According to an article published by the American Foreign Policy website, the administration of President Joe Biden wants to reduce the status of the Middle East region in its foreign policy priorities, focus on its conflict with China and Russia, and pay attention to European stability and the climate issue.
article by Stephen Cook
stated that the US National Security Council made an adjustment accordingly, by reducing the size of the Near East administration, and US executive agencies have reduced the number of workers in Middle East affairs.
He explained that these changes are taking place against the background of ongoing foreign policy discussions about "great-power competition" and China, noting that if the period from 2001 to 2020 is the golden age for Middle Eastern analysts, it is clear that Washington is now entering the era of an expert in Chinese affairs, a specialist in Public Health.
He said that the Middle East has consumed a lot of time, attention and resources from decision-makers who were often pursuing unrealistic goals and pursuing poorly thought-out policies, and that was at the expense of other important issues such as the implications of China's ambitions, Russia's return to the world stage, and the stability of Europe. And the impacts of climate change.
Cook added that the US policy in the Middle East needs to evolve, and there are issues in the region that are no longer as urgent as they were, and countries that are no longer as important as they once were, and that the challenge of formulating a new approach for the region is to determine who and what is important to America.
The writer pointed to the downgrading of the region's stature in Biden's foreign policy, by saying that he did not contact Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until after 4 weeks, and then after another week or so he called the Iraqi prime minister and the Saudi king.
Likewise, the White House does not appear in a hurry to make calls to the Egyptians, Turks, Emiratis and others.
Foreign Policy: Egypt will not be one of the priority countries in the Biden administration's foreign policy (agencies)
The writer listed a ranking - from his personal judgment - of a number of major countries in the region that are in need of the Biden administration's attention, and those that should be ignored.
He said that Saudi Arabia is mostly among the countries that should be taken care of, due to the Khashoggi killing, the Yemen war, the blockade of Qatar, and the mistreatment of Saudi activists, adding that Riyadh will remain the main axis of America in the Arab world.
If Biden wants to get a new deal with Iran, and hopes to alleviate the suffering in Yemen while focusing on ending the conflict there, then he will need to deal with Saudi Arabia.
Iran is one of the countries that cannot be ignored due to its nuclear program and missile arsenal.
And because it appears unwilling to abandon its proxies or missiles, it will gain a lot of attention in the coming years, and this interest has already begun with strikes in Syria targeting the Iranians.
And Israel, of course, is one of the countries that cannot be ignored, because the foreign policy of the United States in the Middle East has been based in large part on ensuring Israeli security, and there are political, historical, moral and strategic reasons for the close relationship between the two countries, and Israel will remain an important player for America, just like Saudi Arabia. And if Biden wants to conclude a new deal with Iran, he will have to attract Israeli cooperation.
Egypt and Turkey
Although the writer did not include the UAE in the list of countries that deserve attention, he said that it is an important "security partner" to America, and its interests are also affected when Biden's team sits down to speak with the Iranians.
As for Egypt, it is outside the list of attention, according to the writer who believes that although there is resentment in Cairo that Biden has not called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi yet, it seems that it is better for the Egyptian elite in power for their country to be outside the list.
However, there is a part of this elite that wants Egypt to be within the American interest, to confront Turkey in Libya, focus on economic development, and face the challenge of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
He said Egypt has proven that it does not help itself sometimes when it comes to the United States.
Its crackdown on family members of Egyptian activists inside America sparked the anger of Congress, and prompted Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to inform his Egyptian counterpart that human rights will be part of the relationship between the two countries.
Turkey is one of the countries that can be ignored, but no matter how ignored, it is also a NATO ally, so it is unclear whether Turkey's recent record will keep it out of concern for a long time.