Biden says always aimed to ‘reorient, not rupture’ Saudi relations ahead of visit

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US President Joe Biden said that “from the start, my aim was to reorient — but not rupture” relations with Saudi Arabia, on Saturday ahead of his first visit to the Kingdom as president on Friday.

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He praised the Kingdom’s efforts to restore unity among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, support the truce in Yemen, and work with US experts to help stabilize oil markets, in a Washington Post opinion piece.

Biden aims to “strengthen a strategic partnership going forward that’s based on mutual interests and responsibilities, while also holding true to fundamental American values.”

He will also be the first president to fly from Israel to Jeddah, in a move that he describes as symbolic of a budding relationship between the two countries.

Saudi-US relations had been at a historic low after Biden became President.

He made, during his election campaign, a number of criticisms of the Kingdom, but has apparently taken a more conciliatory approach in the wake of the war in Ukraine and skyrocketing oil prices.

The White House announced in June that Biden would be visiting Saudi Arabia and meeting with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as participating in the Gulf Cooperation Council summit, which is being chaired by the Kingdom.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jeane-Pierre said at the time that Biden appreciates King Salman’s leadership and the invitation.

“A region that’s coming together through diplomacy and cooperation — rather than coming apart through conflict — is less likely to give rise to violent extremism that threatens our homeland or new wars that could place new burdens on US military forces and their families,” Biden wrote on Saturday, adding that Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that can affect regional stability.

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