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Biden and the World – Part 9: Furthering the Economic Prosperity and Stability of the Gulf

The countries of the Gulf region are confident that they will continue to have strong relations with the United States in the wake of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, and indeed have already sent him their public congratulations.

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Saudi Arabia and the United States have maintained robust political and economic ties for decades regardless of the political party in the White House. This year in fact marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the meeting between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz that launched formal U.S.-Saudi relations.

It is imperative for the stability and security of the Gulf and broader Middle East that a Biden administration continue to prioritize advancing this partnership. Such an effort includes the need to push for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to pressure Iran to commit to ending its missile program and its military interventionism and expansionism in the region.

If Biden chooses to reenter negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program, the ultimate aim should be the military denuclearization of the region.

Further, Biden’s foreign policy in the region should promote law and order by working only with internationally recognized legitimate governments in the region, such as President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government in Yemen. Giving a platform to violent nonstate actors—especially in Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen—would undermine sovereign governments.

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Finally, Biden’s foreign policy should continue to cooperate on counterterrorism and energy and to deepen trade and investment with countries in the region.

Many accomplishments have already been made in these areas. By strengthening and expanding them, Joe Biden has the opportunity to further the economic prosperity and stability of the Gulf and the wider Middle East.

Abdulaziz Sager

Chairman, Gulf Research Center (Saudi Arabia)

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