Biden to travel to Israel, Saudi Arabia next month

The visit would be aimed at bolstering relations with Saudi Arabia at a time when Biden is trying to lower gasoline prices in the US.

 US PRESIDENT Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One for a flight to Los Angeles this week. If Biden is coming to the Mideast to criticize and slow Israeli building in Judea and Samaria and greater Jerusalem, pull back, says the writer. (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
US PRESIDENT Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One for a flight to Los Angeles this week. If Biden is coming to the Mideast to criticize and slow Israeli building in Judea and Samaria and greater Jerusalem, pull back, says the writer.
(photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

US President Joe Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel next month and the White House is planning to announce the trip this week, a source familiar with the planning said on Sunday.

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

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid Bin Salman await ahead of their meeting with the US Secretary of State at Irqah Palace in Riyadh on February 20, 2020.  (credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid Bin Salman await ahead of their meeting with the US Secretary of State at Irqah Palace in Riyadh on February 20, 2020. (credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The White House has said Biden feels that the crown prince is a "pariah" for his role in the killing of a political opponent, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Turkey in 2018.

Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul tainted the crown prince's image as a reformist. The Saudi government has denied any involvement by him.

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