The months since the election defeat of Donald Trump have not been the best days in the career of Saudi Arabia’s murderous crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman.
MBS, as the prince is universally known, is reaping the whirlwind of his assassination of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Western governments cool on their relationship with him. They are following the lead of the Biden administration, which, having described the regime as a “pariah” in the election campaign, publicly stated this week that the president will not deal directly with the crown prince.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week that Biden would be engaging with King Salman, not his son. “We’ve made clear from the beginning that we’re going to recalibrate our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” she said. “Part of that is going back to engagement counterpart-to-counterpart.”