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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Saudi-France Strategic Relations: Back from the Cold?in-depth


I- Saudi-French relations are poised to return to their strategic glory, recent bilateral interactions from September and October indicate. The recent developments mark a major turning point from the coldness that has engulfed Saudi-French ties between 2018 and 2020 due to the Khashoggi murder, the war in Yemen, and the Saudi-US relations under former US President Donald Trump.

II- In 2021, France has a unique opportunity to step up as Riyadh’s main ally amid the ongoing fallout between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz and the Biden administration. After a historic high under President Trump, which overshadowed the Kingdom’s relations with European states, Saudi-US relations have plummeted since US President Joe Biden took office. As a result, Saudi Arabia is seeking to diversify its alliances and reduce its security dependency on the United States. France, Britain, and even Russia and China are already making a play to fill the vacuum left by the US disengagement from the Middle East.

III- Based on common strategic interests that date back decades, Saudi-French relations emphasize defense cooperation, strong economic ties, and maintaining security in the Middle East.


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