The US denies MBS intervention to secure the release of Griner

A US official told NBC that ‘as goes Saudi, so goes the Gulf’ and ‘we need the security partnership.’

The White House denied that Saudi Arabia and the UAE played a mediating role in helping Brittney Griner, a WBNA star, get released.

Even though the US has denied that Riyadh played any mediation role in freeing American basketball star Brittney Griner, Saudi Arabia said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made ‘personal mediation efforts to do so.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud commented on Thursday in Riyadh on his knowledge of the king’s efforts on behalf of the detained American basketball player.

“I don’t care what people say.”

The United States has rebuffed any claims that Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates mediated the talks, saying the two countries led the mediation efforts.

Griner was freed as part of a prisoner exchange for Viktor Bout, an infamous arms dealer, who was serving a 25-year sentence in the United States. Bout, 55, was one of the world’s most wanted men, who sold weapons to rebel groups and warlords worldwide before his arrest in 2012.

A swap involving Griner and Russian citizen Bout took place at an airport in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

In thanking the UAE for helping facilitate Brittney’s return, Biden said she landed there on her way back to the US.

The Saudi Arabia-led Opec+’s October decision to cut oil production by two million barrels a day has been one of the most contentious issues in US-Saudi relations under the Biden administration. The US condemned the decision and said that it would review its ties with Riyadh.

Despite saying that the US support for Opec+ in response to Saudi Arabia’s actions was consistent with Russian interests, the Biden administration has shown no signs of altering its stance towards the kingdom.

NBC News reported that the White House’s initial anger about the decision to freeze gas prices had dissipated since the prices hadn’t skyrocketed as they had feared.

A US official told NBC that as long as Saudi Arabia maintains its importance to the Gulf, we’ll need to maintain a security partnership with them.

Tags : UAE, USA