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Will a Biden administration spell the reversal of Trump's Middle East strategy?

Kamala Harris says yes — tells Arab American newspaper Biden would reassess Saudi relationship, reopen PLO's DC offices

A Joe Biden administration would reverse many of the recent policies that have been implemented in the region, Sen. Kamala Harris promised in an interview published in The Arab American News a few days before the U.S. elections.

From reopening the PLO embassy in Washington to reassessing the American relationship with Saudi Arabia, a Biden presidency could spell the end of the policies that President Donald Trump spent years forging throughout the Middle East which included brokering peace deals between Israel and three Muslim nations.

“We will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington,” she said in a Q&A.

If inaugurated, Biden-Harris are not expected to have an immediate focus on the Middle East since Biden made COVID a large part of his campaign strategy. However, he has previously stated he would return the United States to a nuclear agreement with Iran which Trump pulled out of, leveraging heavy sanctions instead.

“The United States cannot dictate the outcomes in other countries, but we do have a responsibility to advance human rights and democratic principles on behalf of all people. We have an obligation to promote universal values and work toward a more peaceful and secure world,” Harris said.

“Joe and I also believe in the worth and value of every Palestinian and every Israeli and we will work to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy,” she continued. “We are committed to a two-state solution, and we will oppose any unilateral steps that undermine that goal. We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion.”

Biden would also reverse course on Saudi Arabia, which was the first country that Trump visited as president and forged strong ties with during the past four years. Saudi Arabia gave its blessing to the peace deals between the Gulf states and Israel.

“Instead of standing by as the government of Saudi Arabia pursues disastrous, dangerous policies, including the ongoing war in Yemen, we will reassess the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia and end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.”

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