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Joe Biden: Why I’m Going to Saudi Arabia

The SC

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Forty-eight hours before his visit to the Middle East, US President Joe Biden wrote an op-ed to the Washington Post, “Why I’m Going to Saudi Arabia.”

Published on Saturday, he wrote: “I’ll travel to the Middle East to start a new and more promising chapter of America’s engagement there. This trip comes at a vital time for the region, and it will advance important American interests.”

He explained: “A more secure and integrated Middle East benefits Americans in many ways. Its waterways are essential to global trade and the supply chains we rely on. Its energy resources are vital for mitigating the impact on global supplies of Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

“And a region that’s coming together through diplomacy and cooperation — rather than coming apart through conflict — is less likely to give rise to violent extremism that threatens our homeland or new wars that could place new burdens on US military forces and their families,” he added.

“Avoiding that scenario is of paramount importance to me. I’ll pursue diplomacy intensely — including through face-to-face meetings — to achieve our goals.”

Biden claimed that the Middle East he is visiting “is more stable and secure than the one my administration inherited 18 months ago.”

“One month before my inauguration, our embassy in Baghdad faced the largest rocket attack in a decade. Attacks against our troops and diplomats had increased fourfold over the preceding year.” Referring to former President Donald Trump without naming him, Biden said: “My predecessor repeatedly ordered B-52 bombers to fly from the United States to the region and back again to deter these attacks. But it didn’t work, and the attacks continued.”

Yemen and Iran

Biden noted the war in Yemen, saying it created the “one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with no political process in sight to end the fighting.”

Moreover, he noted Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, saying: “After my predecessor reneged on a nuclear deal that was working, Iran had passed a law mandating the rapid acceleration of its nuclear program. Then, when the last administration sought to condemn Iran for this action in the UN Security Council, the United States found itself isolated and alone.”

“In my first weeks as president, our intelligence and military experts warned that the region was dangerously pressurized. It needed urgent and intensive diplomacy. To restore deterrence, I ordered airstrikes in response to the attacks against our troops and began serious diplomatic outreach to bring about a more stable region,” continued Biden.

He listed what he described as his administration’s successes in handling files in Iraq, Yemen and Iran.

“In Iraq, we ended the US combat mission and transitioned our military presence to focus on training Iraqis, while sustaining the global coalition against ISIS we forged when I was vice president, now dedicated to preventing ISIS from resurging.”

“We’ve also responded to threats against Americans. The frequency of Iranian-sponsored attacks compared with two years ago has dropped precipitously. And this past February, in Syria, we took out ISIS leader Haji Abdullah, demonstrating America’s capability to eliminate terrorist threats no matter where they try to hide.”

Biden noted his appointment of Timothy Lenderking as US envoy to Yemen, adding that he engaged with leaders across the region to lay the foundation for a truce. This has resulted in the delivery of humanitarian aid and “as a result, the past few months in Yemen have been the most peaceful in seven years.”

On Iran, Biden said: “We reunited with allies and partners in Europe and around the world to reverse our isolation; now it is Iran that is isolated until it returns to the nuclear deal my predecessor abandoned with no plan for what might replace it.”

“Last month, more than 30 countries joined us to condemn Iran’s lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its past nuclear activities. My administration will continue to increase diplomatic and economic pressure until Iran is ready to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, as I remain prepared to do.

Support for Israel, Palestinians

Turning to the Palestinian Territories, Biden boasted that his administration “helped end a war in Gaza — which could easily have lasted months — in just 11 days.”

“We’ve worked with Israel, Egypt, Qatar and Jordan to maintain the peace without permitting terrorists to rearm. We also rebuilt US ties with the Palestinians.”

“Working with Congress, my administration restored approximately $500 million in support for Palestinians, while also passing the largest support package for Israel — over $4 billion — in history.”

On his visit to Saudi Arabia, Biden attempted to assert that “my aim was to reorient — but not rupture — relations with a country that’s been a strategic partner for 80 years.”

He hailed the Kingdom’s role in several regional files, stressing: “Today, Saudi Arabia has helped to restore unity among the six countries of Gulf Cooperation Council, has fully supported the truce in Yemen and is now working with my experts to help stabilize oil markets with other OPEC producers.

