U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on his visit to Saudi Arabia Wednesday, reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to its Arab regional allies and to expanding the Abraham Accords.
Blinken met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to mend strained U.S. diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia and try to prevent it from drifting even further toward alternative alliances with America’s rivals, China and Russia.
“The United States is in this region to say we remain deeply invested in partnering with all of you,” stated Blinken.
The U.S. top diplomat acknowledged the Gulf Cooperation Council (consisting of Arab Gulf states) as instrumental for a peaceful and prosperous future Middle East region.
“The GCC is the core of our vision for a Middle East that is more stable, more secure, more prosperous,” he said. However, it is far from certain that Washington’s latest diplomatic charm offensive has reassured its traditional Arab allies.
In practice, the United States Biden administration has been engaged in a gradual process of withdrawal from the Middle East, creating a power vacuum that is being filled by Russia, China and Iran.
Turning to Arab-Israeli relations, Blinken stressed Washington’s commitment to expanding the historic Abraham Accords, which so far has produced normalization agreements between the Jewish state and four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.
“We are collaborating with countries in the region to widen and deepen the normalization of relations with Israel.”
While agreements between governments are possible, they do not automatically translate into warmer relations between populations. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy recently conducted a new poll which revealed that just 20% of the Saudis believe that the Abraham Accords will bring positive results for the Arab world and the wider Middle East.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.