Russia is actively trying to re-engage in the Middle East as it adjusts its foreign diplomatic policy. However, historical mistrust and Moscow’s continued support for Iran is proving to be a stumbling block to its efforts, not least with the Gulf monarchies.
Russia’s attempt to re-engage diplomatically with the Middle East throws up a series of dilemmas for states in the region.
Moscow is certain to feel most comfortable dealing with those countries with which it has had long-standing defence and diplomatic relationships dating back to the Soviet-era. However, the reaction of other states in the region to these relationships could create bilateral tensions.… Seguir leyendo »
The latest series of WikiLeaks cables have once again embarrassed the Saudi government and forced it on to the diplomatic defensive. The cables, over half a million documents said to have come from the Saudi Foreign Ministry, contain titillating details about how Riyadh operates — but no smoking guns related to nuclear enrichment or other issues of global fascination.
What these cables do show is Saudi Arabia’s overwhelming desire to prevent the public from seeing how it uses its “soft” power assets — its oil and financial largesse — to persuade strategic allies and major powers to support its foreign policy goals.… Seguir leyendo »
One of the key challenges facing Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been to bring a new sense of direction and order to the country’s foreign policy. After the domestic political upheaval of the post-2011 period, during which foreign policy became more influenced by public opinion than at any time in Egypt’s recent past, Sisi has sought to replace the impulsive, naïve and often amateurish path pursued by former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi with one more in keeping with the historical guiding tenets of Egypt’s foreign policy. These place a priority on the strategic alliances with the United States, Europe and Arab Gulf states, with policy formation dominated by the president, in concert with the military, intelligence agencies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.… Seguir leyendo »