Emirates Leaks

MEE: UAE’s authoritarian narrative undermines change in Arab countries


An article published by Middle East Eye said that the UAE’s stability narrative, which indicates that the authoritarian stability is the best for the Arab region, explains all the counter-revolution and instability in the region. Despite the great efforts of the UAE in that way, the popular revolutions started again, indicating that there is no military authoritarian immune to the power of the people.

The author of the article Andreas Krieg said that the naive idealism in the early days of the Arab Spring gave a way to pessimism on a large scale, and some countries collapsed in civil wars, while others – like Egypt – turned into a military dictatorship after a short year of civil rule under the Muslim Brotherhood.

The writer pointed out that the coup of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi in the summer of 2013 was the turning point of the Arab Spring, while the promoters returned to the idea of “authoritarian stability” to claim the validity and strength of what they adopt.

The architect of the concept of “authoritarian stability” and its practical practice is the crown prince of the UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed, adding that he believes that the victory of the civil rule pluralistic in the region will be a defeat to the model of the military rule adopted by the UAE.

Krieg went on to say that the premise on which the UAE speech was based was that political pluralism led to chaos under the civil rule. This discourse was planted in the current conservatives’ fears in the West of promoting “hostile” political Islam. The UAE has been sharing the conservatives and maybe their plans too since 2014.

Egypt has become the proof the UAE uses to demonstrate the validity of its speech. Egypt is back to stability and fighting “terrorism” after the Sisi took power and practice, but it does not point to the fact that Abu Dhabi played a strategic role in overthrowing former civil president Mohammed Morsi.

Since 2014, the UAE has been promoting the idea of “authoritarian stability” to support the rise of retired general Khalifa Haftar in Libya, Krieg said.

In Algeria, where the opportunity for a peaceful transition to civilian rule has emerged, some believe that Chief of Staff Gaid Salah may be a potential obstacle to this transition.

In Sudan, the head of the Transitional Military Council, Abdul Fattah Burhan, appears to be the strong man of the UAE.

Krieg warned of normalizing the idea of “authoritarian stability” in the West by seeking to win the hearts and minds of journalists, researchers, and decision-makers to adopt a simplistic global vision that favors the promoters of Islamophobia and Orientalism.

He said that the UAE war to strengthen its media discourse had already borne fruit in Libya, where France adopted the UAE speech, and the neo-conservatives of the Trump administration took the same French position and warmly welcomed “the strong man of the Emirates in Egypt, Sisi,” during his recent visit to Washington as the guarantor of stability in the region.