Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khasogi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, despite reports from the CIA that President Joe Biden’s administration has refused to impose sanctions on him. Biden made the decision, considering that Mohammed bin Salman is the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. This has angered many people. But Biden has rightly taken action on one of the United States’ foreign relations.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has very nicely explained the issue of U.S. bilateral relations with Saudi. He says the United States wants to re-establish relations with Saudi Arabia, and in that case no individual issue can stand in the way of bilateral relations. Blinken’s statement is reflected in the issue of Khasogi’s murder.
Biden is no exception to the policy that all US presidents have followed on the Saudi issue since President Ditt Eisenhower came to power in 1950. Biden, like his predecessors, may realize that it is undeniable that the United States has diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, not just in the Middle East, but around the world. In this case, it is difficult to sustain that relationship by injuring the Crown Prince.
The way Biden criticized Saudi Arabia during the election campaign before the vote; Many in the Democratic Party itself are annoyed by the wide discrepancy between his current position and that of his rhetorical stance against Mohammed bin Salman. They say the way Biden is pardoning Mohammed bin Salman over the assassination of Khasogi is showing the United States to the world as an unjustly compromising power. They believe that the Biden administration has shown weakness by compromising with the values on which US foreign policy is based.
However, Biden’s position is very simple. Because, as we know, the United States has a multilateral strategic interest relationship with Saudi Arabia, the top arms buyer in the United States. Defending that relationship is so undeniable for both that it doesn’t matter who is on the mat in Washington or Riyadh.
For example, the stability of the global energy and money markets depends on the relationship between the two countries. Besides, the superiority of the US dollar as the world’s reserve money also depends a lot on the good relations between the two countries. Since all Saudi oil is sold in US dollars, neither side will benefit from the deterioration of the relationship.
The two countries also share common ground on maintaining stability in the Middle East, continuing to fight global jihadist groups, controlling Iran, rebuilding the country by ending the war in Yemen, and easing Arab ties with Israel. Even in the face of the Kovid-19 epidemic, Saudi cooperation is undeniable. Because, this year during the Hajj, pilgrims from all over the world will gather in Makkah. If hygiene is not followed properly, they will be at risk of spreading the virus worldwide.
Due to this, the relations between the two countries will remain stable and the monarchy of Saudi Arabia will also remain intact. If the United States takes unprecedented action against Mohammed bin Salman, it will put relations between the two countries at risk. Earlier, Trump had a very personal relationship with Saudi leaders, especially with his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman.
This has damaged the foreign policy of the two countries. Trump’s personal contacts with Saudi leaders, avoiding diplomatic protocol, have undermined institutional diplomacy. It was normal diplomacy for the two countries’ foreign ministries, intelligence agencies, military officials, ministers and central bank officials to exchange views and meet. Excluding those, Trump himself maintained relations with Saudi leaders from a personal level. Biden now seeks to resume the normal regular transactions of those institutions. In this case, Jamal Khasogi has raised the issue of assassination and has no intention of severing US relations with Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi government.