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The Inevitable Unraveling of Saudi-UAE Ties

MIN READJul 21, 2021 | 20:22 GMT

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) sits next to UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (right) during an investment summit in Riyadh on Oct. 24, 2018.

(GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

The once-close Saudi-Emirati relationship is weakening -- or, put in another way, normalizing -- as overlapping economic competition and strategic differences on issues like Yemen and the Muslim Brotherhood finally pop up into the public spheres. It is not a shift towards a virulent rivalry like others in the region, but rather a turn away from a period of unprecedented closeness that emerged after the Arab Spring in 2011. And like the external factors that brought Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates close for nearly a decade, changes in regional and global geopolitics are now again forging new wedges between them by periodically putting their interests at direct odds....

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