Saudi Arabia and its ambitious crown prince are looking ahead to a new world in which it will enjoy a more prominent place. Yet unless the kingdom makes further changes on both the diplomatic and domestic fronts, its aspirations are likely to run into roadblocks.
Saudi Arabia hosted Arab-Islamic diplomatic initiative amid Israel’s onslaught in Gaza, while leaving door open to resume normalisation process with Israel.
Riyadh hosted summit on Gaza, stopping short of concrete steps against Israel. After noticeable absence from humanitarian and diplomatic initiatives, govt 2 Nov launched humanitarian aid campaign for Gaza. Riyadh 11 Nov hosted joint Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit, which condemned “Israeli aggression” and demanded halting weapons export to Israel; Saudi Arabia reportedly refrained from voting for concrete measures against Israel, including cutting diplomatic and economic ties. Meanwhile, Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih 8 Nov said normalisation with Israel “remains on the table” but depends on peaceful resolution of Palestinian question.
Saudi and Iranian leaders met for first time since restoration of ties in March. In first for Iranian president in eleven years, Iran’s President Raisi 11 Nov met Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh on sidelines of Arab League-OIS summit to discuss bilateral relations and situation in Gaza.
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.
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.
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.
In the realm of US domestic politics, Saudi-Israel normalization would be a foreign policy win for the Biden administration.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to assert itself more and more on the international stage through mediation and raising its diplomatic profile.
Many experts still assume that whoever is in the White House will guide Saudi policy on Iran, but that simply isn’t true today.
The four-year blockade of Qatar by rival Gulf powers is over, but fault lines among these states remain. If the gaps are not bridged, the competition could exacerbate conflicts – and spark new ones – well outside the region.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard talks with Abdulaziz Sager, Crisis Group’s Trustee and Founder and Chairman of the Gulf Research Center, about Riyadh’s foreign policy and diplomatic efforts seemingly aimed at mending ties in the region.
On 10 March, Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic relations as part of a Chinese-sponsored initiative that appears aimed at reducing tensions across the Middle East. Crisis Group experts offer a 360-degree view of the implications for the region’s many flashpoints.
Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, Founder of the Gulf Research Center and member of Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees, talks about the revival of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia in a deal brokered by China.
On 10 March, prodded by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations within two months, after seven years of severed ties. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Dina Esfandiary and Anna Jacobs look at the emerging rapprochement.
Dialogue efforts in the Gulf have stalled amid rising tensions. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2023, Crisis Group explains how the EU and its member states can help revive Saudi-Iranian and other talks.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood speaks with Crisis Group’s Middle East experts Joost Hiltermann and Dina Esfandiary about the World Cup in Qatar, regional politics and friction between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
Israel would like to forge a military alliance with the Gulf Arab monarchies as part of its strategy for checking Iran’s power projection in the region. For Gulf capitals, however, the Israeli ambitions risk too much and offer too little.
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