Speaking to CNN Thursday, Natasha Bertrand explained that former President Donald Trump's cavalier attitude toward Saudi Arabia left a vacuum of accountability that led to the country building its own missile system with the help of China.
While the Trump White House, and top aide Jared Kushner, was focused on peace in the Middle East, they apparently missed that the Saudis were using Chinese technology to craft a weapons system. CNN.com posted government satellite photos showing the build-up of ballistic missile manufacturing facilities.
It comes at a difficult time for the current White House, Bertrand explained, because President Joe Biden is working to reengage with Beijing on trade and climate issues.
"But they're emphasizing that this began under the Trump administration," she noted. "The Trump administration, of course, very unwilling to criticize Saudi Arabia to try to get it to act in accordance with international norms, and they're saying now that the country and the world is reaping the consequences of that."
Despite Kushner's best efforts and close relationship, the Saudis refused to sign onto the Abraham Accords. In August, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan indicated that they never intend to join the agreement.
"The best way to build on that spirit is to find a path to solving the issue of the Palestinians and finding a path to a Palestinian state," Prince Faisal said. “Without solving the Palestinian-Israel conflict in a sustainable long-term way, we’re not going to have real sustainable security in the region.”
Kushner has managed to build on his relationship with the Saudis to garner buy-in with his new private equity firm.
CNN reported that the White House is weighing sanctions on the Saudis and that Congress fears Biden won't be strong enough because of the fragility of the relationship with China.
See the interview below:
Trump's cavalier attitude with the Saudis led to them building their missile system: reporter www.youtube.com