Saudi Arabia brackets for Joe Biden

Saudi Arabia binds itself to tougher ties with Biden administration after four years President TrumpThe Donald TrumpTrump Hotel in DC raises room rates for the opening of Biden G.O.P. MLA criticizes Trump, colleagues try to ‘discredit’ election Video shows long lines on the last day of early voting in Georgia More It gave a straight line to the Oval Office fees and also supported some of its policies and actions when it led to controversy and bilateral condemnation.

Trump-Saudi relations have been a source of constant tension between the White House and many Republicans in Congress, who have been at loggerheads with the U.S. The Kingdom’s involvement in the assassination of Saudi-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the White House’s relentless support for the Saudi war effort continued unabated. Yemen. The actions also drew strong criticism from Democrats.

President-elect JB bidenJB Bidenbidens honors frontline workers at NYE address: ‘Trump Hotel in DC raises room rates for Biden opening Video shows long lines on the last day of early voting in Georgia More He called Saudi Arabia a “paramilitary” and promised a strong hand in relations with the country, especially Riyadh, which would have to deal with human rights abuses.

For the Saudis, Trump years were a golden time in some ways, as the G.O.P. The administration pushed the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal and into 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 sees the Obama administration’s talks with Tehran as an unexpected turn of events, expects a closer relationship with Biden’s team. It is already working to calm the rough waters between Washington and Riyadh, including the expected release of a leading women’s rights activist and the possible rape of her on the blockade of Qatar, which has led to U.S. airstrikes at Al Ude Air. Is the headquarters of Central Command. Foundation.

U.S. in the Middle East “They have no friends here,” said Aaron Ron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has advised both Republicans and the Democratic administration on policy. “Congress is hostile, the Trump administration is stepping out, the Biden administration has made clear what its views are.”

Saudi Arabia is expected to release leading women’s rights activist Lujain al-Haltul in March.

Al-Haltol, who was arrested in 2018 on terrorism charges, was sentenced on Monday to nearly six years in prison, a charge criticized by human rights groups as politically motivated. But the terms of his sentence open up the possibility of early release.

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

Biden’s upcoming national security adviser Jack SullivanTrump’s lack of cooperation in transition raises frustration with Jack Sullivan Biden Upcoming National Security Adviser: Pentagon has not accepted meeting with Biden transition team since December 18 He tweeted that the sentence was “unfair and harassing” and said that “the Biden-Harris administration will stand up against human rights abuses wherever they occur.”

Saudi Arabia is also taking steps to resolve the four-year blockade of Qatar, which has emerged as a result of Riyadh’s frustration over Doha’s relations with Tehran.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has invited Saudi King Salman to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on January 5 in a bid to resolve the dispute.

Ibish said, “I think it will be very appealing to the Biden administration. “I don’t think they want to inherit the boycott of Qatar.”

The Saudis have expressed skepticism that the Biden administration will be Obama 2.0, with many faces from the previous Democratic administration returning to various roles.

These include Sullivan, who was a key negotiator in the initial negotiations leading to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and Anthony BlinkenAnthony Blinkenmit, who heads the US intelligence community, has chosen Biden. Munich said he has spoken to Biden Treasury nominee Yellen about the next steps for foreign policy., Biden’s candidate for 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 a younger generation of foreign policy advisers who served in the Obama administration and supported former President Obama’s push for democratic change in the Middle East.

And while Biden has said he will “evaluate” the U.S.’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, he has indicated that he is looking to restore balance on the world stage rather than shifting radical policy.

The Biden Transition team said it was not in a position to comment further on what the president-elect had to say about the campaign and drew attention to his past remarks addressing U.S.-Saudi relations.

In a statement issued on the second anniversary of Khashoggi’s assassination in October, Bisho said the Biden-Harris administration would assess US relations with Saudi Arabia and end Washington’s support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen. He also expressed support for Saudi activists, dissidents and journalists, saying the U.S. “Will not check its values ​​at the door to sell weapons or buy oil.”

Tamara Kaufman Wittze, a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, said a reassessment is needed to tackle the culture of emancipation run by Saudi Arabia under the Trump administration, while also reflecting a changed world.

“Changes in global energy markets mean that Saudi Arabia’s role in global oil prices is not as strong as it once was.” He said. “The Middle East as a whole is less central to American global strategy.”

“But you can’t take relationships in general and I think that’s true here,” he added.

These include reports that the Saudi government is attempting to kidnap one of its critics on U.S. soil and FBI assessments that the kingdom could use its diplomatic facilities to evade Saudi citizens in American courts. In November 2019, two former Twitter employees and a Saudi national were charged by the Justice Department with acting as illegal agents for a foreign government.

“This desire for reassessment has been fueled by the very troubling Saudi behavior we’ve been seeing over the last few years, but it’s also driven by trends that can’t really be ignored,” said Wittis, who served as deputy. . Assistant Secretary of Eastern Affairs in the Obama administration.

The Raid Biden administration has key deals with the Trump administration over whether to open relations with Israel, following the brokering of diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

While Saudi Arabia has maintained peaceful security relations with Israel against Iran, and has taken small steps to soften relations such as opening airspace for Israel’s commercial flights – it has so far closed full open relations regarding King Salman’s commitment. Palestine.

“If and when – I doubt it is – the Saudis have decided to take another step towards normalization with Israel, they will see … this is the coming Biden administration as a way to provoke a very low level of relations as they expected. , ”Said Miller of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

IBS of the Arabian Gulf Status Institute said the US-Saudi relationship is considered a full-fledged but necessary alliance, based on shared goals above shared values.

This includes the US as part of a broader alliance to meet global ambitions by China, destabilize activities by Russia, and maintain stability in the Middle East. Also included is the need for relations with Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh for its part, U.S. Should ensure its own national integrity of the security provided by as a global power.

“For the U.S., that’s really global politics at its highest level,” Ibesh said. “Both countries are stuck with each other.”