President Biden’s Middle East: A Briefing with Norman Roule

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President Joe Biden’s administration is aiming its Middle East agenda on adhering to campaign promises, examining current policies and undoing some that were enacted under the Trump administration. The U.S. has announced that it will no longer support Saudi offensive operations in Yemen and has appointed special representatives to help end the Yemen conflict and guide the U.S. back to the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA. President Biden also recently acknowledged the release of two Saudi activists, underscoring its promised attention to human rights. The new administration has restored contacts with Palestinians, but President Biden didn’t prioritize a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or other Middle East leaders, during his first few weeks in office, signaling a different approach to Israel, though the White House says it remains committed to Israeli security.

Some of the existing Middle East policies though, appear to continue. The administration has condemned Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and has publicly committed to helping the Saudis defend their territory.

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