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Saudi Arabia held its breath after winning Biden



RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, which could lose more from Joe Biden’s US election victory than other Arab nations, spent time commenting after the defeat of Donald Trump, who has Middle East policies and staunch opposition to Iran backed by Riyadh.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the 40th Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 10, 2019. Bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of the Imperial Court Country / Documentation via REUTERS / File Photo

As various Arab countries raced to congratulate the Democratic challenger, the kingdom̵

7;s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, remained silent from the US vote for hours even as he submitted Warm words to the President of Tanzania about his re-election.

Crown Prince Mohammed’s close personal ties with Trump have created an important stepping stone against the wave of international criticism over Riyadh’s rights record caused by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Riyadh’s role in the war in Yemen and the detention of female activists.

These areas could now become the point of friction between Biden and Saudi Arabia, major oil exporters and arms buyers of the United States.

The former US vice president pledged during his campaign to reassess relations with the kingdom, demanding more accountability for Khashoggi’s murder in Riyadh’s Istanbul consulate and calling for a cessation cease American support for the Yemen war.

“The only thing worse than COVID-19 would be BIDEN-20,” wrote Saudi Arabia’s Twitter user, Dr Muna, while many use other Saudi social media platforms of the social media platform. The association simply ignored the results for the first few hours after US networks called for Biden elections.

A Saudi political source has minimized the risk of disintegration between the kingdom and the United States, pointing to Riyadh’s historic relationship with Washington.

But the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz offers a sense of uncertainty about how the future will play out for the kingdom. “The area awaits … and prepare … for what happened after Biden’s victory,” it wrote in an article on the front page.

The kingdom may not have to wait long. Neil Quilliam, a partner at the British consulting organization Chatham House, said the Biden administration will likely seek to signal their dissatisfaction with Saudi Arabia’s foreign and domestic policies early on.

“The Saudi leadership is concerned that the Biden administration and hostile Congress will conduct a comprehensive review of relations, including a reassessment of defense relations,” he said. There will be positive moves towards ending the conflict in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia is an ardent supporter of Trump’s “maximum pressure” over tough sanctions on opponents in the Iran region. But Biden has said that he will return to the 2015 nuclear treaty between world powers and Tehran, an agreement negotiated when Biden was vice president in the Barack Obama administration.

Abu Zaid, a cashier at a supermarket in Riyadh, said he hopes Biden will take a different approach. “I’m not satisfied with Biden’s victory, but I hope he learns from Obama’s mistakes and realizes that Iran is a common enemy,” he said.

A Saudi political source said the kingdom was “capable of dealing with any president because the US is a nation of institutions and has a lot of institutional work between Saudi Arabia. Ut and the United States. “

“The relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States is deep, strong and strategic, and not prone to change because of a changing president,” he said.

Crown Prince Mohammed has denied ordering the murder of Khashoggi but in 2019 he admitted some personal responsibility by saying that it happened on his track. Riyadh jailed eight people between seven and 20 years in the case.

Additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai; Written by Michael Georgy; Edited by Edmund Blair


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