Middle East Podcast: Are Saudis & the Region Welcoming President Trump?
PHOTO: Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman
I joined Monocle 24’s The Globalist for a wide-ranging review of the relationship between Donald Trump and countries in the Middle East, notably Saudi Arabia, as well as likely developments in the region.
The conversation starts by knocking back a weakly-sourced report that the Saudis are “welcoming” Trump — the real story is that they like many in the region, are watching the President and his top advisors with concern, despite their hope for a tougher US policy towards Iran — and then looks at issues from the Syrian crisis to the Israeli-Palestinian situation to oil.
The bottom line? Far from being welcomed, Trump is likely to find that the region’s countries are pursuing realignments without the US at the center.
I think the US relationship with Riyadh is decreasing in importance as the US position in the region is declining.
The Obama Administration lost influence over the Syrian conflict, and it was unable to get any advance on the Israeli-Palestinian issue….What you are seeing is a realignment, for example, Turkey looking to Russia rather than the US. In the same way, Riyadh is considering its position….
This long-term position that you always go to the US as a broker or an ally is no longer the case.