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Biden says Saudi Arabia visit possible, despite calling the nation a pariah

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U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation in the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2022. Biden told reporters Friday that a visit to Saudi Arabia is a possibility. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/2dd24650037d8e9a028f8ef65a93596d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation in the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2022. Biden told reporters Friday that a visit to Saudi Arabia is a possibility. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

June 3 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden said Friday that there's a possibility that he could visit Saudi Arabia during a Middle East trip. But responding to reporters, he said he would not change his views on human rights.

Biden told reporters he's not sure whether he's going to Saudi Arabia, but said there's a chance he would visit both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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"I am not gonna change my views on human rights but, as president of the U.S., my job is to try to bring peace if I can," Biden responded when asked by reporters if he still considers Saudi Arabia a pariah.

According to The New York Times, Biden has decided to add a Saudi Arabia visit to a previously planned trip to Israel and will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Arab leaders, but details on timing have not been worked out yet.

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A U.S. intelligence report concluded that the crown prince directly approved the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi native and Washington Post columnist who lived in Virginia.

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During a Democratic presidential candidates debate in 2019 Biden said his administration would make Saudi Arabia "the pariah that they are."

OPEC, including Saudi Arabia, took steps Thursday to boost oil production by 648,000 barrels a day.

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Saudi Arabia also moved extend a truce with Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Both steps were wanted by the U.S. and that has helped make a Biden visit to Saudi Arabia a possibility following recent diplomatic discussions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in an effort to re-set relations between the countries.

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