BEIRUT, Lebanon — For the last four years, President Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia meant that there was seemingly nothing its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, could do to earn a rebuke from the White House.
Saudi bombs killed civilians in Yemen, Saudi activists went to jail, and Saudi agents dismembered the dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
None of it shook Mr. Trump’s commitment to the kingdom as a reliable partner against Iran and an important purchaser of American weapons.
Now Saudi Arabia is bracing for a new American leader who has vowed to end support for the Yemen war, penalize human rights violations and treat Saudi Arabia like “the pariah that they are.”“It is past time to restore a sense of balance, perspective and fidelity to our values in our relationships in the Middle East,” President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. told the Council on Foreign Relations last year when asked about Saudi Arabia.
“We will make clear that America will never again check its principles at the door just to buy oil or sell weapons.”
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