Saudi Arabia is prepared to reconcile with Qatar. The UAE is not.

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

In November 2019, Qatar’s foreign minister made a secret visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss the prospect of reconciliation. The visit followed a rumoured meeting of Saudi and Qatari officials on the fringes of the UN General Assembly which caused enough anxiety in Qatar’s ally Turkey that President Erdogan made a visit to Doha seeking an explanation. Saudi Arabia reciprocated …

Why did Saudi Arabia threaten Pakistan over Kuala Lumpur Summit?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Why did Saudi Arabia threaten Pakistan over Kuala Lumpur Summit? Imran Khan has announced that he will not be attending the summit of Muslim countries in Kuala Lumpur. Indonesia has also pulled out. The withdrawal of the two largest Muslim countries is a body blow to Mahathir Mohamed’s summit that was touted as the most significant challenge to the status …

Why Bin Salman cannot abandon his alliance with UAE

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Given events in Yemen and the UAE’s clear undermining of Saudi Arabia’s fundamental ally (the internationally recognised government under Hadi), one would assume that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman is having deep reconsiderations over his relationship with Abu Dhabi and Mohamed Bin Zayed. In August, the King himself Salman Bin AbdulAziz reportedly openly expressed irritation with the UAE in …

Saudi foreign policy is anything but mad

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Mohamed Bin Salman has made a splash since he was handed the reins of control from his father King Salman. The kingdom has since entered into a war with the Houthis in Yemen, engaged heavily as a partner in constructing the ‘Deal of the Century’, announced ambitious reforms in NEOM and Vision 2030, imprisoned a whole swathe of influential social …