Saudi Arabia And Israel War

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Saudi Arabia And Israel War – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at NEOM, a futuristic techno city in northwestern Saudi Arabia that symbolizes the crown prince’s plan to transform the economy, Israeli officials said. As stated. . . Saudi Arabia denied the meeting, with Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan flatly saying, “There was no such meeting.” Air traffic monitors saw a plane previously used by Netanyahu leave Israel for an area near NEOM, spend several hours on the ground, and return, apparently confirming the leaks in Israel. The reports fueled speculation about the official opening of ties between the two countries, which had a secretive relationship dating back to the 1960s.

Nathan Sachs Director – Center for Middle East Policy Senior Fellow – Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy

Saudi Arabia And Israel War

Saudi Arabia And Israel War

The first interesting aspect of these reports is the uncertainty of the facts: did the meeting actually take place? Did something go wrong? Or did the meeting take place, but each party took a public stance that best suited their political needs? Indeed, such a meeting is another boost for Netanyahu at home after the conclusion of agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain and the beginning of normalization of relations with Sudan. Netanyahu faces a second round of national elections, the fourth in two years. For MBS, on the other hand, there is a delicate dance between his apparent desire for closer ties with Israel and the extent of public opinion in Saudi Arabia and other views of the ruling family, including his father, the king.

Saudi Israeli Relations: The Curious Case Of A Neom Meeting Denied

Another conundrum is timing. Why would Saudi and Israeli leaders make such a public gesture now (if indeed they did)? The prospect of a new Joe Biden administration looks good for both parties. One would think that both Riyadh and Jerusalem would prefer to downplay their close ties with lame duck Trump and Pompeo and instead present their warm relationship as a welcome opportunity for the new Biden and Secretary of State nominee Anthony Blinken. You might think that if we move a little further from the Trump era, Saudi Arabia and Israel could offer Biden a major breakthrough in the Middle East that would put down the 2020 normalization agreements, in exchange for any political rewards.

In fact, both countries feel they have to “give something” to the Biden team, which promises to end carte blanche in the Trump era. For the Saudis in particular, Washington’s position on January 20 could change dramatically. Mr. Biden is likely to end the protections Trump has given him from a Congress concerned about human rights abuses and trying to block arms sales fueling Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. As a candidate, Biden called Saudi Arabia a rogue state and said he would “end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.” No doubt Saudi Arabia also saw the importance of democracy and values ​​in Biden’s foreign policy statements and Trump’s criticism of dictators.

This suggests that Saudi Arabia has a strong incentive to take a revolutionary step that will change the way the kingdom is viewed in Washington. There is no doubt that such a move would be a diplomatic recognition of Israel.

A Saudi-Israeli opening, if and when it happens, will be truly historic. Although Israel’s opening by the UAE and Bahrain (and nominally Sudan) has been significant and dramatic, Saudi Arabia has been the biggest prize in recent Arab-Israeli relations. The Saudi monarchy’s role as the “custodian of the two holy mosques” in Mecca and Medina makes the kingdom an undisputed heavyweight in the Muslim world. In today’s dominant Middle East, Saudi Arabia is perhaps the most powerful Arab state politically and economically. Therefore, open Saudi-Israeli relations could hinder Israel’s relations with many other Arab or Muslim-majority states and forever end the idea that these relations can only come about through a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

What Would Happen If Israel And Saudi Arabia Established Official Relations?

And yet the meeting took place before the Biden administration could make any requests or add any sweetness (again, assuming that) why the chase? There are at least three possible explanations. First, there is the simple fact that Trump and Pompeo will remain in office and hold absolute power for another 50+ days. The US Iran policy is high on the trilateral agenda, even if it involves the artful duplication of many new sanctions on Iran by linking them to Iran’s non-nuclear activities that would be difficult to construct in a nuclear context. Settle the war or declare the Houthis a terrorist group in Yemen. Other issues may remain on the Saudi and/or Israeli agenda with Trump that will make them wary of the outgoing administration.

Another possibility is that their meeting itself was a message to the new Biden administration, a way of saying: keep us close, coordinate with us, or you’ll find out we don’t need you as much as you think; We have each other, and if necessary we can even work together regardless of your preferences.

A final, less likely but more dramatic possibility: Pompeo’s visit is not only about legalizing Israeli settlements and tightening sanctions on Iran, but also coordinating a major move in American politics that the establishment assumed. This should be important enough to require individual consultation between leaders. Such a move could also be a limited military strike against Iranian interests, such as the nuclear facility at Natanz, where Iran is now reported to have enriched 12 times the amount of fissile material allowed by nuclear Iran.

Saudi Arabia And Israel War

Moreover, publicizing its ties to Israel may not sit well with Saudi Arabia in a Biden-led Washington. Saudi Arabia’s opening to Israel may give the kingdom a short-term boost on Capitol Hill and in the media, but it won’t solve the underlying problems that have forced both Democrats and Republicans to rethink the bilateral relationship. The reconsideration was driven primarily by the Saudi intervention in Yemen and the dire humanitarian consequences of the war there. But there is a clear violation of international and diplomatic norms by Saudi Arabia on this question, a flagrant violation of human rights, and a clear lack of respect for its long-standing partnership with the United States. In just the past five years, the Saudi government: kidnapped and forced the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister, banned a neighbor who is also a US partner, planted spies in a major US company, sent to the United States to intimidate the Saudis, and disaffected Saudi residents living there. They may have kidnapped, killed a Saudi who was legally living in the United States and was cooperating with an American newspaper, and used Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic privileges to help evade access to Saudi nationals accused of common crimes in the US. American Courts.

Syria, Turkey, Saudi, Arabia, Israel And Iraq Political War Confl Stock Illustration

This series of actions and the severity of his behavior have made many in Washington question the judgment and trustworthiness of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. American officials are well aware that they cannot choose who leads Saudi Arabia, but they can assess whether that Saudi leader can be a reliable partner for the United States and is worthy of investment. American. Biden has already promised such an assessment, and many in Congress — on both sides of the aisle — are likely to agree.

Saudi Arabia can change that perception — there is still good logic in an active US-Saudi partnership for both sides — but the first step is to recognize the seriousness of the problem and the steps that need to be taken to fix it. The Saudi government has its own concerns and grievances against Washington, such as legislation (passed by President Barack Obama) that allows families of 9/11 victims to sue in US courts. They no doubt resent Trump’s inconsistent support for Saudi Arabia in the face of Iran-backed attacks on its soil. Of course they are still unhappy with President Obama’s withdrawal of support for Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011. More relevant today, they are deeply concerned about the Biden administration’s return to negotiations with Iran and the end of Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. But addressing such concerns often requires honest and careful conversation, along with a willingness to take bold corrective action.

A Saudi-Israeli normalization will certainly be welcomed in Washington, but this welcome will not change the fundamental relationship between America and Riyadh.

If Saudi Arabia’s national interest says they are open to Israel, it will be a big step for peace and stability in the region. A Saudi-Israeli normalization will certainly be welcomed in Washington, but this welcome will not change the fundamental relationship between America and Riyadh. It is impossible to avoid the real problems involved.

The Latest: Saudi Arabia Downplays Normalization With Israel

If Saudi Arabia wants to improve its relations with Washington, it must take steps to demonstrate its understanding of Washington’s concerns and strengthen its reputation as a true partner. Working hard on it

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