The Saudi state is upheld by the dual pillars of the monarchy and the Wahhabi clerics, the latter of which have been sidelined as a result of Vision 2030 and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s previous crackdown on both radical Islam and the corrupt elite.
Tag: Saudi Arabia
Many Muslim countries are undergoing a period of rapid change brought about by the unavoidable Western liberal influences that entered their traditionally conservative societies as a result of globalization, and while some states are pushing back against these, others such as Saudi Arabia are progressively opening up and cautiously embracing these changes.
The hugely successful visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed to Pakistan a few days ago represents one of Prime Minister Khan’s greatest foreign policy accomplishments yet because it proved that his country’s “balancing” act between regional powers is capable of turning latent rivals into trusted partners. The […]
It is a masterstroke by the Saudi regime to assume the role of peacemaker at a juncture when its international image is severely damaged following the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Ironically, Saudis are undertaking a rescue act to help the US wriggle out of a 17-year old war.
Trump had rounded off his statement by putting American interests first. But this may turn out to be a big gambit. Trouble is brewing in the Congress where US-Saudi relations are in focus not only on account of the Khashoggi killing.
What will be keenly watched in the period ahead, therefore, is how the new alchemy transforms Russian-Saudi relationship on the whole, especially given the backdrop of cloud of uncertainty hanging heavily on US-Saudi ties at present.
Make no mistake, Trump is going out of the way to help MBS survive and is not taking chances. He even blocked the CIA Director from attending a US Senate hearing on Khashoggi murder, fearing that it might provoke Saudi retaliation against American interests on vital issues such as the world oil market.
While it’s obvious that many European countries and part of the US’ “deep state” would probably back Prince Ahmed if he replaced Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, there are serious doubts about whether the Kingdom’s military and intelligence services would also support it.
The New Yorker report by Dexter Filkins, a Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed author with long experience in reporting from the frontlines of Middle Eastern hotspots, concludes: “Even if—especially if—M.B.S. hangs on to his position, it seems likely that the Saudi royal family, and Saudi Arabia more generally, are entering a dangerous period.”
The clumsy, ham-handed meddling of President Trump in Saudi dynastic affairs propelled the bull in a china shop Crown Prince into power. The machinations of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his Israeli allies have ignited the current crisis. Trump & Co have very much to learn about the Mideast.
Russian-Saudi relations are currently at their best-ever level in history, while Russia also enjoys excellent ties with the UAE and Yemen, so it’s sensible to see it play a neutral mediating role within the forthcoming UN-brokered talks, especially considering that the country is also a member of the Security Council.
The bottom line is that it is the post-war Syrian order that is under discussion now. However, it must be understood as well that the proxy war is not ending but is rather morphing into the diplomatic war that lies ahead, which of course will be keenly fought, given the divergent interests of the foreign protagonists.