Russia and China

Biden added that his visit also seeks to “counter Russia’s aggression, put ourselves in the best possible position to outcompete China, and work for greater stability in a consequential region of the world.”

“To do these things, we have to engage directly with countries that can impact those outcomes. Saudi Arabia is one of them, and when I meet with Saudi leaders on Friday, my aim will be to strengthen a strategic partnership going forward that’s based on mutual interests and responsibilities, while also holding true to fundamental American values,” he added.

“On Friday, I will also be the first president to fly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. That travel will also be a small symbol of the budding relations and steps toward normalization between Israel and the Arab world, which my administration is working to deepen and expand. In Jeddah, leaders from across the region will gather, pointing to the possibility of a more stable and integrated Middle East, with the United States playing a vital leadership role.”

Confronting challenges

Biden acknowledged that the Middle East “remains full of challenges”. He pointed the finger at “Iran’s nuclear program and support for proxy groups, the Syrian war, food security crises exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine, terrorist groups still operating in a number of countries, political gridlock in Iraq, Libya and Lebanon, and human rights standards that remain behind much of the world. We must address all these issues. When I meet with leaders from across the region, I will make clear how important it is to make progress in these areas.”

Biden again boasted that his administration’s policy is better than that of his predecessor.

“Compared to 18 months ago, the region is less pressurized and more integrated. Former rivals have re-established relations. Joint infrastructure projects are forging new partnerships.”

“Iraq, which had long been a source of proxy conflicts and regional rivalries, now serves as a platform for diplomacy, including between Saudi Arabia and Iran. My friend King Abdullah of Jordan recently referred to the ‘new vibe’ in the region, with countries asking, ‘How can we connect with each other and work with each other.’”

“These are promising trends, which the United States can strengthen in a way no other country can. My travel next week will serve that purpose.”


https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3750491/joe-biden-why-i’m-going-saudi-arabia
 

The SC

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A letter from an Emirati academic to the US President:

Mr. President Joe Biden

I am pleased to welcome you on your first visit to the region, and I wish you a happy trip and a successful visit, as you are the leader of the most powerful country on earth and the head of the most important strategic partner for the Arab Gulf states that realize the importance of this partnership and want to maintain it, rather strengthen it and move it to new strategic horizons and promising.

Mr president

The Arab Gulf states, as they are fully aware, live next to a difficult Iranian neighbor who poses the greatest threat to the security and stability of the region and has a revolutionary and sectarian agenda and is rapidly moving to build huge nuclear and missile capabilities and supports with money and weapons terrorist militias that tamper with the security and stability of the region and direct their terrorist activities towards the Arab Gulf states. Confronting Iran's activities is the most important item on your visit schedule to the countries of the region, which are uneasy about Washington's rush towards Iran and its uncalculated rush to sign the nuclear agreement. The Arab Gulf states are the closest to Iran and understand Tehran more than others and inevitably more than America, so let you listen carefully to its legitimate concern about Iranian expansion instead of pushing it to accept a nuclear agreement that consolidates Iran's hegemony and reinforces its plans to become the policeman of the Arab Gulf.

Mr president...

It comes to the region amid increasing talk that Washington is reconsidering its presence in the Arab Gulf, and that it intends to withdraw from the Middle East to confront the Russian threat and deal with the rise of China. There is no doubt that this is a purely American affair, but it is important for Washington to understand and understand that the Arab Gulf states also have their own national agendas and geopolitical priorities that are different from Washington's, including the process of diversifying its partnerships and deepening its relations with the emerging global powers. You, Mr. President, have to understand and respect this future Gulf orientation, and not obstruct its course or force it to serve American agendas that do not coincide with future Gulf agendas. Without a deep American understanding of this future Gulf orientation, it is impossible to establish a promising and balanced strategic partnership.

