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Khalil Discusses Biden’s Trip to the Middle East with USA Today

July 15, 2022

USA Today

Osamah F. Khalil


President Joe Biden is visiting Israel and Saudi Arabia this week, his first trip to the Middle East as president. But controversy surrounds the trip. As a presidential candidate, he vowed his administration would make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state because of its human rights abuses. Biden will have to walk a line between stark geopolitical realities and his lofty promises to prioritize human rights. 

“It's great to put morality and human rights at the center of your foreign policy,” says Osamah Khalil, associate professor of history and expert in Middle East affairs. “But then the world expects you to be consistent.” Read more in the USA Today article, "A signal of 'impunity'? Biden's trip to Middle East pits human rights against geopolitical reality."

Khalil was also interviewed for the USA Today articles, "Israel's Netanyahu is plotting a comeback. That could be a problem for Biden's Middle East agenda" and "President Biden wants to build ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Why it matters to the US." 

The Israelis and the Saudis have an alignment of interests on multiple fronts, says Khalil. Though the Palestinian issues remain a stumbling block, Khalil says it’s “only a matter of time” before the Saudis make their own arrangement with Israel as other Arab nations have.


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