Sunday, 3 Jul 2022 - 4 of Tammuz, 5782

US President Biden’s visit to Israel postponed to July, likely to travel also to Saudi Arabia

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According to reports the change was the result of Biden’s tight schedule during his visit to Europe where Biden is expected to participate in the G7 summit in Germany June 26 and the NATO annual summit in Spain on June 29.

U.S. President Joe Biden has postponed his trip to Israel and its neighbors, and is likely to travel to the region in July.

According to reports the change was the result of Biden’s tight schedule during his visit to Europe where Biden is expected to participate in the G7 summit in Germany June 26 and the NATO annual summit in Spain on June 29.

Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia was also postponed until next month as Washington plans a more comprehensive Middle East trip, including a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh.

Speculation is also focusing on a potential normalization accord between Israel and Saudi Arabia, negotiated by the US. Unconfirmed reports said that Washington and Jerusalem are also discussing possibly holding a regional summit. The idea was apparently discussed last month, when Israel’s national security adviser Eyal Hulata visited Washington. Such a summit could build on the regional Negev summit convened by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in late March that brought together the Foreign Ministers of Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt

In  Riyadh, Biden is expected to meet for the first time with Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi-US ties have deteriorated considerably since Biden succeeded former President Donald Trump due to disappointment over Washington’s policies on Iran’s nuclear program and the Houthi presence in Yemen, as well as Biden’s comments during his presidential campaign promising to treat Saudi Arabia as a “pariah state.”

In a move viewed as a gesture to the Saudis, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday that the Crown Prince and his father, King Salman “deserve credit” for their roles in extending a ceasefire in Yemen.

The United States also thanked OPEC+, the Saudi-led intergovernmental oil production and export organization, for announcing it will ramp up its oil production by 200,000 barrels per day over the summer.

This marks a change in the Saudi stance against increasing oil production since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted the global oil market.

While the program of Biden’s visit to Israel has not been concluded yet, reports say the US President will meet with President Isaac Herzog and with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. He will tour an Iron Dome anti-missile battery. In Jerusalem he is also expected to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum.He is is reportedly going to visit a hospital in East Jerusalem before heading to Bethlehem, in the West Bank,  to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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