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memri
November 16, 2016 No.
6680

Senior Saudi Journalist Turki Al-Dakhil: Trump Will Be Good For Gulf States

While many writers in the Saudi and Gulf media reacted to the election of Donald Trump for U.S. president with mixed emotions, expressing hopes for cooperation with him but also concern because of his hostile statements regarding Muslims,[1] Turki Al-Dakhil, the general manager of Al-Arabiya's news channel, took a much less ambivalent position, stressing the possible benefit of Trump's election for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. In a November 13, 2016 article titled "On Trump-Phobia," he wrote that Trump's statements against African Americans, Latinos and Muslims had been mere propaganda aimed at achieving electoral gains, and that now that the elections were over, Trump would rule according to law. He also stressed that Trump's foreign policy advisor, Walid Phares, had confirmed Trump's desire to strengthen U.S. ties the Gulf in order to combat terrorism and confront the Iranian expansion, and this in contrast to Obama, who flirted with the Iranian axis and rewarded it.

The following is the article as it appeared on Al-Arabiya's English-language website:[2]

 
Turki Al-Dakhil

"Arab lamentation and some people's grief over Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election is all due to the statements which Trump made during his election campaign. The president-elect had made statements against African Americans, Latinos, Mexicans and Muslims. However, now that he's been elected, he will be everyone's president and he will govern according to law.

"It's necessary to differentiate between Trump during the election campaign and Trump after being elected president.

"The road to the White House has a lot of turns which obligate one to adapt to successfully achieve goals.

"When it comes to election campaigns, there are certain formulas; escalation against black people gains the support of white fanatics while accusations against Muslims attract Evangelical voters. The issue is not related to an electoral agenda but was rather a pattern of propaganda against Hillary Clinton who was guaranteed the votes of the minorities. It's all about calculations and each statement achieved a certain electoral gain. However, after victory is achieved, all this ends as they turn over a new leaf. This seems obvious from the speech which Trump delivered after he won and from the statements which he's made since then.

"Trump's foreign policy advisor Walid Phares confirmed Trump's desire to strengthen historical ties with Saudi Arabia and to make every effort to implement the proposal for a Gulf-American partnership in the region to confront terrorism and Iranian expansion. Phares also confirmed Trump's desire to increase sanctions against Hezbollah and besiege it on all levels.

"Excessive optimism or pessimism is not welcome in political realism.

"Barack Obama's presidential terms brought our region nothing but hesitance toward the Iranian axis, while flirting with it and rewarding it, and strictness toward the Gulf axis, while evading agreements. So let him go as no one will weep about his White House departure!"

 

Endnotes:

 

[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6674, Arab World Reacts To Trump's Presidential Win With Cautious Optimism, Hope For Future Cooperation, November 11, 2016.

Arab World Reacts To Trump's Presidential Win With Cautious Optimism, Hope For Future Cooperation

[2] English.alarabiya.net, November 13, 2016.