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Le royaume déconcerté

LONDRES – Depuis le début du printemps arabe il y a trois ans et les troubles qui en ont découlés au Moyen-Orient, l’Arabie saoudite a tenté de préserver sa position dominante dans la région par tous les moyens à sa disposition. En 2013, la famille royale saoudienne a d’une part cherché des alliés régionaux et de l’autre tenté de rétablir d’anciens alliés, comme en Égypte. Le royaume wahhabite s’est également servi de ses vastes ressources en pétrole pour obtenir le genre de stabilité régionale auquel il est accoutumé depuis des décennies.

Au grand soulagement de la dynastie saoudienne, le printemps arabe n’a pas débouché sur des démocraties opérationnelles en Tunisie, en Égypte, au Yémen, au Bahreïn, en Libye ou en Syrie. Mieux encore, de son point de vue, les régimes islamistes qui ont émergé se sont révélés soit fondamentalement incompétents, et donc faciles à renverser (comme le gouvernement du président Mohamed Morsi en Égypte), soit simplement dysfonctionnels (comme en Tunisie) et ne présentant donc aucun intérêt comme modèle pour d’autres pays.

Les révolutions du printemps arabe ont pourtant radicalement sapé les piliers de l’ancien ordre régional si confortable pour le royaume. Elles ont fait disparaître des alliés fiables, dont Hosni Moubarak en Égypte et Zine El Abidine Ben Ali en Tunisie (aujourd’hui réfugié à Riyad), et transformé des régimes tolérables, comme celui de Bachar el-Assad en Syrie, en des adversaires sanguinaires.

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