Biden's Israel, Saudi Arabia Visits Postponed to July

The U.S. president was expected to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia either before a G7 meeting in Germany on June 26-28 or after a NATO summit in Spain on June 29-30

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
President Joe Biden speaks in Rehoboth Beach, Del., June 3, 2022.
President Joe Biden speaks in Rehoboth Beach, Del., June 3, 2022.Credit: Patrick Semansky /AP
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

President Joe Biden's visits to Israel and Saudi Arabia were postponed to July, according to an NBC News report that was later confirmed by Israeli officials.

The White House informed the officials about the postponement on Friday. Biden was expected to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia either before a G7 meeting in Germany on June 26-28 or after a NATO summit in Spain on June 29-30.

However, the White House is now planning a separate and broader trip to the Middle East in July, sources told NBC News. According to the report, no reason was provided for the postponement, with U.S. officials saying the dates might change again.

“We are working on a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia for a GCC+3 Summit,” according to a senior U.S. official. “We are working to confirm dates. When we have something to announce, we will.”

The White House has yet to comment on Biden's travel plans and no official date has been set for the president's Middle East visit.

In the beginning of May, a U.S. administration team arrived in Israel on to prepare for the presidential visit, which is also expected to include meetings in the West Bank.

The visit would also be Biden's first to the Middle East since assuming office.

Earlier on Friday, Biden publicly acknowledged that he may travel to Saudi Arabia soon, a trip that multiple sources say is expected and could include talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Biden told reporters that he does not yet have direct plans to make a trip to Saudi Arabia but if he does, it would be to try to advance Middle East peace prospects.

As recently as Wednesday, the White House said Biden still felt bin Salman was a "pariah" for what U.S. intelligence says was his role in the killing and dismembering of a political opponent, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Turkey in 2018.

The visit would be aimed at bolstering relations with Saudi Arabia at a time when Biden is trying to find ways to lower gasoline prices in the United States.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Election ad featuring Yair Lapid in Rahat, the largest Arab city in Israel's Negev region.

This Bedouin City Could Decide Who Is Israel's Next Prime Minister

Dr. Claris Harbon in the neighborhood where she grew up in Ashdod.

A Women's Rights Lawyer Felt She Didn't Belong in Israel. So She Moved to Morocco

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

'It Was Real Shock to Move From a Little Muslim Village, to a Big Open World'

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister