Reconciliation in the Horn of Africa under Emirati patronage

For several years, the strategic security of the Arab Gulf States has been in full swing in a way that is different than what it used to be. It is now characterized by effectiveness, initiative and inclusiveness, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Its most striking aspects is confronting the Iranian influence and its allies in the region and the world, in Africa and in the Horn of Africa particularly. The most recent results of this confrontation is the historic reconciliation under the auspices of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Thanks to full Saudi-Emirati coordination, there are multiple developments taking place on an Arab, regional and international level. Results are accumulating and accomplishments are being achieved, one victory after the other.

Supporting, spreading and strengthening “the stability of the states” are the major principles that lead the declared strategy of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, along with the full rejection of the “stability of chaos” led by Iran, Turkey and Qatar

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

Today’s success is due to the decisions of yesterday. The present victory is the outcome of the strategies of the past, and this will also be the case in the future. The results of every decision and strategy drawn today will appear in the near and distant future.

Historical reconciliation

Let us put aside the ancient history of the old conflict between the two countries, Ethiopia and Eritrea, during the 1960s, and the grinding war between 1998 and 2000, which paved the way for the surrounding countries, namely fundamentalist Sudan at the time and Somalia, which was brimful of terrorism at the time as well, to influence the conflict of the two countries.

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The result today is impressive. This historic reconciliation between the two countries overcomes the past and its conflicts and heads to build a better future that puts an end to losses and strengthens the stability of the region that is full of conflicts and clashes. The two countries will thus not fall, like Somalia did, into extremism and terrorism.

Supporting, spreading and strengthening “the stability of the states” are the major principles that lead the declared strategy of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, along with the full rejection of the “stability of chaos” led by Iran, Turkey and Qatar. These are the pillars of their strategy in the Horn of Africa and in Sudan after it divided and after it participated in the Decisive Storm Operation, which is an advanced position had it not been for some uncomfortable decisions towards the balances of power in the region and Turkish attempts to penetrate Sudan and Somalia.

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Weakening the Iranian regime and everything the latter believes to be a means of survival and weakening its rhetoric, ideology and future are one of the most important means to effectively and efficiently confront it. The Emirati role, which has been growing and bolstering in recent years, is an important indicator of what countries can achieve through effective leadership, successful alliances and progressive visions.

Triumphant alliance

This Saudi-Emirati alliance saved the Arab world from the tragedies and calamities of the fundamentalist terrorist "spring" which some called the Arab Spring. It rescued Bahrain and Egypt decisively along with other Arab countries through generous support, a clear vision and a strong strategy. A number of Arab countries are still grateful to the UAE and Saudi Arabia for what happened during those awful years in the near past.

The UAE’s major role in Libya to bury the hatchet and support the Libyan people and state is known and acknowledged by everyone. The UAE’s purpose is to support the stability of the Libyan state and reconcile between the different Libyan parties away from all the fundamentalist and terrorist forces supported by hostile axes in the region.

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These axes perceive Libya as an area to expand their support for fundamentalism and terrorism and to harm the stability of Egypt and Tunisia and other Arab countries if they achieve their goal of completely taking control of Libya.

Such political, economic and strategic roles are not built overnight, but they are rather built through wisdom, calmness and insight. Slow and steady wins the race as the English proverb says.

The UAE and Saudi blood that mixed up in Yemen is the most prominent example of the triumphant alliance led by the two countries. These triumphant successes are the best proof that the strength of political will and decisions are capable of changing international and regional equations in an effective clear way. It’s enough to compare how the situation used to be three years ago against how it is now.

Finally, the UAE’s support of the stability of countries in the region and its progressive insight constitute its leadership and pioneering in all files and crises. Sponsoring the historical reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea is the best example.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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