What was revealed by American leaks about the UAE’s attempt to remove Saudi Arabia from Indonesia was only an episode in a long series of Abu Dhabi’s plots to weaken the Kingdom’s influence and undermine its position.
The UAE brags publicly about its alliance with Saudi Arabia, but the facts of its policies contradict this which appears in several regional arenas.
In Yemen, the UAE conspires against the wishes and directions of Saudi Arabia, supporting and establishing armed militias that spread chaos and sabotage and undermine the legitimate Yemeni government powers, which Riyadh supports.
While Saudi Arabia is hostile to Iran and considers it the biggest threat to it, the UAE is Tehran’s largest trading partner and maintains high-level economic and political cooperation relations with it.
While Saudi Arabia opposes the regime of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, the UAE is close to Damascus and has secret and public relations with it covering various fields, which was recently translated by the phone call between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and Al-Assad.
Returning to Indonesia, the US “Bloomberg” agency revealed Abu Dhabi is exploiting the ties that link Bin Zayed with Indonesian President Goku Widodo to end Riyadh’s influence in the country.
Widodo appointed bin Zayed to chair a committee that would oversee the establishment of a new capital for Indonesia, at an estimated cost of $34 billion.
According to “Bloomberg,” there are shared values that link Waddudu and Bin Zayed, including their opposition to political Islam, and they are also more consistent with their political goals.
Kevin O’Rourke, a political analyst interested in Indonesian affairs, stated that the main reason behind Indonesia’s appointment of Laban Zayed as one of the advisors for establishing the new Indonesian capital is to attract investment, especially in the field of energy.
With Bin Zayed looking to expand his country’s presence in the fast-growing Asian markets and diversify Abu Dhabi’s economy, the densely populated Indonesia is a great investment opportunity and a gateway to Asia, according to the agency.
“Bloomberg” stated that although Saudi Arabia was invited to invest in an Indonesian fund, which would save money for the new capital, it indicated that relations between the two countries had declined in recent years.
“In 2017, Widodo publicly expressed his disappointment that Saudi Arabia preferred to invest in China over Indonesia during King Salman’s Asian tour,” she added.
Bloomberg stated that the Saudi-Indonesian relations continued to cool after the murder of the Saudi journalist residing in the United States Jamal Khashoggi, in addition to Saudi Arabia’s execution of an Indonesian domestic worker. In 2019, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman suddenly canceled his hiatus in Indonesia and Malaysia during a regional tour.
Uruky believes that the UAE and Indonesia do not have a proven record in economic cooperation yet, pointing out that the coronavirus pandemic may delay the construction of the new Indonesian capital until after the period of Widodo’s presidential term, which may put its future in the hands of his successor.