US President Joe Biden has confirmed that he will visit Saudi Arabia next month. This is a shift the invasion has affected in Joe Biden’s foreign policy towards the Kingdom. The aim to be achieved by the visit is pellucid.
As inflation continues to rise, due to the intrusion of Russia because of the global food crisis and the hike in petrol prices, and as Gulf countries are the source of oil production, Biden will pursue the MBS for the increase in oil production.
Motive Behind the Visit
Another objective behind the visit is normalization between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Israel. USA influence in the Middle East has dwindled because countries have not condemned Russian move in Ukraine even UAE abstained his vote in UN.
Relations between the Kingdom and Joe Biden’s administration have been thorny since Biden came into power. Even though Biden renounced Kingdom policies on various fronts.
Cold War Between USA and Saudia Arabia
A bone of contention was human rights issues. Both leaders were at odds with each other, because of the violent policies of Mohammed Bin Salman at home ( jailing female protestors and beheading 81 dissidents) and abroad (the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018). But as per the need, the Biden administration is ready to engage with an autocratic leader.
USA View on Human Rights
Questions were raised by the different human rights communities over the visit because Democrats presented themselves as human rights champions. Joe Biden denounced Saudia Arabia for its human rights records, and they even tried to isolate the Kingdom. Recent efforts to engage the Kingdom dubbed by the scholars a realpolitik move by Joe Biden.
Joe Biden & MBS Realation in Turmoil
As relations were in Turmoil, the first demand of Biden may be satisfied by MBS by increasing oil production. But normalization with Israel is not possible because of the weeks of Israeli atrocities, as per the recent OCHA report on human rights, which revealed that Israel killed more Palestinians in 2022 than it killed in the same period in 2021, so any kind of diplomatic ties with Israel is not plausible, albeit MBS is keenly interested in normalization.
Joe Biden Regaining Influence in the Region
Efforts to regain influence in the region will not succeed in view of the fact that Russia has a strong foothold in the Middle East because of Syria, and China’s economic investments have also made China a key player in the region. But Biden surely gets some favor from the visit in the form of an increase in oil production, but the reputational damage will be colossal, even to his own party members who are condemning this shift in foreign policy.
Iran on the Nuclear Brink
When Ned Price, spokesperson at the US Department of State, was asked about the shift. He categorically replied that the President’s view on human rights has not changed, although the global environment has changed.
Simply put, they ignore human rights in favor of economics. The Kingdom’s biggest concern is Iran. In a recent article published in Foreign Affairs titled “Iran on the Nuclear Brink”. It is stated that Iran has enriched uranium up to 60 percent and that in one or two weeks they will succeed in the enrichment of uranium up to 90 percent.
If the current negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal break down and Iran continues to advance its nuclear weapons program, the United States would also need to consider extending a nuclear umbrella to Saudi Arabia in exchange for a Saudi commitment. But the visit will be a major breakthrough in relations after years of turbulence. members who
Sanan Hassan Lashari is a student of international relations at BZU Multan. He is keen observer of events happening at global level and love to give his opinions on them with the application of international relations theories.