While a regional naval alliance remains distant, de-escalation has created an opening for maritime security cooperation.
As the last of several measures taken by Brussels to shore up EU-GCC relations, the appointment of a special representative for the Gulf is intended to enhance the EU’s regional presence and create a conducive atmosphere for engagement.
The UAE has sought to enhance its naval might and secure its fast-expanding networks of ports and logistics infrastructure to match its evolving strategic and commercial ambitions, in the Middle East and beyond.
Despite the growing effectiveness of maritime operations along the route from Iran to Yemen, drug and weapons trafficking remains a serious threat with consequences for regional security.
With the new Taliban regime in Kabul, Saudi leaders are likely to remain cautious and keep a close eye on power dynamics. But they are likely to keep some channels of communication open with the Taliban to promote stability in the region.
With more than 1,400 miles of coast overlooking two of the busiest global shipping routes and a unique geographic position connecting three continents, Saudi Arabia has placed logistics at the core of its economic diversification agenda.
The same conditions that have enabled steady economic growth in the UAE have also provided legislative loopholes and opportunities for criminal and illicit activities; but ensuring an attractive business environment is a fundamental priority to boost the country’s economic recovery.