"Schizophrenic" approach of America to the Middle East could result in many key Arab countries will decide closer to join Russia warned on Sunday the rulers of Bahrain.
In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, crown Prince of Bahrain Sheikh Salman Ibn Hamad al Khalifa warned that the Obama administration would lose influence in the region, if it persists in "transient and reactive" foreign policy.
After the conclusion of last month's controversial interim agreement with Iran over its nuclear programme, relations between Washington and a number of major Arab States has seen a dramatic increase of tension.
Recalling the behavior of President Obama on the settlement of the recent crisis because of Syria's chemical weapons, which allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to seize the initiative, Sheikh Salman said that some countries are now seriously reassess its relations with the United States.
"The Russians have proved they are reliable friends," said Sheikh Salman, referring to Putin's diplomatic intervention to prevent military action by the West against Assad.
"As a result, some States in the region have begun to consider the possibility of a more multilateral relations rather than simple trust in Washington. The feeling that America suffers from schizophrenia, when dealing with the Arab world".
Studied in Washington and Cambridge 44-year-old Sheikh Salman, also the acting first Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain, said that the recent participation of America in the conflict in the region implies that many Arab countries now doubt whether they can rely on the West to protect their interests.
"The US cannot sit in the distance, making condescending evaluation. To achieve their goals, they need friends and partners," he said.
Bahrain is one of several Persian Gulf States, who were enraged by the decision of the Obama administration three years ago to call for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, following widespread anti-government protests – despite the fact that for thirty years Mubarak was a staunch ally of the West. Sheikh Salman said that this is an example of a "transient and reactive" nature of American process of political decision-making.
"The problem is that policy in America operates in two-year election cycles, and long-term planning is missing". Like other Gulf countries, Bahrain also expressed concerns about the recent interim agreement on Iran's nuclear program reached last month during the talks between Washington and Tehran in Geneva.
Britain and America used the London-organized by the International Institute for strategic studies annual conference on regional security "Manama Dialogue", which hosted the Bahrain, to offer assurances that the Geneva deal will not affect their support for Arab countries.
The U.S. Secretary of defense Chuck Hagel told the audience at the conference that the Pentagon has no plans to reduce a significant military presence of America in the Gulf, and British foreign Minister William Hague emphasized the "historic" ties with Bahrain, which is the place of residence 5 powerful Fleet of the U.S. Navy.
But agreed the "charm offensive" could not soothe the resentment that many Arab States feel due to the fact that the interim agreement with Iran did not take into account their own concerns. Although Iran was invited to the conference in Bahrain, it was the only Gulf state that has not sent its delegation.
"You don't need to assure us, – said the Minister of foreign Affairs of Bahrain Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al Khalifa about the British-American diplomatic initiatives by the end of the week. – You need to listen to us, because we well know Iran".
Sheikh Khalid said the Gulf States consider it essential that any deal with Iran was not limited solely to the issue of nuclear weapons. Any agreement with Iran needs to raise other topics, for example, the ongoing involvement of Tehran to state-sponsored terrorism, including its support of terrorist groups like Hizbullah.
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