Saudis Shaken, Sluggish in Saluting Seminal US Switch
Perhaps hoping for a fashionably late entrance, or maybe grappling with the loss of future weapons deals, Saudi Arabia waited more than 24 hours before congratulating President-elect Joe Biden on his victory in the United States presidential elections. King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “praised the distinguished, historic and close relations between the two friendly countries,” the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported Sunday. After a four-year honeymoon with President Donald Trump, Riyadh is thought to be deeply concerned by a Biden Administration, as the former vice president has promised, unlike his predecessor, to hold the kingdom accountable for its alleged human rights violations and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On the campaign trail, Biden also pledged to end American support for Saudi involvement in the Yemen War and attempt to renegotiate the Iranian nuclear deal, two policies that the Saudis view as extremely harmful to their interests.