World The White House's petty dig at MBS shows Biden is serious about bringing Saudi Arabia to heel
US ending aid to Saudi-led forces in Yemen, but questions persist
Joe Biden’s announcement is a pivot in US foreign policy, but experts say what support will be cut remains unclear.The move signalled a distinct shift in Washington’s approach to the conflict and a renewed emphasis on reaching a diplomatic solution to the years-long war, which has caused what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
- The White House announced that Biden's opposite number in Saudi Arabia is King Salman.
- It was a clear dig at Crown Prince Mohammed, who is in reality running Saudi Arabia.
- The Biden administration seems reticent to engage with MBS given his nefarious human-rights record.
The White House effectively downgraded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's status in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary,, and started by redefining President Joe Biden's opposite number.
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Biden's moves to empower Iran and its Houthi proxy against the U.S.'s Arab Gulf allies will be very costly to the region and to the U.S. They make regional war more likely. They diminish U.S. regional influence, and they open the door for China and Russia to replace the U.S. as the region's superpowers.Biden's policy raises the prospect of war because he is emboldening Iran to expand its aggression, thus simultaneously convincing spurned U.S. allies that they have no choice but to take action against Iran and its nuclear program before it is truly too late.Biden is diminishing U.S.
"The president's counterpart is King Salman," Psaki said.
Since becoming president on January 20, Biden has, but the White House said on Saturday to call Crown Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia known as MBS.
Demoting MBS is a pedantic, yet significant step that shows Biden means business.
MBS, 35, has near-total control over how Saudi Arabia is run, and his 85-year-old father King Salman, who is infirm and underwent, is absent from day-to-day affairs.
The reclassification indicates that the Biden administration is not keen to give MBS the time of day given his history
Saudi Arabia: Houthis attack on an airport, an airliner destroyed
© Supplied by Le Parisien Le Parisien A commercial plane caught fire at Abha airport, in southern Saudi Arabia, this Wednesday, following an attack by Yemeni rebels Houthis . The blaze has been brought under control, state television said, citing the coalition that has supported the Yemeni government since 2015 and which is led by Saudi Arabia.
Throughout the final quarter of Donald Trump's presidency, Biden promised to take a hard line on Saudi Arabia, sayingthe "dangerous blank check" that Trump had written for the Saudis and that he would "the pariah that they are."
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As president, Trump declined to criticise MBS for ordering the murder of the Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, and neglected to try to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Throughout the Trump presidency, MBS also, Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor.
MBS's official titles are deputy prime minister and defence minister, meaning that, instead of Biden, his new opposite number is likely Lloyd Austin, the US defence secretary,.
But the move to ignore MBS is risky, given how much power he wields in Saudi Arabia. It is likely that the US will need to engage with him if it wants to achieve progress on issues inside the kingdom.
Biden admin ends Trump-era Houthi ‘terrorist’ designation
Aid groups said the designation threatened to stifle aid and cripple the economy in war-torn Yemen.The move comes as the Biden administration continues to change tack on the US approach to the war in Yemen, announcing on February 4 that it would end the US support for offensive operations for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015, a year after the northern-based Houthis kicked President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour out of the capital Sanaa.
King Salman, who ascended the throne in 2015, gave up control of daily affairs to MBS in 2017,
MBS detained bin Nayef in 2020 following a crackdown on royal corruption and threats to his rule.
The detention of activists and opponents has been a key pillar of the Biden administration's critique of MBS.
On February 6, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told his Saudi counterpart that "elevating human rights issues and ending the war in Yemen" were among the "key priorities of the new administration,"
The approach appears to be working. In the fortnight since,including , Bader al-Ibrahim, and Salah al-Haidar.
In Tuesday's press conference, Psaki went on to say that Biden and King Salman will likely speak by phone soon.
"I expect at an appropriate time he [Biden] will have a conversation with him. I don't have a prediction on the timeline for that," she said.
However, Biden could find himself speaking to MBS sooner than expected. It is widely known that King Salman is unwell, and MBS is first in line to the Saudi throne.
Biden's Criticism of Trump's Soleimani Strike Resurfaces After He Orders Syria Attack .
Biden approved airstrikes on Iranian-backed Iraqi militia fighters in Syria in retaliation for a rocket attack on American troops in Iraqi Kurdistan."The last thing we need is another war in the Middle East," Biden said on January 5, 2020.