Publication Date: 25-08-2023
A few years ago, the antagonism between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the escalations in conflicts in Yemen, Iraq or Syria, and unbreakable ties between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. were the international narratives of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Nowadays, the region’s diplomatic recital resonates with a different music – the shift from strategic rivalries and proxy conflicts to a more harmonious regional tactical de-escalation and reformulations of foreign policy to achieve balance. With this new framework in hand, Saudi Arabia hosted a two-day National Security Advisors’ Meeting in Jeddah on August 5, gathering delegations from 42 countries to discuss developments and alternatives to end the war in Ukraine.
The summit in Jeddah was the second of its kind this year after a similar forum was initiated by the Kingdom on June 24-25 in Copenhagen. The neutrality of Saudi Arabia during the conflict was a suitable backdrop to finding common ground from different perspectives with those involved in, or affected by, the ongoing conflict. The talks coincided with the stagnation in the front lines in Eastern Ukraine, the rising tensions in food insecurity due to the cancellation of the Black Sea Initiative, and other high-impact developments. The lack of communication channels for negotiations, the limited agreements through international forums, and the absence of leadership to conduct a ceasefire or create willingness from both parties to start a peace dialogue, are only a small part of the many relevant elements of the discussions in Jeddah and Copenhagen. Even if Russia did not assist— decreasing the expectations of dialogue— vital information exchanges about global concerns were successfully concluded, and messages reached home.
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