Biden WILL visit Saudi Arabia: President to meet leader MBS next month
President Joe Biden will visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on July 15-16 to restore relations between the US and the world’s second largest holder of petroleum reserves.
President will meet Mohammed bin Salman and other ‘Gulf Leaders’ to discuss Iran, Yemen and oil prices, NBC News reports Andrea Mitchell.
The trip comes as US gas prices continue to rise, a key domestic issue Biden hopes to address as the midterm elections loom.
Over the weekend, the national average gas price officially reached $5 a gallon for the first time in U.S. history.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer and, as a key member of OPEC, plays a major role in setting oil prices worldwide.
Mitchell also reported that one of Biden’s goals was to mend the relationship between Biden and Bin Salman after the president called the nation a “pariah” after the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamaal Khashoggi, whose death has been widely attributed to Saudi Arabia.
President Biden was also quoted as saying that one of his other goals was to restore relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia — which currently does not recognize the existence of the US ally.
President will meet Mohammed bin Salman and other ‘Gulf Leaders’ to discuss Iran, Yemen and oil prices
In September 2021, when Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan traveled to the Kingdom to meet Bin Salman, the Crown Prince began yelling at Sullivan when the Khashoggi assassination came up.
The White House has said Biden believes the Crown Prince is a “pariah” for his role in the 2018 assassination of a political opponent, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
During Trump’s 2019 presidency, Biden called bin Salman a “pariah” in the wake of Khashoggi’s assassination.
The Washington Post journalist was murdered in Turkey in 2018. The CIA has concluded with “high confidence” that bin Salman ordered the assassination.
The murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has tarnished the image of the crown prince as a reformist.
Earlier in June, the White House announced that Biden’s planned June visits to Israel and Saudi Arabia had been postponed to July.
The last reported meetings between US officials and Bin Salman did not go well.
In September 2021, when Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan traveled to the Kingdom to meet with Bin Salman, the Crown Prince began yelling at Sullivan when the Khashoggi assassination came up. the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.
In February, Biden asked the Saudis to increase their oil production in exchange for military aid in Yemen – a request that was rejected.
More recently, in April 2022, CIA Director William Burns met with bin Salman to ask about increasing Saudi oil production and arms purchases the country had made in China.
Shortly after the meeting, the Saudis announced that they had no plans to increase production and adhered to their current timetable, rejecting Burns’s request.
President Joe Biden told reporters he hasn’t decided yet whether he will visit Saudi Arabia to beg for more oil
In a confusing incident on June 12, President Biden told reporters he had not yet decided whether to visit Saudi Arabia to beg for more oil.
Just seconds later, he said he was indeed planning a trip there.
“Have you already decided whether or not to go to Saudi Arabia?” a reporter asks Biden.
“No, not yet,” the president replies in front of the camera.
But moments later, as Biden spoke on the Los Angeles tarmac at the foot of Air Force One, the president said he… used to be actually go.
What would hold the decision back at this point? Are there any commitments from the Saudis you’re waiting for?’
“It just happens to be a larger gathering taking place in Saudi Arabia. That’s why I’m going,” he said. “It has to do with national security for the Israelis. It has to do with much bigger issues than energy.’
Seconds later, when Biden spoke on the tarmac at the base of Air Force One, Biden said he was in fact
The White House is expected to announce the trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel this week, a source familiar with the schedule said Sunday.
A National Security Council spokesman previously confirmed that a Biden trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia was planned. “We have no further travel details to confirm, but we will announce it as soon as we have,” the spokesperson said.
The visit is said to be aimed at strengthening relations with Saudi Arabia at a time when Biden is trying to find ways to lower gasoline prices in the United States.
Gas prices have skyrocketed in recent months due to Russia’s continued attack on Ukraine and subsequent sanctions Western countries have imposed on Russian oil, removing more than 1 million barrels of oil from world markets.
In March, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would ban Russian oil and natural gas, warning Americans that “defending freedom will cost money.”
On Saturday, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline reached $5
But gas prices were already high by then due to increased demand as the economy began to recover from COVID-related shutdowns, as well as increased demand for summer travel.
At the same time, however, many oil companies closed some of their refineries as demand plummeted during the pandemic.
By Saturday, the national average price of gasoline reached $5 a gallon — 60 cents more than a month ago and nearly $2 more than a year ago, according to the New York Times†
The average price of gas, meanwhile, was over $4 in all 50 states – and in California it was over $6 a gallon, while in Minnesota it was $4.72.
Energy experts now estimate that for every penny the price of gas rises, it costs Americans an additional $4 million per day, with the average American paying $450 gas month for their fuel needs.
And research from the Bank of America Institute, which uses anonymous data from millions of their customers’ credit and debit card accounts, shows that spending on gas consumes a larger portion of the consumer budget and crowds out their ability to purchase other items.
For lower-income households — defined as those with incomes less than $50,000 — gas spending reached nearly 10 percent of all credit and debit card spending in the last week of May, the institute said in a report this week.
That’s more than about 7.5 percent in February, a sharp increase in such a short period.