Biden reportedly set to travel to Saudi Arabia despite previous condemnation of Kingdom as a ‘pariah’ state

In 2019, then-candidate Joe Biden denounced Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for alleged human rights abuses and vowed to ostracize the Saudi Kingdom as a “pariah” state on the global stage.

Yet, just three years later, now-President Biden is reportedly set to soon visit Saudi Arabia and meet directly with the crown prince in a bid to improve U.S.-Saudi relations and, presumably, convince that nation to produce more oil to drive down commodity prices, Fox News reported.

Biden had taken particular exception to the alleged 2018 murder and dismemberment of an outspoken critic of the Saudi regime, Jamal Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post, which was purportedly linked to orders from the crown prince.

A perplexing “diplomatic U-turn”

The U.K.’s Telegraph reported on the apparent “diplomatic U-turn” of President Biden and his administration with regard to Saudia Arabia and how the purported current effort at outreach stands in stark contrast with how Biden himself had previously promised to treat the Kingdom as an outcast country unwelcome among more civilized nations.

During the 2020 campaign season, then-candidate Biden said the world should treat Saudi Arabia as “the pariah that they are” and that the Saudi regime, which had “very little social redeeming value,” must be made to “pay the price” for the untimely death of the U.S.-based Saudi journalist.

Biden’s administration has since then directly accused the Saudi crown prince of being involved in Khashoggi’s murder and even levied economic sanctions against top Saudi officials.

All of that said, the current reality is that President Biden is suffering increasingly low approval numbers in large part due to the soaring price of oil and gasoline, and given his adamant refusal to support increased domestic energy production to increase supply and meet heightened demand, he has turned to foreign producers of oil and natural gas and begged them to increase energy production in an effort to lower costs.

Hence, multiple reports in recent days and weeks that Biden will soon travel to Saudi Arabia and, while there, meet with the Kingdom’s de facto ruler, the crown prince, to discuss things like oil production as well as a brokered truce in the ongoing civil war between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Biden White House refuses to provide confirmation or direct answers

Of course, President Biden’s White House has played coy about the alleged upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia and has largely refused to either confirm or deny that such a trip is even being planned.

On Friday, following a speech on jobs and the economy, Biden was asked if a trip was planned and replied, “I’m not sure whether I’m going. I’m — I have no direct plans at the moment.”

A moment later, asked if the “Kingdom is still a pariah,” the president responded, “Look, I’m not going to change my view on human rights. But as President of the United States, my job is to bring peace if I can — peace if I can. And that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked repeatedly during Monday’s briefing about the supposed upcoming trip and how that outreach could be reconciled with the president’s prior harsh condemnations of the Kingdom, but she danced around each and every question and refused to confirm that such a trip was even being planned, let alone actually address the glaring disparity in Biden’s stance toward the regime.

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