The United States President Joe Biden has reportedly refused to hold dialogue with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. As per reports, the White House yesterday said that President Biden was going to ‘recalibrate’ the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia. However, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reportedly said that the President would directly talk to the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud instead of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. “The President’s counterpart is King Salman”, said Psaki.
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki says the Biden White House will “recalibrate our relationship” with Saudi Arabia.— The Recount (@therecount) February 16, 2021
She adds: “The president’s counterpart is King Salman.”pic.twitter.com/6rF7KYCHQZ
“We’ve made clear from the beginning that we’re going to recalibrate our relationship with Saudi Arabia”, said Psaki. “Part of that is going back to engagement, counterpart to counterpart, the President’s counterpart if King Salman and I expect that in, appropriate time, he would have a conversation with him”, Psaki added. It is notable here that there existed a close relationship between the US government and the Saudi Crown Prince, who is the de facto ruler of the kingdom, during the Trump administration.
Former US President Donald Trump had a close relationship with the Saudi Crown Prince
The former US President Donald Trump shared close ties with the Saudi Crown Prince even after the US intelligence agencies concluded that Prince Mohammad bin Salman had personally ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Khashoggi, who was a columnist with the Washington Post, had criticised Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s policies in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this month, President Biden had announced that the US would end all support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive operations in Yemen saying that the conflict had created a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe”. However, he clarified that the US would continue to help and support Saudi Arabia.