Riyadh, May 2 2021 What are the considerations of Saudi Arabia’s successive diplomatic turn signals?
Saudi Arabia’s recent series of diplomatic moves have been notable. Saudi Arabia’s king has extended an invitation to Qatar’s emir (head of state), the kingdom’s crown prince has said he is willing to build good relations with Iran if it stops “negative behavior” and the kingdom wants Yemen’s Houthi forces back to the negotiating table.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly signaled a shift in its regional policy, both in connection with a sharp shift in U.S. policy in the Middle East and in the country’s domestic demand for development. These Saudi movements will have an important impact on the complex security situation in the Middle East.
The steering signal is connected
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar have warmed markedly since the Emir of Qatar attended a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Saudi Arabia in January. First, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other four Middle Eastern countries announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Qatar, ending more than three years of diplomatic crisis, and then Qatar restarted the land crossing to Saudi Arabia Abu Samra, Saudi Foreign Minister Al-Faisal recently visited Qatar twice. During his visit on 26 April, Faisal transmitted a letter from King Salman of Saudi Arabia to Emir Tamim of Qatar, in which he invited Tamim to visit Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has also recently softened its stance on Iran. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed told local media that some of Iran’s actions pose a serious threat to Saudi national security, but the Saudis do not want to see the situation in Iran difficult, hope that Iran’s development, because Iran’s development contributes to saudi Arabia, the Middle East and the world’s prosperity and stability.
Turning to Yemen, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed said he hoped the Houthi forces in Yemen would accept the Saudi ceasefire proposal and return to the negotiating table in their own and Yemen’s national interests.
The same Middle East powers, but Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been at odds, the two sides in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other regional security issues sharp contradictions. In January 2016, Saudi embassies and consulates in Tehran, The Capital Of Iran, And MashhaD, The Second Largest City, Were Hit, And The Kingdom announced That It Had SevereD Diplomatic Relations With Iran.
There are multiple considerations behind it
Analysts believe that a series of Saudi statements to release détente signals, the United States Biden administration after the adjustment of Middle East policy is closely related, Saudi Arabia in the national interest to make targeted policy adjustments, and this is the Saudi country to promote the country’s development and transformation plan of the real needs.
Bao Chengzhang, an associate research fellow at the Middle East Institute at Shanghai Chinese University, pointed out that, first, the adjustment of U.S. policy in the Middle East has hit the U.S.-Saudi alliance, and the U.S. has weakened security support for Saudi Arabia while adjusting its relationship with Iran;
Bao said the multiple reasons prompted the Saudis to maximize U.S. security commitments in the context of cooling U.S.-Saudi relations by improving relations with Qatar and Iran and brokering a cease-fire with Houthi forces in Yemen. At the same time, The Saudis hope to bridge their differences with the United States over Iran’s nuclear program and Yemen, seeking U.S. support on other regional issues.
Ma Xiaoxuan, an expert on international issues at Zhejiang Foreign Chinese College, believes that after the Biden administration adjusts U.S. policy toward Iran, Saudi Arabia is bound to make a policy adjustment toward Iran. In addition to promoting the normalization of relations between other Arab countries and Israel, Saudi Arabia is also adapting to changing circumstances, reducing confrontation with Iran, improving relations and repairing internal fissures within the GCC and reshaping its central position in the Gulf, all in a return to Saudi Arabia’s traditionally relatively robust geo-policy.
Experts also pointed out that Saudi Arabia is fully advancing the “Vision 2030” plan, a series of recent initiatives also reflect the oil-producing country’s desire to improve their own development environment, for the smooth promotion of development transformation services.
favourable situation to change
Saudi policy shift signals have received a positive response. Qatar’s Al Jazeera television station commented after Saudi Arabia extended an invitation to visit the emir of Qatar, saying it was the latest sign of improved relations between the two countries.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Khatibzadeh said on April 29 that Iran welcomes the latest Saudi statement on Isha relations. He said that through constructive views and dialogue, Iran and Saudi Arabia can put aside their differences and enter a new chapter of interaction and cooperation to achieve peace, stability and development in the region.
Ma Xiaoxuan believes that Saudi Arabia has a lot of influence in the Middle East, if Saudi Arabia chooses a moderate policy, will greatly ease the regional Sunni countries and Iran-led Shiite camp confrontation, so that the complex situation in the Middle East to ease, but also to promote regional countries to focus on combating internal extremist and terrorist forces, to maintain regional peace and stability is of great benefit.
Bao said Saudi Arabia’s latest move would improve the security environment in the Gulf, thereby easing confrontation between the two camps, which is in the interests of regional countries, including Saudi Arabia. At the same time, the transition of regional countries from confrontation to compromise and cooperation on regional hot issues will be conducive to the formation of new regional cooperation mechanisms.