In an interview with Axios, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., appealed to former President Donald Trump to throw his weight behind President Joe Biden’s ongoing negotiations with Saudi Arabia. This deal could be a groundbreaking peace accord between the Saudi Kingdom and Israel.
The ambitious agreement could possibly be a U.S.-Saudi defense treaty, a proposition requiring the backing of a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
But many Democratic senators remains skeptical of endorsing the deal due to concerns surrounding Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Concerns over human rights, the conflict in Yemen, and influence on U.S. foreign policy were voiced by Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, according to CT Insider.
Trump, widely recognized for brokering the Abraham Accords and cultivating a close rapport with Saudi Arabia during his presidency, holds substantial sway within the Republican party.
Biden is scheduled to embark on Thursday for the G-20 summit in India, and the White House has left the possibility open for a meeting with the crown prince to deliberate on the significant agreement under consideration.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, provided an exclusive disclosure to Axios, revealing that he had briefed Trump on his discussions with the crown prince after visiting Saudi Arabia in April.
This revelation underscores the close and ongoing connection between Graham and Trump, shedding light on their collaboration regarding the developments surrounding Saudi Arabia and its potential impact on international diplomacy.
“I told President Trump, Listen, this is the natural extension of the Abraham Accords, and if we can do it, let’s do it. It doesn’t matter how it gets done, on whose watch it gets done. It’d be a good thing for the stability of the Middle East and our own national security, and President Trump deserves his fair share of credit,” Graham said.
Graham added that he conveyed to Trump that “it’s the highest sign of flattery” when a president replicates his predecessor’s policy.
Two sources familiar with the matter informed Axios that Jared Kushner, the chief architect of the Abraham Accords and Trump’s son-in-law, similarly encouraged the former president to endorse Biden’s prospective agreement with Saudi Arabia.
The world witnessed a historic moment in 2020 as the Abraham Accords were formally signed. This groundbreaking agreement marked a pivotal juncture in Middle Eastern diplomacy, cementing diplomatic relations between Israel and several regional nations. The transformative accord united Israel with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, heralding a fresh era of regional diplomacy and collaboration, according to the MEI.
Kushner, known for his close ties to the crown prince, reportedly conveyed to Trump that such an agreement would validate his Middle East policy, per Axios.
“Jared Kushner has been very helpful. He had some ideas for the Palestinians. I know that he’s offered to help. I think the White House sees him as helpful,” Graham said.
Unresolved matters persist: a prospective U.S.-Saudi defense treaty, endorsement for a civilian nuclear program featuring uranium enrichment activities within Saudi borders, and the necessity of Israeli concessions to advance the Palestinian cause.
U.S. officials refrained from openly criticizing the Saudi government on Tuesday, despite its decision to extend oil production reductions — a move with the potential to escalate gasoline prices and pose a political challenge for President Biden in the lead-up to the forthcoming election.
Jim Thomas ✉
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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