On June 15, 2020, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu stated there are no disagreements between Russia and Turkey on the fundamental principles of the Libyan settlement. Moscow and Ankara are continuing negotiations at the technical level to develop a mechanism for establishing a ceasefire and start the process of political settlement of the Libyan conflict.
Who is Fighting in Libya?
In Libya over the past few years, two opposing authorities have existed in parallel, one of them is the Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli and led by Faiz Saraj. In the east, in the Tobruk, there is the Libyan House of Representatives, controlled by the commander in chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar. Since April 2019, the troops of H. Haftar besieged the Libyan capital. In November 2019, the Republic of Turkey and the government of F. Saraj signed a memorandum of understanding, which included the intensification of political and military-technical cooperation.
As a result of Turkish interference, the GNA forces managed to achieve significant military successes and go on the counterattack. The army of F. Saraj was able to lift the siege of Tripoli, which lasted 14 months and push the LNA from the Libyan capital. In April, the GNA troops established control over the coast in western Libya from Misrata to the border with Tunisia. Soon, the army of H. Haftar was forced to leave the capital airport, and Tarhuna, as well as al-Watiya airbase. Against the backdrop of the success of the government of F. Saraj, some Libyan Tuareg militias in southern Libya have expressed their support for Tripoli’s actions.
As a result of the GNA troops’ counterattack, the LNA supply system was violated, several key settlements of western Libya were captured, and the morale of H. Haftar was undermined. Now the fighting between the LNA and the army of F. Saraj is taking place on the approaches to the coastal Mediterranean city of Sirte, an important strategic point that is under the control of the LNA. The city is located on the way to oil fields in the east of the country, which are held by the army of H. Haftar, and if Sirte is taken from the GNA and their Turkish allies, the road is open for them.
What Role Does Turkey Play in the Libyan Conflict?
The situation at the front was changed thanks to large-scale intervention in the conflict by Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t hide that the victories over the troops of H. Haftar have achieved thanks to the Turkish soldiers and that the Turkish troops present in Libya are going along with the GNA to achieve common goals.
Ankara and Tripoli’s political and military-technical cooperation intensified after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in November 2019. The agreement between the GNA and Turkey defined the boundaries of Turkey’s exclusive economic zone in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, where there are large deposits of natural gas. Besides, the agreement implied the intensification of military cooperation. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the agreement between Ankara and Tripoli on security cooperation is an attempt to legalize military support that violates the arms embargo. The EU, Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Cyprus condemned the signing of a memorandum that violates international law, and other countries of the Eastern Mediterranean claim gas production in this part of the sea. By contrast, Tripoli recognizes Turkey’s right to extract natural resources in the designated exclusive economic zone in exchange for support in the Libyan conflict. Indeed, Turkey has interests in Libya. Ankara declares that it intends to win contracts for the restoration of Libya, and in the future, it will participate in the production of Libyan oil.
Just a few days after the Berlin Conference on Libya in January 2020, the participants agreed to comply with the arms embargo on Libya, Turkey sent tanks, anti-aircraft guns Korkut, self-propelled howitzers T-155, cannons GDF, combat vehicles ACV-15 and jeeps with anti-tank guns to help Tripoli. The media report that the Republic of Turkey is also transporting Syrian militants to Libya, who are fighting on the side of the GNA.
It is known that Turkey plans to open two military bases in Libya. Ankara is planning to deploy air defense systems and drones at the recently captured al-Watiya airbase. Also, Turkish troops will be stationed at a military base near Misrata. Turkey has in Libya not only economic interests but also military-political ones. Firstly, the deployment of troops of the Republic of Turkey at Libyan bases will allow Ankara to make more influence on the political course of located in Tripoli government. Secondly, Turkey will create an additional factor holding back the hypothetical offensive of the army of H. Haftar. It is unlikely that the LNA leadership will be able to fight with the Republic of Turkey’s regular units. Thirdly, Turkey will deploy troops in a country neighboring Egypt, one of Ankara’s key foreign policy opponents.
How is Egypt Responding to Intensified Hostilities in Libya?
