JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to the Mideast (all times local):
JERUSALEM — U.S. President Joe Biden has begun a one-on-one meeting in Jerusalem with Israel’s prime minister, Yair Lapid.
Their talks are the centerpiece of a 48-hour visit by the U.S. president aimed at strengthening already tight relations between the two countries.
The leaders are expected to sign a joint declaration emphasizing military cooperation as well as their commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The commitments to Israel could hold important symbolic importance ahead of Biden’s meeting this weekend with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia as he seeks to strengthen a regionwide alliance against Iran.
Thursday’s meeting also provides a boost to Lapid, who is Israel’s interim prime minister until elections in November. Lapid’s main opponent is the former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his joint appearance his Biden could help burnish his credentials as a statesman and leader.
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WASHINGTON — The widow of Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S.-based writer killed by Saudi government agents four years ago, said Wednesday that she received a commitment that President Joe Biden will bring up the murder when he meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
The crown prince, whom Biden will be meeting for the first time in Jeddah on Friday, likely approved of the killing, according to U.S. intelligence.
Hanan Elatr Khashoggi, the slain writer’s widow, told Spectrum News she received assurances during a meeting with administration officials. “They said so,” she said.
A White House official said Khashoggi’s widow spoke with a senior administration official earlier this week about Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia. The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, declined to provide details of the private conversation.
— Aamer Madhani
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