Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Saudi Arabia… The Center of Mediation and Decision-Making

Saudi Arabia… The Center of Mediation and Decision-Making

Tuesday, 27 September, 2022 - 09:30
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

When the Russian- Ukrainian crisis first began, I wrote an article entitled ‘The Ukraine Crisis: Neo-McCarthyism to terrorize Opponents.’ In it, I discussed how the West manipulates what it calls rights and how it addresses the issue divergently depending on its interests, particularly as it tried to demonize those who saw the crisis differently.

Early on, Riyadh decided not to take sides despite the attempts of the West to influence the Kingdom’s position, politically and through the media. Saudi Arabia led the Gulf Cooperation Council to take a neutral stance as well, and the GCC thereby stressed the need to return to diplomacy and rely on dialogue and peaceful negotiations between the parties to the Russian- Ukrainian conflict, as well as the necessity of respecting the second article of the United Nations Charter, which stipulates that countries must not use force or threaten to use force in international relations.

The Kingdom has decided to set its interests as its top priority and take its positions in accordance with these interests, regardless of other considerations. While this matter had not been apparent to many before, it has become clearer with this crisis and other recent developments.

Despite the fact that everything that has been said about the position of the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, misrepresents the reasonable and balanced policy of Riyadh, the Kingdom was able to become a mediator in this crisis at a time when many countries, especially Western countries, failed to contribute to quelling the situation.

Many Western countries fumbled in dealing with the crisis, especially after facing several economic crises (tied to energy in particular). Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s balanced position was crucial to allowing it to facilitate dialogue between the parties as it worked intelligently to establish an understanding and find a solution.

With his realist diplomacy and global influence, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman led the Saudi effort to mediate between the two countries that allowed ten prisoners to be freed. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs had announced that the efforts of Deputy Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with regard to its humanitarian initiatives for the Russian-Ukrainian crisis led to the release of prisoners from five countries as part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine. The Crown Prince’s efforts led to the release of ten prisoners from Morocco, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Croatia.

The White House thanked the Crown Prince for mediating the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, and British Prime Minister Liz Truss thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its role in ensuring the release of detainees. The other countries whose citizens were released also issued statements and tweets thanking Saudi Arabia for its stance and Prince Mohammad bin Salman for his pivotal contribution as a mediator.

The Saudi Crown Prince is leading the Kingdom’s efforts to influence global politics. This comes after he had given Saudi Arabia and the other countries of the region back their place in the world and the opinion of Saudi Arabia became influential in the capitals where global decisions are taken.

With most issues, like war and others, the truth does not come out at first. Rather, it takes time for the full picture to develop. Only few can take balanced positions on the basis of limited information and bet on a stance that diverges from that of global war-mongering… Saudi Arabia has demonstrated how valid its stances on the crisis have been. Indeed, it has gone further, finding solutions for that crisis. Saudi Arabia always wins.

Other opinion articles

Editor Picks