For decades, Saudi Arabia has been one of the West’s key strategic partners in the Middle East. Now though there are growing doubts about the alliance.
The Regime in Riyadh is supporting jihadist groups in a host of countries. It cracks down hard on anybody who speaks out against it. Also: the brutal Saudi intervention in Yemen is further destabilizing the region.
Is Saudi Arabia turning out to be a false friend for the West?
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Michael Thumann is a diplomatic correspondent for the German weekly Die Zeit. His reporting focuses on the Middle East and he recently came back from a research trip to Saudi Arabia. He believes that: “The fight against ISIS cannot be won without the support of Saudi Arabia.”
Judy Dempsey is a Senior Associate with Carnegie Europe and editor-in-chief of Strategic Europe. She says: “There is a well-worn maxim: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Saudi Arabia fits into this context.”
Ursula Weidenfeld is a renowned business commentator, and she’s clearly concerned about what goes on inside Saudi Arabia: “Beheadings, beatings and other human rights abuses are what Riyadh uses to keep the people under control,” she says. And asks: “So is Saudia Arabia the right kind of partner in the battle against terrorism?