After many delays and speculations, the White House officially made the announcement Tuesday that President Joe Biden will travel to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia between July 13 and July 16.
According to the statement, the trip will seek to “reinforce the United States’ iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity” and see Biden “attend a Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] plus Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan.” The GCC is comprised of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
As per the detailed statement by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the U.S. leader will also “meet with counterparts from across the region, to advance U.S. security, economic and diplomatic interests.” He will head to Israel first, where he will meet with Israeli leaders to discuss Israel’s “security, prosperity and its increasing integration into the greater region,” it continued.
Post this, Biden will travel to Judea and Samaria to consult with the P.A. leadership and “reiterate his strong support for a two-state solution, with equal measures of security, freedom, and opportunity for the Palestinian people,” according to the White House.
He will then head to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia—the current chair of the GCC and the venue for the summit—at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
In response to the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement released on Tuesday night, “President Biden’s visit to Israel will deepen the special relationship and the strategic partnership between the two countries, as well as strengthen the U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Israel and the region.”