Biden to visit Saudi Arabia this month: reports
Washington – US President Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia this month, reports said Thursday.
The reported decision comes hours after Saudi Arabia addressed two of Biden’s priorities by agreeing to a production hike in oil and helping extend a truce in war-battered Yemen.
The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, quoting anonymous sources, said that Biden would go ahead with the long-rumored Saudi stop on an upcoming trip. CNN said that Biden would meet Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she had no travel to announce, adding only: “The president will look for opportunities to engage with leaders from the Middle East region.”
However, a senior administration official told AFP that if Biden “determines that it’s in the interests of the United States to engage with a foreign leader and that such an engagement can deliver results, then he’ll do so.”
While not confirming the trip, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was “no question that important interests are interwoven with Saudi Arabia.” The trip would reportedly happen around the time Biden travels to a NATO summit in Spain and Group of Seven summit in Germany later this month. He is also widely expected to travel to Israel where, as in Saudi Arabia, he is sure to face pointed questions about slow-moving US diplomacy with the two countries’ rival, Iran.