After hinting toward a trip over the past week, the White House is set to officially announce the details of President Joe Biden’s upcoming Saudi Arabia travel. But it also said that oil production will not be discussed, instead focusing on rebuilding a relationship that Biden tore down on the campaign trail.
Biden will travel next month as part of a broader trip to the region that includes a stop in Israel, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Former President Trump had built a good relationship with Saudi Arabia, but Biden campaigned heavily on his criticism for the country, pledging to isolate it globally due to its rocky human rights record.
US officials now say they need Saudi Arabia’s cooperation on a number of issues, including oil prices and the Iran nuclear crisis, making the relationship too critical to abandon and leaving Biden to dramatically about-face his former position.
However, Biden said his trip would focus on “security issues” within the region. Last Monday, the White House said oil production was “not the focus” of conversations between Biden and Saudi officials.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said of potential oil price discussions last week, “We do not get involved in any of that.”