The offensive of the pro-Turkish GNA forces and Turkey excited the Egyptian military and political circles, who perceived the defeat of the LNA and the advance of the Tripoli army deep into the country as a threat to Egyptians national security. Egyptian Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said that Egypt will not allow pro-Turkish terrorists to control Libya. Besides, he also accused Turkey of wanting to colonize parts of the Arab world.
Egypt deployed part of the troops on the Egyptian-Libyan border. The media reported that the border with Libya was crossed by Abrams tanks and Mi-24 combat helicopters. It is also worth remembering that in the province Matruh, near the border with Libya, there is a large Egyptian military base named after the first president of Egypt, Mohammed Nagib. On its territory there are more than a thousand structures, about 20 thousand soldiers, hundreds of tanks, helicopters, boats, and air defense systems can be deployed here. The base is located close to the border with Libya, which, if necessary, allows Egypt to respond quickly to threats from a neighboring country.
Why Did Turkey and the Government of the National Accord not Accept the Cairo Declaration?
June 6, 2020, a conference was held in Cairo, during which the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt (ARE) Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came up with an initiative to overcome the Libyan crisis, the Cairo Declaration. The initiative provided for a complete ceasefire in Libya from June 8, the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the territory of the country, and the dissolution of all armed groups except for the LNA, which should ensure security in Libya. The proposals included the conditions for a political settlement of the conflict, in particular, the unification of Libyan political institutions and the creation of a presidential council with representatives of all three regions. It was planned that one of the three representatives would become president, and the other two persons would become his deputies. Egypt also called for continued talks in Geneva on the Libyan joint military commission in the 5+5 format.
The conference was attended by Egyptian President A.F. al-Sisi, Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives Aquila Saleh, the meeting was also attended by representatives of the United States, Russia, France, and Italy. Russia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Cyprus, South Africa, the League of Arab States and its members (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria, Kuwait) have expressed support for the Cairo Declaration. The EU supported the initiative, drawing attention to the fact that nothing can replace the comprehensive world, an agreement on which was reached during the Berlin Conference. Cairo’s efforts have also been welcomed in the United States.
At the same time, there were no representatives of the GNA and the Turkish Republic at the Cairo conference. The terms of a political settlement proposed by the Egyptian president were not discussed with key participants in the conflict. Naturally, Ankara and Tripoli refused to accept the Cairo Declaration and hostilities continued. GNA troops continued the bombing of the city of Sirte: the last large settlement belonging to the western part of Libya and controlled by H. Haftar.
Even though Ankara and Tripoli did not participate in the discussion of the Cairo Declaration, the GNA is ready to take part in peace talks. At the same time, it is emphasized that negotiations are possible only after the troops of F. Saraj can capture Sirte and the military base Jufra. At the same time, the GNA announced that H. Haftar is a war criminal and that he cannot participate in any negotiations on the post-war structure of Libya, and the Minister of the Interior of the F. Saraj Government announced that Libya will not be able to end the war until it’s East is liberated from H. Haftar.
The GNA is ready to continue the attack on the position of the LNA. Turkish troops can play an important role in that, considering that Ankara doesn’t hide the presence of its troops in Libya. The escalation of hostilities in Libya is taking place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus didn’t become a deterrent to hostilities. On the contrary, the warring parties decided to take advantage of the involvement of the rest of the world in the fight against the epidemic. H. Haftar declared himself the sole Libyan ruler, and the GNA went on the offensive. Missile attacks on Libyan cities lead to interruptions in the supply of water and electricity, which impedes the fight against the virus. Solving the problems caused by the epidemic seems less important to the top military-political circles of the warring parties than a war with each other. All this can contribute to the spread of coronavirus infection.
