In Saudi Arabia on Saturday, where he will meet with Arab leaders, US President Joe Biden will talk about the fluctuating price of oil. This will be the last stop on his Middle East visit.
The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq’s presidents, will gather in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city on the Red Sea coast.
Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday and met with King Salman, de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and other senior Saudi officials. Saudi Arabia is a longtime US ally that Biden once pledged to make a “pariah” for its human rights record.
Tensions between Biden and Prince Mohammed had been particularly high after Biden’s administration made public US intelligence findings that claimed Prince Mohammed had “approved” an operation aimed at journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose gruesome murder in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in 2018 sparked outrage around the world.
Biden now seems prepared to re-engage with a nation that has long been an important strategic friend of the United States, a significant oil supplier, and an eager purchaser of weaponry.
The United States’ top petroleum exporter is urged by Washington to open the floodgates and lower gasoline prices, which are threatening Democratic chances in the next midterm elections.
Human rights of people
On the aircraft to Jeddah, though, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, tempered hopes for quick progress when speaking with reporters.
You shouldn’t anticipate a specific announcement here bilaterally, he added.
Sullivan, referring to the larger group of oil producers known as OPEC+, stated, “We believe any additional action taken to guarantee that there is adequate energy to maintain the health of the global economy will be done in the framework of OPEC+.”
For the US’s involvement in the Middle East, Biden will be able to “set out clearly and substantively his vision and his plan” during the summit, he continued.
According to Biden, his visit “is about reinforcing America’s influence in this area for the future.
He maintained, “We are not going to leave a Middle East power vacuum for Russia or China to occupy.
links to Israel
Officials from the White House have attempted to encourage unity between Israel and Arab countries by using the trip.
On Saturday’s agenda is also likely to be the subject of the key Red Sea islands of Tiran and neighbouring Sanafir.
Egypt gave the islands to Saudi Arabia in 2016, but the agreement needs Israel’s approval, which might lead to discussions between Jerusalem and Riyadh.
Biden announced on Friday that a long-standing international peacekeeping team, which includes US soldiers, will disband in Tiran; the White House later confirmed this.
The US-mediated Abraham Accords, which established relations between Israel and two of the kingdom’s neighbours in 2020—the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain—have been rejected by Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh has stated repeatedly that it will uphold the Arab League’s long-standing policy of delaying diplomatic relations with Israel until the situation with the Palestinians is settled.
However, it is shown indications of increasing receptivity towards Israel and announced on Friday that overflight restrictions on planes flying to and from Israel will be lifted. Biden welcomed this decision as “historic.”
Yair Lapid, the acting Israeli prime minister, continued, “This is the first formal step towards normalisation with Saudi Arabia.”