A team of Saudi operatives murdered Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018.
The White House said in a statement on Tuesday Biden is planning to go ahead with his visit to Saudi Arabia next month despite concerns about human rights by Saudi leaders.
The White House said Biden will travel to the Middle East from July 13 to July 16, starting in Israel and the West Bank before landing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters.
Biden, who once called for Saudi Arabia to be made a pariah, is likely to meet with regional leaders in Saudi Arabia as part of a summit of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, according to the White House.
A senior US official said earlier that Biden would meet with Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, but the White House statement did not provide any details of the meeting.
Asked about the omission, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, "Yes, we can expect the president to see the crown prince."
Biden’s visit to the kingdom comes as he is trying to find ways to lower US gasoline prices. The group of oil-producing nations called OPEC+, led by Saudi Arabia, recently agreed to increase oil production to help bring down prices.
The price for a gallon has doubled since Biden took office in January last year, but that same gallon costs $5 on Tuesday, according to data from the non-profit American Automobile Association (AAA). The association said the average gallon of gas cost only $2.39 during the first week of Biden’s presidency.
The gasoline prices are a problem for Biden and his fellow Democrats ahead of the November midterm congressional elections.
Since the beginning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing spikes in oil prices, the US president has made great efforts to control fuel prices as well as isolate Russia.
Many analysts believe that Biden's current move to travel to Saudi Arabia is in line with the effort.
The Project on Middle East Democracy said on Twitter that the visit "is a slap in the face to activists, dissidents, women human rights defenders, journalists, & everyday citizens - in Saudi and abroad - who have been imprisoned, disappeared, and murdered.”
US relations with Saudi Arabia have been strained since the assassination of Khashoggi.
Biden, after winning the presidential election and even in the election campaign, had repeatedly said that bin Salman was the main perpetrator of this crime. But to date, no practical action has been taken by the White House in this regard.
Democratic members of the US House of Representatives had introduced two bills to penalize MBS for his personal role in the violent murder of Khashoggi.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said back then that the legislation would freeze the Saudi crown prince’s assets and impose a visa ban on him.
Biden also scaled back support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen amid disgust over civilian casualties.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly managed to get the support of US administrations that initially sought a greater distance.
Source: Press TV#US #Biden #Bin_Salman #Saudi Arabia 22-06-15
This page is the English version of Almasirah Media Network website and it focuses on delivering all leading News and developments in Yemen, the Middle East and the world. In the eara of misinformation imposed by the main stream media in the Middle East and abroad, Almasirah Media Network strives towards promoting knowledge, principle values and justice, among all societies and cultures in the world
copyright by Almasirah 2023 ©