MBS warns US could have only NATO countries left to cooperate with
A senior US administration official concluded that Middle Eastern countries prefer the US over Russia or China; MBS warned US President Joe Biden that Washington might only end up with NATO allies.
During their discussion in Jeddah, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) warned US President Joe Biden that if Washington wants to have connections only with countries that share all of the US ideals, it will only have NATO states to cooperate with, according to Al Arabiya.
On Friday, Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia to conclude his Middle East visit and met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The US president attended the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah on Saturday.
According to a senior Saudi official, the discussion between MBS and Biden lasted three hours and covered a wide range of themes.
'Imposing a state's principles on another is futile'
The Crown Prince warned Biden that using force to impose a certain country's principles on another state is futile, as proven by the United States' failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the source.
According to MBS, if the US will only deal with countries that share 100 percent of its values and beliefs, then it will only deal with NATO members.
MBS informed Biden that despite their disagreements, the two countries must coexist and that each country's ideals must be maintained.
A senior Saudi official revealed that MBS also referenced US "mistakes" in the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq, as well as other cases, such as the killing of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
In response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Crown Prince informed Biden that it was "regrettable," but that Saudi Arabia had followed all legal procedures in the case.
According to MBS, it is critical that all countries deal with their mistakes and put in place all required processes to prevent similar tragic situations in the future.
White House expects Middle East to cooperate with US, not Russia or China
When it comes to many areas of collaboration, Middle Eastern countries are anticipated to prefer the US over Russia or China, according to a senior US administration official during a background press call on Saturday.
"...when it comes to the partnerships and the partnerships of choice, and particularly in the security realm, but also in the trade, investment, commerce, tech realm, we heard from every capital around this region that their first choice, their priority, is the United States of America," the official said as quoted in a White House release.
According to the official, there was a "real drift" toward Russia and China in several Middle Eastern countries about 18 months ago, but this trend "has been arrested and, in many instances... reversed."
A White House official revealed that Washington will look at numerous areas of cooperation with Middle Eastern countries, while the region's ties with Russia and China will remain.
"...these countries have relationships with Iran [sic]. They have relationships with China. That is natural. That is something that will continue. I’m sorry, relationships with Russia and relations with China are something natural and will continue," the official said.