Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday said he hoped a visit to Israel by U.S. President Joe Biden this week would result in a common Middle East market including Saudi Arabia.
Biden is to visit Israel on Wednesday and move to Saudi Arabia on Friday. The White House has said the purpose of the visit is to boost regional economic and security cooperation.
Questioned at an economic conference hosted by the Calcalist newspaper what he hopes to gain from Biden’s visit, Lieberman said: “It is time to create a new, common market in the Middle East – Israel, Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, and Jordan. That’s the big challenge.” He elaborated, “It will change the reality here from end to end, in both the fields of security and economics. Therefore, I hope the emphasis during Biden’s visit will be on creating this new market in the Middle East.”
Israel restored ties with four Arab countries under a 2020 U.S. diplomatic drive, which was welcomed by Riyadh. In another remark at the conference, Israeli National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata said that Biden’s visit would make it possible to achieve certain breakthroughs in the potential expansion of the regional markets.