magazine "foreign affairs" America: Biden should provide guarantees to Saudi Arabia

The American magazine “Foreign Affairs” published a lengthy article in which he touched on the upcoming visit of US President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia and the guarantees that he must provide to Riyadh in exchange for his demands.

“What about an oil-rich Arab leader that you can’t live with, but you can’t live without? This is the dilemma facing President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

From the start of his presidency, Biden fired Mohammed bin Salman due to his harsh response to political dissent at home, the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the war in Yemen, where Biden declared as a presidential candidate that he would treat Saudi Arabia. Arabia as an outcast.

But now gas prices are rising, fueling inflation, cutting Biden’s vote and threatening to hurt Democratic midterm candidates, and the key to reversing that momentum seems to lie in the hands of Mohammed bin Salman because his country is the only oil producer. , which has enough spare capacity to calm the oil markets.”

Proponents of the trip justify the trip as a classic realistic political deal and that the benefits of reconciliation are clear, arguing that for Biden, more oil in the world market means the convenience of pumping gas for Americans.

That, and the American magazine said that Biden, who will visit Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries next month, should provide security guarantees that include a nuclear umbrella for the Kingdom in the face of Iran if he fails to reach a nuclear deal with Tehran.

The magazine believes that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is meeting with Biden during the visit, is counting on the United States to provide a stronger deterrent to Iran’s nuclear and regional ambitions, as well as better defenses for the kingdom against missiles and drones. Iranian proxy attacks.

She explained that “such assurances will open the door to a more fundamental perception of the Saudi-American relationship.”

She pointed out that “Given the tensions between the two sides recently, a different approach will need to be taken to improve relations, but Biden should try to develop a roadmap in his Riyadh talks.”

She stated that a NATO-like commitment to Saudi Arabia is simply not achievable in the current period, even if it were desired, and Biden could publicly reaffirm his commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and add a more general commitment first announced by the president. Jimmy Carter in 1980 to prevent any attempt by hostile forces to take over the Gulf region.

She pointed out that the United States could then enter into a strategic framework agreement with Saudi Arabia, as it did with Singapore, noting that the agreement includes a commitment by the United States to strengthen bilateral defense and security cooperation to combat common threats and promote regional peace. . and stability.

The magazine also warned that while this does not provide a security guarantee, it would force the United States to maintain an adequate balance of power in the region and provide Saudi Arabia with the necessary means to defend itself through closer defense cooperation with Washington.

She added that as relations improve, Washington could borrow the Taiwan Relations Act and commit to treating any attack on Saudi Arabia as a threat to peace and security in the Gulf and a source of serious concern for the United States. that Biden can commit to providing the necessary weapons so that the Kingdom can maintain an adequate defense capability.

And if ongoing nuclear deal talks with Iran fail and Tehran continues to advance its nuclear weapons program, the United States will also have to consider offering the kingdom a nuclear umbrella in exchange for a Saudi commitment to renounce any future nuclear weapons acquisitions.

The magazine expressed its belief that giving Saudi Arabia some form of nuclear umbrella would mean a long-term commitment by the United States to respond to a possible nuclear attack on the kingdom.

And a US magazine said, “The United States is already committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And the more this commitment is questioned, the more extended deterrence becomes necessary. The alternative for Saudi Arabia could be to look for nuclear weapons. on his own, helping to ignite the nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

In addition, the magazine reported that in exchange for an American security commitment, Mohammed bin Salman would also need to take additional steps to normalize Saudi relations with Israel, such as the right to overflight, direct flights for Israeli and Palestinian Muslim citizens to perform the Hajj. and direct contacts, the participation of Saudi Arabia with Israel in regional meetings and the opening of commercial offices.

This would help strengthen the Israeli-Arab strategic partnership embodied in the Ibrahim Accords and the Negev Summit in March 2022, which brought Egypt into the circle of agreements.

According to the magazine, these steps towards normalization will give greater legitimacy to Israel’s military role in the Arab world and facilitate strategic cooperation against Iran.

She said taking meaningful steps to normalize relations with Israel would change the attitude of members of Congress towards Saudi Arabia, who believe that promoting Israel’s security and welfare serves American interests.

This would also have the support of the pro-Israel community in the United States, but to justify such moves for King Salman and his subjects, MBS would require progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The magazine stressed that for Israel, Saudi Arabia is a gem in the normalization process, and the United States can use Saudi Arabia’s willingness to begin normalizing relations to encourage Israel to take retaliatory steps against the Palestinians, such as freezing settlement activities outside Israeli territory. the security wall and the transfer of more land in the West Bank to Palestinian control, which would help restore confidence and provide a basis for final status negotiations on a peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians.

She explained that the public participation of Saudi Arabia in these efforts, along with Egypt and Jordan, could greatly contribute to the final settlement needed to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Finally, if Biden and his constituents are to overcome their distaste for human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, the crown prince will need to stop cracking down on peaceful political dissent and continue to restrict the country’s religious establishment, limit the powers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevent Vice, give women equal rights and strengthen the image of the country. Comprehensive and tolerant reform of Islam at the international level, and he should also repeat his public admission that he was responsible for the murder of Khashoggi and make sure that nothing like this will happen again, which the magazine published in its article.

Source: American magazine “Foreign Affairs”

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