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It’s confirmed, Joe Biden’s Middle Eastern tour in mid-July will go through Saudi Arabia. Despite his hesitations, the American president will meet Crown Prince Mohamed ben Salman there.
With our correspondent in Washington, Guillaume Naudin
Officially, Joe Biden explains that he is delighted to respond to King Salman’s invitation. But everyone knows that in the kingdom, the reality of power belongs to the son of the sovereign. So far the American president explained that he had not made a decision on a meeting with the crown prince, without whose agreement the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi would not have been possible.
Eventually, this will be done, but within a multilateral framework. That of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to discuss issues of security and peace in the region and in particular the war in Yemen and Iran. But the White House explains that this multi-person format does not exclude bilateral meetings either.
The press release from the spokesperson announces discussions on human rights, but also on energy issues. It is a political emergency for the president in the middle of an election year. The price of gasoline at the pump continues to climb, and a few days ago, OPEC, led by the Saudi kingdom, opportunely announced an increase in its crude production.
An announcement which apparently favored this trip and this meeting with the one whom during the 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden treated as an outcast live on television.