The American “Stratfor” website published an extensive analysis on the Gulf reconciliation that took place last week between the blockading countries represented by “Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt” on the one hand and Qatar on the other hand after a crisis that lasted nearly 4 years, indicating that Mohammed bin Salman is trying to end The blockade of Qatar improved its troubled relationship with the United States.
Bin Salman tries to cool the air before Biden arrives
Saudi Arabia is trying to improve its troubled relationship with the United States before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. But there are still serious differences between Riyadh and Washington that will continue to create tension in their relationship.
Details of the Gulf reconciliation
On January 4, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt agreed to open their land and sea borders, as well as their airspace, to Qatar. Then, on January 5, the four countries pledged to restore relations with Qatar. This progress came after negotiations mediated by the United States and Kuwait between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, visited Saudi Arabia on January 5 to attend the summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council, where he was personally received by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in an event aimed at signaling the restoration of high-level relations.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and travel and trade links with Qatar in June 2017, and the four countries issued a list containing 13 demands from Qatar to lift the blockade. The Emir of Qatar has boycotted the annual Gulf conferences since 2018 to protest the ongoing blockade.
The absence of Bin Zayed and Sisi
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, a fierce opponent of Qatar’s regional policies, did not attend the January 5 summit. Although Egypt is not a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, it was invited in this exceptional summit, but President “Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi” did not attend either, and he sent his foreign minister to the event instead.
Read also: Ibn Zayed laughed at Al-Sisi … An Israeli newspaper reveals the Egyptian President’s anger at the actions of the Abu Dhabi devil
Riyadh and Washington crisis
Riyadh is trying to balance criticism from the Biden administration preemptively, amid calls in the United States for the Gulf Cooperation Council states to reduce internal disputes. The June 2017 blockade was unpopular with US officials and politicians, who feared that the Gulf crisis would undermine a united regional front against Iran, as well as general stability in the Persian Gulf.
Also read: Two birds with one stone .. “Bloomberg” reveals the reason that prompted Mohammed bin Salman to reconcile with Qatar
American lawmakers have also criticized Saudi Arabia’s aggressive foreign policies towards countries such as Yemen and Qatar. The public renunciation of the 13 demands issued to Qatar in 2017 is in line with Washington’s priorities in the Gulf region, including Gulf solidarity.
The United States maintains a large military presence on the Arabian Peninsula, with bases in Qatar, the Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Washington has also been a major security supporter for all Gulf Cooperation Council states, as Saudi Arabia relies on strategic cooperation and American support throughout Riyadh’s intervention in the ongoing Yemeni conflict.
Conditions 13 disappeared
Qatar did not alter its behavior to meet any of the initial 13 demands issued by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt in 2017, leaving a source of contention between Riyadh and Doha.
Moreover, ending the blockade will not resolve potential tension points in the Saudi-American relationship over arms agreements, nuclear technology coordination, and Riyadh’s human rights policies. And US-Saudi arms agreements will face new scrutiny under the Biden administration as they assess how the Saudis use weapons. Ending the blockade on Qatar will also not assuage bipartisan concerns in Washington about a Saudi civilian nuclear program.
In 2019, congressional opposition to an arms deal for Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states forced the administration of US President “Donald Trump” to proceed with the deal through an emergency mandate. In their criticism of the agreement, US lawmakers have specifically cited concerns about the use of US-made weapons in Yemen, where Saudi forces have been accused of causing civilian casualties.
The incoming Biden administration promised to review the strategy for US-Saudi relations. Biden also declared his renewed interest in pluralism and criticized Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen, as well as the kingdom’s human rights record.
Saudi nuclear program
He raised aFor the nuclear program The Saudi civilian fears in the United States that Riyadh wants to develop nuclear weapons. Riyadh did not provide assurances about how it would manage the nuclear fuel cycle, which heightened these concerns.
US lawmakers fear that the Saudi civilian nuclear program may not adhere to the same safeguards that other US allies, such as the UAE, apply to curb proliferation.
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