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    14-Jul-2022

Washington Re-establishes Middle East Alliances - By Hussam Itani, Asharq Al-Awsat

 

 

Re-establishing US-Arab relations, breaking the stalemate in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, and strengthening the alliance facing Iran are some of the key topics figuring high on the agenda of US President Joe Biden's visit to the region.
 
Expanded tasks that the US administration has presented to itself in the region, which Biden addressed in his July 9 article in the Washington Post, calls into question the chances of success in achieving some or all of the goals in light of an increasingly complex and ambiguous international situation.
 
 
Although Biden’s article talked about the easing of the pressure that the region has been experiencing in the past few years, deep doubts surround the progress that might be made by the tour that includes Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
 
 
Each of these stations has its own concerns.
 
 
In Israel, Biden will try to reassure Tel Aviv of US support for Israeli security, especially considering its confrontation with Iran.
 
 
The Israeli government today has distanced itself from internal US political disputes, unlike what former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did.
 
 
Netanyahu had publicly sided with one side against another in matters of US elections. He supported candidates whom he saw as supporters of Israel, especially regarding the Iran's nuclear.
 
 
Netanyahu’s position had seriously hurt US-Israeli relations, forcing his successors, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, to seek fixing the damage by returning to Israeli neutrality regarding US domestic policy.
 
 
Similar conditions apply to Palestinian relations with Washington.
 
 
Former President Donald Trump to Israel had moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, stopped aid to the Palestinian National Authority and closed the representative office of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Washington.
 
 
In his Washington Post article, Biden talked about the resumption of aid to Palestinians, amounting to $500 million annually, and the resumption of relations with Ramallah.
 
 
However, major elements of the US agenda will be discussed in Biden’s Jeddah meetings.
 
 
Energy issues that have become stifling following the outbreak of the Russian war on Ukraine, the Iranian-Western negotiations regarding reviving the nuclear agreement that Trump canceled in 2018, and the formulation of new US-Arab relations are among the things that made Biden realize that his personal presence is required in the region.
 

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