Egypt and Turkey, perhaps the main players on the Libyan chessboard, are not interested in further escalating the conflict. In July 2020, Ethiopia plans to begin filling the reservoir of the Hidase hydropower plant, regardless of whether Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa manage to reach a compromise on the distribution of water resources of the Nile River. A potential blow to the irrigation system of Egypt is a threat no less significant than the civil war in Libya, so the Egyptian leadership will probably try to avoid the aggravation of the situation on several “fronts” at once. The Egyptian leadership has concerns that it is being dragged into the grueling Libyan war. Given the fact that the army of the Arab Republic has trouble in the fight against terrorists on the Sinai Peninsula, participation in a full-fledged military campaign may make Egypt boggle for a long time in Libya. Also, the Egyptian intervention would be negatively perceived by the world community, and this could lead to the introduction of economic sanctions against Egypt and hit the already fragile economy.
Turkey has announced the launch of the Claw-Eagle Operation. During it, the Turkish Air Force attacked the facilities of the Kurdistan Workers Party, which are located in northern Iraq. Another issue Turkey is forced to monitor is the actions of the Syrian Arab Republic army, which is fighting against terrorist groups in Idlib. The intensification of hostilities in Libya is also taking place against the backdrop of worsening relations between Turkey and Greece. This does not allow Ankara to be involved in the processes taking place in Libya as it would like.
H. Haftar will not give up without a fight. The LNA is going to restructure the main operational headquarters of the command for more effective interaction on the battlefield. Reinforcements are drawn to Sirt. However, in connection with the events of recent weeks, it has become more apparent that a military way to resolve the Libyan conflict is hardly possible. Egypt will not allow the complete defeat of the LNA, and Turkey will not allow the defeat of the GNA forces.
Understanding this forces the warring parties to discuss measures that can stop the bloodshed. The delegations of the GNA and LNA took part in the third round of talks on Libya in the format of a meeting of the joint military talks 5 + 5, during which the parties discussed a draft ceasefire agreement. Although the ceasefire was repeatedly broken, both H. Haftar and F. Saraj alternately refused to sign the ceasefire agreement, now there is a real possibility of a compromise. Turkey and the GNA are ready for negotiations, but they want to strengthen their position before them.
It is worth recognizing that the military solution to the Libyan issue has not justified itself. This means that if the warring parties cannot find a political solution to the conflict, Libya will remain a country divided into two parts for a very long time. Under these conditions, Russia can take the initiative. It can offer F. Saraj and H. Haftar to negotiate with the mediation of Russia and Turkey on the conditions for establishing a ceasefire. Then, when the shooting stops, initiate a discussion on the possibility of a political settlement of the Libyan conflict. Moscow and Ankara have extensive experience in finding a compromise on the most painful issues, and it is possible that the Libyan conflict is no exception.
From our partner RIAC
Biden’s Opportunity To Reset Relatons With The Muslim World Begins In Istanbul
When President Obama delivered his famous speech at Cairo University in June of 2009, it was an historic moment. The symbolism of a sitting U.S President speaking to Muslims, and not about them, was refreshing and enormously impactful. America’s first African American President opened his speech with “I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning, between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
It appeared to many the world was changing and with American leadership, the global community was embarking on a new era of understanding between East and West.
Obama’s speech hit all the right notes: he acknowledged the contributions of Muslims throughout history. He recognized the common humanity between Muslims and people of other faiths. He disavowed the narrative of an inevitable civilizational divide. And he emphasized the need to support democratic reforms in the Muslim world. He reiterated the right of Palestinians to a dignified living, promised to leave “Iraq to Iraqis,” and sought to prioritize diplomacy over war in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.
A year and half later Obama’s message would be tested by the Arab Spring. As Muslim communities across the Arab world rose up against autocratic rule demanding freedom and democracy, the Obama White House struggled to support the people. The optimism that followed his Cairo speech had fizzled.
The pledge to establish a “new beginning” was neglected during Obama’s presidency and then destroyed by President Trump’s divisive policies. Since his inauguration, Trump has taken a wrecking ball to America’s relationship with Muslims at home and around the world. He claimed that “Islam hates us,” and on his first day in office fulfilled his campaign promise to ban visitors from several Muslim-majority countries. On election day this year, he tweeted warning that his rival, Joe Biden, will increase “refugees from terrorist nations.” President Trump’s one serious claim of progress toward Middle East peace, the Abraham Accords, was viewed by many as little more than a last-ditch effort to deliver a foreign policy victory for Trump in time for his reelection bid. The Accords willfully left out the Palestinians, the most crucial stakeholders in the conflict, leaving a hollow agreement with few guarantees for a lasting peace.
