Bidens Middle East trip shows the long game is his aim

From: Chatham House
Published: Thu Jul 21 2022


The US president was focused on repairing ties with traditional regional partners, but he also aimed to redefine the contours of future US regional cooperation.

Under pressure at home for high energy prices and his willingness to sacrifice principles for national interests, President Joe Biden's Middle East trip - with visits to Israel and Saudi Arabia which included participation in a meeting with nine Arab leaders in Riyadh - came at a critical time for the region.

This attempt by the US president at a reset of relations frames his efforts to manage tensions with Iran, support greater regional security cooperation, and manage geopolitical competition in the Middle East - all of which also benefit America's British and European partners.

Regional concerns have long been mounting over Washington's strategy to revive the Iran nuclear agreement - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - and over the distraction of American domestic politics and US geopolitical repositioning.

These sentiments were worsened by the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan and limited US reaction to repeated Houthi-sponsored drone and missile attacks, stemming from the war in Yemen, hitting Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi in January.

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Company: Chatham House

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