How can Saudis be better understood by America?

Hassan Al Mustafa

Published: Updated:

An interview with Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman published in the Washington Post newspaper last week can be considered a good entry point for the future of Saudi-US relations at an important stage for both countries.

The Washington Post is one of the most influential newspapers in the United States. It is known for its credibility, and in turn, choosing the newspaper to feature his interview was a good choice, as it gave his words greater credibility also. This is a newspaper that has publishes articles criticizing the policies of the Gulf states, and US President Donald Trump.

Dealing professionally with the media in the United States is important. As it represents the Fourth Estate, which has its independence, immunity, and influence on the political and government decision in general. Therefore it is important to deal with transparency, cooperation, and communication.

Journalists are mainly interested with the availability of information through reliable and ongoing sources. Because anyone who works in the media wants to get exclusive news, or hope to make a reportage, supported by figures, evidence, documents and special information.

Important allies

Saudi Arabia today is an important ally of the United States in the Middle East, there are common political, economic and security interests. These files must be managed with a mentality of "partnership" and mutual benefit because each country has its own interests and priorities.

If we want to convey the Saudi message to the media and decision-makers in the United States, we need to understand the way they think

Hassan Al Mustafa

In this strategic partnership, how can the political, media and communication departments at the Saudi Embassy in Washington formulate and outline their ideas and objectives to decision-makers in the United States? What would be the best way to inform politicians and the media that this relationship between the two countries serves the American and Saudi people, and will benefit the average citizen.

Some people believe that these questions may seem simple and naive, but they are important and not easy to answer. Especially as we are facing an American mentality, which differs from sentiments in the Middle East.

If we want to convey the Saudi message to the media and decision-makers in the United States, we need to understand the way they think, understand their character in order to know their fears and hopes. To address them with the same scientific and objective logic that respects the freedom of the press; to be able to transform these anxious journalists or permanent critics into friends, not through money and gifts as it is stereotyped, but through building mutual trust, dialogue and communication.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Hassan AlMustafa is Saudi journalist with interest in middle east and Gulf politics. His writing focuses on social media, Arab youth affairs and Middle Eastern societal matters. His twitter handle is @halmustafa.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.