WH confirms Biden will hold bi-lateral talks with Saudi Arabia

Jow Biden

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre announced that US President Joe Biden would meet the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a bilateral meeting during his visit to the Kingdom on July 15 and 16.

Biden begins his official visit at the invitation of King Salman. The visit aims to strengthen the historical ties and the distinguished strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Biden is also seeking to work with Saudi officials to extend the Yemeni humanitarian truce that came into effect on April 2, which Saudi Arabia strongly supported.

White House National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby also announced that Biden would hold bilateral talks with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the leadership team, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The president will sit down in a bilateral meeting with the Saudi King and his leadership team,” Kirby said. “As you know, the Crown Prince is on that leadership team. So, he will be a part of that meeting.”

“So certainly, the president will be seeing the Crown Prince in the context of that larger bilateral discussion,” he added.

The trip will also address the integration of regional air defense systems for Arab countries against Iran.

US officials are also discussing air defense capabilities with regional leaders in the face of a threat from Iran, said Kirby. “We’re continuing to work on integrated air defense capabilities and frameworks across the region.”

“The whole region is concerned about Iran and their burgeoning and growing ballistic missile capabilities, not to mention their continued support for terrorism across the region,” he added.