Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

White House praises Saudi crown prince ahead of expected Biden trip

Creative Commons
US President Joe Biden's visit is aimed at harmonising relations with Saudi Arabia, and finding ways to lower high gasoline prices in the US

The White House took the rare step of recognising the role played by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in extending a ceasefire in Yemen on Thursday ahead of what is expected to be a trip to Riyadh by President Joe Biden.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that bin Salman and Saudi King Salman deserved credit for their roles in the truce extension announced earlier in the day.

“This truce would not be possible without the cooperative diplomacy from across the region. We specifically recognise the leadership of King Salman and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia in helping consolidate the truce,” she said.

As recently as Wednesday the White House said Biden still felt bin Salman was a “pariah” for what US intelligence says was his role in the killing and dismembering of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018.

Sources familiar with the process say Biden is planning a trip to Saudi Arabia in conjunction with a trip to Europe and Israel in late June.

The visit would be aimed at bolstering relations with Saudi Arabia at a time when Biden is trying to find ways to lower high gasoline prices in the US.

Biden is aiming to participate in a Riyadh summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional union whose members are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, sources said.

Jean-Pierre would not confirm the Biden trip is planned but said: “What the president is focused on first and foremost is how his engagements with foreign leaders advance American interests. That’s as true with Saudi Arabia as anywhere else.”

Further enhancing the prospects for a Biden trip was a decision by OPEC + to increase its oil production by 200,000 barrels in July and August, a move welcomed by the White House.

“We recognise the role of Saudi Arabia as the chair of OPEC+ and its largest producer in achieving this consensus among the group members,” Jean-Pierre said.

The murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul sparked a furor in the West and tainted Prince Mohammed’s image as a reformist. The Saudi government has denied any involvement by the crown prince in the murder of Khashoggi, a US resident who was critical of the kingdom’s rulers.

Latest articles

FILE PHOTO: United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi gestures during an interview with Reuters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi/File Photo

UAE and Kenya complete Cepa negotiations

The UAE and Kenya have completed negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) between the two countries. It is the 12th Cepa deal secured by the UAE and its third in Africa, after agreements were signed last year with Mauritius and the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville). “The UAE-Kenya Cepa will not only boost […]

The 450 companies operating at Dubai Science Park include AstraZeneca, and the free zone plans to add 200,000 sq ft of lab and office space

Dubai Science Park reveals expansion plans

Dubai’s biotechnology free zone is adding 60 percent more offices, laboratories and warehouses over the next few years to cater for an influx of new companies, its senior vice-president told AGBI.  Dubai Science Park, part of Dubai-listed Tecom Group, is planning an expansion of 200,000 sq ft of additional storage and logistics facilities at the […]

A worker at a phosphate production plant in Metlaoui, Tunisia. Phosphate accounts for 15% of Tunisia's exports

Saudi Arabia loans $55m for Tunisian rail renewal

Saudi Arabia has signed a $55 million loan deal with Tunisia to finance the renewal of the North African country’s rail network.  The railway is used to transport phosphate, a sector that makes up around 4 percent of Tunisia’s GDP and 15 percent of the country’s exports. Tunisia plans to produce eight million tonnes by […]

Visitors enjoy the Karnak Temples; the government hopes to entice 30 million tourists to Egypt a year by 2030 tourism egypt

Egypt tourism up 5% in early 2024 despite Gaza conflict

The number of tourists visiting Egypt increased by five percent year on year in the first 40 days of 2024, according to Egypt’s tourism minister, Ahmed Issa. The announcement came after reports in January that visitor numbers for the whole of 2023 reached a record high of 14.9 million, just shy of the 15 million […]