' interests and presence in the Middle East are both gradually reducing, and therefore it probably is a good opportunity for Arab countries to foster their own independent diplomatic strategy and gradually reduce their dependence on the United States.

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