Is the Middle East’s Makeover a Mirage?
Is the Middle East’s Makeover a Mirage?
Op-Ed / Middle East & North Africa 1 minutes

Is the Middle East’s Makeover a Mirage?

Why a Spate of Diplomatic Deals Won’t End Conflict

In mid-July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan completed a high-profile tour of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, a trip that brought tens of billions of dollars in investment deals in Turkey’s struggling economy. The trip was the culmination of a growing diplomatic thaw between Turkey and the Saudi and UAE governments after nearly a decade of icy relations. In fact, this rapprochement was itself made possible by Turkish ally Qatar’s resumption of ties with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, after a years-long rupture. In June, just weeks before Erdogan’s visit, Qatar and the UAE had themselves renewed formal diplomatic relations.

These are not the only such deals taking place in the Middle East. In 2020, Israel agreed to open relations with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in the Abraham Accords—the first such act of normalization between Israel and Arab states since the Israel-Jordan peace treaty in 1994. A few months later, Morocco and then Sudan joined the Abraham Accords as well. In March 2023, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations after seven years of mutual antagonism. And in May, even Syria’s dictator, President Bashar al-Assad, was brought in from the cold when he was welcomed back to the Arab League after more than a decade of isolation.

The full article can be read on Foreign Affairs' website. 

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