Daily Memo: Arab Governments Look East, Scotland Pushes Back

Saudi Arabia will host a summit between Arab nations and Beijing.

Arab governments look east. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has confirmed that his country will host a summit between Arab nations and China to explore strategic partnership opportunities in a number of areas. Arab governments have been warming up to Beijing of late. On Monday, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum held a ministerial meeting during which future cooperation and responses to the coronavirus pandemic were discussed, and over the course of the COVID-19 outbreak, China has supplied eight Arab countries with medical equipment, medical personnel and researchers. Saudi Arabia and China also signed a $265 million deal to expand the kingdom’s COVID-19 testing capacity. But with the U.S. presence in the region waning, an oil price crisis emerging and a global recession looming, Arab countries are looking to China for more help on more than just the COVID-19 crisis; they hope to cooperate with Beijing on security matters as well as the Belt and Road Initiative to help diversify their economies. Scotland pushes back. Scotland and the United Kingdom appear to be on the edge of a constitutional standoff. Michael Russell, Scotland’s Cabinet secretary for constitutional affairs, has threatened to defy a Westminster bill that would impose the […]

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