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Biden Punches Saudi Crown Prince – The Organization for World Peace

President Joe Biden concluded an unconvincing tour of the Middle East with a high-stakes visit to Saudi Arabia. This was shortly after making little diplomatic progress in Israel and the West Bank – Israeli missiles hit a Gaza weapons factory hours after the president left the occupied West Bank (France24). Biden, ahead of November’s midterm elections, was likely aiming to shore up fresh Saudi oil supplies.

At a summit attended by Biden in the country’s commercial heartland, Jeddah, the oil-rich nation promised to increase production from eleven to thirteen million barrels a day, its maximum capacity. Although thirteen million barrels of oil a day would provide much-needed alternatives to Russian fuel, Arab energy importers may find there is a political price to pay.

While on the campaign trail in 2020, Biden called Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, an “outcast.” This was primarily for his involvement, as confirmed by US intelligence, in the assassination of Saudi journalist, Washington Post correspondent and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi. Biden even refused to pick up bin Salman’s phone during his first four months in office. The president claimed he would not meet him as recently as four weeks earlier.

Undemocratic and with a poor human rights record, the Kingdom is embodied by its 37-year-old leader, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Colloquially known as ‘MBS’, bin Salman was the seventh and favorite son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz in 2017. He later rose to prominence when he replaced his nephew and rival Muhammad bin Nayef as prince. heir. Soon after, he cemented his status as the de facto ruler of the Arab kingdom through a purge of wealthy businessmen and princes.

Critics of ‘MBS’ point to his spotty record on women’s issues and the controversial diplomatic episodes he has become involved in, such as the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a bombing campaign in an already emaciated Yemen, a spat with Canada, the detention of the Lebanese Prime Minister, the severing of ties with Qatar and the alleged hacking of the phone of Jeff Bezos, owner of both the Washington Post and Amazon.

Bin Salman’s efforts to improve his country’s image have seen the powers of the religious police curtailed and expanded freedoms for women, including moderation of the male guardianship system. During his tenure, women performed at concerts, attended sports stadiums and were allowed to sit in the driver’s seat of cars, all for the first time ever in Saudi Arabia. The country plans to reduce its economic dependence on oil through “Saudi Vision 2030,” a program to improve its technology and tourism offerings.

Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée has lambasted President Biden for meeting with the alleged mastermind of her future husband’s murder, saying the “blood” of the Crown Prince’s “next victim” would be on his hands (New York Post). Saluting bin Salman with a casual thumbs up, Biden exposed the fragility of his earlier determination to stand up to autocratic bullies. The Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs provided Western audiences with a different interpretation of past events, saying that whoever can be called a dissident, “we call a terrorist”. What you can call someone expressing their opinion, we call it incitement. He played down crude remarks made about his superior by Biden as something said during the “silly season” of an election campaign (BBC Word News).

As the Arab world’s ability to produce oil seems to be reaching its limits, the opening of new reservoirs of non-renewable energy in America remains at odds with the Democrats’ green agenda. Returning home without an apology for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at a time of soaring oil prices, Biden has opened his presidency to criticism from those who favor increased fossil fuel production in America and human rights activists. the man. Biden hopes to bolster the likes of Russia and China in the region by maintaining a US relationship with Saudi Arabia. For now, however, the political risks of ineffective diplomacy in the Middle East seem more troublesome than not.