Biden wants to “reevaluate” relations with Saudi Arabia.

Biden wants to “reevaluate” relations with Saudi Arabia.

He initially wanted to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah,” then in July attempted a rapprochement… Joe Biden, scalded by Riyadh’s oil decisions, would now be willing to “reassess” the United States’ long strategic relationship with the kingdom. .

“In light of recent events and OPEC+ decisions, the President believes we should reevaluate bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in an interview with the press on Tuesday.

According to him, we must “ensure that (the relationship) serves our national security interests.”

Joe Biden “is willing to work with Congress to think about what that relationship should look like,” he previously said on CNN.

“He wants to start these consultations now,” John Kirby said. However, he then clarified that these talks had not yet started and would initially take place in a more informal setting.

“We are not announcing a formal review of our policy with a dedicated team,” he said.

– snub –

OPEC+ – the 13 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) led by Saudi Arabia and its 10 partners led by Russia – decided last week to cut their production quotas, at the risk of the barrel price falling in the height shoots up.

It’s a diplomatic snub for Joe Biden, who on the contrary calls for ample supplies, and possibly a boon for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who needs sustained oil prices to fund the war in Ukraine.

The president traveled to Saudi Arabia in July to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after vowing during his campaign to make the kingdom a “pariah” following the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The oil cartel’s decision has sparked a wave of outrage among members of the US Congress, and particularly among MPs from Joe Biden’s Democratic Party.

The powerful head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Bob Menendez, threatened on Monday to block future arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal and House Representative Ro Khanna took him at his word as they introduced a bill Tuesday to end such exports.

On Sunday, Senator Chris Murphy told CNN: “For years we looked the other way when Saudi Arabia was massacring journalists, carrying out massive political repression, for one reason: we wanted to make sure that, when the time came, in the event of an international… Crisis, Saudi Arabia would prefer Russia to us. (…) They didn’t do it. You chose Russia.”

– gun sales –

The partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia was sealed after the end of World War II and militarily protected the kingdom from American access to oil.

That troubled relationship had been revived by former President Donald Trump, resulting in pharaonic arms sales.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Saudi Arabia accounted for 24% of total US arms exports between 2016 and 2020.

Joe Biden, aware of the anger of human rights activists, attempted a delicate balancing act during his visit to Jeddah in July.

He had justified this trip with concerns about energy security, but also for regional security, pointing to tentative rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel or insisting on the need to counter Iran.

But the image of a familiar fist-to-fist salute exchanged with Mohammed bin Salman has not yet turned against Joe Biden. Ever since the OPEC+ decision, the American press has been full of murderous editorials about the failure of their “fist bump+” diplomacy.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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