Tucked away from the attention of almost all of the Western media has been the quiet forward, front, visible and back channel communications playing out amid a very narrow pathway. CTH continues to monitor these precarious -albeit optimistic- quiet steps because they are converging to form a very specific picture. [Tweet Link]
(The Hill) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with an envoy from President Trump on Tuesday and told him that a peace deal is possible under the new president.
The meeting between Abbas and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, took place in Ramallah.
“President Abbas told Mr. Greenblatt that he believes that under President Trump’s leadership a historic peace deal is possible, and that it will enhance security throughout the region,” according to a statement from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. (read more)
We have continued to express optimism for a confluence of events, people and activity that is happening quietly, and could stun the geo-political world. The timing is right, because we view these activities through a different prism. We review against the backdrop of President Obama’s mid-east failure, equitable misery.
The reality of President Obama’s expressed foreign policy of regime change -regardless of cost or consequence- has left millions of Mid-East communities in peril; far worse off today than they were nine years ago. In an odd and accidental way, President Obama created equitable misery.
• The Egyptian people, in no way a populist entity favorable to Israel, suffered through two years of brutal dictatorship from the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammed Morsi. Their very survival only due to a successful return of cultural and economic stability at the hands of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
• The Syrian people, again holding no favorable disposition toward Israel writ large, only just now coming out of the shadows of a horrific five-year civil war and seeing sunlight for the first time in half a decade. Breathing room.
• The Libyan people, caught amid an ongoing crisis of regional and tribal strife suffering through ongoing extremist violence that has taken them into the depths of economic and social chaos. And before the fighting is even over, Europe is outlining demands of the North African gates.
• The Jordanian people, again a tenuous and precarious Muslim nation, who has watched the most barbaric and horrific consequences from extremist violence in their lifetimes.
The end result of almost all far-left policies when carried out to their natural conclusion is equitable misery. At no moment in recent history has the choking consequence of a decade-long ideological war left a larger population of people so exhausted than at this very moment.
Think of the nationalist possibility. ♦ Fattah al-Sisi (Egypt), ♦ King Abdullah III (Jordan), ♦ Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel), ♦ Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian Authority), ♦ King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Saudi Arabia), and ♦ U.S. President Donald Trump. Together they have a remarkable canvas.
Yesterday President Trump spent a considerable amount of time with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. [Read Out Here] Part of that meeting involved discussion of the Palestinian Israeli conflict:
The President and the Deputy Crown Prince noted the importance of confronting Iran’s destabilizing regional activities while continuing to evaluate and strictly enforce the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The President expressed his strong desire to achieve a comprehensive, just, and lasting settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to continue the two countries’ consultations to help reach solutions for regional issues.
More broadly, the President and Deputy Crown Prince noted the ongoing security and military cooperation between the two countries in confronting Daesh/ISIS and other transnational terrorist organizations that pose a threat to all nations. (link)
Saudi Arabia hailed a “historical turning point” in U.S.-Saudi relations after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlighted the two leaders’ shared view that Iran posed a regional security threat.
The meeting on Tuesday appeared to signal a meeting of the minds on many issues between Trump and Prince Mohammed, in a marked difference from Riyadh’s often fraught relationship with the Obama administration, especially in the wake of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“This meeting is considered a historical turning point in relations between both countries and which had passed through a period of divergence of views on many issues,” a senior adviser to Prince Mohammed said in a statement.
“But the meeting today restored issues to their right path and form a big change in relations between both countries in political, military, security and economic issues,” the adviser said. (read more)
Last year Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal broke the ice and simultaneously raised eyebrows when he said publicly he supported Israel’s position and urged the Palestinian Authority to take a full inventory of their own efforts to eliminate radicalism and divisive activity:
[…] I do not say the vast majority of Palestinians are disloyal, added Prince bin Talal, but this is an established fact that many of them change horses in midstream, as a matter of fact, Palestinians always complaint and howl about Israeli injustice but I have reports saying that Palestinian construction companies are providing the Israeli army with materiel and concrete to build separation wall ; I also have disdain for certain Palestinians for being annoyingly obstinate , though the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is financially resourceful and I can guarantee that Riyadh will help them [Palestinians] to dwell permanently among their Arab brothers and work side-by-side with our Israeli friends to bring eternal peace to our region. (link)
Into the opening created by such dialogue, and accepting the intensely forward looking leadership of Egyptian President Fattah Abdel al-Sisi, arrives President Trump.
