The Lingering Impasse in Iraqi-Saudi Arabian Relations


The Lingering Impasse in Iraqi-Saudi Arabian Relations

King Abdullah

By Dr. Sulaiman Wasty for Gulf State Analytics

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s departure from power on August 14, 2014 has led certain voices to speculate that Iraq will establish closer ties with Saudi Arabia under Maliki’s successor, Haider al-Abadi. Despite Baghdad and Riyadh’s history of distrust, Daesh’s rise to power in Iraq and Syria along with the organization’s destabilizing impact on the region’s geopolitical order are said to create unity between the two neighboring Arab nations.

Indeed, the Maliki government’s treatment of Sunnis and Baghdad’s alignment with Iran largely contributed to Iraq and Saudi Arabia’s toxic relationship following Saddam Hussein’s fall in 2003. When Iraq’s President Fuad Masum visited Saudi Arabia on November 11, 2014—marking the highest-level diplomatic exchange in years between the two governments—he went with the purpose of “normalizing diplomatic and political relations.” However, while both states share grave concerns about Daesh’s potential to seize greater swathes of territory, their incompatible strategies for reacting to this threat and other conflicting geopolitical interests in the greater Middle East diminish the potential for a meaningful improvement in relations to materialize in 2015 and beyond.

Read the rest at Gulf State Analytics.

  • Hacking the CIA Director: What John Brennan’s Emails Reveal

  • What Does it Mean to be a Democratic Socialist? Bernie Sanders May Not be One

  • via Twitter

    Islamic State Meets the Laws of Economics

  • Attitude Adjustment: The Erosion of Human Rights in Thailand

  • Khaama Press

    Ismail Khan, Former Warlord, on ISIS, Afghan Governance, and His Country’s Future

  • via Facebook

    Turkey’s Election Turmoil

  • Bundesregierung

    Using Refugees: Merkel’s Turkish Gambit

  • Zack Baddorf/U.S. Navy

    The Case for ASEAN Military Integration