Saudi Arabia

CrisisWatch Saudi Arabia

Unchanged Situation

Negotiations over Saudi-U.S. defence pact inched ahead.

Bilateral deal with U.S. appeared to advance. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 19 May met U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Dhahran city to discuss bilateral agreements on nuclear energy, defence and security cooperation, reportedly in exchange for Riyadh limiting Chinese investment and arms purchases; U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 22 May said agreements “could be weeks away”. Regional dimension that includes Saudi Arabia’s normalisation with Israel and pathway to Palestinian statehood remained stalled amid Israel’s reluctance to end war in Gaza and withdraw from territory – Riyadh’s reported requirements for normalisation (see Israel/Palestine).

In other important developments. In sign of ongoing rapprochement with Iran, Saudi ambassador to Iran 6 May attended International Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology in Iranian city Isfahan to discuss plans to work together to develop peaceful nuclear energy. FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan 2 May held phone calls with leaders of Sudanese warring parties and promised to resume expanded Jeddah talks including Gulf and African actors (see Sudan).

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In The News

15 Jan 2024
What's happening in the Red Sea will have a huge impact on the current political process between the Saudis and Houthis. NPR

Ahmed Nagi

Senior Analyst, Yemen
29 Nov 2023
There is a limit to how far Iran and Saudi Arabia can go in de-escalating tensions between themselves if the entire region is ablaze because of the war in Gaza. Bloomberg

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
18 Aug 2023
The Saudi leadership is … aware of its domestic audience and the continuing importance of the Palestinian issue among the Saudi population and throughout the Arab world. DW

Anna Jacobs

Senior Analyst, Gulf states
17 Aug 2023
Saudi-Iran rapprochement is still in its early phases, and it’s still very unclear how the two sides will address their many points of friction. Al Jazeera

Anna Jacobs

Senior Analyst, Gulf states
2 Aug 2023
In the realm of US domestic politics, Saudi-Israel normalization would be a foreign policy win for the Biden administration. Al Jazeera

Anna Jacobs

Senior Analyst, Gulf states

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