More than a decade after the Cairo speech, the divide between East and West seems to have only deepened. Muslims feel the world is at war with them – fueled not only by American military actions but by the continued persecution of Muslims in Burma, Kashmir, China and elsewhere. There is a sense that Islam’s most revered symbols are under attack, and that Muslim identity is suspect in the eyes of many in the West.
However, the picture is not entirely dark. As the Trump era comes to a close, there is an opportunity for President-elect Biden to pick up where Obama left off in 2009: a chance to reset the partnership between America and the Muslim world. This opportunity passes straight through Istanbul. If in 2009 Egypt represented “the heart of the Arab world”, to reset ties with the Muslim world today, Biden will need Turkey.
The centrality of Turkey to the Muslim world and The East today is undisputed. Tens of thousands of Muslim dissidents and human rights defenders from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Libya have taken refuge in Turkey. Istanbul has become a hub of diaspora intellectual activism. Because of a leadership vacuum in the Muslim world, Turkey continues to emerge as the champion of Muslims under persecution, and that role resonates with Muslims around the world.
Turkey took the lead in launching the Alliance of Civilizations in 2005 to combat extremism and broker deeper understanding between Muslim societies and the West, this project now comprises 146 members including member states and international organizations. The pluralistic Islam practiced in Turkey today is more representative of Muslim communities around the world and starkly different from the Wahhabi-influenced regimes of the Arabian Gulf, with whom Trump became very friendly during his tenure.
Turkey is also a critical NATO ally, with the second largest military contribution. Trump’s continual attacks on NATO have challenged and weakened the world’s strongest military alliance. Biden will need Turkey’s assistance to strengthen NATO to meet new regional challenges, especially with Russia, as well.
Although Turkey’s human rights record is not perfect and its democracy has been tested since the failed military coup of 2016, the government has shown commitment to democratic principles, and its institutions and civil society continue to be lightyears ahead of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle Eastern.
Turkey today can be the bridge between the West and the Muslim World, mending the deepened rift and launching that new beginning promised by Obama eleven years ago. When Biden used the word inshallah, which means “God-willing” in Arabic, during a presidential debate, Muslims in America and abroad took note. Muslim American turnout in critical battleground states like Michigan was decisive in his favor. Biden should capitalize on the momentum of his gesture to re-engage with the Muslim world and repair America’s image around the world. The destination of his first foreign trip could even be to Istanbul, to listen and to signal change. It would represent the metaphoric start of a new chapter.
Covid-19 Vaccine: A Mutual Partnership between Morocco and China
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Kingdom of Morocco (1958), a strong and rapid strategic development of mutual ties categorized contemporary collaboration.
On August 31th 2020, King Mohammed VI held telephone talks with Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, which falls within the framework of the existing friendship between the two countries, which was strengthened through the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the People’s Republic of China. A strategic partnership was signed by the King and Chinese President during the royal visit to Beijing in May 2016.
The phone talks between King Mohammed VI and the President of the People’s Republic of China touched on the development of bilateral relations in all fields, especially political dialogue, economic cooperation, and cultural and humanitarian exchanges. King Mohammed VI and President Xi Jinping also discussed the partnership between the two countries in combating “Covid-19”.
According to Moroccan Newsmedia, Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb is expressed his satisfaction with the signing up of a cooperation agreement between Morocco and China National Biotec Group Limited (CNBG) on the COVID-19 vaccine trials. This shared Moroccan-Chinese collaboration will allow the Kingdom of Morocco to be among the prior served in terms of the vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, he added, under his Majesty, The Kingdom of Morocco would be able to take part in creating vaccines in sense of the exchange of Chinese expertise. Though, to strengthen the Sino-Morocco strategic partnership, to boost both countries’ international solidarity and promote health cooperation.
