Joe Biden Begins His Crucial Middle East Mission in Israel

Biden Begins His Crucial Middle East
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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden touched down in Israel on Wednesday to begin a high-stakes trip to the Middle East that would be dominated by attempts to convince Gulf allies to increase oil production and to strengthen ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Before visiting Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, on Friday in the occupied West Bank, Biden will spend two days in Jerusalem for discussions with Israeli authorities.

He will then fly directly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday for discussions with Saudi officials and to attend a conference of Gulf allies, a first for an American president.

Biden’s first trip to the Middle East as president, according to U.S. officials, may result in more steps toward rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, two of America’s biggest friends in the unrest-plagued area but also longtime enemies.

An Israeli source said that “we are making moves gradually toward that aim” and that the fact that Biden would travel straight from Israel to Saudi Arabia “encapsulates a lot of the factors that have been emerging over the previous months.”

The objectives of Biden’s visit are to advance regional stability, strengthen Israel’s absorption into the area, and thwart Iranian influence and Chinese and Russian aggression.

The long-stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians won’t be tried again. Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor for the United States, predicted that Biden will reiterate his support for the so-called two-state solution, which envisions a future Palestinian state coexisting with Israel.

In reference to a mission halted by the previous government of the United States under President Donald Trump, he said that Washington wants to establish a consulate for the Palestinians in Jerusalem. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the seat of their future nation “Of course, doing so necessitates communication with the Israeli administration. Engagement with the Palestinian leadership is also necessary. And on this tour, we’ll keep up that involvement “Sullivan informed the media while flying Air Force 1.

It’s much ado over nothing, said Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) member Wasel Abu Youssef.

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