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

The G20 and Trust Crisis

In his inaugural address at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "The world has a huge crisis of trust. War has made this trust deficit deeper. If we can defeat Covid, we can also conquer this mutual trust crisis."
This statement was made at a crucial summit that was not attended by the presidents of China and Russia. I say that it is crucial because the world, as Modi said, is indeed suffering from a “crisis of trust”, as reflected by Russia’s war in Ukraine and its military, economic, nutritional, and social repercussions.
Moreover, the negative repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis can be seen in various regions, especially given Iran's entanglement, Russia's expansion in Syria, and the clashes spearheaded by the Wagner paramilitary company in Syria and Africa, which is dealing with the implications of the conflict in Sudan and two coups.
Europe is also grappling with the ramifications of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which has sharpened political division in the US as well. And this schism was exacerbated further by the approaching presidential elections and the trials of former president Donald Trump.
Other complicating factors include the economic and political struggle between the US and China and the impasse in addressing Iran's nuclear program. Amid all of these developments, the participants at the summit are divided. Some countries have an eye on geopolitical risks, like China and Russia, though Beijing also has an eye on the economy.
For others, like Saudi Arabia and India, economic advancement is the priority. Meanwhile, European nations are caught between their economic concerns and apprehensions regarding the fallout of geopolitical conflict. For their part, citizens around the world are eagerly anticipating decisions that could improve the economy.
This is doubtlessly a bleak picture of the world. However, from a Saudi standpoint, what matters is that we are attending the summit under the visionary leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. We are safeguarded by the revitalization of our society, which is looking to the future and the world, not the nitty-gritty of regional upheaval.
We attended the summit with economic stability reflected in the figures. Indeed, the International Monetary Fund has commended Saudi Arabia's economic performance outside the oil sector and the historic strides it has made in reducing unemployment.
Saudi Arabia also attends with innovative political, economic, and environmental initiatives that seek to foster an environment that reinforces stability and the well-being of its citizens, and encourages its neighbors to enhance collaboration efforts.
There are certainly no easy solutions, and we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. However, what matters is that the Saudis have understood all of this very well thanks to their enlightened and ambitious leadership. We have understood that you are only as strong as you are domestically, and this was and is the guiding principle that Saudi Arabia is pursuing with great determination.
And so, despite this crisis of trust, we have great optimism in our situation, our nation, our economy, and our aspirations. Nothing has done more to engender this optimism than the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has earned the trust of the king and the populace. This trust is reinforced by real accomplishments and concrete figures in every domain.
The Crown Prince's announcement at the inaugural G20 session alone speaks volumes. A memorandum of understanding to establish an economic corridor linking India, the Middle East, and Europe, was signed, and it includes railways, ports, an augmentation in transit, pipelines for the import and export of electricity and hydrogen, and data transmission cables.