Qatar emir latest Arab leader to be invited to crunch Saudi-Biden summit
Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was the latest Arab leader to be invited to the meeting, the country's Diwan said on Thursday.
Along with Al-Thani, Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Iraq Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Jordan King Abdullah II will take part in the summit, Saudi state news agency SPA reported this week.
Biden's trip to the Middle East will include visits to Palestine, Israel and Saudi Arabia after Riyadh addressed two of Biden's priorities by agreeing to a production hike in oil - which could help tame rocketing US inflation - and helping extend a truce in war-battered Yemen.
Along with oil prices, analysts say regional politics will be a high-priority topic during the visit.
John Kirby, US coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, said on Tuesday that oil production "absolutely… is going to be part of" Biden's discussion with Saudi officials, despite earlier indications it would not be.
The war in Yemen and Iran’s "destabilising behaviour" will also be among the topics of discussion, Kirby added in an interview with MSNBC.
There is widespread expectation that Biden hopes to secure a boost in Saudi oil production, in an attempt to tame spiralling fuel costs and inflation at home ahead of midterm congressional elections in which his Democratic Party risks a drubbing.
Whatever the outcome, his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is often referred to as MbS, will mark a controversial policy shift.
While running for president, Biden called for Saudi leaders to be treated as "the pariah that they are" after the kingdom's chummy relationship with his predecessor Donald Trump.
Trump had largely shielded Saudi Arabia from consequences after Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote critically about the crown prince in The Washington Post, was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was strangled and dismembered.