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Is Saudi Arabia Showing Signs Of Weakness?

Saudi Arabia is increasingly portrayed as a wayward actor intent on destabilizing everything it can get its hands on, uncomfortable about raising oil production despite U.S. warnings that the Saudi king would not last for two weeks without America’s military support. Riyadh, however, is aspiring to perform a triple balancing act, appeasing U.S. President Trump and adhering firmly to its vision of creating a grand OPEC+ crude oil producers’ alliance with Russia, whilst simultaneously keeping crude prices at a level which is sustainable for its economy. In this, Saudi Arabia will face a plethora of challenges, seen in this week’s sudden Saudi Arabia-Kuwait talks on restarting oil production in the Neutral Zone.

In Mohammad bin Salman’s failure to get a deal done lie many uncomfortable truths about Riyadh’s rather limited options. As details begin to transpite, it turns out the September 30 meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has sowed more confusion than settled discrepancies between the two nations. Interestingly, the visit was initially intended to be a two-day one, but in the end was reduced to a couple of hours, with no official communication following the leaders’ reportedly tense talks. According to sources from both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, one of the key points of contention was the resumption of oil production in the Partitioned Neutral Zone which was…




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