Current and former US officials have said that while President Biden plans to renew policy on Saudi Arabia, he is seeking a balance that strengthens US control over Riyadh, without breaking the strategic partnership that marks his 76th birthday on Sunday.
The overview of relations with the oil-rich kingdom is broader than is reported. US officials said arms sales and the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen include an assessment of whether the United States has done enough to hold Saudi officials accountable for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and other aspects of the two countries’ relations. Countries.
During his election campaign, Biden described Saudi Arabia as a “pariah”. Since then, the new government has taken a different tone, claiming that the United States will help defend the kingdom against Iranian-backed forces’ attacks in the region, even as it calls for an end to the civil war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is located. Intervene. In 2015.
Current and former officials said that while relations have deteriorated over the past decade, Washington and Riyadh still need each other on multiple fronts, from the conflict with Iran to coordinating counterterrorism and energy policy.
“It’s very difficult to imagine a strategy that would succeed in the region without the Saudis being a part of it,” said Dennis Ross, who held key positions in the Middle East led by both Republicans and Democrats.
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