Saudi Royals seek new political partnership with Red Sea countries

Friday 14th Dec 2018

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The House of Saud is seeking a new alliance with six of its neighbouring countries along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, a key area in global shipping, and increasingly an area of focus for their competitors in the region: Iran, Turkey and Qatar.

Representatives and delegates from Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Jordan met in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss the initiative – a further meeting of experts is expected soon in Cairo for in-detail talks. Absent from the meeting were representatives from Eritrea and Ethiopia.

“This is part of the kingdom’s efforts to protect its interests and those of its neighbours” stated Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir after the day of meetings.

The minister went on to say that “the more cooperation and coordination that you have among the countries of this region, the less negative outside influence will be on this region,”.

The Red Sea includes the important Bab al-Mandeb Strait, through which pass an estimated 3 million plus barrels of oil a day o its way to Europe, North America and Asia. In recent years the oil route has been the target of Somali pirates and Houthi rebels.

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