In which ways have democratisation processes in Arab Spring countries served to strengthen the political position of monarchical Saudi Arabia from 2011 through 2013?
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Saudi Arabia has managed to severely strengthen its position within the Middle Eastern area. Among its international advantages gained are allies which can provide excellent military support and training, allies which hold strategic strongholds such as the Suez canal or buffer zones, allies which improve Riyadh's say in multiple major political organizations and neighbours which greatly limit Iran's possible expansion room. However, the most decisive areas of the hegemony are yet to be determined. Egypt is current too unstable to completely guarantee a favourable outcome for Riyadh (despite the outlook being positive), and the Syrian battle with Iran is far from being resolved. Were these two nations to fall in Saudi Arabia's direction, it will greatly limit Iran's influence and almost certainly set Saudi Arabia up for a position of near-hegemony. However, in acting upon its current situation and the options that lie ahead, Saudi Arabia has much work to do towards its connections with the world's other powerhouses. With the United States and China being the closest partners to this point Riyadh has no guarantee either party will support its cause or oppose it. If Saudi Arabia is to become a true regional superpower it will, at least for the first few years, need the support of either one of the existing powerhouses in achieving that position - as it currently cannot yet complete politically, yet.