US President Joe Biden’s three-day trip to the Palestinian territories and Saudi Arabia was ineffective. Despite the expectation of bringing important signed agreements back to the United States, Biden returned to the country empty-handed.
On Friday (15) , the American president had a controversial meeting with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman. Biden told a news conference that he told Salman that he considers him responsible for the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
The following day, Biden met with leaders from the Gulf, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. In this last meeting, uninhabited islands of the Red Sea were returned from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, with the promise of withdrawing soldiers who are part of a United Nations contingent.
The success of the agreement, however, little depended on the presence of the American leader. In addition, Biden did not guarantee results in the main objectives of the trip:
He did not achieve rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel
On the contrary, after the meeting of On Saturday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan al-Saoud played down the chances of opening airspace to Israeli flights to Asia. “This has nothing to do with the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel”, reinforced the head of Saudi diplomacy.
In addition, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have made it clear that they are not willing to to form a military alliance against Tehran.
It did not prepare the ground for a western military development in the region
In March, a regional meeting in Israel, with support from the United States, launched the proposal for an “Arab NATO”. With it, Biden intended to strengthen the idea of an American-Israeli umbrella in the region, but the US president was unable to win the adhesion of potential allies.
Egypt and Jordan criticized Israel for taking part. conference in an attempt to develop this project. And Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the president of the United Arab Emirates, said that his country “is not part of any security alliance in the region and has no intention of doing so”.
Iran’s nuclear strengthening
Although the Arab countries are concerned about the arms development of the neighboring country, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia continue to be reluctant to bet on an anti-Iran policy.
Following the weekend’s meetings with the United States, Gargash announced that the country will soon have an ambassador in Tehran. “We have differences with Iran, but we are in a process of rebuilding relations, through economic cooperation”, assured the Arab minister at a press conference.
On Sunday (2018 ), Kamal Kharrazi, the senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, told Al Jazeera he would never negotiate his missile program and regional policy. “Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb, but there was no decision on the part of the country to build it,” he added.
No news on energy
Faced with the global energy crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine, Biden also intended to convince Saudi Arabia to increase oil production. Unsuccessfully, the American president told reporters that he expects news next month, when the OPEC+ countries are expected to meet.