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President Biden said Friday that he has “no direct plans at the moment.” Travel to Saudi ArabiaDespite reports that he is expected to visit Riyadh later this month in a bid to mend ties and add more oil to global markets.
“I have no immediate plans at the moment,” Biden said Friday during remarks on the May jobs report. “But let me tell you that I am engaged in trying to work out how to bring more stability and peace to the Middle East.”
The president said there was “a possibility that I would meet with both Israelis and Arabs, and some Arab countries at the time, including, I would expect Saudi Arabia to be included in that if I go.”
“But I have no immediate plans at the moment,” Biden said.
The Washington Post and New York Times reported this week that Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia later this month — even amid his repeated promises to hold the country accountable for human rights abuses.
Reports indicated that Biden will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Biden previously promised to make the kingdom a global “pariah” for its mistreatment of humans, its violations of international law, and its outright hostility to the United States — including Washington Post journalist murdered.
“We were actually going to [Saudi Arabia] Pay the price, and, in effect, make them pariahs as they are,” Biden said at the 2019 presidential primary debate.
Former President Trump visited Saudi Arabia during his first foreign trip as president and did not bother the Arab nation after the murder of a Saudi citizen and US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was killed in 2018 by Saudi security officials, although suspicious ties to Mohammed bin Salman, also referred to as Mohammed bin Salman, did not affect President Trump’s relationship with the crown prince.
Democrats have taken it upon himself not to take the killing seriously.
Biden had intended to reform Saudi diplomacy over the incident, which was supposed to include avoiding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“We’ve made it clear from the start that we will reset our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” former White House press secretary Psaki said at the start of Biden’s term.
Salman is set to succeed his 85-year-old father, King Salman.
“The president’s counterpart is King Salman, and I expect he will have a conversation with him in due course,” Psaki told reporters at the time.
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