Headline RoundupJune 15th, 2022

Can Biden Improve Relations With Saudi Arabia During Middle East Trip?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

President Joe Biden will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his mid-July trip to the Middle East, which some analysts believe could loosen tensions with Saudi Arabia.

During his presidential campaign, Biden pledged to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah state" due to their stance on certain human rights issues. However, given the circumstances brought by Putin's invasion of Ukraine, Biden is looking to recalibrate the long-standing U.S.-Saudi relationship. Some of Biden's likely objectives include lowering prices on Saudi oil imports, clarifying America's role in the Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict and convincing Prince Mohammed to place economic sanctions on Russia.

Voices on both side of the spectrum shared the sentiment that Biden attempting to improve relations with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is "a beguiling and even stirring idea." While some left-rated voices highlighted Biden's meeting with Prince Mohammed as "a betrayal," others saw this move as Biden "sacrificing his values" in the interest of "realism" given Saudi Arabia's key position as "the second-largest oil-producing country." Right-rated voices were more likely to accentuate that Biden hasn't been very "effective at protecting U.S. interests" but that his trip to "patch up" relations with Saudi Arabia makes "strategic and economic sense" — even if that means "offending his party’s left."

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