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Challenges and Implications of the Potential Mega Deal in the Middle East

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Naveed Hussain

The resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict is vital for regional and global peace due to several reasons. First and foremost, the conflict has been a longstanding source of tension and violence in the region, leading to numerous casualties and humanitarian crises. Resolving this conflict would contribute to stability and security in the Middle East, allowing for greater cooperation and economic development.

Moreover, the Israel-Palestine conflict has broader implications for global peace, as it has been a significant factor in shaping geopolitical dynamics and influencing international relations. A resolution to the conflict would signal a positive step towards peaceful coexistence and could potentially have a ripple effect in reducing tensions and conflicts in other parts of the world.

Additionally, the unresolved Israel-Palestine conflict has been exploited by extremist groups to stoke anti-Western sentiment and recruit followers. By addressing the root causes of the conflict, there is a greater chance of undermining extremist narratives and promoting moderation and tolerance.

Furthermore, the humanitarian impact of the conflict cannot be understated, with millions of Palestinians and Israelis directly affected by the ongoing hostilities. A resolution would alleviate the suffering of these populations and pave the way for reconstruction, development, and improved living conditions.

Therefore, the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict is crucial for regional and global peace as it has far-reaching implications for stability, security, international relations, and humanitarian concerns.

The potential mega-deal involving the USA, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the pathway to a Palestinian state has the potential to reshape the dynamics of the Middle East. The deal comprises three key components: the Saudi-US security pact, Saudi-Israeli normalization, and the resolution of the Palestinian state issue. However, the successful pursuit of these three aspects collectively presents significant challenges, given Israel’s concerns about Palestine being a security threat, the imperative of normalization with Saudi Arabia, and the intricate dynamics of the US-Saudi security pact. The implications of this mega deal are of utmost importance for all stakeholders involved.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy is heavily influenced by its regional rivalry with Iran, which it perceives as a significant threat. Tensions between the two countries are rooted in sectarian beliefs and regional competition, often characterized by mutual accusations of orchestrating conspiracies and potential threats. The perceived threat from Iran has driven Saudi Arabia to seek security assurances, including a commitment from the USA to defend it in the event of an attack, akin to the security guarantees provided to Japan and South Korea.

The potential success of the mega deal is further complicated by the longstanding challenges associated with the Palestinian state issue. The USA and Israel face significant obstacles in reaching a bilateral treaty with Saudi Arabia that excludes Palestine, as any such agreement would require ratification by two-thirds of the Senate, a challenging prospect without Israel’s consent. The normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, without a resolution to the Palestinian state issue, could further complicate the situation, particularly in light of ongoing proxy wars in the region and concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.

Furthermore, the Biden administration’s efforts to solidify its position in the Middle East, particularly in the face of growing Chinese influence in the region, underscored the strategic significance of the mega-deal. The USA is keen on maintaining its influence in the region and countering China’s inroads, making the treaty a crucial component of its broader geopolitical strategy.

The deal also has far-reaching implications for Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the USA. Historically, the USA has played a significant role in shaping Saudi Arabia’s economic and security policies, particularly in the aftermath of the oil embargo and the Arab-Israeli war. The USA’s commitment to providing security and weapons to Riyadh has contributed to Saudi Arabia’s dependence on US security while also paving the way for economic cooperation and the development of modern technology in the kingdom.

From the perspective of the Biden administration, the potential mega deal offers a dual opportunity to export technology, artificial intelligence, and weapons to Saudi Arabia while also leveraging the normalization of Saudi-Israeli ties for political gain. Building on the momentum of the Trump administration’s efforts to broker normalization between Israel and other Arab countries, the Biden administration sees the deal as a means to advance its geopolitical objectives and extend its influence in the region.

However, the practical realization of the mega deal remains fraught with challenges, particularly concerning the pathway to a Palestinian state. Israel’s concerns about security threats and its strategic interests, including the proposed Ben Gurion Canal Plan, present significant hurdles to any viable resolution to the Palestinian state issue. Additionally, internal political dynamics within Israel, including opposition to normalization with Saudi Arabia and disagreements over the creation of a Palestinian state, further complicate the prospects for a successful mega deal.

In conclusion, the potential mega-deal involving the USA, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Palestinian state issue represents a complex and multifaceted diplomatic challenge with far-reaching implications for the Middle East. The intricate interplay of regional rivalries, security concerns, and geopolitical strategies underscores the complexities involved in navigating this high-stakes diplomatic endeavor.

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