Skip to main content

Families of Americans held in Saudi Arabia pin hopes on Biden visit

US families separated by punitive travel bans hope President Joe Biden will use his visit to secure the release of their loved ones.

When President Joe Biden meets with Saudi leaders this weekend, several American families are hoping he’ll use the opportunity to speak up for their loved ones who are barred from leaving the kingdom. 

Biden arrived in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah on Friday for the final leg of a regional tour that included stops in Israel and the West Bank. In underscoring the necessity of Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia — a country he once vowed to shun for its human rights record — the White House has pointed to the fact that 70,000 Americans live and work there.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.