U.S. President Joe Biden shot down reports on Friday that he was planning an official visit to Saudi Arabia at the end of June.
The trip would have ended Saudi Arabia's "pariah status" it had earned for the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Biden had referred to Saudi Arabia with the term "pariah" when he was a presidential candidate in November 2019 during a debate.
“I have no direct plans at the moment. But let me tell you I have been engaged in trying to work with how we can bring more stability and peace in the Middle East,” Biden said.
“There is a possibility that I would be going to meet with both the Israelis and some Arab countries... I expect Saudi Arabia would be included in that if I did go. But I have no direct plans at the moment.”
When asked by a reporter if “King Salman was still a pariah in your eyes,” Biden responded:
“Look, I’m not going to change my view on human rights. But as president of the United States my job is to bring peace if I can, and that’s what I’m going to try to do."
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)