«It is not only American voters who are closely watching whether Biden keeps his promises. Friends and foes around the world are watching his actions carefully, judging the strength of his convictions and calculating the circumstances in which comfort might push him to abandon our values. ”It is the warning that Fred Ryan, the Washington Post editor for Jamal Khashoggi, gave to the president of the White House. , Explaining how his credibility is already at stake regarding the treatment of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, because “if he sees other tyrants in the Middle East, or anywhere else, Muhammad escapes from this brutal behavior without consequences, his hand will not only be strengthened. Rather, others will feel encouraged to do the same. “
Governance is more complicated than campaigning, and the new president is already testing it first-hand. While running for the White House, Trump was accused of bartering the values of American democracy in exchange for Riyadh’s support. That is, abandoning the nuclear agreement with Iran, and turning a blind eye to Mohammed bin Salman’s brutality against the opponents, in exchange for supporting the American withdrawal from the Middle East, and the peace plan between the Israelis and the Palestinians written by his son. -Law Jared Kushner. On the other hand, Biden promised to return human rights to the center of foreign policy, and thus deal with the Arabian Peninsula, which he described as a “pariah”.
Now that he is president, he has kept his promise to release the CIA report accusing the crown prince of issuing the order to kill the barbaric Khashoggi in Istanbul, but he avoided punishing him. Because he wants to “recalibrate” the relationship with Riyadh, and talk to King Salman instead of his son, but he cannot afford to lose such an important ally, almost as Obama did.
The United States needs the Saudis, not just for energy supplies, but above all for regional balances. Achieving stability in the Middle East, keeping the terrorists in trouble, and encouraging a resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians to return to the two-state solution, would be impossible without them. As well as dealing with Syria after the great victory of Assad in the civil war, especially Iran. It is true that Washington wants to reopen the debate on the nuclear agreement, but Tehran is backing down, and for Biden to succeed, he needs to include other points in the negotiations, such as the intervention of the ayatollahs in the region or the missile program.
The president was shocked by the accusations of hypocrisy, now also launched by Khashoggi’s partner, Hatice Genghis, by the letter asking the United States to punish Mohammed bin Salman. So he announced new initiatives yesterday, but the White House made it clear that it was only referring to the implementation details of measures that the State Department had already decided. Meanwhile, three names have been mysteriously deleted from the CIA report. Now Biden will have to find a way to combine principles with realism.