| 12 April 2024, Friday |

Biden arrives in Saudi Arabia, meets with king, crown prince

In the latest stop of his first Middle East tour as US leader, US President Joe Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday, where he will meet with the Kingdom’s leadership.

Biden arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah on the third day of a four-day swing through the Middle East.

He spent the first two days meeting with Israeli officials and traveled to the West Bank on Friday to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and others before flying to Saudi Arabia.

Once in Jeddah, Biden met with Saudi King Salman and then held a larger working meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials as well as the president’s top advisers.

Biden was received at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah by the crown prince ahead of the meeting.
Biden also will take part in a Saturday gathering of leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — before returning to Washington. The leaders of Mideast neighbors Egypt, Iraq and Jordan are also to attend.

The Saudi leadership paved the way for Israeli planes to use its airspace by announcing it was lifting restrictions on “all carriers,” a move welcomed by Biden as “historic.”

“Saudi Arabia’s decision can help build momentum toward Israel’s further integration into the region, including with Saudi Arabia,” the US leader said.

Biden’s direct flight is the first by an American president from Israel to Saudi Arabia.

  • Arab News