Saudi-Russian Relations Strengthen

Late last month, the Russian President (Vladimir Putin) spoke on two important occasions: the first “Energy Week” and the second “Valdai Club”. On both occasions, energy was the focus of the conversation and dialogue. On the side-lines, Putin gave an interview to American channel CNBC. In response to questions asked by its anchor Hadley Gamble, he touched on topics of huge importance, particularly the major role played by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad in stabilising energy markets.

The relations of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia were established by the Crown Prince in 2016, under which OPEC+ was formed. It changed the relations of the two countries and paved the way for the establishment of strategic relations between Riyadh and Moscow.

Saudi Arabia and Russia are two of the most important countries which possess huge reserves of oil and gas. They are among the most important producing and exporting countries for carbohydrate energy sources.

Therefore, the Russian President’s appreciation particularly of the Saudi leadership and its important role in stabilising energy prices lays the foundations for future relations and rapprochement between the two countries. It is beyond energy markets. It is for cooperation between the two countries for fair energy prices.

Russia aspires, during the next 10 years, to consolidate its position as a pole of the emerging world order. Therefore, it played a pivotal role in decisions which would be taken by the United Nations or who will replace it in the future.

(by Dr. Abdullah Alfaraj in Al Riyadh)

Lebanon: Moving Caricatures

The Lebanese civil war erupted in the seventies and lasted for nearly two decades, during which it ate up everything. At that time, the Lebanese blamed the Palestinian factions for the outbreak of that war without giving proof of these allegations. The armed Palestinian factions left Lebanon in 1982 for Tunisia, and many expected – at that time – the end of the civil war. But the war continued with more intensity between the fighting Lebanese militias until 1990 when Saudi Arabia hosted the Taif Summit. It came to an end with the disbanding of all militias and gathering around the legitimate head of state and his government in Lebanon.

After the Taif Agreement, the civil warlords came out in a new attire which suited the new situation. They wanted to control the economy and politics of the country, which has been an uphill task for every consecutive president of Lebanon. All political currents have created obstacles for the other to control sovereign Lebanese ministries which are the lifeline of the state.

Lebanon’s current crisis is not the first and will not be the last. Some of its politicians are accustomed to blame one or the other for this and try to evade any disaster in the country. If any helping hand is extended to them, instead of recognising them they indulge in selfishness, opportunism and give priority to their narrow personal interests over general interest of the country.

(by Muhammad Hasan Mufti in Okaz)

Compiled and Translated by Faizul Haque

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