Tuesday, March 28

5 things to know Thursday

Biden’s Mideast trip aims to build ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia

President Joe Biden will begin his first presidential trip to the Middle East in Israel — America’s closest ally in the region — Wednesday before he visits Saudi Arabia on Friday. One monumental task Biden will have in both countries is to convince officials he is committed to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Since taking office, he has been dealing with other priorities, particularly Russia and China. To start, the Associated Press reports that Israeli officials said the US and Israel would issue a “Jerusalem Declaration” that will take a tough stance on Iran’s nuclear program. Biden will also be walking a tightrope between other political challenges and his promises to prioritize human rights. Critics say that due to America’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel, it has not held the government accountable for its treatment of Palestinians. Administration officials say Biden has worked to restore ties with the Palestinians that had been essentially severed during the Trump administration.


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