Bin Salman’s relationship with Putin is an alarm bell for the West

Author Simon Tisdol said; The United States and Europe must conduct a comprehensive review of all relations with Saudi Arabia, and all its practices in many files, whether the war in Yemen or human rights violations, and even its efforts to whitewash its image through sports investments in Europe.

Noted in an article ai bought it The Guardian newspaperAnd it was translated by “Arabi 21” that Saudi Arabia, sponsored by Britain, defended by the United States and turned a blind eye to its close connection with the attacks of September 11, is no longer such a reliable Western ally is not, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has found himself new friends.

Here is the full text of the article:

Every picture tells a story, or so it is said, and the photo of a smiling Putin shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the opening of the World Cup in Moscow in June 2018 was a clear warning to the West.

The message, for those who care, is this, that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was nurtured and cared for by Britain in the days of empire, and which defended the United States against Saddam Hussein and Iran, and then forgave because its close connection with the terrorist attacks on 9/11, is no longer that ally that once depended on and obeyed the West; Prince Mohammed bin Salman found new friends.

Astoundingly rich thanks to a seemingly inexhaustible supply of oil, a bellicose foreign policy in Yemen and Lebanon, relations with Russia and China, and an arrogant disregard for the West’s human rights concerns, the Saudis are making their own way.

No one embodies these shifting loyalties more than the bushy-bearded and large-looking heir to the throne, who has become the de facto ruler of the country, and the man who is now thirty-seven years old and expected to rule the kingdom. for the next fifty years.

And so he was in Moscow, of all places, amicably entangled with the murderous president of Russia. Even in those days, Putin was the leader of a regime under Western sanctions for his illegal annexation of Crimea – an authoritarian thug widely believed to be responsible for the poisoning in Salisbury earlier that year, as well as many deadly attacks on his opponents of Politicians, critics and journalists inside and outside Russia. However, MBS looked very relaxed as the crowd roared and pressured Russia.

Then, just four months later, in October 2018, a murder took place in Istanbul, the victim of which was Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. With its brutality and audacity, it appeared to be an assassination carried out by a state, with steps directly inspired by Putin’s own playbook.

It wasn’t until two years later that Joe Biden was elected president of the United States. During his election campaign, he called Saudi Arabia, and then its crown prince himself, a pariah after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. When he became president, he froze arms sales and allowed the publication of incriminating intelligence about the prince.

All this made his embarrassment during his visit to Riyadh in July this year, and his fist touching the fist of Mohammed bin Salman while the latter smiled on his face, difficult to accept. So why did Biden do it? It’s a question that can be answered in several ways, all of which are unconvincing, and it’s a question that has come back to haunt him wherever he goes. Biden wanted the Saudis and members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil production, or at least maintain its level, to counter Russia’s use of gas and oil as a weapon in the wider East-West conflict . by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

He wanted to remind the emir that the United States is still a major player in the Middle East, encouraging closer relations with Israel and strengthening a united front against Iran. Perhaps the most important thing he wanted was to strike a blow in favor of democracy, in what he saw as a global race against authoritarianism.

But for his own personal interest, Biden wanted to lower fuel prices for American drivers and consumers, thereby improving the Democrats’ chances in next month’s midterm congressional elections. He wanted to prove that Joe Biden could solve the unsolvable.

Also read: Sanders: Saudi Arabia should let Putin protect his regime instead of us

But last week, most, if not all, of Biden’s goals were dashed when the OPEC+ group, which includes Russia, decided to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day, not increase it. It was clear that this move was truly shocking to the White House, and was even considered a personal slap in the face of the president. It was undoubtedly a humiliating move.

Equally worse, it was a stunning victory for Putin. While the cut in oil production may not have much effect on the world price, it has put the Saudis and other members of the group in conflict with the United States and energy-starved Europe, while at the same time putting them in the trenches of the Russians. a claim that the Saudis are now doing their best to deny.

Since that time the cauldron of anger has been simmering. Democrats began threatening to boycott OPEC, suspend defense and security cooperation with Riyadh, freeze arms transfers, withdraw US forces, and launch a comprehensive assessment process for the US-Saudi relationship, an assessment that Biden promised, but he did not fulfill at all.

They have a right to be angry. But while some of these measures are unlikely to find their way to implementation, Saudi-American relations have long been toxic. House cleaning required.

The European Union has now also found another strong reason to approve and implement gas and oil price ceilings, and finally stop imports from Russia and recalibrate relations with it. At the same time, Britain should do what it should have done long ago: a thorough reassessment of its commitments, which often raise fundamental ethical questions, said Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwaze Quarting, the last senior British official to realize this.

Perhaps the appropriate point to begin making such an assessment is the Saudi war in Yemen, which has raged at times and died down at other times, and the US and British arms sales that enable Saudi Arabia to continue it go. And redoubling efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal, which the Saudis are suspicious of, may help force an arrogant Riyadh to humble itself a bit.

Nor should we continue to condone the Saudi regime’s abuse of women, for example Salma Al-Shehab, a student at Leeds University who was sentenced to thirty-four years in prison for her tweets, as well as the Saudi regime’s use of terrorism courts against its critics, its practice of mass executions, and its chronic denial of democratic rights, and its confiscation of freedom of expression and personal liberties. He needs to put the necessary pressure on him to stop it all.

It is also unacceptable to remain silent on the way the regime is trying to clean its reputation by buying its way into the global sporting arena, for example using petrodollars to acquire Newcastle United, a Premier League football club, and to prestige golf and boxing matches.

If MBS seriously chooses the company of war criminal Putin and tyrants like China’s Xi Jinping, he and his regime will have to pay a heavy price for the favors and support they receive from Western leaders and their countries. He needs to think carefully about what this means, for example for the future of the defense of his kingdom against Iranian missiles and drones. Biden was right the first time, but pariah status has to make sense.

Most importantly, the United States and Western democracies must demonstrate by their actions that the great global struggle of the twenty-first century for freedom, democracy, human dignity and international law, embodied in the struggle for Ukraine, is the most important, dangerous, biggest and highest It’s an affair to exchange for a cheap barrel of oil.

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