Biden reaffirms commitment to human rights, even as administration praises Saudi Arabia over oil

U.S. President Joe Biden signs an executive order to reform federal and local policing on the second anniversary of the de...

REHOBOTH BEACH, Dell ( Associated Press) – President Joe Biden said Friday that he has not changed his views on human rights despite his administration’s praise of Saudi Arabia – which he promised to make “pariah” over its abuses – received the key. To do this, oil producers will increase production.

Biden said he was not sure he was going to Saudi Arabia and “there are no direct plans at the moment” to visit the kingdom. He acknowledged that he hopes to meet leaders of some Arab countries, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, at some point.

The comments come as the White House looks more certain about the visit. A person familiar with the White House’s plan said Biden has decided to visit Saudi Arabia as well as Israel, possibly putting a stop to a previously scheduled trip to Europe for a pair summit this month, but The details have not been finalized. The person was not authorized to comment publicly.

Asked about a possible trip to Saudi Arabia, Biden told reporters after commenting on the May jobs report, “Look, I’m not going to change my mind on human rights.” “But as President of the United States, my job is to bring peace if I can, to bring peace if I can. And that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

As a candidate for the White House, he pledged to treat Saudis as “pariahs” for the 2018 murder and disinformation of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s brutal methods. US intelligence officials determined that the Crown Prince had sanctioned the killing.

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Biden, who is spending the weekend at his Delaware beach home, shrugged off reporters’ questions about whether he will meet with the prince, often referred to by his initials, MBS, should he visit the state .

“Look, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here,” Biden said when asked about such a meeting. “What I want to do is to see that we reduce the possibility that this will continue, some silly war between Israel and the Arab countries, and that’s what I’m focused on.”

The OPEC+ group – OPEC nations plus Russia – announced on Thursday that they would increase production by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August, offering modest relief to a struggling global economy that has been battered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

OPEC, whose de facto leader is Saudi Arabia, for months resisted pressure from the White House to increase oil supplies more quickly. That stance, along with an EU agreement to end most oil imports from Russia, has driven prices higher. Petrol and diesel prices are also rising due to the lack of refining capacity to convert crude oil into motor fuel.

Biden on Friday described the OPEC+ move as a “positive” but said he did not know whether it would be enough to help Americans at the pump. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday credited Saudi Arabia for its role in “gaining consensus” within the oil producers’ bloc.

In addition to praising the White House for Saudi Arabia’s role in securing the OPEC+ pledge, the president this week expressed “courageous leadership” by agreeing to a 60-day ceasefire extension in his seven-year-old war with Saudi Arabia. appreciated for Yemen expansion was also announced on Thursday.

Madani reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed reporting.