Clear signs of tension appeared in relations even before the decision was issued, but observers ruled out that the situation would develop to something greater than that, despite the horror of the crime and the American and international condemnation of it.
A long-term partnership
Al-Hurra columnist, Hassan Mneimneh, said that the US-Saudi relations are strong strategic relations related to institutions and not to a specific person. He added to Al-Hurra, “There is no doubt that it is a long-term partnership that the two sides will strive to maintain because it serves both sides.”
Writer Simon Anderson notes On “The Hill” A history of US-Saudi relations spanning decades.
He says that these relations became stronger after the Iranian revolution in 1979, when a new threat appeared in the Gulf region, which made Saudi Arabia more in need of arms and American support.
But the attacks of September 11, 2001 shook relations due to the involvement of Saudis in them, and during the era of former President Donald Trump, these relations flourished, and then tensions erupted again over the background of Khashoggi’s killing.
A balance between values and interests
After the release of the US security report, Biden said that he is not heading to punish the crown prince, in order to preserve these relations, but he had ordered the suspension of arms deals and announced his intention to end the Yemeni war.
Reuters reported, on Friday, that his administration is considering canceling offensive arms deals with Saudi Arabia that raise human rights concerns, with future military sales being limited to “defense weapons.”
Journalist Hassan Mneimneh saw that Biden was balancing values and interests, but that “does not mean opening the way to murder and reckless adventures.”
It is known that the Saudi crown prince is leading the efforts of the intifada inside the kingdom and enjoys wide internal support, especially from the youth.
However, Mneimneh said, “It is not enough. He has to reconsider what he is doing in order to be able to maintain a good relationship with the United States.”
He added, “Bin Salman must immediately stop the war in Yemen through a political formula. The more correct thing is to construct positively. Perhaps he compensates for some of the mistakes he committed … He must realize that the situation has changed.”
“It has priority”
Some observers had warned that the intensification of US pressure could push Saudi Arabia to search for an American alternative such as China or Russia.
But Mneimneh said, “Washington has a priority for all capitals of world countries, including Riyadh.”
He added, “Bin Salman can do whatever he wants, but the only way to achieve the Saudi national interest, and his interest and the royal family’s interest is to correct the relationship with the United States.”
He stressed that Saudi Arabia’s benefit from relations with America is much greater than that of the United States, especially in light of the great risks facing the region, especially from Iran and terrorist organizations.