The visit of a joint delegation of Arab and Islamic foreign ministers to China on November 11 and 20 was, according to Saudi Foreign Minister Al-Faisal, the first step towards putting into practice the resolutions made at the joint summit of Arab and Islamic leaders held in Riyadh this month.
Faisal said that the first stop is China, and then we will travel to the capitals of other countries. In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, Turkish Foreign Minister Fedan also mentioned that a joint delegation of Arab and Islamic countries will soon hold meetings in Moscow, Beijing and London to discuss the cessation of hostilities.
Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdurrahman Al-Thani will begin his visit to Russia and the United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 11, as part of the good offices efforts of the foreign ministers of seven Arab and Islamic countries to end the war in the Gaza Strip, according to the Qatar News Agency. "It is part of a round of official visits by foreign ministers of fraternal countries to the permanent members of the UN Security Council, with the aim of taking action to end the war immediately."
From the above information, it can be seen that the visit of the foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic countries is a joint action and part of the consensus of the leaders' summit held in Saudi Arabia. China is one of them. It remains to be seen whether these foreign ministers will visit at least Moscow and London, and whether they will also visit other permanent members of the Security Council, such as France and the United States.
On November 2023, 11, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan arrived at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing to attend the Foreign Ministers' Meeting. At the meeting, he said that Saudi Arabia highly praised China and the UN resolutions adopted under China's auspices. In the picture, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomes Faisal, and the two prepare to shake hands. （Reuters）
China's first stop as a visiting delegation of Arab and Islamic foreign ministers is of unusual significance. As everyone knows, China supports Arab countries and advocates a ceasefire. The first visit to China was a sign of the tacit belief that China is a factor of certainty and that China will play a major role.
Judging from the past period, China and Russia are among the permanent members of the UN Security Council who support a ceasefire. France and the United Kingdom, while supporting humanitarian relief, are becoming less tolerant of Israeli strikes against civilians and civilian installations. However, due to the pressure of the United States and the domestic political situation, the position is not very clear. The United States, which is Israel's biggest supporter in the Security Council, recognizes Israel's right to self-defense and agrees to a humanitarian moratorium, not a ceasefire, unlike most countries.
The visits of the Foreign Ministers of Arab and Islamic countries are an exercise to rally support. Russia's hostile stance with the United States and Europe on the battlefield in Ukraine has almost always been seen as a countermeasure to the United States and Europe. And Russia is deeply involved in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and it is not certain how much power it can convince the United States on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. In such a situation, China is in the spotlight. At the recent Xi-Jinping meeting, China and the United States exchanged views on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and the United States even asked China to convey a message to Iran. China is a talker who can talk to the United States. The foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic countries hope that China will play a role, and the United States also hopes that China will play a role. It's almost a much-anticipated development that has pushed China to the forefront.
Does this mean that the time has come for China to make a big impact on the situation in Gaza?
Foreign ministers from various Arab and Islamic countries visited Beijing, China, on November 2023, 11, and met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. （Reuters）
China wants to play the role of a great power, and all parties also want China to play its role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. But the key parties to the situation are Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel. On the one hand, the United States has its own views on the Middle East issue and hopes that China will send a message to Iran, but the United States has its own unique methods in dealing with Arab countries. The United States is the arms supplier to most Middle Eastern countries, the Middle East is an oil-rich region, and the petrodollar is a panacea for maintaining US hegemony. Not really, to a large extent.
Nor will Israel necessarily do what the United States says it will do. Differences between the United States and Israel over who will govern the post-war Gaza Strip have become public. Israel has its own domestic political needs. How can China convince Israel? What leverage will allow Netanyahu's right-wing government to maintain its political presence and account to the people?
The most important thing in this is that the joint voice and action of Saudi Arabia, Arab countries and Islamic countries this time is a major progress. Saudi Arabia's ability to host a joint summit of Arab and Islamic countries is a manifestation of Saudi Arabia's diplomatic status. The support of many countries for Saudi Arabia is not only the basis of Saudi Arabia's actions, but also the driving force for Saudi Arabia to move forward. What the Arab countries will do depends on Saudi Arabia's determination and boldness. According to the character of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed, he will not be able to easily turn the page on the Gaza issue and then negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel, nor will he remain indifferent to Saudi Arabia's position as the leader of Arab countries. Saudi Arabia hopes to gain the support of other countries, and also hopes that China will support their actions, and in the middle, Saudi Arabia hopes that China will play a role in a greater sense as a sedan chair bearer.
Leaders of many countries attend the Extraordinary Summit of Arab-Islamic Leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 2023, 11 and take a group photo. In the photo, Crown Prince Mohammed can be seen in the center, his right three are Jordanian King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and Syrian President Bashar, and on the left hand are Palestinian Autonomous Government Chairman Abbas, Turkish President Erdogan, and Iranian President Raisi. （Reuters）
The U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East is an opportunity for Middle Eastern powers to increase their strategic autonomy, and Saudi Arabia needs to look for opportunities to assert its presence and influence. In this Israeli-Kazakhstan conflict, Saudi Arabia is obviously brewing a big move. In the final analysis, how Saudi Arabia concludes a deal with the United States and Israel depends on how the United States mediates its relations with Israel. The United States is able to broker the reconciliation process between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and naturally knows how to balance the contradictions between Israel and Arab countries.
The formation of a joint delegation of Arab and Islamic countries to act in unison is the result of the successful internal unity of the Saudi side. The first leg of the delegation of Arab and Islamic foreign ministers to visit China, and will visit other permanent members of the Security Council, is an action by this group to pool resources on a global scale. These are Saudi bargaining chips with the United States and Israel.
The unification of Saudi Arabia and other Arab and Islamic countries is a portrayal of the great changes taking place in the Middle East, and in this process, China plays an active role as an active promoter of the process of change. China will not be a major power that intervenes in the situation by virtue of its position of strength, and China's presence in the Middle East will truly return to its role as an extraterritorial power.
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