søndag 21. februar 2021

What's behind Biden's snub of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman

In a region where respect, or the lack of it, is as powerful as a physical punch, President Joe Biden's press secretary just landed a sharp jab on the jaw of Saudi Arabia's heir apparent. When answering a question Tuesday about when Biden would talk to the desert kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, Press Secretary Jen Psaki replied: "We've made clear from the beginning that we're going to recalibrate our relationship with Saudi Arabia."

"And part of that is going back to engagement, counterpart to counterpart. The President's counterpart is King Salman, and I expect that, in appropriate time, he would have a conversation with him. I don't have a prediction of the timeline on that."

Whether strict protocol or intended diminution of MBS's ranking, the move reflects Biden's public disapproval of the ruler in waiting whom the CIA concluded would have known of plans that resulted in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.