Saudi Arabia and the UAE: Allies with Divergent Strategies in Yemen

 

Abstract

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal suggests that the once harmonious relations and alliance between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are now facing challenges. Yemen serves as a reflection of the diverging perspectives held by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on various issues, including OPEC, normalization of relations with Israel, and the nature of ties with Egypt.

As the UAE efforts to support its regional influence through economic growth, extensive diplomatic relations, and modernization efforts, including taking a firm stance against what it perceives as extremist Islamic groups while promoting religious tolerance, these actions are seen as competitive measures against Saudi Arabia’s pursuit of regional leadership. This competition may result in conflicting approaches and interests between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Although their relations remain close, this rivalry could strain their bilateral ties, potentially impacting their collaborative efforts within the Arab Coalition to address the Yemeni crisis.


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