Joe Biden on way to Middle East on first trip as US president

Al Jazeera English reports: Joe Biden is on his way to the Middle East on his first visit to the region as president of the United States, with Israel as his first stop.

Biden is due to make brief remarks on Wednesday at an arrival ceremony, before receiving a briefing from Israeli defence officials on the US-supported Iron Dome system and a new laser-enabled system called Iron Beam.

He will also pay his respects at Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to Holocaust victims of World War II.

The US leader will spend two days in Jerusalem on talks with Israeli leaders, including interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before meeting Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday in the occupied West Bank.

He will then take an unprecedented direct flight from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – as the kingdom does not recognise Israel’s existence – for talks with Saudi officials and to attend a summit of Gulf allies.

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