Trump, Broker Of Abraham Accords, Speaks With Saudi Leader
Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

According to The New York Times, former President Trump spoke recently with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the man who has attempted to modernize his country by loosening restrictions on women and likely making peace with Israel.

The Times reported Wednesday that the two leaders spoke “recently,” citing two people briefed on the discussion. No details about the focus of the talk have been disclosed and officials representing Trump did not respond to requests for comment.

The discussion is the first known time the two have had a conversation since Trump left office. It comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East and escalating political pressure on the Biden administration over its handling of the war in Gaza. The Times report also comes ahead of Trump’s Doral golf resort in Miami hosting a tournament with LIV Golf, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund-supported league.

Trump’s efforts in the Middle East to bring peace to the region bore tremendous fruit with the Abraham Accords, under which the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recognized Israeli sovereignty; Sudan and Morocco soon followed suit. Saudi Arabia was expected to follow, but after President Biden was elected, that process ground to a halt. Biden reversed course with Iran, which Trump had hit with sanctions; following that, Iran has been suspected of fomenting the Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel in order to torpedo peace negotiations between their enemies, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

In June 2019, President Trump endorsed Prince Mohammed, calling him “a friend of mine” and asserting he had done “a spectacular job” in liberalizing his nation. He lauded Prince Mohammed for cutting off funding to terrorist groups. The two men discussed Saudi Arabia’s “critical role in ensuring stability in the Middle East and global oil markets,” and “the growing threat from Iran,” the Trump White House stated, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

On the other hand, Biden has called the prince a “pariah” because of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“By the standards of his gruesome neighborhood, MBS is a dizzying reformer,” Andy McCarthy, the author of “The Grand Jihad,” has written. “He has lifted social restrictions on women, integrated them in the workforce, and curbed the sharia police. He insists that the Wahhabist Saudi Arabia of the last 40 years has been an aberration, and that he is ‘reverting to what we followed — a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions.’”

“Moreover, until Biden came along, determined to empower the Brotherhood and the Saudis’ Iranian enemies, MBS, like Sisi, was working with the United States on counterterrorism and other areas of mutual interest, while quietly building stronger security ties with Israel — the latter would have been inconceivable in the not too distant past,” he continued.

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