The opening of the Kingdom, and the diversification of the economy as the oil age gradually recedes, will continue. MBS himself outlined his program, launching "The Line", a 170 km belt designed without cars or roads in the now fabled city of Neom, that would connect communities. Other mega projects are Red Sea Development and the Qiddiya entertainment city, both aiming to boost the tourism industry. Biden’s strategic or foreign policy decisions are not expected to hamper support for economic reform.
What is the impact of the US-Saudi recalibration at a regional level?
It is not just the relations with Saudi Arabia that the United States is recalibrating. Yet, there is also a lot of continuity. In fact, on some of the major decisions that the Trump administration took, Joe Biden has not changed course. The Embassy will remain in Jerusalem, but the Palestinians will also receive services and will not be treated as if they did not exist. The Golan annexation decision is not going to be reversed any time soon, if ever. The most important change for all America’s allies is the reignition of the JCPOA. After an unpromising start, Tehran and Washington have begun to negotiate. The Gulf countries are adjusting themselves to the new situation as well. The UAE had begun contacts with Iran before Biden got elected. Numerous reports indicated that Iranian and Saudi officials met in Baghdad and finally, a few days ago, Iranian authorities acknowledged that the talks were ongoing and were aimed at reducing tensions. Such a development leaves Israel alone in pursuing a very hard line against Iran, whose engineers have been assassinated, and whose nuclear facility in Natanz has been attacked by Israel.
The Abraham Accords provides the Gulf countries with some degree of Israeli security guarantee. Adjusting their policies to that of the American President under these circumstances is expedient.
Copyright: MANDEL NGAN / POOL / AFP