Under the above title, Igor Sobotin wrote, in “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”, about Washington’s review of its military relations with Saudi Arabia.
The article stated: The administration of President Joseph Biden has shown its willingness to reconsider relations with Saudi Arabia. On the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Associated Press reported the withdrawal of advanced US missile defense systems from the kingdom. This coincided with the cancellation of Defense Minister Lloyd Austin’s visit to Saudi Arabia. Although they attribute the reason to the flight schedule, there are those who see the cancellation as a show move. Commenting on the situation, they indicated in Riyadh that they are betting on mutual respect in foreign policy, and therefore they will work to develop relations with Russia.
There has been talk that the US side will withdraw part of its forces from Saudi Arabia as part of a large-scale redeployment, for several months, but the recent news came as a surprise to observers.
The withdrawal from Prince Sultan Air Base, 115 kilometers from Riyadh, coincided with America’s allies in the Middle East worrying about the chaotic withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. Against this background, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby tried to reassure regional players, saying, “The Department of Defense continues to maintain tens of thousands of troops and a strong position in the Middle East,” adding that his country intends to maintain the regional partnership.
The former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal, whose public statements often echo the ruling family’s view, directly linked the withdrawal of the Patriot air defense system to what is happening in relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom appears to have more cause for concern. Commenting on the cancellation of Austin’s visit to Riyadh, Saudi Prince Sattam bin Khalid Al Saud expressed his confidence that the postponement of the trip was linked to Riyadh’s decision. And he wrote on Twitter, referring to the arrival of Leonid Slutsky, that Saudi Arabia has postponed the visit of the US Secretary of Defense to the kingdom and at the same time is receiving the head of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma. The great Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not accept dictates from anyone and cooperates according to common interests and mutual respect.
The article expresses only the opinion of the newspaper or the writer