Photo Credit: The White House
US President Joe Biden, 2021

It’s official: President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit the Middle East region from July 13-16, the White House announced Tuesday. He will arrive in Israel on July 13.

The trip is intended “to reinforce the United States’ iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity” while enabling Biden to attend a Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan (known as the GCC+3).

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The president will also meet with counterparts from across the region to “advance US security, economic, and diplomatic interests,” the White House said.

Biden will begin his travel in Israel, where he will meet with Israeli leaders “to discuss Israel’s security, prosperity, and its increasing integration into the greater region”.

The President will also visit the Palestinian Authority “to consult” with the Ramallah government and to reiterate his strong support for a two-state solution, “with equal measures of security, freedom, and opportunity for the Palestinian people,” the announcement said.

Biden is then slated to travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. Jedda is the current chair of the GCC and venue for the gathering of nine leaders from across the region.

“The President appreciates King Salman’s leadership and his invitation,” the White House said. “He looks forward to this important visit to Saudi Arabia, which has been a strategic partner of the United States for nearly eight decades.”

While in Saudi Arabia, the President will discuss the issue of deterring threats from Iran, advancing human rights and ensuring global energy and food security.

The talks will also cover the expansion of regional economic and security cooperation, including new infrastructure and climate initiatives, as well as the issue of supporting the UN-mediated truce in Yemen.

“The President looks forward to outlining his affirmative vision for US engagement in the region over the coming months and years,” the White House said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.