The White House is targeting senior Democrats over the Saudi-Israeli agreement

The White House is targeting senior Democrats over the Saudi-Israeli agreement

On Friday, The New York Times published a report titled “The White House Targets Senior Democrats Over Possible Saudi-Israeli Agreement,” stating that in order to broker a new diplomatic agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the White House will need to persuade two historical rivals to find common ground on thorny issues. Such as nuclear enrichment, arms sales, and Palestinian land rights.

After that, according to the report, "the US administration will face what may be a much more difficult challenge: convincing 67 members of the Senate to support that agreement." With this challenge in mind, White House officials have held meetings on Capitol Hill over the past weeks with a small but influential Senate Democrats, to brief them on the details of the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with Israeli and Saudi leaders.

These meetings are part of an ongoing effort to quietly build support for any Senate vote that might be necessary to solidify a potential agreement. US officials have specifically said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is calling for a new security relationship with the United States as part of any An agreement to normalize relations with Israel," according to the report.

The report notes that "the exact terms of the relationship are still under discussion, but any new treaty with Saudi Arabia would require the support of two-thirds of US senators - a hurdle that will be difficult to overcome. This effort is being led by Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, and other senior officials in the House are participating." White; I focused mainly on members of President Biden's party given how fiercely senior Democrats have criticized the kingdom and its de-facto ruler, Prince Mohammed - and how much their reservations could threaten any future agreement.

The report also indicates that "the majority of Democratic senators have voted on multiple occasions over the past years in favor of restricting Washington's security partnerships with Riyadh due to objections to its bombing campaign in Yemen with the help of American weapons, and the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Despite the uncertain path through Congress White House officials have gone on to hold negotiations and have made several recent visits to both Israel and Saudi Arabia to discuss the outlines of a possible agreement.In addition to the security agreement, Prince Mohammed has told American officials that he also wants help from the United States to establish a civilian nuclear program in the kingdom, in addition to To concessions from the Israeli government towards the Palestinians.

But while Democrats have encouraged the administration's efforts to improve peace in the Middle East and confront Iran, "many of them are wary of concessions the White House might make to achieve their goal." Several officials familiar with the discussions said the meetings are not part of an overt pressure campaign by the White House to support any It's a final agreement, it's a way to keep lawmakers informed so they don't feel shocked by any proposal that makes its way to Congress."

The officials said the main crux of the discussions so far has been to inform lawmakers of the Saudis' demands and to give lawmakers a chance to air their views. Sullivan and other senior White House officials have met privately with some senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. White House officials also met with Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, and Christopher Murphy of Connecticut, who has been one of the most vocal critics of Saudi Arabia.