Saudi Arabia and the Arab world… Is it a long way to go?

April 17, 2022
By Wafa Al-Rasheed

The ambassador of Saudi Arabia and his fellow ambassadors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have returned to Beirut, culminating a breakthrough in the long crisis that strained the relations between the two sides. It is well known that the cause for the crisis is the Iranian interference through its local agent, Hezbollah, in the Lebanese diplomacy as well as in the Gulf and Arab files.

We have had never resorted to weakening our ties with Lebanon and that was happened only after persistent provocations that amounted to a direct threat launched by Hezbollah militias against us. Rather, this threat went beyond the limit of words to the practical involvement in terms of the Houthi aggression that targeted civilian neighborhoods and vital economic facilities in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy has always been based on four core principles. One is supporting stability and civilian peace in sisterly countries, and the best telling example for this was the initiatives made by Saudi Arabia to end the explosive political and security situation in Lebanon since the beginning of the civil war in 1975 until signing of the Taif Agreement in October 1989 that resulted in ending years of bloody internal fighting in Lebanon.

Secondly, supporting the efforts for economic and social development in the Arab countries, and this was evident from Saudi Arabia’s key role as the first financier and investor in the Arab countries. This is through implementing projects directly or through its development funds or other funds that control a large part of the Kingdom’s activities in those countries. Lebanon is in the forefront of these countries and Saudi Arabia has taken the lead in rebuilding and modernizing the country’s economic and service structures.

Thirdly, refraining from interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, respecting the sovereignty of countries and working with the legitimate governments without imposing any guardianship or dictates. This was clearly manifested from the Kingdom’s bold position with regard to the Yemeni crisis. Though Saudi Arabia and its allies are facing the Houthi aggression while they were attempting to restore legitimacy in Yemen, the Kingdom spares no effort in initiating a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue among the Yemeni political forces in its bid to reach a final resolution of this explosive internal conflict on the Saudi borders for several years.

Fourthly, standing firm against ambitions foreign interference in the affairs of Arab governments, and Saudi Arabia has been a pivotal party in countering such attempts from the very beginning. Saudi Arabia is well aware that the Middle East has been experiencing a wave of complex crises and challenges since two decades, directly related to the strategies and policies of non-Arab regional powers within a changing global perspective.

Saudi Arabia has to assume its responsibility to protect the deteriorating Arab situation, especially after years of devastation known as the “Arab Spring” wave and the accompanying disintegration and spread of strife and violence, and the exploitation of this tragic situation by some neighboring countries.

Today, we have succeeded in consolidating the Gulf axis and launching a pioneering partnership project in the Red Sea region featuring an integrated plan to achieve tremendous economic and development boom in this region with countries sharing common borders such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. In the same direction, we mention Saudi Arabia’s success in restoring good neighborliness with Iraq, which is one of the active Arab parties. It is necessary to enable Iraq to return fully to the Arab ranks, away from Iranian influence or tutelage, and the road ahead seems to be a longer one.

April 17, 2022
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