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What's behind Biden's snub of the Saudi Crown Prince

February 17, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.8%. 1 min read.

In a region where respect, or the lack of it, is as powerful as a physical punch, Biden just landed a sharp jab on the jaw of Saudi Arabia's heir apparent.

(CNN)In a region where respect, or the lack of it, is as powerful as a physical punch, President Joe Biden's press secretary just landed a sharp jab on the jaw of Saudi Arabia's heir apparent.

When answering a question Tuesday about when Biden would talk to the desert kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, Press Secretary Jen Psaki replied: "We've made clear from the beginning that we're going to recalibrate our relationship with Saudi Arabia. "

On the campaign trail, Biden said he would treat Saudi Arabia as a "pariah. " His NSA pick, Avril Haines, says she will make public a report on Khashoggi's brutal murder at the hands of Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

As outlined by Australia's ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a recent Foreign Affairs article, Biden will use his "Democracy Summit" this year to focus on China's abuse of Uyghur Muslims and other human rights violations in an effort to crimp Beijing's growing power.

In the meantime, MBS does seem to be bending amidst Biden's human rights blitz.

How MBS addresses those detentions foretells how far the Crown Prince is willing to bend, and how far Biden is willing to go in pressuring the Saudi government.

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