Biden’s Mideast trip aimed at reassuring wary leaders

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – President Joe Biden has wrapped up his four-day visit to the Middle East.

Even before he stepped foot in Saudi Arabia, Biden knew there would be trouble. He was risking criticism by visiting a country he had vowed to make a “pariah” for human rights abuses, and there was no guarantee the visit would immediately yield higher oil production to offset rising gas prices.

Biden decided to face the blowback anyway, hoping to use the visit to repair strained ties. He sought to make clear to wary Arab leaders that the United States remains committed to their security and the region’s stability.