1 thought on “UAE: moderation of policy”

  1. The statement that “Yemen in Saudi eyes has always been the neighbour from hell” is slightly harsh. For a long time, the Riyadhis knew little of Yemen and cared less. Abd al-Aziz bin Abd al-Rahman is recorded as having dismissed Najran (which he had by then seized from the Imam) as “kullu junud wa qurud, Ziyud wa Yahud.” (Abd al-Aziz is also reputed to have said on his deathbed that “The good or evil will come from Yemen.”)
    The problem for the Sa’udis (or more accurately, the Al Sa’ud) is that a stable, successful and demographically superior Yemeni republic might try to recapture its three lost (whether rightfully or otherwise) provinces; and also spark questions as to why those living in the centre of the peninsula shouldn’t also live in a republic. As a result, Sa’udi policy for the past 50+ years (and probably 90+ against the Imams) has been to try to keep Yemen unstable – but not so unstable that it boils over and causes damage to Sa’udi Arabia. They haven’t always got it right …

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