Earlier this month a delegation from Egypt arrived to speak with Rex Tillerson. Each of these meetings is like a seed planted. However, whether it’s Egypt, Israel, Jordan or Saudi Arabia, what all of these emissaries hold in common is a change in tone.
Each envoy within these discussions presents a centered position toward maintaining a new soil for these seeds. We have not seen this synergy of respectful intent in our modern history:
Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry visited Washington, meeting with members of Congress, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and newly minted national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
While the trip addressed Egypt-U.S. relations, it also set the stage for an upcoming Egyptian delegation that will include President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The visits come on the back of what one State Department official privately described as Cairo’s “high expectations” for changes to bilateral relations. (read more)
Egyptian President el-Sisi has already secured most of the Sinai border region. The current challenge is to keep the extremist elements in check and undermine their destabilizing efforts. A big part of that stability includes Syria, Russia and the U.S. defeating the remnants of ISIS.
Under-reported in Western media, during the fall/winter of 2014 and spring/summer of 2015 al-Sisi removed every Hamas tunnel and relocated thousands of homes to create a miles-wide buffer zone no longer useful by terrorists.
The scope of what Egypt did to secure the Southern and Eastern border of Israel/Gaza is quite remarkable, and they have paid a high price battling extremists every inch of the way.
Simultaneously, as his Egyptian forces were removing the most significant security threat, al-Sisi brokered a peace deal between Abbas and Netanyahu and forced the Palestinian Authority to speak with one voice. That’s why Egypt was so furious when John Kerry insisted on poking his nose into the agreement.
After the peace deal, and after he constructed the border security zone, Fattah al-Sisi then set up the construct for a Joint Arab Intervention Force.
♦ A week later, President Trump spoke at length to Egypt’s Fattah al-Sisi about their efforts.
♦ At the beginning of February – King Abdullah III of Jordan traveled to Washington to meet with Vice-President Mike Pence and discuss aide and assistance for regional security. Previously, in November 2016, King Abdullah spoke to President-elect Trump
♦ A week later – Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington DC for a very warm and optimistic meeting with President Trump for talks on regional security.
♦ At the beginning of March – Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry visited Washington, met with members of Congress and held a long discussion with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,
♦ Soon – Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is coming to Washington for an official state visit.
If my hunch is correct, this visit by President al-Sisi will be very significant and he could likely be the first formal state dinner Guest of Honor at the White House. If not a State Dinner, a very well emphasized event, but my spidey senses tell me a State Dinner is likely.
To understand the scope of the seismic paradigm shift this would represent we must remind ourselves that President Obama never even called President el-Sisi after his election win, and never invited him to the White House. By Obama design their paths only crossed once in New York at the U.N. assembly. If President Trump hosts President el-Sisi at the White House it would signal a historic shift in policy and approach.
Additionally, such recognition would rightly highlight the strength of Sisi’s courage in the face of severe extremist opposition. The significance of such an honor would resound throughout the region; it would have incredible impact.
If you put all of these pieces of the puzzle together what you end up with is the very real possibility of a group consisting of: Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and to a less visible but ultimately important Syria/Russia, agreement becoming the foundational block for a regional peace summit.
We are living in a time amid a remarkable confluence of events.
Just wait and see how apoplectic the liberals become when they eventually get around to noticing all of this groundwork that President Trump has laid, and what could ultimately cement a legacy as the most consequential president in a century.
The mere fact that these possibilities now exist is stunning all by itself. However, I would not anticipate President Trump accepting anything except success.