Issue Brief on “Biden Middle East Trip”

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President Biden’s Middle East trips came in the backdrop of key critical developments not just in the region itself but around the globe. In his first regional tour since taking office, the US President made stops in Israel, and Saudi Arabia, held talks with Palestinians and West Bank officials, as well as attended the Jeddah Security and Development Summit. The four-day trip while being called a success by the White House fell victim to numerous controversies and questions. At home, many critics blame President Biden to go against his campaign promises to make the Saudi Kingdom a global pariah as he fist-bumped Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Muhammad Bin Salman, who was directly linked to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi by US intelligence agencies.[1]

With the background of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi still unaccounted for, the shift in dynamics as a result of rising gas prices hitting the US economy, and the power vacuum created for Russia-China-Iran as a result of US’s blank check policy with Saudi Arabia.[2] The visit has been met with a chorus of criticism, especially on humanitarian grounds. Republicans heavily criticized President Biden for warming up and accused him of ‘fist bumping with murderers,’[3] and saw the move as a clear violation of American values and human rights. However, the administration is of the view that there is a growing need to maintain cordial and workable relations with the Saudi kingdom especially as the US continue to address the increasing oil cost.

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