Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Policy
Why in News?
- Recently, Saudi Arabia is making a significant shift in its foreign policy as it moves away from its aggressive stance towards Iran and seeks to create balance between great powers while also transforming its own economy.
- Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy had always centered around Iran, resulting in proxy conflicts across the region. It’s stance, in the past, has always been aggressive towards Iran.
- However, recently Saudi Arabia announced a deal, after China-mediated talks to normalise diplomatic ties with Iran.
- There has been a shift from strategic rivalry and proxy conflicts to tactical de-escalation and mutual coexistence with Iran.
- Saudi Arabia has also been trying to balance between the US, its largest arms supplier, Russia, its OPEC-Plus partner, and China, the new superpower in the region.
- Recent regional bets were either unsuccessful or only partially successful.
- Failed regional policies such as for Syria and Yemen, where the Saudi intervention failed to deter the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
- Also, the Houthis, with their drones and short-range missiles, now pose a serious security threat to Saudi Arabia.
- The US’s priority is shifting away from West Asia.
- US’s deprioritisation of West Asia, making Saudi Arabia realise that it needs to establish its own autonomy by building loyal alliances with other great powers.
- China, which has good ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia, offered to mediate between the two, and the Saudi seized the opportunity.