White House Announces Biden Trip to Israel, West Bank, and Saudi Arabia
The White House on Tuesday, June 14, announced the dates for US President Joe Biden’s highly anticipated first trip to the Middle East, which will include stops in Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia from July 13 to July 16.
Biden accepted an invitation to visit Israel in late April. The trip was initially planned for late June but was later delayed to July over what the White House said were scheduling issues. According to an Israeli official, those scheduling issues related to the Saudi leg of the trip, which was a later addition that exposed the president to criticism from some Democrats, who expected him to maintain a firm stance against Riyadh over its human rights record.
The trip will begin in Israel, where the president will meet with Israeli leaders, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. An Israeli official told The Times of Israel that Biden will meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. The official added that Biden is also slated to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and East Jerusalem. (TOI / VFI News)