Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt alliance crumbling - Turkish columnist

An alliance between Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt forged two years ago has already started crumbling with the rift between the Saudi and Emirates becoming more visible, wrote Talha Köse, a columnist of the pro-government Daily Sabah, on Friday.

Köse said this alliance backed by the U.S. administration perceived Tehran, Ankara and Doha as its rivals for establishing hegemony in the Middle East and considered Qatar and Turkey fundamental support bases of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Rather than preferring a divide-and-conquer strategy, the alliance unrealistically started an aggressive fight in the entire region. They did not refrain from targeting Turkey and Iran, Shiites and Islamists, democratic institutions and press freedom at the same time,” the columnist said.

The weakness of the alliance’s “either you are with us or against us" discourse faced failure for the first time during the Qatar blockade in summer 2017, when Turkey bolstered its troop presence there in a clear show of support for Doha, Köse said. Military failures in Yemen and Libya also demonstrated the incompetence of this alliance in military affairs, according to the columnist.

“As this ambitious project starts to crumble, the rift between Saudi Arabia and the UAE is also becoming more visible,” Köse said. “Priority for Saudi Arabia is to contain the ‘Iranian threat’ whereas for the UAE, the main threat is the Muslim Brotherhood and the other moderate Islamist actors in the region.’’  h

Köse said efforts to maintain the alliance between three countries would harm the entire Middle East, adding, “It is time for both the main actors of the coalition and their supporters to reconsider this dysfunctional alliance and promote a more inclusive and less antagonistic vision for the region”.