ORIENT II 2023: Changing international relations of the GCC states

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Dear ORIENT readers,

The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council are gaining international profile. Maybe more individually than as cohesive regional block, yet in various areas the six countries are advancing and expanding their influence globally through different means. In this issue, we aim to take a closer look at elements shaping the ambitious foreign policy goals of the GCC states. By addressing major diplomatic developments like the Abraham Accords as well as key international shifts such as the growing relations with China and the role of sovereign wealth funds, we hope to provide the reader with an interesting overview of the changing international relations of the Gulf states.

In the first two articles, Heinrich Kreft and Mordechai Chaziza examine the growing role of China in the Gulf region. Subsequently, Dario Cristiani analyses the changing international relations of the Gulf states and what these mean for the GCC as an institution, before Alexis Montambault-Trudelle and Christopher M. Davidson shed light on the role of sovereign wealth funds in the GCC states’ global ambitions in their contributions. Subsequently, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen zooms in on Qatari foreign policy. To finish this issue, Jonathan Ghariani and Gianluca Pastori both analyse how the Abraham Accords have impacted the region.

I hope that this issue provides you with valuable perspectives on how the GGC states are (re-) positioning themselves internationally.

Dr. Andreas Reinicke
Director of the German Orient-Institute