Saudi Crown Prince Says He Doesn’t Care what Biden Thinks of Him

Photo credit: The Atlantic

In an interview for The Atlantic published Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that although Riyadh’s aim is to maintain strong ties with Washington, he does not care what US President Joe Biden thinks of him.

Noting that Saudi Arabia has a long, historic relationship with the US, the Crown Prince stressed that it’s up to Biden to think about the interests of America, pointing out that alienating the Saudi monarchy would only harm Biden’s position.

Biden managed to sour ties soured between the two countries after he targeted the Kingdom in his first foreign policy moves, ending the support for the Saudi offensive operations in Yemen, freezing the arms sales to Riyadh and the UAE, and vowing to recalibrate ties with Saudi Arabia.

Biden also removed the Iran-backed Houthis from the terror blacklist – something he has been reconsidering lately – but the UN Security Council corrected his mistake on Monday adopting a resolution on Yemen that labels for the first time the Iran-backed Houthis as a terrorist group.

Mohammed bin Salman noted there’s a risk for the political, economic, security, defense, and trade interests between the two countries to get downgraded but refused to comment on what interests the US had in Saudi Arabia, stressing he is not an American.

Asked about the US influence in Saudi Arabia’s domestic affairs and how the US judges its allies by pursuing policies similar to American interests or ideologies, the Crown Prince advised against anyone trying to pressure them on something that they believe in already and pointed out that socially, the two countries would never be in complete tandem.

In another development that might be seen as meddling in the US sphere of interest, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince said that Kingdom was ready to mediate between parties in the Ukrainian conflict.

Prince Mohammed had a phone call with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during which he clarified the Kingdom’s stated position of support for everything that contributes to a political solution that would lead to de-escalating the crisis.

He also reiterated the Kingdom’s keenness to maintain the oil market’s balance and stability considering the impact of the Ukraine crisis on energy markets.

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