Saudi pro-government commentators relish Biden’s about-face on kingdom -Breaking
© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: U.S. president Joe Biden speaking at the H.R. 3525 was the “Commission To Study the Potential Creation of A National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act”, which took place at the White House, Washington, U.S.A, on June 13.
By Aziz El Yaakoubi
RIYADH, (Reuters) – Saudi government commentators are gloating about U.S. President Joe Biden’s planned visit next Month. They claim that the U.S. leader’s decision to reverse his pledge to Saudi Arabia a “pariah” reflected the importance of the Kingdom in international affairs.
On Tuesday, after the White House stated that Biden would be meeting de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a visit to the region on Tuesday, commentators turned to social media to praise Prince Mohammed bin Salman for handling the U.S.–Saudi relations crisis.
Faisal AlShammeri tweeted, “We have said this before, and we didn’t exaggerate. They (Western leaders), will all come successionally to Riyadh,” a journalist at Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV.
He said, “Realpolitik has changed the convictions of the administration.”
According to rights groups, however, this visit could lead to “fostering repression” within the kingdom. It is also the biggest oil exporter in the world.
U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia have been under strain since the 2018 murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a team of Saudi operatives in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
Following a U.S. intelligence investigation that implicated him in the crime, Biden declined to speak directly with Prince Mohammed. Saudi officials denied involvement in the crime, saying it was committed by a criminal rogue group.
Washington is now more determined to build ties to the Gulf monarchies after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2014. This incident highlighted how important Gulf oil producers are to Europe as it seeks to reduce its dependence on Russia for energy.
Biden’s visit to Jordan from July 15-16 is his last campaign pledge to turn the kingdom into a pariah. As he fights high gasoline prices in the United States and builds an international front that isolates Russia, he also visits the kingdom.
Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief, and senior royal prince, blasted criticisms about him and his kingdom’s human right record in the United States media and claimed that Biden wanted to save his presidency.
He came to us because of his sinking popularity. In an opinion published by Saudi newspaper Arab News, Prince Turki said that it is his legitimacy he hopes to restore through a meeting with the crown prince.
Prince Turki and others highlighted Saudi Arabia’s significance, for both regional and global energy security as well as political politics.
Hesham alghannam, Saudi political scientist and tweeter said that the visit took place in accordance with “our interests and conditions”.
Biden’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could encourage new abuses, and more impunity, according to rights advocates. The prince is well-known for his crackdown on opponents and dissidents since his quick rise in power.
Last week, thirteen human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch in London and ALQST from Saudi Arabia, sent a joint request to Biden asking him to release detained dissidents, and lift travel bans for others including Americans.
Saudi authorities released U.S. citizens on bail last year as part of a response to critics by the Biden administration about its human rights records.
Abdullah al-Awdah (Gulf director, Democracy for the Arab World Now) stated that “MbS” will accept it (“meetings with Biden), as empowering him more brutally and rogue,” in a tweet (NYSE:).
“For what?”For what?!” he said.