05:36 GMT07 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow believes that it is dangerous to create new dividing lines in the Middle East, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on Thursday, commenting on the possible creation of the so-called Arab NATO that could counter Iran.

    "As for the creation of different coalitions, ad hoc coalitions or alliances, we believe that it would be extremely important, given the current situation, not to create additional dividing lines in the region, in the Near and the Middle East in particular, especially if these lines would speculate on confessional differences. This is a dangerous path. We should look for something that unites us in this region," Vershinin told reporters on the sidelines of the International Likhachov Scientific Conference in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

    When asked if Russia could mediate the conflict between Iran and the Arab world, Vershinin said that this question was untimely, since no Arab coalition set to counter NATO had been created yet.

    READ MORE: Mideast States Join Iraq Summit in Blow to US-Led 'Arab NATO' Initiative

    The Middle East Strategic Alliance, commonly referred to as "Arab NATO", is an initiative first suggested by the Arab League in 2015. The aim of the project was to boost anti-Iran alliance of six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan.

    In 2017 US President Donald Trump revived the idea of a force that would counter what he described as Iran's "malign activities" in the Middle East. Since then the plan has been widely promoted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.     


    'Arab NATO', Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Donald Trump, Arab States, Iran, US, Russia, Jordan, Egypt
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