Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

The Crown Prince… and Calm Relations

With the regional tour of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, specifically his visits to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, we can say that our area is finally reaching the calm that was lost since what was falsely known as the Arab Spring.

It is true that the Crown Prince’s tour has economic dimensions that would consolidate stability, in a critical international political and economic climate; but the political aspect of that visit cannot be overlooked, on several levels.

Today, we can say that the region is getting closer to the desired calm in the intra- Gulf relations, as well as the Arab-Turkish relations. The difficult Iranian case persists because of Iran itself, which is still unable to assume a positive role.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s trip is the culmination of the state’s efforts in the region in the face of attempts to divide our countries with the support of Iran and the naivety of the Western left.

Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Hamas announced a “unanimous” decision to resume its relations with Bashar al-Assad’s regime after ten years of rupture, as reported by Reuters, quoting two sources in the movement.

Similarly, the improvement of the Gulf-Turkish relations did not happen by mere chance.

Accordingly, the moves made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, since Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 summit, followed by the Gulf tour and the announcement of the AlUla agreement, up to this important trip, all point to his successful endeavor to clear the atmosphere in the region and strengthen the concept of the state, as well as the axis of moderation.

This regional tour gains further impetus as it precedes the Gulf summit, which will be held in the presence of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, along with US President Joe Biden, next month in Saudi Arabia. This clearly means unifying ranks against Iranian sabotage, and enhancing the chances of the summit’s success with the American president.

As we have said, the Crown Prince’s tour to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey has also an economic dimension. In fact, economy is one of the most important factors for promoting political stability and the language of interests in the region, in order to counter escalation and tension.

Therefore, this trip comes at an important and urgent stage, due to the ongoing Iranian escalation in the region, in particular with regards to the nuclear file, which is causing unprecedented tension between Iran and Israel.

This escalation also causes an increasing international anxiety with the imminent US midterm elections and the ongoing war in Ukraine. The more pressure on Iran, the more the region heads towards a dangerous nerve-wracking situation.

All of this requires Gulf-Arab coordination and calmness in relations with Turkey, especially as the latter has extensions in the region, which intensifies the Turkish-Iranian clash amid the Russian retreat in Syria.

Therefore, the Saudi Crown Prince’s foreign tour has important political and economic dimensions, and consolidates the Saudi-Egyptian relations, which represent a major strategic factor for both countries.

The visit also enhances Saudi-Jordanian ties, and removes obstacles to relations with Turkey, which would purify the atmosphere and consolidate rationality and the language of interests.