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Biden to visit Saudi Arabia and Israel next month

US President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as he leaves a church in Wilmington, Delaware, USA on June 12, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON, June 12 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia and Israel next month, with the White House planning to announce the trip this week, a source familiar with the plans said Sunday.

Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia could include a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the source said.

The White House said Biden considers the crown prince a “rogue” because of his role in the 2018 assassination of political opponent, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Turkey.

Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul tarnished the crown prince’s image as a reformer. The Saudi Arabian government denies any involvement.

The visit will be aimed at strengthening relations with Saudi Arabia at a time when Biden is trying to find ways to lower gasoline prices in the United States.

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Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Eric Beach; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Sam Holmes

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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