The President of the United States has planned an intense schedule of official trips for the coming months, visiting various continents. this June, Joe Biden he has already been to South Korea, Japan and the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, culminating in a few days with the G7 in the German Alps and his participation in the NATO Summit in Madrid.
Just after visiting the Spanish capital for the momentous meeting of the Atlantic Alliance partners, the White House has already announced this week that Biden will make his first trip to the Middle East. Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia These are the three stops that the US president plans to make during his first official visit to the region, according to Biden’s press secretary.
“The president looks forward to mapping out his affirmative vision of America’s engagement in the region over the coming months and years,” he explained. Karine Jean Pierre this Tuesday through a statement. “The president appreciates King Salman’s leadership and his invitation. He looks forward to this important visit to Saudi Arabia, which has been a strategic partner of the United States for nearly eight decades,” added Jean-Pierre.
The controversy over this surprising announcement has not been long in coming, since Biden, being a candidate for the presidency of the United States, came to publicly make harsh statements against the Arab country by describing the leader of the kingdom as an international “pariah” due to his human rights violations. “They are killing children and innocent people, and they need to be held accountable,” the Democrat declared in 2021.
But Biden, as president, has been forced to back down and the White House justifies this new approach as a promise to “recalibrate” its relations with Saudi Arabia, which will occupy the president’s entire agenda from July 13 to 16, in which highlights precisely the appointment with the prince Mohammed bin Salmanwith whom Biden is scheduled to meet according to a leak to the press from an official on condition of anonymity.
However, the US government promised, upon assuming the presidency, that Biden would not speak directly with the prince but with the king. And it is that the American intelligence agencies concluded, after the death of the journalist of the “Washington Post” jamal khashoggi in 2018, that the prince Mohammed bin Salman would have ordered the brutal murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
But disassociating from this strategic relationship is not in the plans of the Biden Administration nor does it serve its interests. The growing nuclear threat, fears of China’s increased power internationally and other domestic concerns with extremely high inflation, which is already exceeding historical records, leave Biden with no options to continue increasing the list of enemies of the United States, currently headed by Putin.
Washington announced President Biden’s official trip after Saudi Arabia helped persuade the OPEC+ oil group to increase production by 648,000 barrels per day and also agreed to extend the United Nations-mediated ceasefire truce in Yemen. Truce decision described by Biden as “courageous” in which, according to a US official, Prince Mohammed “had a leading role” to achieve the extension of the ceasefire.
“In Saudi Arabia, the president (Biden) will also discuss a number of bilateral, regional and international issues,” including “support for the UN-measured truce in Yemen, which is the longest period of peace since the war broke out.” war seven years ago”, clarified the White House press secretary confirming that King Salman invited Biden to visit his country on the occasion of the meeting that will take place in the city of Yida together with the other five nations of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.
But human rights activists, including members of his own party, warn Biden that, before traveling to Saudi Arabia, you should obtain firm commitments to respect human rights to make clear the message that any kind of abuse should have consequences.