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Can Biden Really Shrug Off the Saudis?

David Rundell, a seasoned Saudi hand, talks to Foreign Policy about what’s really at stake with the Biden administration’s reassessment of a decades-old relationship.

By , a former intern at Foreign Policy.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcomes U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at Riyadh Air Base in Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 27, 2011.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcomes U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at Riyadh Air Base in Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 27, 2011.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcomes U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at Riyadh Air Base in Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 27, 2011. AFP via Getty Images

On Feb. 26, the Biden administration released, at long last, an intelligence report detailing the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s central role in killing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. U.S. President Joe Biden, having previously dismissed the longtime U.S. ally as a “pariah” and pledging to reassess U.S. relations with Riyadh, has set the stage for a potential showdown with one of the world’s biggest oil producers and a key to stability in the Middle East as the Biden administration looks to escape the region and pivot to Asia.

Cailey Griffin is a former intern at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @keenstoryteller

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