The latest on US President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East:
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — President Joe Biden began his final day in Saudi Arabia by meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who survived an explosive drone assassination attempt last year.
Some in the country have blamed Iran-backed factions for the attack. It came amid rising tensions and a standoff between Iraqi security forces and pro-Iranian Shia militias over election results.
Biden said he wants to support democracy in Iraq.
“I want the press and you to know that we want to be as helpful as possible in this,” he said.
Al-Kadhimi spoke of the “strategic, friendly relationship” between the US and Iraq and thanked the US for its support in fighting terrorist groups.
An estimated 2,500 US troops remain in Iraq to support the country’s fight against the Islamic State.
Biden is attending a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in Jeddah. The heads of state and government of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan are also taking part. (processed)
HERE’S WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — President Joe Biden said Friday that U.S. gas prices “have been falling every day to the best of my knowledge,” but warned his visit to Saudi Arabia may not have an immediate impact on what Americans do pay at the pump.
The Biden administration has said record US inflation rates are not yet reflecting falling gas prices, which have been falling in many parts of the country since mid-June. When asked if his trip to the Middle East would further accelerate those declines, Biden replied, “I suspect you won’t see that for a couple of weeks.”
Speaking to reporters, the president was also asked about West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s opposition to a White House-backed energy plan that Biden says can cut costs while fighting climate change.
Manchin’s refusal to back the plan could mean it won’t pass the Senate. Biden said, “I haven’t negotiated with Joe Manchin,” but added of his climate goals, “I’m not going away.”
Biden pledged to use “every power I have as President” to move the US toward greener energy.
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