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President Trump’s plan to bring America’s top Arab Middle East allies to the White House this fall in a bid to forge a military alliance against Iran and radical terrorism groups has the potential to transform the military balance in one of the world’s most unstable regions — if the putative allies can find a way to get along.

Officially known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance but widely referred to the “Arab NATO,” the developing military coalition would be a Saudi-led effort and would include the six Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council along with Egypt and Jordan.

It would mark — if successful — a major payoff of Mr. Trump’s policy of cultivating Arab states since virtually the beginning of his presidency to advance U.S. interests in the region and confront Iran.

Although White House officials have been tight-lipped about details, a Washington summit has been tentatively set for Oct. 12-13 and could significantly ratchet up regional pressure on Iran. The gathering will be held just weeks before a second set of U.S. sanctions goes into effect in an attempt to shut down Iran’s critical oil and natural gas exports.

But before the Arab NATO can function effectively, the members must resolve a major diplomatic divide.

“In theory, it is a good idea because such an alliance would push back in Iran’s expansion and ambitions,” Ahmad. Read more

Read also: Trump allies zero in on top DOJ official with ties to firm that researched candidate

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues

 

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues

Trumps Arab NATO faces skepticism, commitment issues