Biden May Meet Saudi Crown Prince Amid Israel Peace Push: Report

U.S. president Joe Biden fist-bumps Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman / Reuters
August 23, 2023

President Joe Biden is reportedly considering meeting with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit, which takes place next month in New Delhi.

The meeting "could give a significant push" to talks between the two countries, which have aimed at reaching a historic deal that would normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, Axios reported. The Biden administration is pushing to complete negotiations before the president devotes all his attention to his reelection campaign.

At least parts of the deal would likely have to pass Congress, where even Biden's fellow Democrats are critical of the Saudi crown prince, Axios noted.

Saudi Arabia has had tense relations with Washington throughout Biden's presidency. Biden ahead of the 2022 midterm elections unsuccessfully pleaded with the Saudis, who control OPEC, to delay cuts to oil production.

Even though Biden threatened "consequences" for those cuts, OPEC again cut oil production in April and June, inflating energy prices.

A deal between Biden and the Saudi prince could also include security guarantees for Saudi Arabia, as well as U.S. support for a Saudi nuclear program.

In an address last month to the U.S. Congress, Israeli president Isaac Herzog praised American efforts to bring Israel and Saudi Arabia together. "This would be a huge sea change in the course of history in the Middle East and the world at large," Herzog said.