Joe Biden, the president of the United States of America, made his first official visit to Saudi Arabia this weekend with the purpose of discussing oil production, defense, and shedding light on human rights. Representing Saudi as the Kingdom’s first female ambassador to the US, HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud was one of the notable personalities to greet Biden upon his arrival and escort him to the Jeddah Security and Development Summit.
Ahead of the president’s trip, Princess Reema penned an op-ed reflecting on the 80-year-long ties between the US and Saudi partnership, ever since King Abdulaziz met with US President Franklin D Roosevelt “to lay the foundation for a postwar Middle East.” Alongside remarking why the partnership between the two nations is so pivotal, the royal also highlighted the Kingdom’s reforms in empowering women. “Today, Saudi women enjoy legal guarantees of equal pay and nondiscrimination in the workplace. Some Western countries have not taken such steps,” she wrote, before going on to highlight their increasingly important role in society. “Today, Saudi women outnumber men in our institutes of higher education. And women represent the same share of entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia as they do in the United States. We are entering sectors such as construction, mining and the military. We are creating companies, becoming CEOs and assuming top government posts, empowered by a government determined to see us succeed. As the first, but not only, Saudi woman appointed ambassador, I can speak firsthand to the new realm of the possible we are establishing. It is a success story we hope others will emulate.”
Among other highlights of Biden’s trip, one that’s been widely discussed is his encounter with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, involving an outstretched fist bump upon meeting. The two met on Friday at Al Salam Royal Palace for a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.