By Ria Novosti
The killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, will give a boost to U.S. President Barack Obama’s political image, but will not help defeat terrorism unless the United States reviews its policies towards the Muslim world, a leading Russian expert on the Middle East said on Monday.
Bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, was killed on Monday in a U.S. raid on his compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, 50 kilometers outside Islamabad.
“I think that the elimination of bin Laden is useful for Obama in the context of his [future] presidential campaign, because he has been repeatedly criticized for his unsuccessful policies towards the Middle East, and today his chances to be re-elected to a second term have increased,” Vitaly Naumkin said, speaking during a scientific meeting in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
But it is unlikely that bin Laden’s death will put an end to terrorism, he said.
“Another leader will replace him, because the motivation and causes for the existence of international terrorist networks remain in place,” Naumkin said.
“In order to achieve new success in his fight against terrorism, Obama should manage to change the [U.S.] position towards the Islamic world,” he said, adding that first and foremost, Obama should step up his efforts to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict and create an independent Palestinian state by the end of the year.
“If he does not do this, the success of this operation will come to nothing,” the expert said.
Obama’s attempt to resume direct peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians failed last year just weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Washington in September following a 20-month break.
The issue of continuing Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank remains a major sticking point between the sides which has prevented them from resuming peace negotiations.
The United States postponed last month a meeting of the Quartet of international mediators of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for the second time in a month, and no new date for the talks has been set.