U.S. President Joe Biden will not attend a gathering of world leaders focused on climate change in Dubai this week, a U.S. official said Sunday.

Reuters reported last month that Biden was unlikely to be at the United Nations “Conference of the Parties” on climate, known as COP28, which begins on Thursday, as he balances demands of a Middle East war and a presidential campaign expected to heat up in January.

The president’s schedule for Thursday released by the White House shows him hosting a bilateral meeting with President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of the Republic of Angola and attending the National Tree Lighting.

Dozens of countries plan to push for the world’s first deal to phase out CO2-emitting coal, oil and gas at the Dubai meeting.

Biden has attended both of the COP summits since his 2021 inauguration.

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