Biden has appointed career diplomat Michael Ratney as the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Former U.S. officials said Saudi Arabia usually expects politically appointed military personnel and could be insulted by this choice.
Relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia are currently at a new low level.
Former US officials told insiders that President Joe Biden’s choice as a US ambassador to Saudi Arabia is likely to be seen as a disappointment or insult to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Biden last Friday Nominated for Michael Ratney In a post last year after Riyadh resigned from former US Central Command General John Abizaid.
The nomination is at a low stage in US-Saudi relations, Biden is clearly far from the country, and Crown Prince Mohammed (also known as MBS) is reportedly Trying to punish him..
David Schenker, Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East at the Department of State from 2019 to January 2021, told Ratney’s insider: I highly appreciate it. “
“But there is a lot of stress in the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which will not help.”
Historically, most US ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, like Aviside, were politically appointed with deep military ties.
Other former ambassadors include former U.S. Army Undersecretary Joseph Westfar and former Raytheon arms manufacturer executive James Smith.
However, a widely respected Arabic-speaking diplomat, Ratney is the first diplomat on the post since Charles Freeman in 1989.
Therefore, Saudi Arabia could be angry with Ratney’s appointment, Schenker said. The central belief in the relationship between the two countries was that the United States would guarantee the security of Saudi Arabia. The United States maintains a major military base in Riyadh and sells millions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia each year. Ratney’s choice could show Riyadh that Biden is less interested in Saudi Arabia’s security than his predecessor.
Schenker also said that the Saudi ambassador’s post is filled with key figures such as MBS brother Karid bin Salman and MBS cousin and current ambassador Princess Rema Bint Bander. Stated. Riyadh would expect the same type of profile in return, Schenker said.
“The Saudi ambassador is a princess. They would see this as a downgrade of the relationship,” he said. “They will understand this in that context.”
Ratney’s nomination comes at a tense time due to the partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The Biden administration has publicly warned the MBS of widespread human rights abuses, involving US support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Next, MBS Biden reportedly ignored US demands to increase oil productionAnd said He doesn’t care What does Biden think of him?
Saudi Iran-backed Houthi rebels are also angry with the weak reaction of the United States to attacks In the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia expects the United States to guarantee its safety.
Nevertheless, following the announcement, policymakers praised Ratney’s appointment and his abilities.
“If anyone can navigate the turmoil that is the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, it’s Ratney. He at least gives an honest assessment of how (or how) the interests and values of the United States and Saudi Arabia match. We offer. What Biden does is another matter. ” Tweet Aaron David Miller, Senior Fellow of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Ratney is currently the Dean of the Foreign Service Institute Language Program at the State Department. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Levant and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs Department of the State Department.
Read the original article Business Insider