In the latest news about the murder of a journalist it was hinted that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are not friends. I knew Saudi Arabia and Iran are not friends either, nor are Turkey and Iran, or Iran and Iraq, or Iraq and Saudi Arabia, not to mention Israel.

So I wonder what are some of the friendships/alliances between Middle Eastern countries?

  • SA and UAE are bffs. Iran has good relations with Syria,Hezbollah in Lebanon (the government is closer to SA and the Houthis in Yemen. Turkey is growing closer to Qatar, and SA is attempting to build stronger ties with Israel.
    – Icarian
    Oct 17 '18 at 10:54
  • 4
    May be worth putting the year in the question ! :)
    – user19831
    Oct 17 '18 at 11:26
  • Have you looked at map of the region? Because last time I did, France and Italy were very definitely not part of middle east.
    – M i ech
    Oct 17 '18 at 11:30
  • @Miech I was just giving an example of what friendship/alliance means. Oct 17 '18 at 11:32

The general guidelines for who are and aren't friends in the middle east follow the Iran-Saudi Arabia struggle for dominance in the region, often carried out through proxy. This often also manifests itself as a sunni-shia conflict, though whether sectarian violence is really a result of geopolitical interest needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. A general breakdown of the sides in the Iran-KSA conflict are as follows, and the friendships/alliances in the region generally follow this.


  • Syria
  • Houthis (Iranian proxy in Yemen)
  • Hezbollah (Iranian proxy in Lebanon) and to a lesser extent Lebanon itself
  • Iraq
  • Turkey



  • Lebanon
  • Afghanistan

Both countries voice support for Palestine and condemn Israel, but KSA puportedly has under-the-table relations with Israel focused on countering Iranian influence in the region

  • Also worth to be considered that Egypt is becoming more ambivalent. Not exactly becoming closer with Iran, but they are getting stronger ties with russians.
    – xrorox
    Oct 18 '18 at 12:20

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