Biden: Israeli security part of reason for KSA trip
The US President says his expected visit to Saudi Arabia will also address issues related to "Israel's" security.
US President Joe Biden announced on Sunday that his expected visit to Saudi Arabia will also address "Israel's" security issues.
According to The Times of Israel, the US President's trip to the occupied territories has been set for July 14 and 15.
Biden dismissed claims that his visit to Saudi Arabia will have to do with the kingdom's oil exports, rather, the US president said it is part of a larger meeting that will take place in Saudi Arabia: "That’s the reason I’m going. And it has to do with national security for them — for Israelis," Biden told reporters.
“I have a program — anyway. It has to do with much larger issues than having to do with the energy piece,” he added.
Joe Biden says he hasn't decided whether to visit Saudi Arabia, who he previously called "a pariah," to beg for more oil.— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 13, 2022
20 seconds later, he says, "It happens to be a larger meeting taking place in Saudi Arabia. That's the reason I'm going." pic.twitter.com/K4bK6eAZAV
The dates for Biden's tour in West Asia have yet to be finalized, but a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said this trip "comes in the context of a significant agenda with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the other countries of the Middle East."
White House Spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre's responded to a question earlier this month, on June 1, about previous statements made by Joe Biden against Saudi Arabia, which he described as a "pariah", saying the remarks still stand.
Biden has delayed his visit to West Asia a number of times so far, with Politico claiming that Biden "angrily rejected" the possibility of meeting with Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince, before giving in later on.
One Israeli official, quoted by The Times of Israel, said the delay was due to the White House debating certain aspects of the stopover in Saudi Arabia, which is politically sensitive.