MIDDLE EAST

Visit that charmed the leader of a superpower

After visiting Saudi Arabia, and attending three summits, US President Donald Trump traveled to several other countries.

During his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Trump commended King Salman bin Abdulaziz and said: “It was an epic gathering. King Salman is a very wise, wise man.” During his press conference in Brussels where the NATO summit was held, Trump said King Salman is “a wise man who wants to see things get much better rapidly.”

It is clear that the visit and its outcome as well as the kindness of the Saudi people demonstrated toward Trump and his administration had touched him. The schedule and events were immaculately planned during his visit and Trump was warmly welcomed by the Saudi government and people who took to social media networks to comment on the visit.

Trump said that he sat for a long time with the king and held negotiations with him to discuss several affairs. Trump was thus impressed because what he had heard from anti-Saudi media outlets did not reflect Saudi Arabia’s true nature. Trump visited Saudi Arabia, met its leaders and sat down with them. These leaders only make promises they can keep. This has been Saudi Arabia’s policy since its establishment.

Saudi-US relations have strengthened throughout history between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz, President Dwight Eisenhower and King Saud and presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon and King Faisal

Turki Aldakhil

The current Saudi generation was not distorted a lot by leftist and nationalist discourse, which have charmed people since the 1960s. These speeches condemned imperial powers under the pretext of colonization and underestimated, denied and opposed the American role. Arab elites thus had a complex related to the United States and radical generations in the region inherited this hatred and repeated the same national and leftist terms that condemn the US.

This was due to their lack of understanding of the United States of America. Expert Fouad Ajami said this hatred could be because of Palestine adding, however, that America is not alone responsible for this cause. He noted that what those who criticize the US have in common are revolutionary movements, which cannot condemn governments so they condemn America instead.

America offered help to the world and except for some mistakes, which are relevant to some wars like to the 2003 Iraqi invasion, it actually contributed to ending wars and saving Islamic countries from tyranny. This is what happened in Afghanistan’s war against the Soviets and it also saved Muslims from ethnic wars in the Balkans.

Allying with the US

America is not purely evil like some national thinkers say and it is not purely good. However, what is certain is that ever since Britain exited Gulf countries, the US has been the natural alternative for economic and military investments and for political alliances in the region.

Some think it is too much for Saudi Arabia to ally with America. It is as if Iran did not beg Barack Obama for the past eight years to make it the US’ number one ally instead of Saudi Arabia and hand it the region’s affairs. Obama did that and gave Iran the keys to all capitals.

Before the Operation Decisive Storm was launched, the Iranian regime bragged that it controlled four Arab capitals. All countries seek America’s amiability but when Saudi Arabia restored its solid and normal relations with Washington, some were envious and jealous.

Saudi Arabia is different from Iran due to its development, civil approach and political realism. Iran is a theocratic country that lives in the past and that devises its policies and strategies on awaiting Imam Mahdi.

Trump administration reflects the depth of the US and the America we know. Saudi-US relations have strengthened throughout history between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz, President Dwight Eisenhower and King Saud and presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon and King Faisal.

These relations reached their peak during the terms of Ronald Reagan and George Bush and King Fahad but they became tense during Obama’s term. And now, during Trump and King Salman’s era, they are going back to how they used to be.

Arabs know how wise King Salman is as this can be seen through his 50 years of experience. Donald Trump, the president of a superpower, has caught up with this wisdom.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 30 May 2017 KSA 10:16 - GMT 07:16
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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