Middle East And North Africa
The contrast between richly endowed oil-and-gas economies and resource-poor countries is an important marker in the region. Its strategic location between the East and West, along with its energy wealth, make it vulnerable to the clashing policies and interests of local and global powers, including the United States, Europe and Russia. Foreign interventions tend to exacerbate local conflicts.
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The UAE and China: New ties and strategies
While the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are still staunch allies, the former has strayed from the latter to pursue its own interests, especially its fruitful cooperation with Beijing. In the multisided Yemen conflict, Abu Dhabi has begun backing separatist movements in the hope of taking over ports that could prove crucial to the Belt and Road Initiative.