Speculation of such a move in June was rife, but according to the New York Timeshe is now confirmed: the President of the United States
decided to go to Riyadh this month to rebuild relations with the oil kingdom as it seeks to lower petrol prices at home and isolate Russia internationally.
On the spot,
he will meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmannicknamed
MBSand other leaders of Arab countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, the daily added.
He said logistical details and timing were yet to be confirmed, but the visit would come on top of a trip already planned for the end of June to Israel, Germany for the G7 summit and Spain for the EU summit. ‘NATO.
the washington post also reported on the displacement, citing anonymous officials, noting that the
face-to-face with the powerful prince would intervene after several missions
discreet in the rich Gulf country of its adviser for the Middle East, Brett McGurk, and its envoy for energy affairs, Amos Hochstein, who tirelessly plead for an increase in crude production in order to bring down inflation.
The President is looking forward to the opportunity to engage with Middle Eastern leaders, but I have nothing to announce todaywas limited to saying Thursday the spokesperson for the White House, Karine Jean-Pierre.
But if Joe Biden
determines that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with a foreign leader and that such engagement can bring results, then it willtold theAFP a senior Biden administration official on condition of anonymity.
Without confirming the trip, this official estimated that there was
no doubt that important interests [des États-Unis] are related to those of Saudi Arabia.
Before his election, Joe Biden had ruled that Saudi Arabia should be treated as a state
pariah due to the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Once in power, the Democrat released the US intelligence report in February 2021 accusing MBS of having
valid the murder.
Washington then mentioned a
recalibration of the relationship with this strategic partner in the Gulf, to turn the page on the close proximity of Donald Trump’s presidency without going as far as a break. Joe Biden’s entourage explained that the president would only speak to King Salman and not to the prince, the country’s de facto leader and privileged interlocutor of his Republican predecessor.
The United States has also shown its intention to put human rights back at the heart of its dialogue with Saudi leaders, and stepped up efforts to end the war in Yemen, where Riyadh militarily supports the government against the Houthi rebels.
The decision to move to Saudi Arabia, if confirmed, also comes at a time when the international community has snatched the two-month renewal of a fragile truce in Yemen. Joe Biden on Thursday saluted the
courageous leadership Saudi leaders in this regard.
It also intervenes when theOPECa cartel of oil-exporting countries led by Riyadh, decided on Thursday to boost its production after months of wait-and-see despite soaring prices, thus responding to calls from Westerners.
On Thursday, the U.S. official on condition of anonymity played down the human rights issue, saying the Biden administration is worried about the issue in Saudi Arabia
as with many countries with which we share interests.
There are also strategic priorities that need to be addressed, and our diplomatic contacts and work have recently intensified.he added.
But the face-to-face with MBS risks making the American Congress cringe, even in the Democratic ranks of the president where the sulphurous personality of the crown prince is highly criticized.
In a rare interview with foreign media published in March by the journal Tea AtlanticMohammed bin Salman had hinted that a deterioration in relations with Saudi Arabia could harm Joe Biden.
It’s up to him to think about America’s interestshe had said.
Asked to say if the 79-year-old American president had misunderstood his personality, the young Saudi leader had dropped:
I just don’t care.