There are many important developments or occurrences that we may not be able to address in our weekly newsletter. So am thinking of sharing them during the week so we keep abreast of them.
Here is a very insightful conversation between the CNN anchor Becky Anderson and Saudi Minister Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud.
US President was welcomed in Saudi Arabia by the Kingdom’s ambassador to the US, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, when Biden had visited Saudi Arabia. Remember the fist bump diplomacy? Read this for more in this area.
The manner, the tone and the way the questions are framed is very interesting.
“Washington has not held back in its rebuke of the kingdom” Those are some interesting choice of words from Becky to start off with. Almost seems like a master-servant relationship. Imagine an Al Jazeera anchor saying UAE has rebuked Washington to Tony Blinken. How would that sound?
When asked about the reduction of oil production, Minister Bandar clarifies that the decision was made by 22 countries based on the impact on the economics.
Bandar reiterates that "We do not engage in the politics of anyone. We engage in the balancer and stabilizer of the markets."
She is very carefully but very clearly trying to underline that Saudi’s actions are no longer dictated by the US.
On the “Saudis siding with Russia” accusation the Saudi minister says we are engaging with all across the board. And it was this engagement with Russia that enabled the Saudis to free prisoners of war that included Americans, Brits and Croats.
And, Saudis have condemned the annexation and incursion as well as voted along with the US.
And, that seems to show how paranoid Biden administration seems to be. For them, everyone seems to be their enemy now. Countries like India, who don't vote with the US, or Saudis who do vote with the US but don't seem to go with Biden's dictats that are primarily designed for domestic elections. I mean really?!
Do the American Presidents even realize what is the difference between "National Interest" and their own "Personal Interest" anymore?
The good thing that the minister suggests is that the markets are stable.
Besides, it is ok to disagree.
Then the Saudi minister comes to the most critical statements in this exchange. Please listen to this part carefully.
Our relationship is more than the sale of arms and exchange of oil.
She says this twice. And, this is restructuring the relationship from what it always has been. It is about people to people. Then she talks about the US businesses in Saudi, which she argues are in Saudi Arabia for profit. Not “altruism”. Opportunity is the key.
Becky doesn't seem to get the point and continues to press by saying that there will be consequences for the actions taken. And that some are suggesting to push for punitive measures - stop sales of arms.
When asked how do you view the message of arms sales restriction, the call for reforming the relationship and the “Consequences” that Biden has warned of, Princess Bandar was very direct and clear.
“I hear that people want to reform or reviewing the US-Saudi relationship and it is a positive thing.”
Not sure if Becky still gets the minister's message.
Then Princess Bandar elaborates.
“This Kingdom is NOT The Kingdom it was FIVE years ago. NOt what it was 10 years ago. So every piece of analysis that existed is no longer relevant anymore. We are a young population and young leadership which will create hope in a very dark region.”
Every word here is important to note and remember.
"Hope in a very dark region" - things are changing and Saudis will lead it.
She then shares how she sees the relationship proceeding now.
"We want to invest in your companies to partner in the area of Clean energy."
What is happening today is not the future. All this is because the world is tense. But it is not going to last forever.
That is a great message from the Saudi minister. More importantly, it shows, beyond the fact that a woman is now the voice of the Saudis in the global media, that what has been known as the most regressive nation is now looking forward.
World is changing faster than we know. And it will bring challenges and chaos. What we thought of Saudis may no longer work. What we thought of US may no longer work as well. How soon America's own establishment realizes this will decide its future trajectory.
Nevertheless, be ready for some serious upheaval. For the incumbent does not easily give up its status of a master.