Challenges For Saudi Arabia At Home And Abroad

Challenges For Saudi Arabia At Home And Abroad

Saudi Arabia is warning that its decades-old alliance with the U.S. is strained. At the same time, the country faces increasing domestic pressure over women’s rights. Diane and her guests discuss challenges for Saudi Arabia at home and abroad.

This weekend, dozens of women drove in a protest to win greater rights in Saudi Arabia -- the only country that does not issue driver’s licenses to women. While the kingdom’s human rights record recently came under fire from the U.N., the organization offered Saudi Arabia a seat on its Security Council. In a surprise move, the Saudis declined the offer, sending a message about the effectiveness of the Council and recent U.S. Middle East policy. The Saudis are said to be angry over the Obama administration’s perceived weakness in dealing with Syria and its recent overtures toward Saudi’s arch-enemy, Iran. Diane and her guests discuss new pressures on Saudi Arabia at home and abroad.

Guests

Deborah Amos

correspondent reporting from Saudi Arabia, NPR.

Paul Danahar

Washington bureau chief, BBC; author of "The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring."

Tamara Wittes

director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution; former deputy assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (2009 to 2012).

Ali al-Ahmed

director, The Gulf Institute.

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