First lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama are greeted by King Salman as they arrive in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Jan. 27. Reuters

Hussain Abdul-Hussain, Weekly Standard: Rejuvenated Royals: The Saudis push back against the Obama foreign policy.

The Obama administration put a happy face on its Camp David summit last week, even as four of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s six leaders turned down Obama’s invitation to attend. The most significant absence, of course, was that of Saudi Arabia’s king, Salman. In his place, Riyadh sent Salman’s 55-year-old nephew, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and Salman’s 28-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, deputy crown prince and defense minister.

Both men are said to be responsible for the aggressive Saudi policies in confronting Iran, especially in Yemen, where Mohammed bin Salman is leading the campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthis. In other words, while snubbing Obama, King Salman also delivered a strong message through the two men who are in line to lead Saudi Arabia for the foreseeable future. They’re not happy with what they correctly perceive as the White House’s pro-Iranian tilt in the Middle East—and they’re in a position to challenge it.

WNU Editor: This post is an analysis on Saudi Arabia's new foreign policy activism. I still have to digest what this all means .... but there is no question about one thing .... the Saudis are now charting an independent Middle East policy from the U.S., and while they will listen to what the White House will say, they will still do what they think is in their strategic interest.

Post a Comment