The Christian Science Monitor

In Arab world, a new alliance is on the rise

Across the Middle East, from Iraq to North Africa, a new informal alignment of Sunni Arab countries is quietly influencing developments.

The alliance – comprising Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, and Egypt – is stepping up as a leading actor in the Arab world with a voice on issues ranging from postwar Syria and the thwarting of Iran to diplomatic overtures on the Yemen and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

It’s doing so at a time when the United States is more inward-looking and less engaged in the region and when the Saudis themselves have experienced a public fall from grace in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The grouping has no official name – people refer to them verbally as “the

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