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Sino-Russian Nexus in The Middle East Implications For Regional Security
Syed Zohaib Gillani
Middle East has world's oldest civilization due to its relevance with three great Divine Abrahamic religions i.e., Judaism. Christianity and Islam. The strategic importance of the region made it center-stage for the great and regional powers to show their keen interests in the region. The region is rich in natural resources that are fulfilling more than 80% of trade and oil needs of the world. More or less the major economies of the world are dependent on the Middle East due to its oil reserves. This made the region more volatile and highly instable that creates threats to the regional as well as global security. The Arab Spring and Syrian crisis in 2011 are new developments in the region that have changed the security environment and regional order. The imbalance in the region after Arab Spring and Syrian crisis has affected the global security equation along with regional power balance. These two recent events in the regional politics have divided the region into 'peace region'; Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar and 'disturbed region'; Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. A purely regional issue i.e., Syrian civil war has not only affected the regional order but also divided the world community into two major blocs having divergent objectives and policies in the region. The Arab uprisings and Syrian crisis in 2011 provided space to regional actors such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to exert their influence in the region that are emerging as new regional players in the Middle East. In the contemporary Middle East, Syria became the focal point and a playground for the great powers to achieve certain objectives in the region. At the regional level, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Bahrain are supporting anti-Assad forces in the region whereas, Iran along with Hezbollah and Hamas are countering the militant rebels against downfall of Assad regime. The recent Geneva talks of 2013 of P5+1 and Iran over Iranian nuclear controversy has increased the regional influence of Iran. At the global level, the US, France and Great Britain are in favor of opposition in Syria; on the other hand China and Russia are favoring the Assad regime by vetoing UN Security Council resolutions against any military action on Syria. In the present time, Sino-Russian active presence in the regional politics of Middle East is a new variable that has regional and global implications. Syria became a quagmire of contending interests among great powers of the world. Russia as former super power has long history and technological military advancement along with rising China as an economic giant to get together in the Middle East to counter the U$ and Western penetration in the region. Beijing and Moscow have maintained a regional balance in the vulnerable security environment of the region. The world has witnessed that Sino-Russian nexus is important for Middle East that can bring peace and stability in the region. The Middle East as regional security complex has been affecting super security complex at the global front. The series of vetoes by China and Russia over Syrian conflict have marked questions on the uni-polar character of the world order.