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China is forging a new alliance of autocracies

Azeem Ibrahim

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Old regional conflicts are put to bed as a fundamental dividing line is drawn globally

Printed in austere typeface, overlaid on a rich green, the colour of Saudi Arabia, last week came a surprise announcement. 

A joint communique issued by the Saudi national security advisor and a key figure in the Iranian state’s foreign policy apparatus contained a declaration that might, at least theoretically, mean the end of four decades of enmity

The two countries agreed to resume diplomatic relations, to re-open their embassies, and to respect the sovereignty of the other. 

They also agreed that their foreign ministers will meet, and that they will arrange for the return of their various ambassadors, all with the intention of enhancing bilateral relations.

Some perceptive commentators had seen this sort of thing coming for a while: that the Saudis, increasingly alienated by the West, particularly under the Biden presidency, were looking for a route out of regional confrontation with Iran, whose Houthi proxies in Yemen frequently bombard Saudi Arabia with missiles and drones, and who – the Saudi defence establishment concludes – cannot be militarily defeated. 

Read the full article in the Telegraph.