EIR Representative on CGTN: Iran -Saudi Deal “Is a World Game-Changer”

EIR’s expert on West Asia Hussein Askary, who is also West Asian coordinator for the Schiller Institute, is very optimistic about the perspective opened by the China-brokered agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran. In an interview March 12 on CGTN’s “Talk It Out” show with host Li Jingjing, he called it “the biggest positive development in the history of this region, since at least the invasion of Iraq in 2003…. If you want to talk about a game-changer in world politics, this is it. And it is also an embodiment of what President Xi Jinping launched as the Global Security Initiative… and attached to that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which all are combined now. And this gives hope for solving problems all over the world.”

Askary pointed out the importance of the basic points of the agreement: respect for the sovereignty of each party, non-interference in the internal affairs of the countries, diplomacy as the only way to solve problems, and economic development as the key to ensuring security. He reported that the deal sends the message to every nation in the world that whatever the differences people have, no matter how high level or intense the dispute is, “you should sit down and talk” — which clearly applies to Ukraine. For the region itself, the shift in international relations should help stabilize the situation in Iraq, in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and overcome the artificial Shia-Sunni divide.

Askary, himself an Iraqi by birth, reminded the audience that next week will mark the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and Britain. While that invasion was being prepared, “I was personally involved with American economist Lyndon LaRouche, and with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, in an initiative in the Gulf, in May 2002”. At a conference sponsored by the Zayed Center in Abu Dhabi, with ministers from all the Gulf countries, LaRouche presented why “you cannot have security without a vision of economic development”, a notion that Askary developed at several points during the interview.

He then showed a map of integration of Eurasia and Africa that the LaRouche movement was already promoting at that time, to which the BRI routes were added. “If you look at the area — Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, including Sudan, Turkiye, the Gulf countries, Iraq — this is the ‘continental crossroads of the world.’ [Asia, Africa, Europe].” LaRouche proposed that the natural and human resources of the region should be used to build infrastructure and industry for the area itself, which came to dovetail with China’s proposals. Both the land and maritime Silk Roads converge in this region, which has a population of some 500 million, “most of them very young people”. There are also about $3 trillion in sovereign wealth funds of these nations, that “could be far better utilized than they are, to promote internal improvements” and increase living standards.

Last December, when President Xi was in the Gulf for summits with Arab leaders, Askary put out the proposal that the financial resources of the oil-rich countries could be used to extend credit for BRI projects throughout the world. Today, he added, “hopefully the West will react positively to this development, and end its geopolitical manipulations.”

We strongly urge our readers to watch the entire presentation here.

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