President Biden will visit Saudi Arabia next month, the White House confirmed Tuesday, contradicting his campaign promise to make Riyadh a “pariah” over its alleged role in the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Saudi visit will be the final leg of a trip that will also take the president to Israel and the West Bank July 13-16.
The White House statement said Biden would visit the kingdom at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, but did not say whether he would meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who is widely believed to have ordered Khashoggi’s murder.
“The President appreciates King Salman’s leadership and his invitation,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “He looks forward to this important visit to Saudi Arabia, which has been a strategic partner of the United States for nearly eight decades.”