3 August 2019

Saudi-Pakistan Relations: More than Meets the Eye

Yoel Guzansky
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A special relationship has developed between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, centered on a particular trade-off. Saudi Arabia depends on Pakistan for strategic depth and regards it as both an important asset in restraining Iranian influence and an answer to its need for a non-Arab ally. In exchange, Pakistan receives extensive economic aid, and benefits from Saudi Arabia’s influence in the Gulf and its role as guardian of the Islamic holy sites. The two countries have been able to overcome several disputes between them by maneuvering between various pressures, strengthening their special relations, and ensuring that more is unknown than known about their strategic cooperation, both conventional and nuclear.

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