Saudi Crown Prince Keeps Blinken Waiting

blinken salman

Two recent incidents in the area of geopolitics have attracted notice. One is related to the U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the other is related to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Antony Blinken

According to a report by The Washington Post, Saudi’s crown prince snubbed the U.S. Secretary of State by making him wait hours for a meeting before postponing it.

Saudi Arabia’s ruler kept the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, waiting for hours for a meeting, then did not show up until the next day, in an astonishing snub to the U.S.’ top diplomat, The Washington Post said. 

The report said:

In the wake of the Hamas terror attacks in Israel, Blinken last week visited several U.S. allies in the Middle East in a bid to rally them around the U.S.’ position, including Mohamed bin Salman.

The core goal of the trip was to persuade the leaders to condemn Hamas’ brutal violence, and try and tamp down unrest in their countries sparked by the new fighting.

But Blinken reportedly got a cold reception in Riyadh, where key differences between the U.S. and Saudis emerged.

Blinken had expected to meet Mohamed bin Salman in the evening after touching down on Saturday, but was kept waiting for hours, with the crown prince eventually showing up the next morning, the report said.

In the meeting, the crown prince reportedly called for Israel to halt military operations “that claimed the lives of innocent people,” after Israel bombarded the densely populated Gaza strip, and imposed a blockade on food, fuel, and other supplies. He also reportedly called for the conflict to be de-escalated.

The Saudi position is in contrast to that taken by the Biden administration. The U.S. president has backed Israel’s bid to eliminate Hamas in the wake of the terror attacks, but has called for civilian lives to be protected.

The report said:

Blinken’s attempts to find common ground with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, another U.S. regional ally, also met with little success.

There were signs in recent weeks that Saudi Arabia and Israel were on the verge of a historic agreement, that would’ve seen relations between them normalized. Analysts believe that among Hamas’ core aims in launching the October 7 attacks was ruining the talks.

Saudi Arabia has long been among the U.S.’ key regional allies, but in recent years its ruler has sought to steer a more independent course for the kingdom, forming closer ties with U.S. rival China. Last year, the Saudis snubbed the Biden administration and refused to increase oil production.

The Washington Post said (Blinken meets resistance in courtship of Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Gaza war):

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced stiff resistance from the Arab world’s most powerful strongmen on Sunday, trying to convince Egypt’s Abdel Fatah El-Sisi and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to embrace Washington’s view of the Israel-Hamas conflict, despite deep public sympathies for the Palestinian cause in the respective countries.


Russia no longer trusts the U.S. on anything, while China has been reliably delivering on its promises, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

He contrasted the trustworthiness of the two nations in an interview with political correspondent Wang Guan, published in full on Monday. The journalist spoke to the Russian leader on behalf of the China Media Group.

U.S. Cannot Be Trusted

Washington has a habit of discarding previous agreements depending on political whims, as seen with its exit from the multilateral agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, Putin said, adding that the Ukraine conflict is rooted in the same problem.

The Russian president said: “We were told as far back as 1991 – by the then-U.S. administration – that NATO would not expand further east. Since then, there have been five waves of NATO expansion.”

He asked: “How can we agree on anything if every new administration starts from scratch?”

Rules-based Order Is Nonsense

The U.S.-promoted concept of a ‘rules-based order’ is colonialism in disguise, Putin argued, as Washington decides on what those rules are on a case-by-case basis.

The Russian president said: “How can one talk about order based on rules that no one has ever seen? In terms of common sense, it is nonsense. But it is beneficial to those who promote this approach.”

Colonial powers of the past claimed they were “bringing enlightenment” and “benefits of civilization” to the territories they held, the Russian president said. U.S. exceptionalism implies that Americans perceive the rest of the world as “second-rate people,” just like the colonialists of history.

Moscow rejects this approach and strives for a fair multipolar world, where all nations are treated as equals, according to the president.

The Western-promoted “rules-based order” is merely a cover for colonialism, as the presumed rules have never been agreed-on by anyone and are ever-shifting from one case to another, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

The president made the remarks in an exclusive interview with state-run broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) that was aired on Monday.

“Have you ever seen these rules? No, because no one has ever written them, and no one has ever agreed to them with anyone. How can we talk about order based on rules that no one has seen?” Putin stated.

“If no one has ever seen these rules, it means that those who talk about themselves come up with these rules from case to case in a way that suits their own interests. This is the essence of the colonial approach,” Putin noted.

Colonialism has always been based on supremacist ideas, segregating people into different “classes.”

“Colonial countries have always believed themselves to be first-class people. After all, they always said that they bring enlightenment to their colonies, that they are civilized people and bring the benefits of civilization to other peoples, who are considered to be second-class,” Putin stressed.

The colonial mindset remains strong, he noted, with all the U.S. talk of its “exceptionalism,” for instance, stemming precisely from it. “That is, when they say that they are exceptional in the United States, it means that there are other people, people of some other second class. How can one perceive this? These are the rudiments of the colonial mindset, nothing else,” he added.

The approach exhibited by Russia and China is entirely different from that shown by the West, with Moscow and Beijing both believing that treating all nations equally is the cornerstone of the emerging multipolar world and the basis of cooperation between the two nations themselves, Putin stressed.

“We proceed from the fact that all people are equal, everyone has the same rights, the rights and freedoms of one country and one people end where the rights and freedoms of another person or of an entire state start. This is how multipolar world should gradually be born,” the president explained.

Multipolarity Is Inevitable

A new global arrangement is coming, one way or another, Putin predicted. He said: “We can speed up this process or someone can try to slow it down and maybe even achieve some kind of reduction in the pace of building a multipolar world. Anyway, its creation is inevitable.

This year’s expansion of the BRICS group of leading non-Western economies was a major step in that direction, Putin believes. With the inclusion of six new members, it has surpassed the West’s G7 club in economic strength, he noted.

He said: “No one wants to play second fiddle to some sovereign, everyone wants equal rights. And when they join BRICS, they see that we can achieve this goal.”

Kiev’s Battlefield Losses

Putin outlined the history of Russia’s hostilities with its neighbor, from the 2008 NATO pledge to make Ukraine a member, to the Western-backed 2014 armed coup in Kiev and the conflict in Donbass, to the refusal of the Ukrainian government to implement a roadmap for reconciliation with rebels, and its decision last year to reject a draft truce in favor of a hoped-for military victory against Moscow.

“They launched in June an active military operation, the so-called counter-offensive,” the president said of the latest phase of the confrontation. He said: “No results achieved so far, only massive losses. The losses are simply huge, at a ratio of one to eight.”

Russia wants the conflict to be resolved and believes that China’s proposal may serve as a basis, the president noted – but it is up to Ukraine to make talks possible, as it has passed a law banning negotiations with Putin.

Xi’s Word Is His Bond

A large portion of the interview was dedicated to Russian-Chinese cooperation, and Putin’s friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which he believes has contributed to the rapid development of ties between the nations over the past 15 years.

The Russian leader called his Chinese counterpart “attentive to detail, cool-headed, business-minded and a reliable partner,” stressing that he especially values Xi’s trustworthiness.

Xi’s strategic approach to governance distinguishes him from “people whom we call ‘time servers’ who are there for a brief moment just to show off on the international stage, and then they are gone,” Putin said.


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