Rabat - According to the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Saudi Arabia has lost influence in the US.
Rabat – According to the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Saudi Arabia has lost influence in the US.
Congress is set to vote on Wednesday and attempt to block a $1.15 billion arms sale to the kingdom, according to Bloomberg.com. The Senate is not unanimous in its approach to the Saudi arms sale, with senators taking opposing sides.
Mitch McConnell, Senate Leader of Kentucky, declared he would back the arms sale and believes that the US should maintain good ties with Saudi Arabia.
Senator Bob Corker shared with the Saudis that public opinion in Congress and in America overall is at an all time low. Corker said he met with Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir last week, who had been in the US lobbying lawmakers in order to hinder the September 11 Bill.
Saudi Arabia has been a long-standing and financially lucrative ally for the US. However, after certain policies and the rise of Wahhabism in the kingdom, US policy-makers are becoming increasingly disillusioned with such relationship. With alleged human rights abuses being carried out in Yemen and the decrease in oil-reliance, it appears that the tide is turning against the kingdom.
Even the outgoing President, Barack Obama took to criticising the Saudi Arabian government for fuelling unrest and engaging in proxy wars in the region.
While various senators are still keen to keep the kingdom as allies, they have also expressed their concerns over the exportation of radical Wahhabism.
There also seems to be a split in opinion in terms of Saudi Arabia as an ally in combatting terrorism. Some believe the Saudi Arabian government can be a useful partner, especially in the MENA region, whereas other senators are less optimistic.
Whilst opinion may be divided in the Senate on Saudi Arabia, in terms of their role as an ally and their role in combatting terrorism, what is clear that their influence and relationship with the US is seriously being called into question. The once open and amicable relationship appears to be changing.