The issue of discovering an anti-“Covid-19” vaccine still raises several controversies, and altercations especially since the kingdom of Morocco issued its participation in the clinical trials of the Chinese vaccine, but without giving any details about how these trials were conducted, or, knowing its initial outcomes.
Accordingly, despite those who attempt to question it, China’s vaccines constitute a trendy choice because they are affordable and can be distributed in a substantial and more successful capacity. Yet, several states which face similar economic issues, people, and ambiance-based impediments are likely to see China’s vaccines as the obvious choice. That does not mean it will be the sole state they do trade with, as several of the states have more than one trade partner.
Though, Chinese vaccines have a competitive price and making capacity, allowing developing countries like Morocco a way out of the pandemic as fast as possible. Unlike European companies, is not only about business; China has also agreed to give billions of vaccines.
China has timely released the latest vaccines information, China’s vaccines are gaining international steam and a growing number of states are following up to obtain them. Whilst the achievements of Moderna and Pzifer are widely lauded, in the end, these companies only complete a part of the jigsaw in ending the COVID-19 crisis. Not everyone has the privilege or infrastructure to buy them. Therefore, the accomplishment of SinoVac, CanSino, and SinoPharm are set to play a significant role in making a difference for billions of people around the world.
According to Jamal Eddine Bouzidi, a doctor specializing in chest diseases, allergies, and immunology, president of the Moroccan Association for Fighting Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, pointed out: “They say that the Chinese vaccine is purely safe, but to make sure of that.” You must wait for a long time because there are side effects that may appear after a period of up to two years or after months at least. Therefore, we might say that it is 100% safe. “
He added, “All vaccines that are produced around the globe go through many phases in the laboratory, then they are analyzed and checked on mammals and followed by humans. And when tested on humans, they also go through three stages; and during each stage, the number” of people subject to testing, so that the effects are discovered. Side effects of the vaccine and its effectiveness. “
Under such circumstances, The Moroccan minister noted that the vaccine, according to the statements of Chinese officials, is successful at a rate of between 97 and 98 percent, and is given in two doses with a difference of 14 days, and the antibodies are manufactured within a month and can sustain in the blood to defend the body for two years. “The vaccine experiments will originally involve volunteers as of next week,” the official said.
Ait Taleb highlighted that the agreements reached will allow Morocco to have its vaccine as soon as possible with the help of our Chinese health expertise. The signing of the agreements will allow Morocco to launch its first experience of clinical trials.
Meanwhile, Al-Bouzidi considered that what is being said is the “only guess”, indicating that the near-term side effects of this vaccine are high temperature, a little fatigue, slight pain at the injection site, and some tremors. The long-term symptoms are not yet known.
As acknowledged by Chinese officials, “Jun Mao” said the signing of the agreements paves the “excellence of strategic relations between China and Morocco in terms of cooperation against COVID-19, which is entering a new phase.” The Chinese diplomat Mao reaffirmed that Rabat and Beijing’s commitment to deepening their cooperation through the clinical trials. He said he hopes the newly-signed agreement will yield “decent results” as soon as possible for the peoples of the two countries.
In conclusion, China has big expectations for the Kingdom of Morocco as the latter has an extreme pond of resources to spur its anticipated vision and China’s economic growth. As a superpower, China’s motive in partnership with Africa through the creation of more legality and impartial world order places the East Asian giant is a powerful stand to provide more substantial aid to Africa under win-win cooperation.
The Muslim world’s changing dynamics: Pakistan struggles to retain its footing
Increasing strains between Pakistan and its traditional Arab allies, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, is about more than Gulf states opportunistically targeting India’s far more lucrative market.
At the heart of the tensions, that potentially complicate Pakistan’s economic recovery, is also India’s ability to enhance Gulf states’ capacity to hedge their bets amid uncertainty about the continued US commitment to regional security.
India is a key member of the Quad that also includes the United States, Australia and Japan and could play a role in a future more multilateral regional security architecture in the Gulf.
