Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman humiliated Antony Blinken by snubbing Democrat President Joe Biden’s Secretary of State during his trip to Saudi Arabia.
Blinken went to Saudi Arabia and called for pressure on Hamas amid the terrorist group’s attacks against Israel.
The goal of convincing Arab partners to condemn Hamas was always unattainable, however.
Biden’s corporate media allies reported that Blinken “met for nearly an hour with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the royal’s farm residence in the Riyadh area, a US official said.”
Blinken told reporters that he “heard a lot of good ideas about some of the things we need to do moving forward.”
What the reports failed to mention was the clear diplomatic snub of Biden’s cabinet.
Reports are now emerging that Saudi Arabia’s ruler kept Blinken waiting for hours for a meeting only to now show up.
The crown prince didn’t show up for the meeting with Blinken until the next day, in an astonishing snub to the top Biden official.
The Washington Post reported:
“In Riyadh, the Saudi ruler kept Blinken waiting several hours for a meeting presumed to happen in the evening but which the crown prince only showed up for the next morning.
“Once the meeting began, Mohammed ‘stressed’ the need to stop the military operations ‘that claimed the lives of innocent people’ — a reference to Israel’s offensive — and lift the ‘siege of Gaza’ that has left the Palestinian territory without water, electricity or fuel, according to the Saudi summary of the meeting.
“The crown prince also called for a halt in the ‘current escalation’ in the conflict, a direct contradiction of U.S. policy, which has backed Israel to pursue its maximalist goal of eradicating Hamas.
“Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to its two holiest sites, is an influential voice in shaping Arab perceptions of the conflict.
“While Riyadh prizes its role as a defender of Palestinians, it views Hamas as a spoiler to greater regional integration, including the crown prince’s flirtations with normalizing relations with Israel.”
If Blinken getting a cold reception in Riyadh was expected, the public humiliation is something else.
Business Insider reported:
“Blinken’s attempts to find common ground with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, another US regional ally, also met with little success.
“There were signs in recent weeks that Saudi Arabia and Israel were on the verge of a historic agreement, that would’ve seen relations between them normalized.
“Analysts believe that among Hamas’s core aims in launching the October 7 attacks was ruining the talks.
“Saudi Arabia has long been among the US’ key regional allies, but in recent years its ruler has sought to steer a more independent course for the kingdom, forming closer ties with US rival China.
“Last year, a diplomatic spat erupted when the Saudis snubbed the Biden administration and refused to increase oil production.”
When the crown prince eventually showed up to the meeting with Blinken, the Saudi leader reportedly called for Israel to halt military operations “that claimed the lives of innocent people.”
He also reportedly called for the conflict to be de-escalated.
The Saudi position is in contrast to that taken by the Biden administration, however.
Biden has backed Israel’s bid to eliminate Hamas in the wake of the terror attacks but has called for civilian lives to be protected.
Saudi Arabia has long been among the U.S.’s key regional allies.
In recent years under Biden’s leadership, the Saudis have distanced themselves from America.
The Saudi ruler has sought to steer a more independent course for the kingdom, forming closer ties with U.S. rival China.
Last year, a diplomatic spat erupted when the Saudis snubbed the Biden admin and refused to increase oil production.