Written by Nasser Kandil,
The Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz is preparing himself for a visit which is described by the Saudi media as historic. The visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Riyadh was a prelude for the files which will be discussed by the Saudi King and the Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a time during which the Russian –Saudi Summit cannot lead to gray ends regarding the sensitive files of each of the two teams. Now Russia is in the last Quarter-hour which is related to the course of path of the political and security solution in Syria under a tripartite; ending the terrorism, integrating the armed groups which accept the settlements in the calm areas, and opening the way for a political solution under the title of a government under the leadership of the Syrian President and the Syrian constitution towards new consonant constitution and elections. Saudi Arabia is concerned about its crisis with Qatar; it feels that it has to take a difficult decision; either to accept a settlement, in which Qatar comes out of it as nothing has happened, after it undermined the Saudi prestige under the title of the open negotiation, or it succeeds by exerting more pressures on Qatar to improve the conditions of negotiation in which Saudi Arabia can come out of it with prestige that allows it to continue playing an important regional role. As Russia is trying to include Saudi Arabia to Astana and Geneva paths in their new formulas to accelerate its concept of settlement and war, Saudi Arabia is aware that it cannot disrupt the Russian path on one hand, since it is no longer able to affect the Syrian path if it decides to disrupt, but it can win a rewarding prize if it goes on in the settlements under Russian ceiling, since it is in an unenviable position in its crisis with Qatar, and because Russia and Iran due to their priority to Syria have an important influence in giving Qatar more margins or more pressures.
The press conference of the two Ministers Lavrov and Al-Jubeir was a clear attempt to avoid any speech that deepens the differences between them, because this has happen repeatedly in previous meetings either about Syria or about the future of Hezbollah in it. It was clear that Al-Jubeir has chosen vocabularies that are not contradictory to the Russian policy; he supported the calming areas and the political solution on the basis of Geneva and the UN resolutions. Lavrov talked about the meeting on the priority of stopping the funding of the terrorism in solving the crisis with Qatar, and on supporting the endeavors of Saudi Arabia to unify the negotiating opposition delegation to Geneva. After the meeting it seemed that what is being circulated in media has been interpreted. Washington has many analyses which say that Saudi Arabia has ended the necessary preparations for its accepting the defeat in Syria and the coexistence with the failure in toppling its president, it has notified who may concern but it will make the qualitative shift after the return of its King from his visit to Moscow, while the Russian media talked about the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood to the terrorism list at the United Nations and beholding it the responsibility of igniting the war in Syria and asking Qatar to break its relation with it.
It is not easy to say that the Russian-Saudi settlement will have the title of Syria versus Qatar. Because neither Saudi Arabia will abandon completely of its tampering in Syria even from inside the political solution and under the US auspices in respect of the government, constitution, and elections, nor Moscow will accept that Saudi Arabia will control Qatar especially in the gas market, and its status in the regional balance according to Iran and Turkey, but the equation of the Russian cooperation in making the Qatari relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood a scapegoat of the settlement with Saudi Arabia, versus Saudi positioning on bank of a settlement with Syria led by the victorious Syrian president seems a probability that is not far.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,