Some aspects of the diplomatic competition between the Soviet Union and Great Britain in Arabia in the 1920s
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Some aspects of the diplomatic competition between the Soviet Union and Great Britain in Arabia in the 1920s
Publication type
Vitaly Naumkin 
Occupation: Professor
Affiliation: Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
The article focuses on the activities carried out by the Soviet diplomats in the Kingdom of Hejaz/ Saudi Arabia in the immediate aftermath following the establishment of diplomatic relations of Moscow with this nation. On the basis of documents retrieved from the Russian and British diplomatic archives, the author analyses the first steps made by the Soviet diplomacy with a view to solidifying the USSR positions in Arabia and neutralizing the effect of hostile efforts undertaken by the British. The author unveils how the Soviet diplomats, trying to win Ibn Saud’s benevolence and to pull him away from the British, put up opposition to ward off the anti-Wahhabi campaign launched by the Western countries and some regional powers. Much attention was paid at that period to the promotion of an idea to conclude a Friendship and Trade Agreement between the USSR and the dual Centaur Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sufficient evidence is provided to prove that at that time, the first attempt was made by Moscow to act as a mediator between the conflicting regional powers, which was afterwards carried forward in the Soviet/Russian foreign politics. Seeking to gain a more powerful influence in Arabia and in the Islamic world, the USSR got engaged with the convocation of the All-Muslim Congress under the aegis of Ibn Saud.
Hejaz, treaty, All-Muslim Congress, Wahhabi, containment, Great Britain, mediation
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