Biden's trip to Riyadh: towards the announcement of a peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel?

Saudi Arabia is using the normalization of its relations with Israel as a bargaining chip to regain its privileged position with Washington. With the war in Ukraine and the rise in world energy prices, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is in a position of economic strength but political and military weakness in the negotiations.

Recent reports of serious and secret high-level talks with Israeli officials suggest that it is only a matter of time before Saudi Arabia officially announces the success of those talks, possibly during the US President Joe Biden’s expected visit to Riyadh in the coming weeks [la visite est prévue les 15 et 16 juillet].

In the current situation, Saudi Arabia has a major advantage. Amid rising oil prices, the Crown Prince is banking on Saudi Arabia’s prized oil resources. The United States has repeatedly called for increased oil production to compensate for the loss of Russian oil. Those demands went unheeded, but the crown prince recently gave in to those pleas and pumped more oil.

MBS knows that oil can be used as a weapon to pressure the Biden administration into rehabilitating him and reversing his policy of selective engagement, without giving him full recognition in Washington.

Indeed, it seems that oil has managed to grease the difficult and sensitive wheels of the relationship between Riyadh and Washington. Biden knows that Saudi Arabia is the key to winning the war against Russia. In exchange for this extra oil, the prince

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