After eighteen months in office, U.S. President Joe Biden will be making his first trip to the Middle East since he took office. The visit comes in the midst of ongoing negotiations to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, at a time when Washington’s regional allies consider Iranian behavior as a threat to their interests. It also comes at a time when the conflict in Ukraine has led to a sharp rise in energy prices. 

Biden’s visit to Israel will also take place several weeks after the collapse of the Bennett government and amid deepening Israeli-Palestinian distrust. His time in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will come at a time when the United States seeks assistance from the Saudis to lower skyrocketing fuel prices to lessen global reliance on Russian energy exports. Biden will also face criticism from meeting with Saudi and Israeli figures, in light of the killing of journalists Jamal Khashoggi and Shireen Abu Aqleh. Human rights advocates have condemned the visits as examples of economic interests having a greater priority than human rights. Based on these factors, the way these visits play out could highlight strategic shifts in the region and the administration’s diplomatic policy. 

All this raises the question of whether Biden will be able to adequately address these controversial issues and attain a policy victory ahead of the U.S. midterm elections. 

Join us on Thursday, July 7 from 16:00 until 17:30 Beirut time for a panel discussion with Hesham Alghannam, Dana El Kurd, Aaron David Miller, Ahmed Nagi and Maha Yahya, as they explore the main issues directing Biden’s agenda during his visit and what the possible outcomes of the trip may be. 

The panel will be held in English and viewers may submit their questions to the panelists using the live chat feature on Facebook and YouTube during the event. For more information, please contact Josiane Matar at Josiane.matar@carnegie-mec.org.