Biden’s Visit in a Changing Middle East

For decades, the geopolitics in the Middle East have been the same, just with the peace deals with Egypt and Jordan, as Israel struggled to get recognition by its neighbors. On his first trip to the Middle East as the President of the United States, Biden will find a different Middle East since his last trip to the region, more alliances since the Abraham Accords, and a shifting relations towards the United States as China enters the neighborhood and as American forces are relocating to the Asia-Pacific.

The agreements that were achieved in 2020 between Israel and the four countries in the region, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan, presented the opportunity that Israel so long dreamt of. The agreements started a boosted process for a better future for the region as the focus of the relations are economic and touristic, as it seems that the best ways to connect nations are tourists visiting each other’s countries and investing in the local economy. All the sides in the Abraham Accords are expecting economic rewards as the relations between the Arab world and Israel get warmer. Another beneficial event which happened since the signing of the Abraham Accords is the Negev Summit in Israel where the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, the United States, and Israel got together to discuss current challenges these countries face, and on the top of these challenges, Iran.

In the matter of Iran, after nearly a year of indirect discussions and negotiations in Vienna, the sides have a broad outline of what the revived deal will look like, but for the last few months the negotiations broke as Tehran demanded that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will be removed from the United States terrorism list, which the US refused.

As Biden will come to the Middle East and some think it is only to get the Saudis to distribute more oil barrels to the market as prices rise due to the war in Ukraine, Biden’s administration deny that this is the cause of the trip suggesting Biden has a strong commitment to bring Saudi Arabia to normalize ties with Israel.

As the war in Ukraine continues, we can see the shifting powers as Biden comes to the Middle East to strengthen the alliance with US allies in the region, it was reported that Putin will visit Tehran next week to signal the west that it found a partner, as the Russians seek to buy drones from Iran to gain aerial advancement in the battle fields of Ukraine.

In the coming days, we will see the outcomes of Biden’s visit to the Middle East, as some say we will see a joint aerial defense alliance between the countries in the region, in order to deal with the threats Iran brings to the region, and others say the West is only trying to pump more oil out of the Saudis.

About the Author
Tal Zelinger is the Founder and President of The International Diplomacy Initiative, member of the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum, and a student of Law and Government at Reichman University. His interests focus on public diplomacy, current foreign affairs and politics.
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