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Washington needs to engage with key regional and international political actors

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
(File photo: Jordan News)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Amer Al-Sabaileh

The writer is a Jordanian university professor and a geopolitical expert. He is a leading columnist in national, regional, and international media, offers consultancies to think tanks and speaks at international conferences on Middle East politics and developments.

After Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, become prime minister, the Biden administration granted him immunity in relation to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, a move that did not come as a surprise. The path of US-Saudi Arabia negotiations in preparation for today’s rapprochement started more than a year ago. A change in the position of the Biden administration was anticipated after US President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia and his meeting with its most influential public figure, who had been explicitly accused of being directly involved in Khashoggi’s murder. اضافة اعلان

The change in the US administration position can be evaluated from several perspectives. One is related to the American strategy to counter Russia after the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, which made Washington revive its relationship with European and non-European allies, as part of efforts to promote US strategic interests and counter its rivals, mainly Russia and China.

The shift in the US attitude and position thus reflects a realistic policy that aims at blocking the opportunities for US’ rivals to take advantage of possible weaknesses in the US alliance with crucial countries like Saudi Arabia.

At this delicate stage in the history of global politics, a strong US position is a must, considering this country’s strategic goals, e.g.,  controlling energy resources and leaving a tangible impact on OPEC Plus, with Saudi Arabia as one of its pillars. A position most needed, especially in relation with countries like Saudi Arabia, which is not yet following the American policy of trying to control the energy market with the aim of preventing Russia from taking advantage of it.

Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia this summer showed a desire to strengthen ties with this Arab country, especially with its crown prince, the most powerful Saudi figure and the country’s future king, who in recent years focused on the internal scene through leading a reform plan that helped develop the Kingdom significantly and led him to gain great popularity among the Saudi youth. 

The impact of Mohammad bin Salman’s progressive transformation programs could be detected in different aspects of the Saudi society, including cultural changes and efforts to transform the country into an international economic hub. Such developments will surely oblige any administration in Washington to seriously reconsider its positions and re-embrace Saudi Arabia as a strong ally in the region.

Bin Salman is expected to assume an active regional and international role, which might involve the regional peace process. The crucial contribution of the Saudi crown prince might well represent the most important cornerstone for the Biden administration, leading to a sought-after success in the Middle East, especially now that Benjamin Netanyahu has returned as the head of the Israeli government, which will undoubtedly try to revive the Abraham Accords and increase the number of Arab countries normalizing relations with Israel.


Amer Al-Sabaileh is a Jordanian university professor and geopolitical expert. He is a leading columnist in national, regional, and international media, offers consultancies to think tanks and speaks at international conferences on Middle East politics and developments.


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