The latest sign of Saudi Arabia’s strengthening relationships with China and Russia came late last month when Riyadh obtained dialogue partner status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Mindful of how important Beijing and Moscow have become to the Kingdom as it is displaying greater autonomy from Washington, the development was no surprise.
Within this context, the Saudi step toward SCO membership is in line with the country’s grander agendas on the international stage. Like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Kingdom has demonstrated its willingness to join multilateral initiatives to advance its national interests. Whether the endeavors are eastern- or western-led is not important to Riyadh.
Therefore, Saudi Arabia becoming a dialogue partner in the SCO fits within the context of the country’s expanded organizational footprint...
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