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Tags: china | saudi | visit | biden

Saudi Arabia Invites China's Xi to Visit While Snubbing Biden Call

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, invites Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to view an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People on March 16, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 18 March 2022 12:24 PM

Saudi Arabia has invited China's President Xi Jinping to visit Riyadh even as a top leader of the kingdom declined a call from President Joe Biden.

The Wall Street Journal reported Xi's trip would likely come after Islam's holy month of Ramadan, which begins in early April.

The newspaper said the Saudi officials are hoping to replicate the reception given to then-President Donald Trump when he visited the kingdom in 2017.

"The crown prince and Xi are close friends and both understand that there is huge potential for stronger ties," said a Saudi official. "It is not just 'They buy oil from us, and we buy weapons from them.' "

The Journal had reported on March 8 that the White House was not successful in arranging calls between Biden and leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The calls were intended to build international support for Ukraine and limit a spike in oil prices.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the UAE's Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan both declined U.S. requests to speak to Biden in recent weeks, U.S. officials said.

"There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn't happen," said a U.S. official of the planned discussion between the Saudi Prince Mohammed and Biden. "It was part of turning on the spigot [of Saudi oil]."

But according to a Fox News report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is downplaying the failure of Biden to connect to the Saudis.

"We're all talking regularly," the secretary said. "I spent a fair bit of time on the phone with my Emirati counterpart," he continued. "I regularly met with my Saudi counterpart, including in Munich, just a few weeks ago. President Biden spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia last month in a discussion that set out a very expansive agenda."

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Saudi Arabia has invited China's President Xi Jinping to visit Riyadh even as a top leader of the kingdom declined a call from President Joe Biden.
china, saudi, visit, biden
305
2022-24-18
Friday, 18 March 2022 12:24 PM
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