US President Joe Biden is leaning towards visiting Saudi Arabia and meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Associated Press reported on Thursday citing a White House source.
The Associated Press said that Biden is likely to visit Saudi Arabia at the end of this month after his travels to Europe.
US-Saudi ties have been strained since Biden took office and his administration made decisions to curtail Washington’s support to the Arab Coalition’s campaign in Yemen and to pursue reviving the abandoned 2015 Iran nuclear deal which Riyadh says doesn’t do much to prevent Tehran from creating a nuclear weapon.
Last week, the White House announced that Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk and the State Department’s senior advisor for energy security Amos Hochstein met senior Saudi officials in Riyadh.
The senior US officials discussed Iran, global energy supplies and regional issues.
Members of Congress also visited the Kingdom last week and met with the Crown Prince to discuss Saudi-US ties.
Recently, the US has been urging Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter and OPEC member, to increase oil production to lower prices that have skyrocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine.
The AP report comes as OPEC+ (the group composed of OPEC, Russia and other nine other oil producing nations) announced on Thursday raising oil production by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August.
In addition, the United Nations announced on Thursday that Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to renew a two-month truce.
Biden thanked Saudi Arabia for its role in extending the truce. “Saudi Arabia demonstrated courageous leadership by taking initiatives early on to endorse and implement terms of the UN-led truce,” he said according to a statement by the White House.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: “This truce would not be possible without the cooperative diplomacy from across the region. We specifically recognize the leadership of King Salman [bin Abdulaziz] and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in helping consolidate the truce.”