The French daily Le Monde said in its Friday edition that Saudi Arabia is trying to undermine the gains of the Arab Spring and block the democratisation of Arab countries due to its heavy debts and declining financial resources.
Saudi Arabia considers the Arab Spring a historical shift for Arab nations which made it difficult to turn back despite the obstacles it is facing.
Under the headline “Saudi Arabia is suffocating Arab revoluts”, Le Monde discusses the “negative role” of Saudi Arabia towards the Arab Spring, starting with its reception of the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali. It also mentions the money poured into Egypt for the sake of crushing the Muslim Brotherhood. The newspaper accuses Riyadh of funding Syrian opposition not for the sake of democracy but as a confrontation with Iran.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia’s leverage has been lost during the Arab Spring after the ouster of Ben Ali and Mubarak, while Qatar has gained an increased role.
As a result of this declining role and fearing its negative impact on its interests, Saudi Arabia started a new strategy, first revenging against the Libyan dictator Qadafi and then financing plots against Arab revolutions. The newspaper also questioned Saudi’s role in fueling civil war in Syria, calling its intervention in Syria “the biggest geopolitical game” particularly via-a-vis Iran.
Le Monde ended its report stating that Tunisia is the only country heading towards democracy despite the hurdles it faced.