Saudi Arabia brakes for Joe Biden

Saudi Arabia is preparing itself for difficult relations with the Biden administration coming after four years President TrumpBiden raises room rates for inauguration at Donald TrumpTrump Hotel in DC GOP jurist criticizes Trump, video shows long lines on the last day of early voting in Georgia for colleagues ‘trying to discredit the election’ It was given a straight line to the Oval Office and even supported controversy and bipartisan crisis due to some of its policies and actions.

The Trump-Saudi relationship was a constant source of tension between the White House and several Republicans in Congress, who followed the Kingdom’s involvement in the assassination of US Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the White House’s indirect support in support of the Saudi War. Yemen. These actions also heavily criticized Democrats.

Presidential election Joe BidenJoe BidenBidens honors frontline activists in NYE: ‘We owe them, we owe them, we owe them’ Has called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” and has promised a strong hand in relations with the country, particularly to confront Riyadh with its human rights abuses.

In some ways, the Trump year was a golden period for the Saudis, as the GOP administration pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal and quickly moved towards Riyadh. The administration’s aggressive anti-Iran policies also led to a military strike that killed the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Saudi Arabia, which saw the Obama administration’s negotiations with Tehran as an unwelcome nuisance, is expecting a more strained relationship with Biden’s team. It is already working to calm the tempering waters between Washington and Riyadh, with the expected release of a prominent female rights activist and possible synergy over their blockade of Qatar, which is part of the US Central Command at Al Udeid Air The headquarters has a house. Base.

“He has no friends here,” said Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment in International Peace, who has advised both Republican and Democratic administrations on US policy in the Middle East. “Congress is hostile, with the Trump administration on its way Hai, the Biden administration has made clear what its views are. “

Saudi Arabia’s leading female rights activist Luzain al-Hathlol is expected to be released in March.

Arrested in 2018 on terrorism charges, al-Hathlol was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Monday, criticized by human rights groups as politically motivated. But the terms of his sentence opened up the possibility of early release.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” said Hussein Ibish, a senior scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

Biden’s incoming National Security Advisor Jake SullivanJake Sullivanbiden’s frustration grows over Trump’s lack of cooperation in transition Incoming National Security Advisor: Pentagon has not allowed a meeting with the Biden transition team because Saudi’s female activist sentenced Riyadh on 18 December for confrontation with Biden More Sets for Tweeted that the sentence was “unjust and disturbing” and that “the Biden-Harris administration will rise up against human rights violations wherever it is.”

Saudi Arabia also appears to be taking steps to resolve its four-year blockade of Qatar, which emerged as a result of Riyadh’s frustration with Doha’s relationship with Tehran.

Saudi King Salman on Wednesday allegedly invited Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s 5 meeting, which was seen as an effort to begin to resolve the dispute.

“I think that’s something the Biden administration would like very much,” Ibisch said. “I don’t think they want to boycott Qatar.”

The Saudis suspect that the Biden administration will be Obama 2.0, with many similar faces returning to different roles from the previous Democratic administration.

It also includes Sullivan, who was the chief negotiator at the initial talks, who led the Iran nuclear deal of 2015, and Antony blinkMnuchin to lead Antony BlinkenMeet Biden’s US intelligence community says he has spoken with Biden Treasury candidate Yellen next steps for foreign policy MORE, Nominated for Bedan’s secretary of state. Blinken served as Biden’s national security adviser when he was vice president and deputy secretary of state between 2015 and 2017.

Blinken in particular is considered part of the younger generation of foreign policy advisers who served in the Obama administration and supported former President Obama’s support for democratic change in the Middle East.

While Biden has said that he will “reassure” US relations with Saudi Arabia, he has indicated that he is looking more at restoring balance on the world stage rather than a revolutionary policy shift.

The Biden transition team said the campaign is not beyond the presidential-election comment on the trail and pointed to its earlier comments addressing US and Saudi relations.

Biden released a statement in October on the second anniversary of Khashogi’s assassination, stating that the Biden-Harris administration would reassure US relations with Saudi Arabia and Washington’s support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Will end He also expressed support for Saudi activists, dissidents and journalists, stating that the US “will not check its values ​​at the door to sell weapons or buy oil.”

Tamara Kaufman Wittes, senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, said a re-enactment reflecting a changing world is necessary to change the culture of Saudi Arabia operating under the Trump administration.

“Changes in global energy markets mean that Saudi Arabia’s role in global oil prices is not as prominent as it once was,” she said. “Overall the Middle East is less central to US global strategy.”

He said, “But you can’t take relationships as usual and I think that’s true.”

This includes reports of the Saudi government attempting to hijack its critics on US soil and the FBI’s assessment that the Kingdom uses its diplomatic facilities to help Saudi citizens avoid prosecution in US courts. In November 2019, two former Twitter employees and a Saudi citizen were accused by the Department of Justice of acting as illegal agents of the foreign government.

“The desire to reevaluate is probably triggered by some of the very troubled Saudi behavior we’ve seen over the years, but it’s also driven by these trends that can’t really be ignored,” said Vites, who The deputy served as assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs in the Obama administration.

Following the brokerage of diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, Riyadh holds an important bargaining chip with the Biden administration to open ties with Israel.

While Saudi Arabia maintains silent security ties with Israel in front of Iran, and has taken small steps to soften relations – such as opening up airspace for Israeli commercial flights – it remains so far as Saudi King Salman’s commitment But it is closed on fully open relationships. Palestinians.

“If and when – I suspect it’s a question of when – the Saudis decide to take another step towards normalization with Israel, they will see … this a way of activating a very short relationship Is what they anticipate is the upcoming Biden administration, “said Miller of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Ibisch of the Institute of Arabian Gulf States said that US and Saudi relations are considered a fierce but necessary alliance based on goals based on shared values.

This includes the need for US relations with Saudi Arabia as part of broader alliances to counter global ambitions by China, destabilizing activities by Russia, and maintaining stability in the Middle East.

Riyadh, for its part, needs the protection provided by the US as a global power to ensure its national integrity.

“For America, this is truly global politics at its highest level,” Ibisch said. “Both countries are stuck with each other.”

– 2:50 pm Friday


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