They break secret agreements and ridicule Biden’s infirmity: why the Saudis stopped being friends with the United States

In mid-July, the American president flew to visit Saudi Arabia and greeted Prince Mohammed with fists.

In mid-July, the American president flew to visit Saudi Arabia and greeted Prince Mohammed with fists.

A photo: REUTERS

The decision taken in early October by the OPEC+ countries to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day in the United States caused, without exaggeration, a real shock. Such a sharp and painful reaction of the Biden administration is explained by the publication in The New York Timesfrom which it follows that Saudi Arabia, one of the leaders of the cartel of oil-producing countries, “dumped” its American partner in the most cynical way, violating a secret deal with him.

Biden, recall, from the very beginning of his presidency had problems with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, whom he accused of being involved in the murder in Turkey in 2018 of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who worked for the American media. The owner of the White House even promised to treat the leader of Riyadh as a “rogue”. But high oil prices, which exacerbated the economic problems of the United States, and the persistence of Biden’s advisers persuaded him to try to compromise with the crown prince. In mid-July, the American president flew to visit Saudi Arabia and greeted Prince Mohammed with fists. And everything seemed to work out for Washington: according to The New York Times, the Saudis firmly promised the guests to persuade their OPEC + partners to increase oil production.

This is exactly what the Biden administration was seriously counting on – the arrival of additional volumes of oil on the market would inevitably lower its prices, which significantly improved the position of the Democrats in the November midterm elections. And almost until the last moment, everything went well, the White House at secret briefings convinced lawmakers that the situation was under control. In late September, the newspaper claims, US officials met again in Riyadh with Prince Mohammed and his brother Abdulazis bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, and received assurances that there would be no production cuts.

But just four days after that, the White House was notified by the Saudis that they would support production cuts at the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna. When the decision was made, accusations and abuse from Washington rained down on Riyadh. Saudi Arabia has even been stigmatized for helping Putin in his war in Ukraine and generally succumbing to Russian influence. To which the Americans received an answer: the kingdom takes a neutral position on Ukraine, and its decision to support production cuts is dictated solely by national interests, which otherwise could be threatened by a drop in oil prices to $50 per barrel.

Anger and indignation in Washington were not limited. Congress immediately received legislative initiatives to reduce the US military presence in Saudi Arabia and suspend the supply of American weapons to it.

What happens in the relations of old and faithful allies? Does Riyadh seriously intend to pursue a “soft divorce” with Washington? These questions further exacerbate reports that Saudi Arabia wants to become a member of the BRICS and literally yesterday’s news – Prince Mohammed in a narrow circle ridicules the senility of President Biden.

To understand what is happening in US-Saudi relations, an article in the Saudi newspaper Al Arabiya that appeared literally on the same day with The New York Times article helps. “The United States invades Arab countries, brings destruction instead of “democracy” and sponsors terrorists, and then demands close cooperation from Saudi Arabia,” the author writes. – With such an “ally” and the enemy is not needed. Washington’s fatal mistakes already herald not only the end of partnership with Riyadh, but also a civil war in America.”

Strongly said. But it also convincingly explains why the ardent friendship of the Arabs with the Americans is rapidly cooling down: “It all started with the Obama administration’s support for the Arab Spring revolutions and radical Islamic forces, including the Muslim Brotherhood (banned in the Russian Federation) in the fight against the Arab “monarchist regimes “. How did it all end? “The American approach has led to the devastation and death of thousands of victims of the so-called “democracy,” the author of the article answers this question. And he develops the theme: “How do we evaluate the fateful treaty with Iran and the invasion of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon? What about killing thousands of innocent people?” There are many more claims, including the accusation of Americans of supporting corruption. How else to evaluate the fact that a Saudi official who fled a country with billions of dollars was granted asylum, considering him “a friend of American intelligence, although he is just a traitor who used his position to plunder the state treasury to the detriment of national security interests.”

And Al Arabiya did not forget about Ukraine. The US administration, the newspaper writes, is acting inconsistently both inside and outside the country, which is a “fatal mistake.” The attitude of Americans towards Saudi Arabia is “just a drop in the ocean of erroneous decisions” made by the Biden administration. She is pushing the Ukrainian president to continue to “oppose Putin and avoid negotiations with him until armed conflict plunges Europe, America and the rest of the world into large-scale crises.”

So there is nothing to be offended by the Americans. Deserved. And mind you, this was not said in Moscow.

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