Mr president

The time has come for America to also reconcile with a new geopolitical reality, which is that there is a new Arab Gulf that is confident in itself and in its present and future and realizes how to employ its oil, gas and sovereign funds to serve its national interests. The new Arab Gulf is the center of the new Arab decision and is living its moment in history. Therefore, we hope that you will reconsider your old postulates and convictions about the Arab Gulf. What your institutions, intelligence, and expert houses in Washington say have nothing to do with the Gulf of the twenty-first century. They have not yet come to terms with the fact that this Arabian Gulf is different from the Gulf of the twentieth century. If you come with the mentality of dealing with the old Persian Gulf, know in advance that your visit will be incomplete and unhelpful, and it may be better to stay in Washington.

Mr president

During your visit to the region, you will meet the new leaders of the Arab Gulf states who are as old as your children and some of them are as old as your grandchildren. You will find them all very warmly welcome, but it may be useful to realize that their world is different from yours, and that their confidence in America has been shaken recently, and is not as strong as that of the father's generation. The new Arab Gulf leaders are convinced that the time has come for a different and inevitably balanced partnership. Is America ready to meet the desires and aspirations of the new Arab Gulf leaders who have confirmed their unwillingness to go along with Washington in the small and large from now on, and have reached such confidence that they are more than ready to say no to Washington. You may hear many no's from them during the meeting with them. I hope you prepare for that.

Mr president

It will come to the region when the Gulf oil and gas have regained its prestige and its financial and strategic value. The Persian Gulf is the global oil center of gravity and will remain so indefinitely, and America and the world must reconcile with that. In short, the important Gulf oil has become more important, and it is the real king after its financial, strategic and negotiating value has doubled in light of the increasing dependence of Europe and Asia on Gulf oil and gas. The Arab Gulf states realize that oil is what prompted you to visit the region, and it is okay to be more frank in admitting this, instead of covering your visit with contradictory statements at times, sometimes funny, and not befitting the leader of a superpower. The Arab Gulf states may be willing to meet the request of the American partner to raise the ceiling of oil production, but there is a price that America must pay. The most important price is for you to speak from now on about the Arab Gulf states and their leaders with respect, and to recognize the importance of these countries in the new world order. Do you carry the right price in your pocket?

Mr president

Forget the boring talk about human rights and democracy. Please do not go too far in bringing up this topic, which is not its place, time and audience. America is not convincing when it talks about this file, and its democratic model has lost its luster in light of societal division, political and Washington paralysis, and excess violence fueled by the emergence of racism and the extreme right. You have to realize, Mr. President, that talking about this issue is a waste of your time and the time of the Arab Gulf leaders. You will not find a deafening Gulf ear to listen to sterile lectures on human rights.

Mr president

All I wish is that you put your Bideni faith aside, and that you do not allow your visit to serve Israeli agendas. The time when America commands and the world obeys is over. Finally, I hope that the thoughts of this Emirati academic will find their way into your heart and mind so that you can prepare early to meet new Gulf leaders, and a new Arab Gulf looks forward to a Gulf-American partnership with new foundations that keep pace with the emergence of a new world order.


This article was written by Dr. Abdul-Khaliq Abdullah, an academic and professor of political sciences from the United Arab Emirates, and the views expressed below are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CNN.
 

Kedikesenfare2

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I've read his OP-ed in the Washington Post. He basically said that Saudi Arabia is doing whatever the US wants them to do and this would be the main reason why he's visiting Jeddah. Read his article.
 

cloud4000

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Compared to Trump, Biden is a complete failure in foreign affairs. He alienated the Gulf states when he needed them the most, squandering much of the goodwill created by Trump. Now he's going on a begging trip to convince the Saudis to pump more oil.
 

The SC

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Mike Pompeo: President Biden wrote that the Middle East is more stable and secure than the one he inherited from the Trump administration 18 months ago. He must be joking. Don't take my word for it. Just ask General McKenzie or any Israeli, Emirati, Afghan or Saudi. Only Ayatollah Khamenei says that the Middle East has become safer.

I've read his OP-ed in the Washington Post. He basically said that Saudi Arabia is doing whatever the US wants them to do and this would be the main reason why he's visiting Jeddah. Read his article.
Basically your English comprehension is very flawed..
 

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