Biden 'to take Israeli official' with him to Saudi Arabia

Biden 'to take Israeli official' with him to Saudi Arabia
An Israeli official may accompany US President Joe Biden on his visit to Saudi Arabia, according to reports in Israeli media
2 min read
07 July, 2022
Joe Biden's planned trip has sparked condemnation from human rights activists [Getty]

Saudi Arabia may invite Israeli officials to accompany US President Joe Biden when he visits the kingdom this month, Israeli media has reported. 

A political advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was quoted by Israeli news outlet Ynetnews as saying it is possible that an Israeli official may accompany Biden on his visit to Saudi Arabia on July 15.

The prospect of a senior Israeli figure accompanying Biden on his visit to Saudi Arabia was previously discussed as part of the American-Saudi dialogue, though the chances of the plan actually going through seemed unlikely.

The three countries are currently assessing whether an Israeli official should attend. 

Biden is expected to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian West Bank on July 13 and 14 before flying to Saudi Arabia from Tel Aviv.

Late last month, Biden said part of the reason for his visit to Saudi Arabia was to “deepen Israel’s integration in the region.”

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Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Spain, Biden said Israel-Saudi normalisation is "good for peace and good for Israeli security.”

While Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, there have been numerous reports suggesting that the two countries are cooperating on security issues, including on Iran.

Before being elected, Biden had vowed to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah" state because it had ordered the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The president's planned trip to Saudi Arabia has sparked condemnation in the US from human rights activists who said the visit lent Saudi Arabia's rulers credibility despite the kingdom's appalling human rights record.