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.
Tag: Saudi Arabia
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.
Far from being incentivized to submit to a foreign country’s envisioned “political solution” to Khashoggi’s killing, Saudi Arabia is actually more encouraged than ever before to continue with the diversification of its erstwhile strategic dependency on the West by embracing the likes of Russia and even China in response to the EU’s pressure.
Americans, who have been gulled by a multi-million-dollar PR blitz over the modernized ‘new’ Saudi Arabia, complete with a handful of female drivers and commercials about ‘empowered women,’ will begin to see what a corrupt, brutal regime they have so long and unquestionably supported.
The House of Saud is the Keeper of the Holy Mosques, where Muslims from around the Islamic world congregate as pilgrims to offer prayers for, among others, world peace. It is painfully sad for the Islamic world to see the House of Saud complicit in atrocities that are cruel and inhumane.
The US-backed alliance between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel and Egypt to contain Iran does not make a new regional order. Erdogan will now assert Turkey’s leadership role in the Muslim Middle East. Importantly, he is known to champion the Muslim Brotherhood as the charioteer of a New Middle East.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been caricatured by friends and foes alike who either depict him as a noble reformer or a bloody tyrant, but the reality is that he’s actually both and that’s why Great Powers from America to China and even Russia are competing to court him.