MESOP – The new Middle East : Working Paper By FRIDE & HIVOS

Emboldened yet vulnerable: the changing foreign policies of Qatar & Saudi Arabia / By Ana Echagüe (11/07/2014) Working Paper – Sam Agnew/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Arab spring offered Qatar and Saudi Arabia an opportunity to raise their international profiles and shape events throughout the Middle East and North Africa. They both sought to assert their interests through proactive, but often diverging, foreign policies directed to expand their influence, balance rivals and shield their respective regimes from political turmoil. Three years on, however, there is little to show for their efforts and in different ways both feel more vulnerable, since political uncertainty is growing and security is deteriorating across the region. As a result, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are likely to revert to more cautious foreign policies.