On November 3, Americans will choose their next president, and the results of the US elections in 2020 will definitely have significant consequences for the Middle East , particularly in terms of security and Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Significantly, two distinct initiatives for the Middle East region reflect both President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, and former Vice President Joe Biden. A Biden win in the elections could restore the global role of the United States in the world order against Trump’s “America First” vision.
Trump’s Middle East policy
Recently, with the signing of the Abraham Accord between Israel and two Arab nations, the UAE and Bahrain, Trump and his administration accomplished a single diplomatic breakthrough in the Middle East as a key step towards normalising relations in the region. It is still unclear, however, whether other Arab nations will follow suit in the region to normalise relations.
Although Trump has not yet been able to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, he has still gained considerable influence in the Middle Eastern geopolitical debate, considering his promises in the 2015 US elections.
Recent polls have shown that a majority of Israelis favour Trump over Biden as the President of the United States, given the increased political commitments between Trump and Israeli PM Netanyahu, including the recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem by transferring the US embassy from Tel Aviv there, according to sources.
Meanwhile, their focus has been diverted by Trump and leading Arab countries to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons. In an attempt to cut off Tehran’s access to finance, the Trump administration has also placed restrictions on the Iranian economy.
Biden’s Middle East policy
With the Biden administration facing hostile US-Iran relations, he will try to restore Iran’s nuclear agreement in 2015 and the ties between the two countries. Biden would have to lift some of the restrictions on the Iranian banks and economy in order to do so.
A majority of Iranians prefer Biden to Trump in the White House, according to experts. At the same time, Biden is likely to benefit from increased support from US allies in Europe, who have been trying to cope with Trump’s mismanagement of world order for some time now.
It is also important to remember that America’s relations with Saudi Arabia could be impacted by an expanded relationship between the US and Iran. In his election campaign, Biden made sure to “re-evaluate” relations with Saudi Arabia in the midst of his involvement in the civil war in Yemen. He has also announced that the terms of the current civil wars and conflicts in Iraq, Libya , Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East should be negotiated.
The Biden administration would also strive to reconstitute the interaction between Washington and the Palestinians. Biden has vowed to restore approximately $600 million in US assistance to the Palestinian Authority, the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency, and other agencies that Trump abolished in 2019 in an attempt to get Palestinians to support his peace plan. Biden will definitely reap any advantages from the goodwill of former US President Barrack Obama in the Middle East.