Saudi Arabia and UAE: Playing the Balancing Act

Two Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) – have re-oriented their external relations significantly in recent years. The improvement in ties between both these Gulf countries, especially UAE, and Israel is a strong reiteration of the same. UAE along with Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan normalised ties with Israel via the Abraham accords signed in 2020. Even at a global level, not just the Middle East, both Saudi Arabia and UAE are trying to re-position their foreign policy. One important change has been the strengthening of UAE-China and Saudi Arabia-China relations, much to the discomfort of the US.

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