Psaki was being honest: MBS not sidelined. Biden administration just sticking strictly to "counterpart-to-counterpart" interaction.

SECDEF called #MBS today. Image
"Secretary Austin reiterated recent changes in U.S. policy toward the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen, discussed the importance of ending the war, and thanked the Crown Prince for Saudi Arabia’s commitment to a political settlement."
SECDEF Austin "underscored Saudi Arabia’s role as a pillar of the regional security architecture in the Middle East and the importance of sharing the responsibility of regional security and stability."
"Secretary Austin noted US and Saudi shared commitment to countering #Iran’s destabilizing activities and defeating violent extremist organizations in the region."

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More from @Ayei_Eloheichem

19 Feb
Thread: The substantial (but incremental) expansion of NATO’s training mission in Iraq announced today [~500 to ~4000] is just continuity of the Trump Administration’s policy of withdrawal from #Syria / #Iraq backfilled by #NATO in order to pivot to Asia… Image
1. DEC. 2019- JAN 2020: US desperate to withdraw from Syria/Iraq and have NATO backfill troops so US CENTCOM assets/commitments would be reduced “and then shifted either to increase readiness of the force in the continental U.S. or shifted into Indo-Pacom." ImageImageImageImage
2. JAN-FEB 2020: Trump, Milley, Esper, Pompeo all start pushing for an expansion of the #NATO mission in Syria/Iraq.

NATO agrees.

Unfortunately, Soleimani assassination/subsequent tensions with Iran and COVID-19 put all these plans on hold. Everyone bunkers down or withdraws. ImageImageImageImage
Read 9 tweets
1 Oct 20
Thread: The #Taliban presents short biographies of its 21-member negotiations team for "Intra-#Afghan dialogue"
1. Abdul Hakim Haqqani
2. Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanikzai
Read 22 tweets
30 Sep 20
Pompeo: "We, the Americans, look to #Greece as a true pillar for stability and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean, and we are incredibly proud to support its leadership. Our security cooperation has grown tremendously – indeed, by leaps and bounds"…
This is an amazing press conference:

#Greece's Prime Minister only mentions Turkey and how amazing it is that the US military support of Greece against Turkey is growing

#Pompeo focuses solely on Russia and China, and other things the PM doesn't mention.
US/#NATO expanding/building several new facilities in #Greece, including the expansion of #Souda Bay Image
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep 20
Russia in the Middle East, September 30:
Deputy FM Vershinin meets with #Iran's ambassador to discuss #Syria and #Russia's upcoming presidency of the #UNSC
Lavrov spoke with #Yemen's Foreign Minister about "fully restoring diverse #Russian-Yemeni bilateral ties" and "doing everything possible for the return of long-awaited peace and stability in Yemen, and to use contacts with all involved and interested parties...for this purpose."
Read 8 tweets
27 Sep 20
I guess now we'll see whether there's any fire behind the hitherto fake smoke of #Erdogan transporting Syrians to the front lines there.…
Read 6 tweets
26 Sep 20
Russia in the Middle East, September 25:
Putin's MENA envoy Bogdanov meets with the ambassadors of #Egypt and #France to discuss #Libya ImageImage
Lavrov met with #Syria's Ahmad Jarba/Peace and Freedom Front delegation.

Bogdanov spoke with Louay Hussein of the Syrian "State-building" movement and also met Jarba's delegation. ImageImage
Read 5 tweets

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