In January of 2015 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi began a journey of peace by asking the holiest and most influential Islamic Scholars in the Arab world to join him in stepping away from the noise of extremist voices and engaging in long-term introspective review of their Islamic faith. President al-Sisi called for a religious revolution to focus Islam toward a future of peace. The engaged Dar al-Iftaa scholarly audience erupted in applause.
President al-Sisi stood up, resolute, spoke of large truths with bold leadership, and took great risk upon himself. After the speech a coalition of like-minded voices began to grow in number and consequence. That moment became the pebble dropped in the shoe of the Arab leadership of consequence – the emphasis shifted toward peace.
That influential speech, and more importantly the leadership of all joining member states, including the praise of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia before his untimely death, paved the way forward toward this upcoming weekend. King Abdullah’s successor, his brother King Salman, is now positioned to put his own footprint in history.
All of the necessary elements, many of them taking years to organize, are aligned in common purpose for this specific moment in time.
More than a dozen heads of state from Arab and Islamic nations have been invited by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to attend the conference with President Trump including: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Egypt), King Abdullah III (Jordan), Muhammad Fuad Masum (Iraq), Mamnoon Hussain (Pakistan) and all six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE). All are expected to be in attendance.
We are living in one of those rare moments when we are fortunate enough to see the building blocks of historic enterprise being erected while we watch. The results of these next several days will shape how our children view the landscape of the middle east in all the years to come.
All of the aforementioned states, sans Turkey, are united in their determination to reset the entire relationship within the region as it relates to ideological expressions of extremism within religion and politics. The gulf states, with pressure from Saudi Arabia and al-Sisi (Egypt), previously exiled the extremist leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. They currently reside in Turkey.
The day after the conference, President Trump is scheduled to travel to Jerusalem, where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders.
Other than Saudi King Salman, the most important figures amid the back story and cast of attendees are Fattah al-Sisi (Egypt) and King Abdullah III (Jordan). al-Sisi and Abdullah built an Arab coalition for peace and moderation. Their unified action has been taking place for several years prior to President Trump’s successful election.
However, it is the ‘new perspective’ of President Trump that provides them, and by extension their regional partners, the optimism that RIGHT NOW is the time to draw from the well of all their proactive endeavors.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: “I first saw the campaign of his excellency President Trump, and I listened to his speech of the neccessity of facing and confronting terrorism all over the world; that he is a great personality and a unique individual, and that he will find great success.”
“I fully trust the capabilities of President Trump, and I have full conviction that he can do things, exert efforts, that very few people can do. And he can succeed in so many fields that others cannot. I trust him wholeheartedly.”
“I followed all his announcements through his campaign, he has a very unique personality and administration, and now I’m speaking with full confidence of unprecedented success for him. He is seeking the interests of the United States and the American people in a very clear manner, and a very direct manner. And a very strong manner as well.”
“His true will is a very strong will to counter terrorism and extremism in the world; and that is a very strong commitment from his excellency the president, and in addition I am very supportive with full force in facing this terrorism.”
“There is a true understanding to the realities in the region, and there is a seriousness and responsible actions in facing extremism and terrorism in the region, and that’s a wonderful thing indeed. There is nothing better than to counter evil.” (link)
It would be too much to digest a full laying out of all the advance work that has gone into al-Sisi and Abdullah’s efforts over nearly five years. However, here’s a link to an outline carrying over a hundred reference citations from an earlier summation.
We are entirely clear-eyed as to the scope of the challenge. No-one amid our association is naive to the seemingly impossible scale against the backdrop of history. It may be that their task is impossible. Yet, if they do not try then how will we know it can’t be done? And if they do not try, it most certainly won’t be done…
Within the Trump administration there is absolutely no doubt of the work that has been going on for months, quietly, mostly under the radar. National U.S. media are completely deficient for not covering the previous events and the diplomacy that has been taking place all year.
We have a front row seat to what President Trump has been assembling, and I would never bet against the ability of President Trump and the people now aligned in consequence.
♦ 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 aid 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,
♦ Mid-March Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with an envoy from President Trump and told him that a peace deal is possible under the new president.
♦ April 3rd (Monday) – Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to Washington for an official White House state visit and spent the day with President Trump.
♦ April 5th (Wednesday) – Jordan’s King Abdullah III came back to Washington for an official visit to the White House.
♦ May 3rd – Palestinian Authority Leader President Mahmoud Abbas visits the White House for an official visit including the entire PA delegation.
♦ May 12th – President Donald Trump meets with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates.
♦ May 15th – Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan travels to Washington DC for an advance meeting with President Donald Trump.
Egyptian President Fattah al-Sisi has already secured most of the Sinai border region. The current challenge is to keep the extremist elements in check and undermine the destabilizing efforts of the extremists.
[A big part of that stability includes Syria, Russia and the U.S. defeating the remnants of ISIS. This is why Russia and Assad must be forced to confront ISIS. Currently Bashir Assad benefits from the continuance of a fight ‘in-optics-only’. His regime remains in power and hides behind the foil of ISIS, while the reality is he fights his political opposition.]
Additionally, under-reported in Western media, during the fall/winter of 2014 and spring/summer of 2015 Fattah 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.
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 current events 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.
They are thinking now only of the 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.