The White House has abruptly cancelled President Biden’s planned trips to Israel and Saudi Arabia in June, postponing them until at least July.
However, administration officials refuse to confirm formal dates for the president’s ostensible future visits.
An unnamed senior official in the White House claimed in remarks to Newsmax that the administration is allegedly “working on a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia,” as well as “working to confirm dates.”
“When we have something to announce, we will,” the official concluded defiantly.
Varied sources have also commented that the White House intends to plan a more comprehensive trip to the Middle Eastern region, with the visits to Israel and Saudi Arabia coinciding with Biden’s planned visits to Spain and Germany in June.
While the trips have clearly been delayed, the reason for the delay is anything but clear.
However, various individuals have offered different analyses.
As observed by Israeli scholar-in-residence Dan Arbell in remarks to The Jerusalem Post, the administration might be waiting to see whether or not “the Bennett-Lapid government survives for a few more months,” or whether or not new elections are called once again.
On the other hand, Jonathan Schanzer, who serves as the senior Vice President at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the president “has an awful lot on his plate,” with economic troubles, alongside “divisive domestic policies,” serving as a major distraction from key international matters.
Outside of Israel, Biden’s intended visit to Saudi Arabia would be unprecedented, given that the president has yet to meet with the top ally in the United States.
On its part, Saudi Arabia has been displeased with the White House’s efforts to embolden Iran via reinvigorated, and likely deleterious, nuclear talks.