President Joe Biden on Thursday said that he will not request Saudi leaders to increase oil production during his trip to Saudi Arabia next month, stressing that is "not the purpose of the trip," while blaming sky-high gas prices in the United States on "Russia, Russia, Russia."
The president, during a rare press conference on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Spain Thursday, took several questions from reporters, ranging from U. S. inflation, to continued support for Ukraine, and more.
Biden was asked whether he will ask the crown prince of the king of Saudi Arabia during his trip next month to increase oil production, as Americans continue to feel the pain at the pump, and questioned how he will hold the kingdom accountable amid its human rights abuses.
"Well, first of all, that’s not the purpose of the trip," the president said, noting it will begin in Israel. "The Israelis believe it is really important that I make the trip," he continued.
"What we’re talking about in dealing with that trip before I go, as I said, going to Israel to meet with the Israeli leaders to affirm the unbreakable bond Israel and the United States have," Biden said, adding that part of the "purpose" of the trip to the Middle East is "to deepen Israel’s integration to the region, which I think for peace, and is good for Israeli security."
"And that is why Israeli leaders have come out so strongly for my going to Saudi," he said, adding that he is also going to "try to reduce the deaths and the war that’s occurring in Yemen," and a "whole range of things that go well beyond anything having to do with Saudi in particular."
When pressed on whether he would ask for increased oil production from Saudi leaders, Biden said: "No."
"That’s the all the Gulf states meeting. I indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production, generically, not to the Saudis particularly," Biden said. "And I think we’re ... (Read more)
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