News ID: 103573
Publish Date : 12 June 2022 - 21:49

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said he had “not yet” decided if he will travel to Saudi Arabia, a week after he opened the door to a possible trip.
Sources have said Biden was planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, along with a trip to Europe and the Israeli-occupied territories in late June. The White House has said the president feels that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a “pariah” for his role in the killing of a political opponent, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Turkey in 2018.
Asked by a reporter later in Albuquerque, New Mexico, if he would use a possible trip to the Middle East to secure a deal to improve Saudi-Zionist relations, Biden said: “We’ll see.”
Any potential visit to Saudi Arabia would likely be aimed at bolstering relations with the country at a time when Biden is trying to find ways to lower gasoline prices in the United States.
A White House official said on Friday that Washington would not overlook conduct that took place before Biden’s presidency, but that “it was also important to reorient – but not rupture – relations with Saudi Arabia,” pointing to the despotic regime’s role as a strategic partner of the U.S. for the past eight decades.
Biden publicly acknowledged earlier this month that he may travel to Saudi Arabia soon, in a visit expected to include talks with the infamous Saudi crown prince.
“Look, I’m not going to change my view on human rights but as president of the United States my job is to bring peace if I can and that’s what I’m going to try to do,” Biden claimed in justifying his visit to the kingdom.

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