Despite more than six years of Saudi-led military offensive against the Houthis, the situation in Yemen remains extremely complex and challenging for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Houthis have captured large parts of the Yemeni territory in the north-west of the country including the capital Sanaa. The Saudi-led military coalition’s twin objectives of pushing the Houthis back from Sanaa and reinstating the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi remain unfulfilled.
The recent disagreement between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over oil production quotas has drawn attention to broader issues, such as diverging interests in the Yemen war and disputes over borders. Missing from the public discourse, however, is an assessment of the economic factors that are a game changer in Riyadh-Abu Dhabi relations. These conflicting national interests arise from a symbiotic relationship that has created massive economic imbalances that heavily favor the UAE, which Saudi Arabia is taking steps to remedy. Although Saudi Arabia lifted travel restrictions to the UAE for citizens this month in conjunction with the Dubai Expo 2020, much remains unresolved.
The speaker of the United States House of Representatives says she is “deeply concerned” about the alleged torture of a Saudi aid worker while in detention in Saudi Arabia.
The aid worker, Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, was detained by Saudi authorities in March 2018 and reported to be sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by a 20-year travel ban, according to an April 6 US State Department statement.
Globe showing Afghanistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, image via Max Pixel
Boasting an almost 1,000-kilometer border with Iran and a history of troubled relations between the Iranians and Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban, Afghanistan could become a bellwether for the future of the rivalry between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia.
© 2020 REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Saudi authorities have since July 2021 began to terminate or not renew contracts of Yemeni professionals, which could force them to return to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should suspend this decision and allow Yemenis to remain in Saudi Arabia with the ability to work.
Officials from around the Middle East began arriving in Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday ahead of a summit aiming to promote peace and reconciliation in the region, including improving ties between arch rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The Saturday meeting seeks to give Iraq a “unifying role” to tackle the crises shaking the region, according to sources close to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
Iraq has invited Iran and Tehran’s Gulf Arab foes to a summit in Baghdad with the objective of calming tensions which have brought them close to open conflict in recent years.
Officials say the meeting, which will also discuss the war in Yemen, Lebanon’s collapse and a regional water crisis, could take a step towards Saudi-Iranian rapprochement even though they have yet to say what representation they will send.
Saudi Arabia and Russia have signed a military cooperation agreement at an arms expo outside Moscow.
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman announced on Twitter on August 24 that he signed the agreement with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin “aimed at developing joint military cooperation between the two countries.”
Two Saudi companies have inked an agreement to co-produce and further develop the Sky Guard drone for operational use. The UAV has only ever undergone testing. The deal was signed Aug. 19 between Sami bin Mohammed al-Alhumaidi, acting director general of the Prince Sultan Defense Studies and Research Center, and Ziad bin Houmod al-Musallam, CEO of the Advanced Electronics Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Military Industries.