Arabian Civil War Unleashed: Prince MBS vs. MBZ


Arabian Civil War Unleashed: Prince MBS vs. MBZ

A simmering feud between two powerful Arab leaders has sent shockwaves across the Middle East, as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), threatens to impose sanctions on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The fiery dispute has escalated into what many now dub the "Arabian Civil War," pitting MBS against his longtime ally, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), the ruler of the UAE.


The rift between the two influential figures came to light when MBS summoned local journalists in Riyadh for an off-the-record briefing in December 2022. Recently, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) revealed the explosive contents of that gathering. "Our decades-long ally, the UAE, stabbed us in the back," MBS lamented, as recounted by those present at the meeting. "They will see what I am capable of," he added ominously.


The root cause of the discord lies in the rivalry over the Gulf region. In December 2022, Crown Prince MBS threatened to blockade the UAE for persistently challenging Saudi Arabia's dominance in the Gulf. He conveyed a series of demands to Abu Dhabi, warning that his kingdom would take decisive actions if the UAE continued to undermine its influence in the region.


According to WSJ, MBS issued a stern warning that the sanctions imposed on the UAE would be harsher than those imposed on Qatar in the past. "This will be worse than what I did to Qatar," he declared, sending a clear message of his resolve.


It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia and Qatar experienced a bitter rift in 2017, with the Arab kingdom placing an embargo on Qatar and imposing an economic blockade that lasted for over three years. The two nations eventually reconciled in 2021, likely motivated by their shared goal of forming a counterbalance against Iran.


The tension between Crown Prince MBS and UAE President MBZ has been brewing for some time. Both leaders vie for supremacy in the Gulf region, leading to heated clashes during an OPEC meeting in October 2022. During the event, the UAE accused Saudi Arabia of coercing other member countries into agreeing on oil production cuts. In response, the UAE threatened to withdraw from OPEC, citing Arab domination as the reason.


The escalating rivalry between the two nations has raised concerns among U.S. officials. They fear that the power struggle in the Gulf could hinder efforts to build a united front against Iran, resolve the conflict in Yemen, and advance diplomatic relations between Israel and Muslim-majority nations.


The Arabian Civil War's potential implications on regional stability and global politics are far-reaching. As the tension between MBS and MBZ intensifies, the world watches with bated breath, uncertain of the outcome and hoping for a peaceful resolution to this combustible confrontation.

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