Saudi Security Forces Show Strength Ahead Of Hajj, Biden Visit

Members of the Saudi special forces perform a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Members of the Saudi special forces perform a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)


Saudi Arabia held a rare demonstration of its security forces and military preparedness ahead of Joe Biden’s visit. On Sunday, Saudi Security Forces held a parade in the city of Mecca as part of preparations for a major religious holiday.

Authorities said millions of Muslim’s visited Mecca for Hajj celebrations, but only vaccinated or immunized worshippers were allowed to attend public events. Officials said the nation is prepared to address any potential security challenges.

“By having these security forces and all military forces participating here today, we affirm our readiness to serve the guests of God,” said the Ministry of Interior spokesman Talal Al-Shalhoub. “We are ready to implement the orders to preserve security and safety of the pilgrims in the state. This parade reflects the efforts of the king’s government towards the importance of holding the pilgrimage rituals safely and in peace.”

 

President Joe Biden said Thursday he will not directly ask Saudi Arabia’s leaders to increase oil production when he visits the kingdom. He insisted that his trip to the Middle East is not focused on one-on-one engagement with King Salman or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“That is not the purpose of this trip, I’m not going to ask them,” Biden stated. “All the Gulf states are meeting. I’ve indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production generically, not to Saudi Arabia in particular. I hope we see them in their own interests concluding that makes sense to do.”

Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia to discuss mutual ties as part of his upcoming tour of the Middle East. The tour will take place between July 13 and July 16.

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