US-Saudi relations nearing ‘breaking point’ – media

Saudi Arabia is no longer marching in lockstep with the US, a major outlet reports, even as Washington and Riyadh insist all is well Read Full Article at RT.com

US-Saudi relations nearing ‘breaking point’ – media
20 Apr, 2022 20:16 HomeWorld News

US-Saudi relations nearing ‘breaking point’ – media

Washington and Riyadh officially insist everything is fine, but Wall Street Journal report suggests otherwise

Relations between the US and Saudi Arabia that go back to 1945 have never been this bad, according to a report published Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal’s print edition. Insiders in Washington and Riyadh that spoke with the paper blamed the situation on a personal rift between US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Both the White House and the Kingdom officially denied any trouble, however.

“wearing shorts at his seaside palace” and seeking a “relaxed tone” for his first meeting with Sullivan in September 2021, only to end up “shouting” at the American and telling him to forget about an increase in oil production.

Sullivan didn’t discuss oil production with MBS at their September meeting and “there was no shouting,” national security council spokeswoman Adrianne Watson told the WSJ after the article appeared online on Tuesday. 

“cordial and respectful,” adding that over the past 77 years the US and the Kingdom have had “many disagreements and differing points of view over many issues, but that has never stopped the two countries from finding a way to work together.”

The Saudi-US relationship goes back to the 1945 meeting between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud aboard a US warship in the Great Bitter Lake of the Suez Canal. In exchange for US military protection, the Saudis pledged to maintain a steady flow of oil and sell it in dollars, providing for the eventual emergence of the “petrodollar.”

publicly denounced Riyadh as a “pariah” during the presidential campaign in 2019, and has since reportedly refused to offer any major concessions to the Saudis, according to the WSJ.

Last July, Prince Khalid bin Salman cut short his trip to Washington when his request for more air defenses got nowhere. The US had removed several Patriot anti-missile systems from Saudi Arabia the month before, citing maintenance needs. Meanwhile, the Houthi rebels increased the number of missile and drone strikes against the Kingdom and the UAE, seeking to force an end to their involvement in Yemen. One of the Biden administration’s earliest actions was to revoke the designation of the Houthis as terrorists, made by the State Department under Trump.

canceled the planned visits by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. MBS also reportedly refused to take part in the February 9 call with Biden and his father King Salman.

“dismayed” at the US withdrawal from Afghanistan last August, disapprove of efforts to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, and “bristle” at Washington’s presumption that they will fall in lockstep with whatever the US decides, according to the WSJ. 

“Putin price hike,” though most Americans remain unconvinced.