Biden linked the visit to Riyadh with the desire to “resist Russian aggression”

To “counter Russian aggression” and win competition with China, the US needs to engage with countries like Saudi Arabia, Biden said

Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden, writing for The Washington Post, said that while many criticize his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia, it is important in terms of confronting Russia.

“My job as president is to make our country strong and secure. We must counter Russian aggression, position ourselves in the best position to surpass China, and work towards greater stability in an important region of the world,— he wrote.

To do this, according to the president, the United States needs to interact directly with the states that can influence the results of such work. One of them— Saudi Arabia, he writes.

Biden's trip to the Middle East will begin July 13 and run until July 16. The US President will visit Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia. According to Reuters, he will meet with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

According to the American leader, the trip will take place “at a vital time for the region and will help advance American interests.” In particular, he writes, the Middle East is important for maintaining supply chains, and energy resources in the region can mitigate the effects of restrictions imposed in response to the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

According to CNN, Biden's upcoming visit has drawn criticism, given that US National Intelligence believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed was involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He was known for his criticism of the Saudi Arabian authorities and has lived in the United States since 2017 and has written for The Washington Post. Khashoggi disappeared on October 2, 2018, after he went to the consulate of the kingdom in Istanbul for paperwork. The Turkish prosecutor's office believes that Khashoggi was killed, and his body was dismembered and destroyed. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the assassination order came from “the highest levels” Saudi government. The crown prince acknowledged responsibility for the murder of Khashoggi, but claimed that he was not aware of the actions of his administration officials.

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Biden promised early in his term that Washington would hold Riyadh accountable for human rights violations. During the election campaign, he said that he would make Saudi Arabia a “rogue state.”

The American media, including The New York Times, began reporting on the American president's decision to travel to Saudi Arabia in June. According to the newspaper, Biden is going to restore bilateral relations, which escalated after the assassination of Khashoggi. In the spring, The Wall Street Journal reported on attempts by the White House to contact the Saudi authorities and urge Riyadh to increase oil production, but the conversation was denied.

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Joseph Biden

Politician, US President

November 20, 1942

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