Gulf States, Rich From Oil, Spread Influence With Financial Lifelines

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states flush with oil revenue are coming to the rescue of crisis-racked neighbors such as Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey, doubling down on a diplomatic tool they long used to build influence throughout the region, the Wall Street Journal reported. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have pledged more than $22 billion this year to Egypt as the country seeks to stave off default. The trio of oil-rich nations promised more than $10 billion in August in support to Pakistan, officials said in August, as devastating flooding compounded the country’s economic troubles. Turkey, facing one of the world’s highest inflation rates, has received billions in investment pledges and foreign-exchange aid from its one time rival U.A.E. The aid represents a turnaround from a few years ago, when low oil prices forced Gulf states to rethink their financial support for poorer countries in the region. It also reflects recent geopolitical shifts in the Middle East, spurred on by ripple effects from Russia’s war in Ukraine. Higher oil prices are expected to bring in an extra $1.3 trillion in revenue over the next four years for energy exporters in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund. Read more. (Subscription required.)