Russia’s influence in the Middle East should be a top concern for President Donald Trump, according to Robert McFarlane, former national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan.
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McFarlane’s comments came on the heels of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press conference ahead of their historic meeting in Helsinki.
The summit, McFarlane said, comes at a time when Russia is stepping up aggression in the Middle East.
“Syria is one step,” he said. “The next step is going to be trying to dominate Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and to do that by virtue of being able to sell weapons and, separately, to sell nuclear power plants.”
Turning over control is against America’s best interest because some of the world’s key waterways are in the in the Middle East, McFarlane added.
“Forty percent of the global commerce goes through [the] Suez [Canal],” he said. “All or most of the oil in Asia and Europe goes through [the Strait of Hormuz].”