Biden accused of betrayal of Khashoggi over push to deepen Saudi ties

By | October 7, 2023

The Guardian reports:

Joe Biden is facing accusations of betraying a pre-election promise to re-evaluate ties with Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in favour of pursuing a rapprochement with the kingdom aimed at repelling a challenge from China to US primacy in the Middle East.

The charge, from human rights campaigners and some Democrats, follows the fifth anniversary of Khashoggi’s death at the hands of Saudi regime agents and comes amid mounting criticism of a proposed new defence treaty between Washington and Riyadh that could result in Saudi Arabia granting official recognition to Israel.

Biden took office initially intending to downplay the traditional US role in the Middle East, a policy consistent with holding Saudi Arabia at arm’s length following the outcry that greeted Khashoggi’s murder.

But the president has since performed a volte-face by saying on a visit to the region that the US would “remain an active, engaged partner” and adding: “We will not walk away and leave a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia, or Iran.” [Continue reading…]

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