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President Biden’s Visit and the Arab World
US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bumps fist at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, on 15 July,2022. (Saudi Press Agency/Creative Commons)

President Biden’s Visit and the Arab World

Asharq Al-Awsat, London, July 15

The current visit of President Joe Biden and his top aides to Israel and the West Bank, and then to Saudi Arabia, will have significant effects on the region. Judging on the basis of the announcements and remarks made so far on the visit, what we’re witnessing is an exciting transformation in Washington’s relations with the Arab world. The Democratic Party, led by President Biden, seems to have reconsidered its approach when it comes to strategic issues impacting the Middle East. In response to a question posed to him by Al Arabiya and Al Hadath journalists, President Biden reaffirmed, with the Israeli prime minister by his side, that “Washington will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.” The president then continued on to explain that, in his view, “Iran must accept the nuclear agreement that has been put on the table.” Furthermore, the president signed a written commitment, known as the Jerusalem Declaration, in which he vowed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. President Biden also pledged to intensify cooperation with Tel Aviv in order to use all means necessary to stop Iran from its continuing terrorist activity in the region. All of this took place in the first part of President Biden’s tour in the Middle East. What remains to be seen now is how the American president will handle the Arab security files upon his visit to Saudi Arabia. President Biden’s visit to Jeddah was preceded by a series of internal meetings and summits between Arab states – in the Gulf and beyond. Indeed, the level of coordination between the moderate Arab states is unprecedented, forcing the American Democratic Party to double down on its commitment to protect and promote the security of the Arab world. Will the Democratic Party turn a page in its relations with the Arab world in general and Saudi Arabia in particular? It seems as if global events changed President Biden’s calculus as it pertains to the Middle East. Enthusiastic slogans are impressive, but when the rubber meets the road and war is waging on Europe’s Eastern border, practical considerations triumph over moral ones. That’s the real essence of politics. –Meshary Al-Dhaidy (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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