The US is still planning for President Joe Biden to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia, the White House said on Monday.
'When the President's ready to make that announcement, that's when we will but we continue to plan for a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia,' spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. 'This would be an opportunity for the President to engage with leaders from across the Middle East region.'
She did not have specific plans to announce, but Biden was expected to tack on the visit to his upcoming travel to Europe this month. But multiple reports said that it has been delayed to July.
Jean-Pierre defended any potential trip the president may make to Saudi Arabia as being about more than just getting the Kingdom to produce more oil amid record-breaking gas prices, saying to 'view engagement with Saudi Arabia on energy security, as asking for oil is simply wrong, and a misunderstanding of both the complexity of that issue and our multifaceted discussions with the Saudis.'
'That said Saudi Arabia is the chair as you know of OPEC plus, and its largest exporter. Of course, we discuss energy with Saudi government as we do with oil producers around the world, and we welcome its leadership in achieving a consensus amongst the group members last week,' she added.
By Michael Hernandez