In a surprising turn of events, Saudi Arabia’s ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, reportedly kept US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waiting for hours, only to meet him the next day, amidst efforts by the US to rally Middle Eastern allies around its position on the Hamas terror attacks.
- Mohammed bin Salman reportedly delayed a scheduled meeting with Antony Blinken, only to meet him the following day.
- The US’ core objective was to persuade Middle Eastern leaders to condemn Hamas’ violence and to quell unrest in their respective countries due to the ongoing conflict.
- Despite the longstanding alliance between the US and Saudi Arabia, recent events indicate a shift in the kingdom’s diplomatic stance, with closer ties being formed with China and a notable divergence from the US’ position on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Antony Blinken’s recent visit to the Middle East was primarily aimed at rallying US allies in the region around its stance on the Hamas terror attacks in Israel. One of the key figures Blinken sought to meet was Saudi Arabia’s ruler, Mohammed bin Salman. However, the reception in Riyadh was colder than anticipated. Despite expectations of an evening meeting upon Blinken’s arrival on Saturday, the crown prince kept him waiting for hours, only to meet him the next morning.
During their meeting, Mohammed bin Salman reportedly urged Israel to cease military operations that resulted in the loss of innocent lives, especially in the densely populated Gaza strip. He also emphasized the need for de-escalation in the conflict. This stance starkly contrasts with the Biden administration’s position, which has been supportive of Israel’s efforts to counteract Hamas, albeit with a call to safeguard civilian lives.
Furthermore, Blinken’s efforts to find common ground with other regional allies, such as Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, also seemed to be in vain. Recent developments had hinted at a potential historic agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, aiming to normalize their relations. However, analysts believe that one of Hamas’ primary objectives in initiating the October 7 attacks was to derail these discussions. Over the years, while Saudi Arabia has been a pivotal US ally, the kingdom appears to be charting a more independent diplomatic course, as evidenced by its strengthening ties with China and its decision last year to not increase oil production, which led to a diplomatic rift with the Biden administration.
|For Further Reading||The relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States has been a significant one, with both nations collaborating on various fronts. Historically, the US and Saudi Arabia have shared mutual interests in the Middle East, especially concerning oil production and regional security. However, recent events, such as the kingdom’s closer ties with China and differences in stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict, indicate a potential shift in this longstanding alliance.|
Why did Mohammed bin Salman delay the meeting with Antony Blinken?
The exact reasons for the delay are not explicitly mentioned, but it can be inferred that it might be a diplomatic signal of Saudi Arabia’s evolving stance and its desire to assert more independence in its foreign policy decisions.
What was the US’ main objective during Blinken’s visit to the Middle East?
The primary goal of Blinken’s visit was to rally US allies in the Middle East around its position on the Hamas terror attacks in Israel and to persuade regional leaders to condemn Hamas’ violence.
How has Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic stance evolved in recent years?
Saudi Arabia has been showcasing a more independent diplomatic course, forming closer ties with countries like China and occasionally diverging from the US’ position on key issues, as seen in the recent Israel-Hamas conflict and the kingdom’s decision regarding oil production last year.
Original article sourced from Yahoo News