US President Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia in mid-July. During the visit, Biden will hold a formal meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. However, he will not hold separate meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit. Biden himself made the announcement on Friday.
US intelligence has suggested that Prince Salman was involved in the 2016 assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khasogi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey. US relations with Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Khashoggi, have been strained since the assassination. According to media reports, Biden is planning a visit to Saudi Arabia to mend fences. He is scheduled to meet Prince Salman during the visit.
Biden spoke to reporters yesterday after a virtual conference of the world’s largest economies on climate change. At the time, a journalist asked Biden how he would handle Prince Salman if he went to Saudi Arabia to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) conference in mid-July.
In response, Biden said, “I am going to Saudi Arabia to attend an international conference. I am not going there to take part in a separate meeting with the country’s Prince Salman.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie said Biden could meet with Prince Salman, as well as leaders from other countries attending an international conference. However, there is no plan to hold a separate meeting between them.
Biden will not meet with Prince Salman
In addition, in the wake of the Ukraine war, it has become imperative to balance the international market for fuel oil and prevent inflation. According to media reports, Biden will try to persuade Saudi Arabia during his visit to increase oil production.