Middle East has been witnessing significant shifts and drifts in the geo-political dynamic as the high-profile intervention of outgoing President Trump winds down. However, the recent visit by Secretary Pompeo to the region was to consolidate on the gains achieved through the Abraham Accords and to underscore the collaborative diplomatic and security mechanisms in the face of challenges from Iran and Turkey.
Bahraini Foreign Minister visited Tel Aviv and PM Netanyahu may visit Manama soon. But even though officially not announced, what made news was an alleged late evening meeting at Neom between Crown Prince Salman, Pompeo and Netanyahu when rumours of formal normalisation of relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv got the wind.
Moreover, a likely strike by the US and Israel on the Iranian nuclear facilities to stymie the threat, before the current Administration moves out, was also reported. It was not followed through due to the reservations by the US security advisers and its less than salutary implications. But from the Saudi perspective at this stage perhaps implicit normalisation is preferable to the explicit. Meanwhile, Palestinians also seem to be coming around with a Biden victory and have returned their Ambassadors to Manama and Abu Dhabi while Security cooperation with Tel Aviv has been revived.
Moreover, this year we have seen the passing away of the respected leaders and arbiters of regional peace in Sultan of Oman, Amir of Kuwait and Prime Minister of Bahrain.