Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Diplomatic breakthroughs elude US President on Middle East tour

US President Joe Biden sought to use his first Middle East tour in office to reassert Washington’s influence but emerged without a single diplomatic breakthrough, an outcome analysts said was no surprise. On issues ranging from energy prices to human rights and Israel’s role in the region, Biden could point only to small — if any — gains after four whirlwind days of meetings and speeches. (https://news.yahoo.com/breakthroughs-elude-biden-fraught-middle-083336239.html) Driving the point home, as Air Force One flew back to Washington Saturday evening, Biden’s Saudi hosts downplayed one of the trip’s few concrete announcements: their lifting of airspace restrictions on flights to and from Israel, which Biden himself had earlier hailed as “a big deal”. Yet as on other issues, immediate concessions from the Saudis on human rights were always unlikely, and some experts said that in itself doesn’t make the trip a failure.

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