Joe Biden and the ‘new’ Middle East
It is time for testing the America’s new president in inauguration speech before listing the tests the country faces and concluding with “America’s role in the world”.
One of the toughest questions on that test list is the Middle East.
President Trump’s term kicked off with the unorthodox choice of Riyadh as his first foreign stop in May 2017, where he signed a $110bn (£80bn) arms deal — the biggest in US history. It set in motion a Middle East policy anchored in unswerving loyalty to the kingdom and “maximum pressure” on Iran. That paved the way for a new axis of emboldened Arab states in the Gulf and Israel.
Mr Biden’s Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, was asked in her confirmation hearing if she would end the “lawlessness” of the Trump administration and submit to Congress an unclassified report on Khashoggi’s murder by Saudi agents in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. The senator said “Yes, senator, absolutely. We will follow the law.”
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