TRENDS study sees «soft power» as a key driver of Gulf diplomacy


A recent study issued by TRENDS Research and Advisory believes that the Gulf Cooperation Council states use both hard and soft power diplomacy to achieve security and political stability in the region. They also guarded themselves against external interferences that hinders the continuation of the state of calm and peace. The GCC States protected their interests against countries that seek to re-fuel conflict through their proxy states, parties and extremist groups.

The study, which was titled: «"Synergy: soft power as a driver for Gulf diplomacy" was prepared by author Abdullah Al-Junaid, a writer and political analyst. He said that diplomacy or hard and soft forces used by the GCC countries have greatly helped to stop the interference of major powers. These powers have begun to realize that the GCC countries have their own vision and tools through which they can achieve collective regional security, away from external mediation or interventions.


Guarding Stability

While the Gulf priority is to guard the state of stability and expand its geographical scope, the approach of some of the region's allies, such as the United States, stems from partisan perspectives. By analogy, the readings from Washington focused on Saudi energy policies. There was some exaggeration of US-Saudi discrepancies, portrayed as US criticism of Saudi Arabia following the decision of «OPEC Plus» to reduce production, to the exclusion of other members of the OPEC organization. The Americans considered the decision to cut oil production a “hostile act” against the United States and biased towards Russia. They said that the production cut would generate petrodollars wealth to Russia while it was waging a war against Ukraine.



 International Relations

The study explores the realm of international relations from the perspective of bilateral or multiple relations. This includes the regional space in terms of its polarization of the weight of major regional powers.  It started with the visit of US President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia, to the last visit by Turkish President Erdogan. This international and regional polarization was the result of a shift in the regional model, and the pillar for that transformation is the "Ula agreement".


Al-Ula Agreement

The author indicated that "Al-Ula Agreement", signed by the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, in addition to Egypt, stressed the achievement of cooperation, interdependence and integration among the GCC countries in all fields. This includes completing the elements of economic unity and the joint defense and security systems and developing a unified foreign policy. The GCC states pledged to fulfil the requirements of the customs union and the Gulf common market, and grant GCC citizens freedom to work, move, invest and receive equal treatment in receiving education and health care.

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