Wednesday, March 15, 2017

King Salman's visit to China

By Sajjad Malik, March 15, 2017 

Saudi monarch King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud is paying an historic visit to China this week as part of efforts to diversify and deepen ties with leading Asian countries. Before reaching China, he visited Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan where he signed numerous agreements to improve economic cooperation. Saudi Arabia is passing through a critical stage in history. The changes in the region and global realignments have created a quest for fresh relationships. Hence, a kind of scramble to secure interests has begun. The process started when the global powers led by the United States signed a deal to end the nuclear impasse with Iran. The agreement allowed Iran to rid itself of international sanctions and play a more robust regional role. As a sign of this, it has stolen a march in Syria and helped the incumbent leader Bashar al-Assad become stronger after six years of internal fighting. It means that Saudi policy to throw him out through the power of the gun has failed. Iran, along with Russia, played the leading role in overturning the long-existent power chess board in Syria.