Biden to meet Saudi Crown Prince in defiance of ‘Baria’ pledge

WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden meets with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a trip to the Middle East in July, breaking a promise to make the state he fights a “baria”. Higher US petrol prices.

A few weeks after taking office, Biden changed US policy on Saudi Arabia, taking a hard line on the state’s human rights record, and especially on the assassination of Jamal Kashoki, a Washington Post journalist in Turkey in 2018. U.S. intelligence has implicated the prince in the assassination. The Saudi government has denied any involvement.

Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had a close relationship with the country’s de facto ruler, Prince. But when he was a presidential candidate in 2019, Biden vowed to “pay the price for Saudi Arabia and actually make Baria the scapegoat they are for Kashogi’s assassination.” The White House said earlier this month that Biden’s vision had not changed.

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The talks with the Crown Prince – part of Biden’s first trip to the region – are seen by rights advocates as contrary to his promise to place human rights at the center of US foreign policy. Biden’s voyage from July 13 to July 16 will include a stop in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Speaking anonymously, a senior U.S. official said Biden would “do so if his interest in engaging with any particular leader determines the outcome of such an engagement.”

The official pointed to the role of the Crown Prince in helping to extend the UN brokerage ceasefire between Yemen’s warring parties.

The OPEC + Group of Oil-Producing Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, is set to visit Biden on July 15-16 following Russia’s decision to increase oil production to offset losses – following Western sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine – and the invasion and war on Ukraine. Price and inflation. read more

Gulf Summit

Washington’s desire to improve relations with the Gulf monarchies is most urgent following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, which highlights the suitability of Gulf oil producers.

Three Western diplomats said the US was trying to further isolate Russia in the Ukraine war, urging Gulf states to publicly condemn Moscow. The Gulf states have so far sought to maintain a neutral position on what they say, but some Western diplomats see it as Moscow’s sidekick.

The White House says Biden will meet with regional leaders in Saudi Arabia, including Iraq, Egypt and Jordan, as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council summit. Well-informed Gulf sources say Washington has proposed an agenda that includes regional security, food security, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and energy issues.

In Israel on July 13-14, Biden will stress the US commitment to the country, which includes billions of dollars in military support. He will host a virtual summit with the leaders of Israel, India and the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. official said Biden would travel to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other leaders to reaffirm his commitment to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.

A statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said the visit would help integrate Israel into the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia has signaled its support for the Abraham Accord, which established relations between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain Israel two years ago. But Riyadh has stopped formally recognizing neighboring Israel.

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Report by Jared Renshaw; Additional Reporting by Jonathan Lande, Toina Siaku, Susan Heavy and Alexander Cornwell; Written by Michelle Nichols and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Jonathan Odyssey and Rosalpa O’Brien

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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