Arab NATO to Ignite New Sectarian Wars in Region (FNA)- Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, referred to the recent visit by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis to Manama to pave the ground for the formation of an Arab NATO, warning of the consequences of such a move for the region.

“It is not a coincidence that Mattis shone as the star of the recent Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) meeting in Manama, where all members, except for Qatar, were present; the reason lies in the fact that the prime goal pursued in the conference was preparing the members for setting up a coalition called the Middle-East Strategic Coalition or Arab NATO,” Atwan wrote on Monday.

“Formation of the new coalition means declaration of new religious and sectarian wars in the Middle-East and implementation of Israeli plots,” he added.

Atwan believes that the Arab NATO will play the same role that the PGCC countries and other Arab states played during the Western wars on Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Western media reported in July that the Trump administration was quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Persian Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter what it called as Iran’s expansion in the region.

An Arab media outlet said in a report in the same month that US President Donald Trump was once again moving to plunder the Arab governments by fabricated claims of Iran’s threat while history had proved that Tehran had never made any aggression against its neighbors.

The Arabic-language Al-Masalah news website wrote that Trump is attempting to form an Arab NATO with the partnership of the Persian Gulf Arab littoral states, Jordan and Egypt.

“The new plan has been raised as the US has in the past decades been misusing the Arab states, specially those in the Persian Gulf region, and he is now again taking steps towards milking the Arabs under the pretext of preventing Iran’s threats,” it added.

The website underlined that the White House officials and the Middle-East experts have voiced concern that formation of an Arab NATO would increase tensions in the region.

It added that the US has also in the past attempted to make similar moves through forming different coalitions with its Arab allies against alleged Iranian threats but has always failed.