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Biden plans Mid-East Gulf shake-up

US diplomatic goals, if achieved, will impact the Iranian, Saudi and Yemeni energy sectors

President Joe Biden’s foreign policy speech at the State Department in early February gave subtle, but unequivocal, indications of how the new US administration’s views of the Middle East are radically different from those of the previous team. In listing America’s closest friends—ones he had contacted since taking office—he omitted Israel and all Arab states. The region’s autocrats know that relations with Washington are about to change: the president spoke of “rebuilding the muscle of democratic alliances”. Biden also dropped his predecessor’s habit of using foreign policy speeches to castigate Iran. He clearly wants to be careful not to complicate the role of his diplomatic corps, which

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