The Horn of Africa and the Gulf: The ebb and flow of power

By The Africa Report
Posted on Tuesday, 16 February 2021 11:15, updated on Wednesday, 17 February 2021 13:30

Saudi King Salman, center, receives Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, left, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on 16 September 2018. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

Diplomatic, strategic and commercial activities are picking up in one of the world’s most important chokepoints: the Red Sea. At the start of 2020, the Horn and Gulf countries came together in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to launch the new Council of Arab and African Littoral States of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Representatives from Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen were in attendance. Missing from the meeting was Ethiopia.

Saudi Arabia is reasserting its power in the region as a response to the growing influence of Turkey and Iran. The US-China tariff war was also a chance for the region to come together under the banner of cooperation and multilateralism, despite the exclusion of certain key players.