THE title of this article gives a glimpse of the purpose of the visit of the Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Muhammad bin Salman to the United States of America.
This is evident from the members of his accompanying delegation which includes veterans who are experts in the Saudi-American relations.
Moreover the visit comes shortly after Riyadh’s declaration of ‘Saudi Arabia’s Vision of 2030’ which gives importance to the history and prioritizes the benefits of the citizens of the region — Saudi Arabia and the GCC citizens.
This concept is in line with the US stated principle that ‘in politics there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests’.
This was stated by the late US President Franklin Roosevelt in 1945 when he met the late King Saud on board the USS Navy cruiser Quincy.
The new Saudi role support this concept in the same vein based on balanced relationships with major powers especially after the change in US politics initiated by the current President Barack Obama.
The United States may realize that Washington will be the biggest loser, if it turns its back on the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the latter weaves economic and political relationships with Russia, China and the European Union especially after the economic slowdown which had a negative impact at world level.
Given this scenario, the US is obliged to turn a new page of relations with the countries of this region to end the period of uncertainty.
The visit of Bin Salman to the US is basically to show to the world that the Saudi and GCC markets are open for foreign investment and looking to gain a foothold in the region in the aftermath of terrorism practiced by Iran through its followers.
The US has already reached halfway to rebuilding the trust after the Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan talked of ambiguities concerning secret pages in the investigation report on the 9/11 attacks which accused the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The report has acquitted Saudi Arabia from the crime of the age. This actually must be translated into actions from the US side by revising and examining the situations which have left a scar on the US-Gulf relations and this is exactly what Bin Salman has stressed upon during the meeting.
Although the White House usually handles issues of the region keeping at heart the interests and benefits of Israel, past experiences have shown that Israel has broken that rule in the context of establishing a comprehensive peace and turning its back on the initiatives propounded by the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia during the Arab League summit in Beirut in 2002. This is in addition to turning its back on the two-state solution.
Actually speaking, the Israeli attitude is the source of the scourge of extremism in the Arab world. The recent wars in Gaza and South Lebanon have given credence to the old-fashion Israeli conviction that the destruction of the Arab countries will bring safety to Israel. And this is a wrong notion.
Extremism is more dangerous for Israel than the Arabs and evidently the US is looking for a solution to this menace in the region via Saudi Arabia because of its credibility at spreading peace and bringing stability to the region.
A careful interpretation of the visit of Prince Salman to the US exceeds the expectations of the Saudis and the GCC countries and even the entire Arab world at large because it is set to give a new look to the region.
After a period of cold relations the visit of Prince Salman to the US resembles the journey of explorer Christopher Columbus to discover the new world.
We can say it is a double exploration — the Arabs exploring the US and vice versa — which will leave its imprint on the White House politics and new US President.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times