In 2012, the Middle East “proved once again that it is truly the best at perpetrating the worst,” former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal has written in a recent oped written for the Project Syndicate and published in the Gulf News.
In the region, there are no “winners” and “losers” as some global analysts like to argue, added al-Faisa, who also served as the kingdom's ambassador to both the United States and the UK.
“The region continues to breed only losers. The victims of the conflicts in Syria, Iran and Palestine; the friends and families of the victims; those who hope for peace: All lost,” he wrote.
In order for the Middle East to stop producing losers in 2013, a few measures must be taken, he wrote. First, the United States must stop “Israeli’s killing machine.” Second, the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria must be brought down by arming the opposition fighters. Third, “Iranian intervention in Iraq must stop,” he wrote, adding that Western and Iranian support for Shiite-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki must be withdrawn.
In addition to those “major tasks,” al-Faisal urgent Palestine’s main political rivals, Hamas and Fatah to reconcile and turn their united efforts towards improving the lives of the Palestinian people.
“Egypt must get over its post-revolutionary squabbling and reassume its leading role among Arab states. And all Arab states must coordinate their efforts to realize common ambitions, rather than continue to pursue only narrow national interests,” al-Faisal added.
But central to all those challenges, he argues is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s need to unite “into a confederation that can meet the challenges of Iran’s regional ambitions and bring major military deployments to bear on regional conflicts.”