IT’S OFFICIAL: Biden To Visit Israel And ‘Pariah’ Saudi Arabia From July 13-16

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President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office of the White House after stepping off Marine One, June 13, 2022, in Washington. President Joe Biden will make his first trip to the Middle East next month with visits to Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

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The White House announced on Tuesday that President Joe Biden will visit the Middle East, including Israel, the PA, and Saudi Arabia, between July 13-16.

The visit will “reinforce the United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity and attend a Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan (known as the GCC+3),” the statement said, adding that Biden “will also meet with counterparts from across the region, to advance US security, economic, and diplomatic interests.”

Biden is beginning his trip in Israel, where “he will meet with Israeli leaders to discuss Israel’s security, prosperity, and its increasing integration into the greater region” and then”visit the West Bank to consult with the Palestinian Authority and to reiterate his strong support for a two-state solution, with equal measures of security, freedom, and opportunity for the Palestinian people.”

“The President will then travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which is the current chair of the GCC and the venue for this gathering of nine leaders from across the region, at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. The President appreciates King Salman’s leadership and his invitation. He looks forward to this important visit to Saudi Arabia, which has been a strategic partner of the United States for nearly eight decades.”

The decision to pay a call on Saudi leaders during the July 13-16 trip comes after Biden as a Democratic presidential candidate branded the kingdom a “pariah” because of its human rights record and pledged to recalibrate the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

After Biden took office, his administration made clear the president would avoid direct engagement with the crown prince and instead focus his engagements with King Salman.

Human rights advocates and some Democratic allies cautioned Biden about visiting the oil-rich kingdom, saying such a visit without first getting human rights commitments would send a message to Saudi leaders that there are no consequences for egregious rights violations. The Saudis have been accused of using mass arrests, executions and violence to squelch dissent.

But at a time of skyrocketing prices at the gas pump, growing worries about Iran’s nuclear program and perpetual concern that China is expanding its global footprint, Biden and his national security team have determined that freezing out the Saudis, particularly the crown prince, is simply not in the U.S. interest.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington said Biden would meet with both King Salman and Prince Mohammed and described the visit as coming at King Salman’s invitation “to strengthen the historical bilateral relations and the distinguished strategic partnership between” the two countries.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia looks forward to welcoming President Biden and defining the next chapters of our partnership,” the Saudi Embassy said in a statement. “At a time of global challenges related to the global economy, health, climate and international conflict, the partnership between our two countries is as critical as ever to the promotion of peace, prosperity and stability around the world.”

The White House announced the trip after Saudi Arabia this month helped nudge OPEC+ to ramp up oil production by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August, and the kingdom agreed to extend a United Nations-mediated cease-fire in its seven-year war with Yemen. Biden called the Saudi cease-fire decision “courageous.” Prince Mohammed, who is commonly referred to by his initials, MBS, played a “critical role” in brokering an extension of the cease-fire, according to the administration official.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement announcing the Middle East trip said King Salman invited Biden to visit the kingdom during a gathering in the port city of Jeddah of the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — as well as Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.

“While in Saudi Arabia, the President will also discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues with his counterparts. These include support to the UN-mediated truce in Yemen, which has led to the most peaceful period there since war began seven years ago,” Jean-Pierre said. “He will also discuss means for expanding regional economic and security cooperation, including new and promising infrastructure and climate initiatives, as well as deterring threats from Iran, advancing human rights, and ensuring global energy and food security.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem & AP)


2 COMMENTS

  1. If Israel had an ounce of self respect and a semblance of a backbone, it should tell the U.S to keep this demented Alzheimer diseased treasonous old fool at home.
    Nothing good can come out of this visit by a pathetic old fool,who is busy destroying his own country.

  2. Hunters Dad___what a joke….president of USA…..added to the roster of fools running countries…..including Israel….shameful but in all aspects G-d does chose and I am in for the long haul……