Designed as the backbone of an Indo-Pacific strategy intended to counter China across a swath of maritime Asia, Gulf states are unlikely to pick sides but remain keen on ensuring that they maintain close ties with both sides of the widening divide.
The mounting strains with Pakistan are also the latest iteration of a global battle for Muslim religious soft power that pits Saudi Arabia and the UAE against Turkey, Iran, and Asian players like Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Islamic movement.
A combination of geo- and domestic politics is complicating efforts by major Muslim-majority states in Asia to walk a middle line. Pakistan, home to the world’s largest Shiite Muslim minority, has reached out to Turkey while seeking to balance relations with its neighbour, Iran.
The pressure on Pakistan is multi-fold.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan charged recently that the United States and one other unidentified country were pressing him to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
Pakistani and Israeli media named Saudi Arabia as the unidentified country. Representing the world’s second most populous Muslim nation, Pakistani recognition, following in the footsteps of the UAE and Bahrain, would be significant.
Pakistan twice in the last year signalled a widening rift with the kingdom.
Mr. Khan had planned to participate a year ago in an Islamic summit hosted by Malaysia and attended by Saudi Arabia’s detractors, Turkey, Iran and Qatar, but not the kingdom and a majority of Muslim states. The Pakistani prime minister cancelled his participation at the last moment under Saudi pressure.
More recently, Pakistan again challenged Saudi leadership of the Muslim world when Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi complained about lack of support of the Saudi-dominated Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Pakistan in its conflict with India over Kashmir. The OIC groups the world’s 57 Muslim-majority nations. Mr. Qureshi suggested that his country would seek to rally support beyond the realm of the kingdom.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on a visit to Pakistan earlier this year, made a point of repeatedly reiterating his country’s support for Pakistan in the Kashmir dispute.
By openly challenging the kingdom, Mr. Qureshi was hitting Saudi Arabia where it hurts most as it seeks to repair its image tarnished by allegations of abuse of human rights, manoeuvres to get off on the right foot with incoming US President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, and fends off challenges to its leadership of the Muslim world.
Pakistan has not helped itself by recently failing to ensure that it would be removed from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force, an international anti-money laundering and terrorism finance watchdog, despite progress in the country’s legal infrastructure and enforcement.
Grey listing causes reputational damage and makes foreign investors and international banks more cautious in their dealings with countries that have not been granted a clean bill of health.
Responding to Mr. Qureshi’s challenge, Saudi Arabia demanded that Pakistan repay a US$1 billion loan extended to help the South Asian nation ease its financial crisis. The kingdom has also dragged its feet on renewing a US$3.2 billion oil credit facility that expired in May.
In what Pakistan will interpret as UAE support for Saudi Arabia, the Emirates last week included Pakistan on its version of US President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim travel ban.
Inclusion on the list of 13 Muslim countries whose nationals will no longer be issued visas for travel to the UAE increases pressure on Pakistan, which relies heavily on exporting labour to generate remittances and alleviate unemployment.
Some Pakistanis fear that a potential improvement in Saudi-Turkish relations could see their country fall through geopolitical cracks.
In the first face-to-face meeting between senior Saudi and Turkish officials since the October 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, the two countries’ foreign ministers, Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Mevlut Cavusoglu, held bilateral talks this weekend, on the sidelines of an OIC conference in the African state of Niger.
“A strong Turkey-Saudi partnership benefits not only our countries but the whole region,” Mr. Cavusoglu tweeted after the meeting.
The meeting came days after Saudi King Salman telephoned Mr. Erdogan on the eve of a virtual summit hosted by the kingdom of the Group of 20 (G20) that brings together the world’s largest economies.
“The Muslim world is changing and alliances are shifting and entering new, unchartered territories,” said analyst Sahar Khan.
Added Imtiaz Ali, another analyst: “In the short term, Riyadh will continue exploiting Islamabad’s economic vulnerabilities… But in the longer term, Riyadh cannot ignore the rise of India in the region, and the two countries may become close allies – something that will mostly likely increase the strain on Pakistan-Saudi relations.”
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