Biden to Saudi Arabia, but no energy aid

White House officials played down the likelihood of gaining rapid support in stabilizing energy markets roiled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Biden will make his first trip to the Middle East as president from July 13 to July 16.

 He will visit Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the alleged architect of the 2018 death of a Saudi dissident with American links.

Even before the trip was formally revealed, there was a significant amount of backlash against it.

Human rights advocates, media personalities, and even some of Biden's fellow Democrats criticized the prospect of a president shaking hands with a Saudi official.

As a presidential candidate, Biden pledged to make Saudi Arabia "pay the price" for the murder. 

After entering power, he released an intelligence dossier linking Prince Mohammed to Khashoggi's assassination and levied minimal punishments on lower-level people.

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