February 23, 2024
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Was Joe Biden’s Visit to the Middle East Truly a Disaster

Was Joe Biden’s Visit to the Middle East Truly a Disaster :

Was Joe Biden’s Visit to the Middle East Truly a Disaster

On the 13th of July, Joe Biden arrived in the Middle East on a diplomatic visit. The arrival marked the President’s first visit to the Middle East since his emergence as the US President in 2021. However, while this visit seemed like one of the many duties on the President’s checklist, its outcome attracted a lot of mixed reactions from the US media.

Details on Joe Biden’s Middle East Visit

Joe Biden’s recent visit was slated for four days. Two days were spent in Israel, while Biden spent the other days in Saudi Arabia. On the first two days, Joe Biden duly visited Israel and emphasized the US alignment with Israel amid the Israel-Iran nuclear tensions. While this move brought praises from many global citizens, Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia changed the course of reactions.

In the last two days of his visit, Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia, where he met with the Crown Prince of Saudi, Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). Both leaders posed for photo-ops during the meeting and exchanged a fist bump to show reconciliation.

However, this decision was not taken well by international stakeholders. Many US media houses have tagged Biden’s reconciliation with Saudi Arabia as a move that “undermines US foreign policy.” However, there is a backstory to these reactions.

A Background on the Controversy

In 2018, a Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was assassinated. Some top Saudi Arabian officials were tied to the murder, and it caused global outrage. The US took responsibility for ensuring justice in Khashoggi’s murder, as he was a US resident. During the 2019 Presidential Debate, Joe Biden also openly declared that Saudi Arabia would be treated as a pariah due to the murder. However, many people were shocked when Biden seemed to backtrack on US’ commitment by reconciling with Saudi Arabia during his Middle East visit. While this “diplomatic” move has been criticised heavily, the trip was not totally disastrous.

A Less-Controversial Side

Joe Biden emphasised that responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder remained with the Saudi Arabian government. However, many pressing foreign policy matters necessitated Biden’s Middle East visit and his reconciliation with Saudi Arabia. First, the Israeli-Iran tensions required an alliance with Saudi Arabia. Biden sought cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Also, the recent Yemen ceasefire needed to be maintained. Negotiations needed to be resumed to prevent the Yemen crisis from escalating. Another issue that required the cooperation of both countries was the global oil market. Biden proposed that Saudi Arabia increase its oil production to balance the global oil market amid the Russia-Ukraine war. While the propositions have not been entirely accepted, the Saudi-US reconciliation paved the way for them to be made. Essentially, the trip allowed stability to be maintained in the Middle Eastern region. Thus, it might not have been completely disastrous.

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Last Updated on 3 months by newseditor

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