The White House has announced that US President Joe Biden will make an official visit to Israel and the West Bank on 13-14 July 2022. This will be his first visit to Israel under his current capacity.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office issued a statement, referring to President Biden as “a true friend of Israel” and saying that his visit “will deepen the special relationship and the strategic partnership between the two countries, as well as strengthen the US commitment to the security and stability of Israel and the region.”
During the visit, President Biden is expected to reveal steps that are being taken by the US to integrate Israel into the Middle East, and forge agreements set to strengthen the civilian and security cooperation between the two countries and take the US-Israel alliance.
In a press background call, a senior US government official said that Biden is likely to visit Iron Dome deployment sites, as well as hold discussions regarding new innovations that use laser technologies to defeat missiles and other airborne threats.
“In meetings with Israeli leaders, the President will reaffirm the ironclad U.S. commitment to Israel’s security and new areas of deepening cooperation in technology, climate, commerce, trade, and other sectors,” said the official.
In the West Bank, President Biden is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders. On this, the administration official noted that Biden The President “has known Abbas for decades, and he looks forward to reaffirming his lifelong commitment to a two-state solution and to discuss the ways in which we might rekindle a new political horizon that can ensure equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and dignity to Israelis and Palestinians alike.
On July 14th President Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia – the very country he pledged to make a “pariah” while running for office, due to the country’s poor human rights records and especially the alleged involvement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (with whom President Biden is scheduled to meet) in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
However, that was before Russia’s war on Ukraine which is partially to blame for skyrocketing gas prices, the failure to achieve an agreement with Iran, China’s expansion and more.
“This visit to the Middle East region, where the President will engage with nearly a dozen of his counterparts in three stops — Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia — is part of this clear sequence of global engagements at an important moment and demonstrates, we believe, the return of American leadership to bring countries together to address common threats and challenges, something the United States can uniquely do, and with new frameworks that aim to harness unique American capabilities to enable partners to work more closely together, which is essential to a more secure, prosperous, and stable Middle East region over the long term,” said the US official.
Prime Minister Bennett’s statement also mentions President Biden’s “important visit to Saudi Arabia,” and thanks him for the “efforts to strengthen the countries' joint interests and expand regional peace.”