Saudi Arabia should provide leadership in this crisis

                                               AYESHA ABDULLAH /Strategic Analyst


The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza could spread to the entire Middle East and North African (MENA) region if timely steps are not taken. While some countries in the region are more interested to escalate the situation to ripe personal benefits out of the fragile military conflict, others are posing as bystanders to evaluate the situation before choosing any side. But it is a right opportunity for Saudi Arabia to provide leadership role along with UAE and Egypt to keep Turkey, Qatar and Iran at bay. Now, Qatar along with both Turkey and Iran have plans to escalate it further and involve Russia and China to challenge the US. This will prove to be a dangerous game.



The conflict is taking a new turn each passing day and there is no end to human suffering in this situation. While a ceasefire effort is a much needed step, the hostages should also be released without any harm currently kept under the custody of Hamas.

Qatar is playing a negative role and keen to escalate it to suit its own strategic interests. Qatari regime has propped up funding, shelter, logistics and Al Jazeera TV along with numerous Arabic websites to give a high voltage coverage to flare up the already volatile situation.

Neither Qatar is interested in finding truth nor committed to give right information to the general public. It is keen to play the game. In the entire history, Qatar is the least involved country to solve Palestinian problem.

Both Iran and Turkey are also not wasting time and jumping into the fray with a calculated risk. This will only ignite passion to spread the conflict beyond imaginable consequences. This is neither helpful for Palestinian cause nor it is better for the region.

Yet, they think the leadership role of the Islamic world might fall into their lap which they have been struggling to get despite their best efforts in recent decades. Even they have now roped in Malaysia and Pakistan as their bogey carriers.

In this situation, Saudi Arabia under the leadership of Crown Prince should step in and work for a ceasefire and facilitate the establishment of a true Palestinian state living alongside Israel. This will help Saudi Arabia to protect the region and stop negative ambitions of some vested interest elements.

Secondly, Saudis can also protect their economic revival plans which could benefits the whole region as Riyadh has already launched lot of high value projects that could face bleak future if the conflict spreads.

Thirdly, once the Israel-Palestine issue is tackled it will help Saudis to trade in other currencies to protect their own economy and make the Asian century a reality.

Once the problem is resolved, various economic projects could be launched to mitigate the unemployment problems spreading throughout Arabian Peninsula right now. This is the era of geo-economics.   

This will prove to be a game changer for Crown Prince who can establish his image as a peace maker. There is no need to create a United Arab Republic type bloc as it had come into existence between Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the 70s, rather Saudi Arabia can pursue a new model similar to GCC but more cohesive to move freely and do business without any hassle.