For three years now, all eyes have been on Riyadh due to its consecutive surprises. It entered a war in the beginning of the new era and decisively dealt with domestic and foreign affairs. This brave policy caused Arab and international worry. The question has thus been asked: Are we witnessing a new expansive state?
The Arab world has lived for decades with regimes led by ideas, and whose foreign and domestic policies were drawn according to a Baathist, Nasserist, leftist and nationalist approach, and some Libyan thing that is not understandable.
These regimes were tinctured with the characteristic of expansion at the expense of other states and sought to spread their ideas via military coups. They were countries whose pillars were the ideology that goes beyond their people’s aspirations and that’s based on lecturing, inventing fragile projects and wasting their people’s years and money.
Riyadh today is working according to a serious developmental approach, continuous modernization and balance between its interests and the interests of other people, whether the bond they share is that of joint fate or friendshiFares bin Hezam
The truth is that we are before a progressive state, and not an expansionist one as the former is an added value to each country that allies with it, and the latter raises suspicions of dominance over it.
A modernizing state
Riyadh today is working according to a serious developmental approach, continuous modernization and balance between its interests and the interests of other people, whether the bond they share is that of joint fate or friendship. It never did anything that raised questions, like what is being speculated about it as a result of envious grudges, because it’s a country that gained its status via its own project and attained regional and international appreciation thanks to its credibility.
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And here we are today, seeing it as a nation of progress and modernization in all fields and a country with a solid and fixed policy without any substantial changes to its strong structure. While noting what the kingdom has achieved, we must also note the models of other countries which maintained their Islamic fabric and system while modernizing all their fields, beginning with education and ending with providing people’s welfare, and the best example of that is Malaysia.
In the kingdom’s policy, there is something that calls for meditation and learning from the experience. It’s needless to say that politics has different patterns, but it has a clear vision when serving legitimate interests. Today, Saudi Arabia handles dozens of Arab and international affairs as it is managing the signs of a relationship with Iraq following a long severance, observing the scene in Syria, drawing a new method with Lebanon, resuming its legitimate mission in Yemen by restoring legitimacy and reconstruction, and standing as an impenetrable embankment against Iran’s expansion.
Given all of that and according to its fixed policy, the kingdom continues to progress and modernize today. It began with the factor of economic power as it is investing in giant companies whose activities extend to different major countries hence creating political influence in addition to the expected financial returns. It is an influential strong weapon, that’s currently present in the strategy of public investment fund by moving from shy investment to brave investment.
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Riyadh knows its size on the map and formulates its foreign policy accordingly. It sees in its comprehensive influence in the Islamic world a national role, which is predetermined by its Islamic leadership and it launches its efforts based on geographic presence, religious influence, economic power and political vision. These factors together are only present in Riyadh; it’s thus normal that it was endued leadership and not to Turkey, Iran or Qatar.
Riyadh took decisive decisions and reformulated its foreign policy. It’s aware of the consequences of what it’s doing through every step of the way and comes up with the necessary alternatives. It replaced the benefits of relations with Canada with other options and it did not do that with Qatar since there is no need, given the absence of an added value to Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia’s tone and concern is this: This is I and my view of what is at the end of the horizon and I go beyond it. I am biased to the bigger and more comprehensive future. My eyes see beyond the reality’s spaces, and in my hands there is a pure history of giving and building. A deficient outlook is not one of my characteristics, while others are concerned about their immediate success and their vision does not extend beyond what their hands can reach, and these are many, let’s extend the map so we can know more.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Fares bin Hezam is Editor-in-Chief at Al Arabiya Channel.