Trump and Saudi Arabia: A mistake and a response, and a remaining alliance

Mashari Althaydi
Mashari Althaydi
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I do not know why some Arab media figures, and maybe some Saudi ones, chose to focus on a certain part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s interview with the Bloomberg.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman clearly responded to the strange expressions made by American President Donald Trump about Saudi Arabia and King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

He decisively responded and reminded those who forgot or who pretend to have forgotten of Saudi Arabia’s history that dates back as far as 1744, i.e. that is before the American constitution was even declared. He also conveyed a clear message that Saudi Arabia is not as Arab or western lunatics depict it as a country that wastefully scatters money but is a state that has institutions and laboratories that mature major decisions. Buying weapons and knowing weapons and other products, services, technology and “knowledge” are the product of studies and the summary of experiences, and they are not bestowments. This applies to the US and others.

But what’s important in the prince’s interview is that he put the dispute in its normal size and emphasized that for Saudi Arabia, the relation with the US “especially” during Trump’s era is serious and there’s no room for emotional outbursts.

On the relation with President Trump, the Saudi crown prince said: “I love working with him. I really like working with him and we have achieved a lot in the Middle East, especially against extremism, extremist ideologies, terrorism and Da’esh [Arabic acronym for ISIS] disappeared in a very short time in Iraq and Syria, and a lot of extremist narratives have been demolished in the past two years, so this is a strong initiative.”

He further clarified the meaning of Saudi-US relations during Trump’s era and said: “Now we are pushing back against extremists and terrorists and Iran’s negative moves in the Middle East in a good way. We have huge investments between both countries. We have good improvement in our trade – a lot of achievements, so this is really great.”

And in order to revive the memory, Prince Mohammed said about the former administration of Barack Obama: “I believe President Obama, in his eight years, he worked against many of our agenda – not in Saudi Arabia, but also in the Middle East. And even though the US worked against our agenda we were able to protect our interests.”

In brief, Trump was wrong in the statements he made against Saudi Arabia, and a response was a must but, excuse us Arab and foreigner “fighters,” he’s still the most important international alliance in striking the sources of chaos and evil in the world.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy

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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