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Robert Burgess

Biden's Middle East Trip Fraught With Risk and Opportunity

Between an unprecedented stop in the West Bank and his previous condemnations of the Saudi crown prince, the president still has to maintain his focus on energy policy.

Let’s be frenemies … ?

Let’s be frenemies … ?

Photographer: Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images


President Joe Biden is headed to the Middle East this week, seeking to prod Saudi Arabia and the other oil producers in the region to pump more crude to help bring down energy prices. Bloomberg News reports that without a pledge from the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates — the two key members of OPEC — to boost production, Biden would lose a powerful tool for alleviating the economic and political pain caused by high fuel prices. Biden, who will first make a stop in Israel, is unlikely to encounter sympathetic crowds, especially after criticizing Saudi Arabia’s human-rights record while running for president.

Here’s what Bloomberg Opinion columnists and contributors have been saying about what Biden needs to accomplish during the trip and what’s at stake: