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Alliances shifting: Saudis getting cozy with Turkey

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Unimportant Election

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jun 9, 2015 at 04:47

I am increasingly interested in Saudi Arabia's response to events in Turkey. As of a few months ago, I thought Saudi Arabia was pretty solidy locked into an alliance with Egypt, the UAE and other Sunni Arab states; and that Turkey and Qatar were in a camp of their own. Lately, I realize that:

  1. The new king of Saudi Arabia is apparently a devout Wahabbi, sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood -- which, in turn, is championed by Turkey and Qatar but banned in Egypt and the UAE
  2. There seems to be a shift in alliances in the making, with Saudi Arabia drawing nearer to Turkey's Ergogan and Egypt drawing nearer to Algeria, Tunisia and Jordan. I suppose the UAE is still strongly tied to Egypt in LIbya; and Morocco, being ever at odds with Algeria over Western Sahara, will therefore get closer to Turkey.
  3. Closer to Israel, I expect Hamas to be in the Turkey-Saudi camp, and the PLO to be with the Jordanians and Egyptians. Sudan also seems to have been embraced by the Saudis and Turks as well, along with Somalia and some other actors..

...as though things weren't complicated enough. Pakistan, meanwhile, which used to be a pretty stalwart Saudi ally, seems at the moment disinclined to get ivolved with the Arabs, putting its efforts into its ties with China (and against India).

This rearrangement of alliances marks the introduction, it seems, of Algeria into Middle Eastern politics and away from the relative isolation it had been enjoying. The catalyst in this is Libya, particularly the ISIS affiliate in Libya, which has been causing trouble for Algeria, Tunisia, LIbya-Tobruk, Egypt and Jordan, as well as exacerbating headaches among the Europeans (particularly the Italians) over the "boat people"matter.

Again concerning Israel, this all seems to have implications for the sub-rosa "Saudi-Israeli alliance" against Iran. Now it's the "Saudi-Turkish" alliance -- still against Iran, but including fiercely anti-Israel Turkey in the person of the still-very-much-alive Mr. Erdogan. None of this portends peace in the region.

Submitting....

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