Written by Chinmaya R Gharekhan | Published: October 24particularly strange? For the past several monthsperhaps a couple of yearsSaudi Arabia has been untypically active and assertive in its foreign policy approach For decadesits style had been low-key in public It did assert itself when its concerns were in questionbut always discreetly and in private The events in the Arab world since January 2011 seem to have caused deep unhappinessunease and introspection amongst the ruling circles in the kingdomand have led them to question their longstanding alliance with the US From the Saudi perspectiveAmericas failure to stand by Hosni Mubarak in Egypt came as a big shock When Mohamed Morsi became president it was of no consequence to the Saudis that he had won in a democratic election Riyadh became most worried for itself and upset with the Americanswho seemed to have embraced Morsi despite his Muslim Brotherhood credentials Indeedthe Saudis suspected that the Americans had contributed to Morsis success Hencewhen Morsi was toppled in an apparently popular coupKing Abdullah was the first to offer congratulations Syria was the next factor The Saudis and Americans were on the same sideas was Israel They all wanted Bashar al-Assad out In Saudi Arabiathe policy towards Syria was personally directed by the king for sectarian and tribal reasons: one of his wives is of Syrian origin The kingdomlike Israel and the USwanted to smash the axis between Damascus and Tehran for sectarian reasonswhile Israel and the US also wanted to weaken Irans influence in the regionchoke Irans supply links to Hezbollah and Hamasand eventually to weaken Iran itself The Saudis poured significant resources into the rebel militias and encouraged other Gulf states to do sowith Qatar playing a leading role in financing the rebels as well as supplying them arms But they could not persuade the Americans to be more forthcoming in supplying heavy military equipment Nonethelesswhen US President Obama began to prepare for air strikes against Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons on August 21the Saudis were perhaps mollifiedeven though the strike was going to be limited in duration and scope When that was called offthanks to Russian quick-thinking and initiativethe Saudis were deeply disappointed and angry From their point of viewthe Russian action was like a stab in the front But the final straw was probably the beginninghowever tentativeof a thaw in US-Iran relations While much of the rest of the world welcomed the telephone conversation between presidents Obama and Rouhanifor Saudi Arabia it was a most unwelcome development An intense struggle is going on between the leader of Sunni Islam and the leader of Shia Islam for dominance in the Muslim Ummah For some timethey attempted to keep up the faade of being civil to each otherbut the new great game,By: AP | Published: August 20 who will take over the No. In today’s Kisan Panchayat, But how can we keep silent when they fired bullets in the chests of farmers (in Madhya Pradesh). Thankfully, emergency repairs, Although the new inductions are biased towards representation from the Saurashtra region, 49.
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