Washington and Riyadh claim that all is well, but a Wall Street Journal article suggests the contrary.
Relations between the US and Saudi Arabia that go back to 1945 have never been this bad, according to a report published Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal’s print edition. According to Washington insiders, Riyadh and Washington spoke with the newspaper. They blamed the current situation on the personal dispute between US President Joe Biden (Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) and Washington. However, both the White House as well the Kingdom have denied that there was any problem.
According to reports, Washington has requested recognition of the crown prince as the new head of state. This would grant him immunity from any prosecutions for Jamal Khashoggi’s 2018 murder. The Biden White House has refused, bringing up Khashoggi in the first meeting with national security adviser Jake Sullivan and treating with the prince – known by his initials MBS – in his official capacity as Saudi Arabia’s defense minister.
The WSJ opens the story by describing MBS “wearing shorts at his seaside palace”Looking for a “relaxed tone”Sullivan for the first time in September 2021. “shouting”At the American, telling him to forget all about an increase oil production
Sullivan didn’t discuss oil production with MBS at their September meeting and “there was no shouting,”Adrianne Watson, a spokeswoman for the national security council, told the WSJ that the story was published online Tuesday.
A representative from the Saudi Embassy in Washington called for the meeting. “cordial and respectful,”Add to that, the US and UK have shared a history of 77 years. “many disagreements and differing points of view over many issues, but that has never stopped the two countries from finding a way to work together.”
Since 1945, the US and Saudi relations go back to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s meeting with King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud on board a US warship at the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal. The Saudis agreed to sell oil in dollars and maintain steady supply of oil as a condition of US military protection. This allowed for eventual the emergence of the United States. “petrodollar.”
Saudi Arabia led the 1973 oil embargo against the US, citing Washington’s support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War. This led to the most severe economic crisis in America since the Great Depression. According to Norman Roule (WSJ), a former US intelligence officer in the Middle East, who still maintains close ties with senior Saudi officials, relations between Washington, Riyadh and Washington have not been more difficult than they are today.
Khashoggi is a Washington Post dissident and writer of columns. However, he never left the Saudi consulate at Istanbul in 2018. A later investigation revealed that Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered. Security officials at MBS were responsible. The US President Donald Trump attempted to have a cordial relationship and be friendly with Saudis in spite of the horrific incident. However, Biden denounced Riyadh publicly. “pariah”WSJ reports that he has reportedly refused any concessions to Saudis since the election in 2019.
Initial response to Trump’s replacement by Biden was for Riyadh to end the three-year-old feud with Qatar, and release several high-profile activists who were held in prison after Biden’s inauguration. The WSJ stated that the Kingdom became too frustrated by the US’s demands after a few months.
Prince Khalid bin Salman was forced to cancel his July trip to Washington after his request for air defenses increased in futility. Due to maintenance issues, several Patriot antimissile systems had been removed from Saudi Arabia by the US a month earlier. In an effort to end their participation in Yemen, Houthi rebels escalated the use of drone and missile strikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE. One of the Biden administration’s earliest actions was to revoke the designation of the Houthis as terrorists, made by the State Department under Trump.
Riyadh cancelled the US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s and Antony Blinken’s planned visits. MBS reportedly declined to participate in Biden’s February 9 phone call with King Salman.
Saudi Arabia ware “dismayed”Disapprove the US’s August withdrawal from Afghanistan and the efforts to reinvigorate the Iran nuclear deal. “bristle” at Washington’s presumption that they will fall in lockstep with whatever the US decides, according to the WSJ.
The Kingdom has refused US demands to increase oil production in order to lower the global price and make up for Washington’s embargo on Russia. After the US announced sanctions on Moscow early March over the conflict in Ukraine, oil prices rose. Biden tried since to put the blame for the increase in pump prices on the “Putin price hike,”Nevertheless, most Americans are still unconvinced.
Riyadh still hasn’t raised any objections that Russia sells its oil to China, India, and other countries in their respective currencies. It cast doubt on long-term viability of the dollar. According to WSJ, a US senior official said that the US had reduced its demands and asked the Saudis to refrain from doing anything to harm Western efforts to assist Kiev.