Washington risks allowing the strengthening of Moscow and Beijing in the Middle East due to the weakening of the US military presence in the region, AP reports, citing the head of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces, General Kenneth F. McKenzie.
He drew attention to the desire of the United States to focus on competition.
“The Middle East as a whole is a place of intense confrontation between the great powers. And I think that as we adjust our position in the region, Russia and China will seek to fill the vacuum that has formed there,” McKenzie said.
In particular, the commander did not rule out the expansion of Russian and Chinese influence in the Persian Gulf.
“I think that they (Russia and China) take into account that the United States is changing its position (in the Middle East) and is looking at other parts of the world, and they can see this as an opportunity for themselves,” he stressed.
McKenzie also suggested that Russia and China will be engaged in the sale of weapons in the Middle East. Earlier, NATO decided to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by May 1. The US has said it will complete the process by September 11.