File: Fahad Shadeed/Reuters

US officials have confirmed that President Biden will make the controversial visit to Saudi Arabia and meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

Iran PressAmerica: The White House has confirmed details of US President Joe Biden’s first trip to the Middle East, including a controversial stop in Saudi Arabia and an expected meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

The Biden administration on Tuesday confirmed the trip, which had previously been reported by US media, would take place between July 13 and 16. Biden will also visit Israel and the occupied West Bank, Al Jazeera reported.

The stop in Saudi Arabia –  and particularly the meeting with MBS – represent an about-face for Biden, who as a candidate, said the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which US intelligence later directly linked to the crown prince, made the kingdom a “pariah.”

Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered by a group of Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. Saudi officials initially lied about the killing, claiming Khashoggi had left the consulate, then changed their story and subsequently arrested several of its nationals. In 2019, the UN ruled Khashoggi’s murder a “premeditated extrajudicial execution.”


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