Biden hopes for Israeli integration at Arab summit in Saudi Arabia – SABC News

US President Joe Biden will discuss regional missile and defense capabilities on Saturday when he meets Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, where he will seek to integrate Israel as part of a new axis driven largely by shared concerns over Iran, a senior government official said.

“We believe there is great value in bringing as many capabilities into this region as possible, and certainly Israel has significant air and missile defense capabilities that they need.

But we are having these talks bilaterally with these nations,” the government official told reporters.

On his first trip to the Middle East as president, Biden has focused on the planned summit with six Gulf states plus Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, and downplayed the meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

This encounter drew criticism in the United States for human rights violations.

Biden had vowed to make Saudi Arabia an “outcast” on the global stage over the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents, but ultimately decided that US interests required a recalibration, rather than a rupture, in ties with the United States world’s largest oil exporter and Arab dictated powerhouse.

The US leader said he raised the assassination of Khashoggi at the forefront of his meeting with the Saudi crown prince on Friday and that it was “incompatible to remain silent on the issue of human rights, who we are and who I am”.

The crown prince told Biden that Saudi Arabia acted to prevent a repeat of mistakes like the Khashoggi assassination, but that the United States made similar mistakes, including in Iraq, a Saudi official said.

The official, in a statement sent to Reuters about the talk between the two leaders on Friday, said the kingdom’s de facto ruler had said trying to impose certain values ​​by force on other countries could backfire.

Prince Mohammed also addressed the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during an Israeli raid on the West Bank and mentioned Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Biden needs the help of OPEC giant Saudi Arabia at a time of high crude oil prices and other issues related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and while promoting efforts to end the Yemen war, which is on a temporary ceasefire. Washington also wants to curb Iran’s influence in the region and China’s global influence.

The administration official said the United States is hopeful that it will see a surge in OPEC production in the coming weeks. Biden is expected to push other Gulf producers to pump more oil.

The next meeting of the OPEC+ alliance, which includes Russia, will take place on August 3.

Biden hopes for Israeli integration at Arab summit in Saudi Arabia – SABC News

Source link Biden hopes for Israeli integration at Arab summit in Saudi Arabia – SABC News

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