King castle

A NATO in the Middle East? Jordan’s political considerations and the misreading of King Abdullah’s last words

By Arvin Qaemian

Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s recent interview with US network CNBC, in which he was quoted as saying he supports the formation of a NATO-like military alliance in the Middle East, has sparked much controversy in West Asia. and beyond.

However, Ayman Al-Safadi, Jordan’s foreign minister, told Qatar-based Al Jazeera last Tuesday that there were no plans for a regional military alliance, including Israel. Mr. Al-Safadi refuted what was reported by Western media, adding: “There is no Arab coalition in which Israel would be part. Such an idea has not been proposed.”

There is a broad consensus among political commentators that King Abdullah’s remarks were completely misinterpreted and did not reflect Jordan’s complex considerations regarding the political landscape in the Middle East.

It is no secret to Jordanian politicians that the idea behind the so-called Middle East NATO – which is unlikely to materialize – aims to confront Iran by bringing Tel Aviv into a military partnership with some Arab regimes. .

The Jordanian diplomatic apparatus is well aware of the fact that the complex political equations in the Middle East are not comparable to those in Europe during the Cold War, and even the mere suggestion of such a crazy idea is extremely dangerous, because it would eventually push the already unstable Middle East to the brink of a terrible abyss. The Jordanians are also astute enough to know that the formation of a so-called Arab-Israeli NATO is essentially an insidious plot to obliterate the plight of the Palestinians and reinforce the impending strategic alignments in the region, which Jordan would not take advantage of. certainly not. Moreover, this delusion would exacerbate the divisions along religious and ethnic lines in West Asia, which Israel has invariably sought to deepen.

Meanwhile, on the eve of Biden’s impending regional tour of West Asia, the Amman-Riyadh relationship is somewhat reconciled after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Jordan. However, it is clear that real rapprochement cannot be achieved with handshakes alone, as the long-running schisms between King Abdullah and the Saudis have yet to heal since the failed coup attempt in 2021. According to reports, the coup plot was orchestrated by Prince Hamzah bin Al-Hussein – King Abdullah’s half-brother – and secretly supported by the Saudi secret service.

Today, Jordan does not want to see itself become even more vulnerable, especially given the ambiguous nature of its relationship with Saudi Arabia and Biden’s desire to resolve disagreements between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. United. In other words, Amman seeks neither to incite hostility against Iran and its allies nor to place all its trust in a possible Israeli-American-Arab military alliance, which would be detrimental to the precarious position of the Jordan.

Jordanians breathed a sigh of relief when Trump left the White House, and Biden eased the pressure on them to embrace the infamous Abraham Accords. However, the incumbent US president never abandoned Trump’s pro-Israel military alliance in West Asia. Therefore, many Jordanians argue that the formation of a NATO military alliance in the Middle East would undermine Jordan’s national interests and historical status as guardian of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, and above all, destabilize internal affairs of Jordan by enraging millions of Jordanians who are of Palestinian origin.

Since the many obstacles that prevent the formation of an Arab-Israeli NATO will never be removed, the viability of such an alliance is seen as nothing more than a castle in the air. In any case, such naive and desperate attempts will prove totally futile and will soon see their fate sealed.

Finally, Psalm 21:11 states, “Even if they plan evil against you, if they plot evil, they will not succeed.”

Arvin Qaemian is a political analyst based in Tehran.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)