U.S. and Saudi confrontations with Iran are causing proxy-warfare in weak or failing Arab states and escalating tensions in the Gulf, but there might still be a chance for diplomatic progress with the right combination of measures targeting Gulf-specific, regional, and international issues.
Former secretary general of the League of Arab States, Amre Moussa, offers eight recommendations for establishing a new regional order that would see Arab countries end instability and regain control of their futures.
Saudi Arabia is supporting an ever wider range of Yemeni actors willing to fight the Houthis, but their political ambitions and regionally limited capabilities are at odds with the kingdom’s interest in a unified Yemen.
The best hope for the Middle East is for sensible and responsible people in all concerned lands, especially around the Gulf, to grasp the catastrophes that will engulf much of the region if current trends continue.
Unlike what many Western pundits think, Saudi Arabia does not represent the “true” Sunni Islam. Even within the country, there are older traditions of Islam that are far more open and tolerant than the Kingdom’s official Wahhabist sect.
A diplomacy deficit between Iran and Saudi Arabia has exacerbated volatility across the Middle East. Ending the Iranian-Saudi cold war, and building a collective security framework for the Middle East is the only option likely to succeed.