How will Trump’s loss to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar and Biden’s victory changed that: “Forgive me if I cannot heed your point, I am focused elsewhere. I am watching the election results in Wisconsin.” – Saudi Arabia’s messenger for Britain was repeatedly going on his mobile phone.
It was eleven days ago when we had no idea who would come to the White House as the new President in January of 2021.
When Biden’s victory in the US elections was announced, he was briefly congratulated by Saudi Arabia. But when Donald Trump came to the White House four years ago, he did not delay in greeting the new President.
Not surprising, because Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is considered close to Donald Trump. And it is believed that Saudi Arabia is going to lose an important friend internationally due to Trump’s departure.
After becoming President, Donald Trump went to Saudi Arabia on his first foreign tour where he was received with great hospitality. Earlier, Saudi Arabia had not organized such a special event to welcome former President Barack Obama. Obama has been known to be soft on Iran.
After the US elections came to light, it is believed that Biden’s victory could have far-reaching consequences for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.
The history of America’s strategic partnership with the region of the Middle East goes back to the year 1945, and it is expected that this partnership will continue even further. However, this is likely to change with the arrival of Biden, which the governments of Gulf countries may not like.
Saudi Arabia will lose important friends
US President Donald Trump has been an important friend of Saudi Arabia and a supporter of the Saudi royal family. He chose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign tour after assuming power in the US in 2017.
Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had a close relationship with and worked with Saudi Arabia’s most powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
When Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate General of Istanbul in 2018, Western intelligence agencies asserted that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing.
But President Trump directly rejected this argument. He said that it is possible that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman probably did not know about this.
No wonder that in the days following Trump’s statement, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s media team told the people, “Don’t worry, the situation is under control.”
Trump not only refused to impose any sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but he also refused to accept Congress’s demand to ban the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.
With Biden’s victory, along with Saudi Arabia, to some extent, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are also going to lose an important friend.
Indeed, many important things related to Gulf countries will not change, but some things can change in the coming years.
The war continues in Yemen
Former President Barack Obama was not comfortable with the way Saudi Arabia waged war against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Joe Biden has worked with Obama for eight years as Vice-President.
It was two years of war in Yemen when Barack Obama left the office of President. Yemen was constantly being attacked by air. On the one hand, a large number of civilians were being killed in these attacks. On the other hand buildings and houses were turning into ruins.
There was growing resentment about the Yemen war in America, and in such a situation, Barak Omaba stopped the military and intelligence aid given to Saudi Arabia. The Trump administration later changed his decision, and he gave Saudi Arabia a free hand to attack Yemen.
Now it seems that this decision can be reversed after the key of administration in Biden’s hands. Recently, Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations that he would “stop all kinds of American help in the disastrous Yemen war under Saudi Arabia’s leadership and order a reevaluation of the country’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.”
It is also possible that the Biden administration put pressure on Saudi Arabia to work with allies in Yemen to find a solution to this crisis.
Sometime back, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also realized that their army is unlikely to win in the ongoing war in Yemen. He is looking for ways to get out of this war by saving his credibility if the situation of Houthi rebels at the time of the start of the war in March 2015 changes.
One of the important achievements of Obama as President in the Middle East was the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015 or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
He removed the restrictions on Iran with the condition that it would fully comply with all conditions under the nuclear treaty and only enrich uranium for a limited amount of nuclear power and agree to inspect its nuclear facilities.
President Donald Trump called America “the worst settlement ever” and drove America away from it. But now after Trump, Biden may decide to join the deal again.
This will undoubtedly annoy Saudi Arabia. Last year, suspected missile strikes on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil company Saudi Aramco – two large bases – Aqeeq and Khoras.
In January this year, when Iran’s famous Quds Force chief General Qasim Suleimani was killed in a drone attack by American, many countries, including Saudi Arabia, would have been happy with this news.
The Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack on Aramco’s refineries in Saudi Arabia, but Saudi Arabia accused Iran of showing drones.
The Quds Force is the wing of the Iranian security forces responsible for the military operations they are undertaking abroad, and Sulaimani was the commander who for years planned Iran in the Middle East through planned attacks in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and other Gulf countries And did the work of increasing the influence of his colleagues.
Now, these Gulf countries must have been worrying that the new team coming to the White House should not strengthen their relations with Iran, because it may damage their interests.
The US Defense Headquarters in the Middle East is the largest and strategically important military base of the Pentagon in Qatar, the al-Udaid military base.
The US carries out all its military operations from Central Command to Afghanistan to Afghanistan.
But despite this, many countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt boycott Qatar. He says that Ikhwān supports Qatar in an Islamic political movement called Al-Muslimeen.
After Trump visited Saudi Arabia in 2017, these countries started boycotting Qatar and were confident that they had the support of the US administration in this matter.
To be fair, Trump also publicly supported it in the initial phase, but later he was told that Qatar is also a friend of America. In the Middle East, America’s most important military base is in Qatar, then he chose to remain silent in this matter.
It is believed that the newly elected President Joe Biden’s administration should try to correct this rift between the Gulf countries. For them, it will be in America’s interest, but Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries will not consider it in their interest.
Human rights violation case
Many Gulf countries have poor records in terms of human rights. But President Trump never questioned his Arab friends on this issue nor showed much interest in the issue.
He argued that the case of US strategic interests and trade deals led to the arrest of women campaigning about women’s rights, reports of alleged mistreatment of foreign workers in Qatar or, in October 2018, to carry out the campaign to assassinate journalist Jamal Khashoggi For the Saudi security personnel who arrived in Istanbul by government plane was more important than the news. Till date, the body of Jamal Khashoggi has not been recovered.
Perhaps the Biden administration would not like to remain silent in all these cases.