Biden defends Saudi Arabia visit, says he’ll ‘reorient’ relations

President Joe Biden has defended his trip next week to Saudi Arabia as an opportunity to « reorient – but not sever – relations with a country that has been a strategic partner for 80 years », he wrote in an op-ed. from the Washington Post.

Biden is due to visit the Middle East July 13-16 to promote peace in the region and make a desperate effort to convince Saudi Arabia to help mitigate record gas prices, which are rising amid the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Saudi Arabia, Biden wrote, “is now working with my experts to help stabilize oil markets with other OPEC producers.”

« I know there are many who disagree with my decision to travel to Saudi Arabia, » he continued. « My views on human rights are clear and long-standing, and fundamental freedoms are always on the agenda when I travel abroad, as they will be on this trip, just as they will in Israel and the West Bank.

During his trip to Israel, Biden will receive the country’s highest civilian honor, the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor. Israeli President Isaac Herzog said the award was « to thank him for being a true friend of Israel » and for Biden’s « decades of support for Israel’s security, the deepening of our alliance and the fight against anti-Semitism ».


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