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Saudi Arabia, Wars of Polarization, and the Approach of Abdulaziz Al Saud

Saudi Arabia, Wars of Polarization, and the Approach of Abdulaziz Al Saud

Monday, 21 March, 2022 - 12:00

Today, we find ourselves in an atmosphere of intense polarization between two large camps: the Western world on one side, and Russia, with China behind it, on the other. These are the titans of the world at the outbreak of the Ukrainian war and remain so today.

On the global level, political and media camps are battling for monopoly over the truth and morality in this total war.

In the Asian continent, Japan and South Korea hastened to align themselves with the United States of Biden and his party, as well as Europe, in demonizing and isolating the Russians, as they assume positions close to a declaration of war in a classic form.

However, there are countries, most notably Saudi Arabia and some Arab states, that refuse to be dragged behind the Western wagon without reflection and calculations based purely on national interest.

It is no secret that, in making its decisions and policies, Saudi Arabia upholds its sovereignty most, including its clear-cut commitment to the OPEC + agreement, which the Kingdom originally engineered along with Russia.

The West, which has until recently sneered at oil and gas and heaped nearly mystic praise at alternative energy sources, is the one pressing today to “further pollute” the environment by increasing the rate of production for this energy that it supposedly detests!

What is funny here is that the Biden administration, which made no qualms about shaking confidence in traditional Arab allies in the Middle East, led by Saudi Arabia, and fueled resentment against Riyadh, has returned, regardless of whether directly or indirectly, to appeal to Riyadh and attempt to embroil the Kingdom in its Russian war.

However, Riyadh insists on adopting its old “classical” policy founded on not being swept by geopolitical currents while closely monitoring developments to formulate its position accordingly.

One direct question poses itself: How did Saudi Arabia survive the pitfalls of the two great wars of the 20th century, the first and then second world wars, while these massive conflicts claimed empires such as Austria, the Ottoman Empire and Tsarist Russia, and monarchies such as the Hashemite Kingdom in Iraq and the Muhammad Ali dynasty in Egypt?

It was not a coincidence. Rather, it is a wise Saudi political approach built and marked by the founder King Abdulaziz.

History tells us that when the First World War broke out, and the Saudi state was in its embryonic beginning, then “Prince” or “Sultan” Abdulaziz Al Saud dispatched letters to other princes of the Arabian Peninsula, in which he said, “Now that war is upon us, I view that we must meet and discuss, in the hope that we will agree on what will save Arabs from its horrors, or we ally with one power to preserve our rights and promote our interests.”

In this atmosphere, Great Britain was the Western power with the broadest influence in the region and the Arabian Gulf. Therefore, Abdulaziz Al Saud organized his state’s relationship with this great country with wisdom and poise, and in 1915 concluded a treaty with Britain in the port of Uqair, which served as the basis for building relations with London, in which Abdulaziz maintained a minimal level of national interests and sovereignty. Conditions later improved, and so the Treaty of Jeddah (1927) stipulated in its 9th article the abolishment of the Uqair Treaty, and in its first clause, the British government recognized the official and absolute independence and sovereignty of King Abdulaziz’s state without reservations.

Today, we return to this same first spirit: A realistic perspective of things, with an undisputed clasp to independence and sovereignty, and based on Saudi national interests.

“We build as our ancestors built,” as Kind Abdelaziz used to say.

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