Thursday, June 13, 2024

Biden makes first Middle East visit as U.S. president

U.S. President Joe Biden has kicked off his first visit to the Middle East since he assumed office 18 months ago with his first arrival in Israel.

• July 13, 2022
Joe Biden
Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden has begun his first visit to the Middle East since he assumed office 18 months ago, with his first arrival in Israel

on Wednesday morning.

Talks with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, President Isaac Herzog and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu are scheduled, as well as talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.

The White House said while in Israel, Mr Biden would “reinforce the United States’ iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity.”

Meanwhile, the talks will also focus on Israel’s increasing regional integration.

During his meeting with the Palestinian president, Mr Biden is expected to underscore his support for a two-state solution offering the Palestinian people equal security, freedom and opportunity.

On Friday, Mr Biden will move on to Saudi Arabia, where he will meet the kingdom’s leaders in Jeddah and attend a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Ahead of the trip, Mr Biden defended his visit to Saudi Arabia when campaigning for the election in 2019 and pledged to hold the Saudi government responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist.

U.S. intelligence services have identified Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman the kingdom’s effective ruler, as being behind the murder. 

(dpa/NAN) 

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