Biden Awaits Difficult Phone Call With Saudi King
President Biden wants to make a phone call for the first time as head of state on Wednesday with the king of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.
On Thursday, an intelligence report is expected to be released in Washington on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who works in the US.
The report is believed to confirm that the 85-year-old king’s son, crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, was personally involved in the bloody murder. It was in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
But not only the report overshadows the conversation between the two old allies. In his election campaign last year, Biden shouted that “the Crown Prince has ordered the murder and that he will not sell Saudi Arabia weapons and make the Saudis the pariah they are”.
Biden’s predecessor Trump actually strengthened the bond with the Saudi royal family, among other things, by turning his back on Iran and not worrying about the murder in Istanbul.
According to the Saudis, Shia Iran is trying to dominate the predominantly Sunni Middle East with military operations. The Saudis are bombarding neighbouring Yemen with airstrikes because much of the country is in the hands of the Houthi tribe, which is not Sunni and, therefore, pro-Iran in Saudi Arabia’s eyes.
The bloody bombings are carried out with the support of other countries, including the US. Biden has already said at the beginning of this month that he wants to stop. He also indicated in his campaign that he preferred to approach Iran diplomatically.