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Biden’s Visit: Who will Lose and Who will Gain? – Opinion

Hasan Ismaik

Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2022

“Building a new system of containment and deterrence against Iran will create a new approach to dealing with organizations such as Hamas”

Much has been written about what President Joe Biden seeks to gain from his July 15 visit to Saudi Arabia (KSA), yet very little attention has been paid to what the kingdom seeks to gain. And therein lies the problem: the failure to recognize that Arab-Western relations is no longer a one-way street. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s earlier visits failed when they asked for Saudi help but offered nothing in return. If Biden does not learn from prior mistakes, he will return, as Blinken and Johnson did, empty-handed.

What Biden stands to lose 

Simply stated, America needs the assistance of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (AEU) at least as much as they need US support. With the midterm elections approaching, lowering inflation and gas prices are top priorities. His failure to bring both under control could mean a Republican-controlled Congress and the Democrats losing the White House, in 2024.

Biden recently began attacking American energy companies for not using their record profits to drill for more oil. Still, building more oil rigs will not be enough. The West needs Saudi Arabia and the UAE to increase their oil production by millions of barrels a day to help lower prices and reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The writer, a Jordanian entrepreneur and chairman of Strategiecs Think Tank in Jordan, is a weekly columnist for two major Arab newspapers.

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