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427 words - August 22, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
In April, DiploNews wrote that Summer 2013 in the Middle East would be hotter, if not the hottest in decades.
The least one can say is that the "Arab Spring" has transformed into a turmoil which has fueled unprecedented tensions between the Middle Eastern countries, and put the Western diplomacy at a revealing standstill. Recently, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino announced the "death" of the Arab Spring and hoped that what she termed the "Arab Struggle" would be continuing. Yes indeed, it has been continuing, but surely not in the way Mrs. Bonino wished.
In the last three months, the crisis in Syria has worsened and new allegations of chemical weapons' use have emerged. In addition to inconclusive combats against President Bashar al-Assad's troops, the disorganized Syrian opposition had some of its people assassinated by extremist groups allegedly affiliated with Al Qaeda. The cooling off between the United States and Russia has postponed the holding of a second Geneva conference.
And Washington and Brussels' repeated condemnations rather sounded like incantations after months of promised support that did not come, perhaps for legitimate reasons however their diplomacy has been taking a huge blow because of this "failure to act" their "allies" in Syria have denounced. Not to mention the deep disagreement between the Western governments and their public opinions on the issue.
Last but not least, the situation in Egypt has degenerated into an all-out conflict between the Military and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). And the same countries which are combating Al-Assad in Syria chose opposite stances regarding Egypt. On the one hand, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait; the United States, the European Union, Qatar, Turkey and even Iran on the other hand.
In a longer term, the icing on the cake according to several analysts will be that Al Qaeda and extremist groups around the world will likely benefit from this nightmare situation and consequently pose a greater threat to the West in the years to come. In a message sent to the MB, the Somalia-based Al Shabaab has been ironical about democracy, simply "a joke", and justifying the use of violence because winning elections as the MB did in Egypt has seemingly been "useless".
Amid such a serious context, Russia, Israel and Iran appeared as the three countries which might take advantage of the situation: Russia because Al-Assad gets stronger, Israel because it underlines the need for a strong national security, Iran because it diverts somehow the West's attention from its nuclear program.
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