Washington, DC – Early in his tenure, Joe Biden promised to resign from his post leader Donald Trump on installation “principles of democracy”And“ diplomatic leadership ”within the United States’ foreign policy.
But by the end of 2021, Biden’s first months in office were marked by what some experts say are Middle East policies that focus on improving the situation rather than resolving major conflicts.
The Biden chief executive, speaking on condition of anonymity earlier this month, appeared to agree with the proposal, telling reporters that Washington was not trying to “change” the region.
“We are not trying to achieve the impossible; we are not trying to change the Middle East, ”he said on December 17.“ We are focusing on issues affecting the American people and the security of our country, as well as the security of our fellow citizens. ”
In the meantime, one of Biden’s top brands – rejuvenating Iran nuclear deal and finish war in Yemen – has not yet yielded results, as the Democratic President focused on domestic issues, from COVID-19 to the main operating budget.
The epidemic is still raging, foreign policy is running rampant and China, growing anxiety in Russia Researchers say Biden appears to have a “lack of bandwidth” and a desire to follow the changing principles of the Middle East.
“I don’t think there are a lot of Middle Eastern ideas right now. The existing ones, I am correcting the confusion they adopted,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a think tank based in Washington, DC.
Continuing Trump’s policies?
Washington began participating in the Middle East after World War II, following principles that focused on protecting regional oil production, forming alliances with Gulf monarchies, combating communism and defending Israel.
The process changed dramatically with Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and in 2003, US troops occupied Iraq under the leadership of President George W Bush, and expanded Washington’s military base in the region. When Trump took office in 2017, he strongly adhered to what he saw as the best interests of the US, strengthening relations with the Gulf and Israel.
Some human rights activists hope that Biden, with his promise to promote human rights, will not violate Trump’s policies, as well as the long-running US policy in the region. While leadership is still in its infancy, observers in the Middle East say hope is slowly fading for the President to deliver on his promises in the region.
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a Middle East counterpart at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, said Iran’s nuclear deal “is still in the air” and the war in Yemen continues, Biden’s approach to the Middle East “is very similar” to Trump.
“The depth, the thing, is no different than one might think. The reason, it’s a lot of style,” Ulrichsen told Al Jazeera.
Help for Israel
In addition, analysts point out that Biden kept some of the most anti-Trump policies – especially in Israel, his former US counterpart in the region.
Biden government officials are vehemently opposed to the assertion that Trump, an Israeli defender, has been accused of violating US beliefs and disrupting conversations and tweets.
Pa Biden decided to save the US embassy in Jerusalem, in defiance of changes made by former officials, and its White House has not changed Trump’s acceptance that Israel is the rightful ruler of Syrian Golan Heights.
The current leadership too full embrace Trump’s efforts to stabilize Israel and the Arab world. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel last year as part of Trump’s “Abraham Accords”.
“We urge the international community to follow in the footsteps of Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in September. “We want to promote peace talks because it is in the best interests of the nations as a whole and the world to see Israel as a nation.”
Indeed, Israeli security is still crucial for Biden officials, who faced many difficulties in May to expose the people. call ending on the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, saying instead it wanted to work secretly to end the war.
“An important, important point, for President Biden – as he often says: If Israel did not exist, we would have done it. And Israeli security is very important in our own and our own minds,” Biden told reporters this month.
Biden has also extended some aid to the Palestinian-ousted Palestinians, and its leaders say they support “two-way” solutions to the conflict.
But the US president did not live up to his promise to open a Palestinian embassy in East Jerusalem among them. strongly against Israel to move, and Biden and his aides refused to publicly criticize Israel – including the press. human rights violations against Palestine.
Instead, they often place minor objections to Israeli policies – including the expansion of settlements and efforts to do so remove forcibly Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem – in a statement opposed to “disparate ways” on both sides of the issue are said to be causing tensions.
Zogby said Biden’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue shows how “playing small football does not increase” in Middle East policy.
“To be good with Israel and to have a short meetings and Abu Mazen do not change the power of the world, “he said, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
US-Saudi Arabia Relations
Meanwhile, Washington’s good relations with most of the Arab monarchy have been the subject of growing tensions, with Democrats increasingly criticizing recent years for criticizing US-Saudi Arabia in particular.
Their protest culminated in the assassination of a journalist Jamal Khashoggi and as the Saudi-led force in Yemen continued, which led to what the United Nations called the world. the biggest humanitarian problem.
Trump was a liar good relationships and the rulers of the empire, who visited his first foreign tour as president in 2017. And after the campaign came to power, Biden – who in 2019 promised to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” – did not force a major change. in agreement.
Biden he announced the end of US support for Saudi-led “disgusting activities” in Yemen, but stressed that his leadership did not abandon the regime. “We will continue to support and support Saudi Arabia in maintaining its sovereignty and loyalty to its people,” the US President said in February.
His aides also repeatedly praised Washington’s relations with Riyadh, as well as US Greenlit officials. $ 650m sale for aircraft to fly to Saudi Arabia and a $ 500m helicopter repair contract.
Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen in 2015 to retake Houthi militants, who had seized the country, including the capital Sanaa, and reinstated Gulf-backed government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Biden appointed US ambassador Tim Lenderking as a special envoy to Yemen to focus on ending the war, but his ambassadors’ efforts and visits to the region did not produce good results. Houthis rejected Saudi-backed Saudi request about ending war, saying that air and sea bans in Yemen under Saudi rule in Yemen should be lifted before the war ends.
Iran, Egypt policy
Another important issue for the Biden regime in its first year is the attempt to revive Iran’s nuclear alliance.
Trump pulled the US out of the multilateral treaty in 2018 and launched a campaign against Iran, which began to expand its nuclear program. Even the Biden rulers began indirect issues and Iran to renew the treaty, will continue to pressure the Trump administration and increase its sanctions.
“This is an issue that has continued to grow beyond the transition between the two regimes,” Ulrichsen said.
He also said that the immediate reduction of sanctions would be a “sign” to Iranians that the new rulers were committed to “changing the course of the negotiations”, especially before President Ibrahim Raisi was elected in June.
Biden’s supporters emphasize that – unlike Trump, who has split US allies by abandoning the alliance – he is following international policies in Iran, in line with European allies as well as rivals Russia and China, pushing for Tehran to return to pursuing a nuclear deal.
On the policy of Egypt, when Biden shortly before the 2020 election “There is no longer a blank check for Trump ” dictator ‘” in reference to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the leadership has been. appreciating the role of Cairo in the region and pushing to strengthen US-Egypt alliance.
Freedom groups criticize The el-Sisi government has imprisoned thousands of protesters and banned almost all forms of political opposition since taking office in 2013, but the Egyptian president has denied having political prisoners and says his government is fighting “terrorism”.
Biden rejected $ 130m from $ 1.3bn a year in aid of Egypt on human rights, but Ulrichsen said the move was more symbolic than a change in policy.
“It probably won’t send a strong message across the region,” he told Al Jazeera. “Maybe it’s a sign that they’re doing something to be seen doing something.”