In a major blow for the Biden administration’s diplomatic stature, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was humiliated by Saudi Arabia on his Middle East tour. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made him wait for hours for a scheduled meeting before putting it off to the next day.
Blinken visited the region for the expressed purpose of gathering support for condemnation of terrorist group Hamas. Over 1,400 Israelis were killed in a surprise attack that shook the Middle East and launched a war.
But Saudi Arabia instead utilized the opportunity to snub the top American diplomat.
Ultimate insult. 😅🤣😂. "Saudi's MBS Snubs Secretary Blinken, Delaying Meeting for Hours."https://t.co/D0AowkefPV
— Linda Britton-Fairchild (@FairchildL3853) October 18, 2023
He expected to meet with Salman when he arrived Saturday evening. However, Blinken was forced to cool his heels and wait for several hours until a meeting was finally granted the following day, according to the Washington Post.
Attempts to persuade the Saudi ruler to condemn the Hamas terror attack failed.
When the two finally sat together, Salman countered the U.S. position by calling for de-escalation of the conflict and cessation of Israeli military operations.
This is diametrically opposed to the Biden administration’s stance. The White House thus far has supported Israel’s military operation to wipe out Hamas while also calling for limiting civilian casualties.
Blinken apparently had little success in Egypt as well. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi also rejected the Biden administration’s overtures for finding common ground in the new war.
There recently were serious indications of a historic move to strengthen ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel. An agreement would have been vitally important, but the Hamas attack likely derailed the talks.
Many experts believe the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas intentionally targeted destroying the chance of a peace agreement between the two nations. If that is the case, the attack appears to be a smashing success.
The frosty welcome in Riyadh highlighted the chasm between Washington and the Arab world at a time when violence is rising exponentially. Despite the Saudis being longtime allies, or as close as that gets for the U.S. in this part of the world, the kingdom set a more independent course recently.
Despite pleas from the Biden administration, Saudi Arabia steadfastly refused to increase oil production to combat high pump prices. And now it arrogantly brushed aside the top U.S. diplomat.