Saudi Arabia, President Jeddah-Joe Biden said he had filed the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday, ignoring the kingdom’s human rights violations in an attempt to reset critical diplomatic relations. I rejected the idea of being.
“I said very frankly that the US president’s silence on human rights issues is inconsistent with who we are and who I am,” Biden said. Said. “I always support our values.”
US intelligence believes that the Crown Prince likely approved the killing of Khashoggi, a US-based writer, four years ago.
Biden said Prince Mohammed claimed that he had “no personal responsibility” for his death. “I showed what he thought was,” the president replied.
This is the first encounter between two leaders, beginning with the first clash outside the royal palace of Jeddah, in a relationship that could reshape the oil flow around the world with a security partnership in the Middle East. was.
So far, they seemed to be moving forward together. Biden has announced that US peacekeepers will leave Tiran Island in the Red Sea by the end of the year.
Saudi Arabia wants to develop tourist attractions there as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to expand its economy beyond oil. Due to the complex diplomatic agreement governing the control of strategically located islands, the departure of the United States required the consent of Israel, and the deal is the latest reflection of the warmer relationship between the Israelis and Saudi Arabia. was.
The agreement follows a previous announcement that Saudi Arabia would end strict restrictions on Israeli commercial flights on their territory.
Biden also said that progress was made in Saudi Arabia’s extension of the ceasefire in Yemen, which was fighting Iran-backed militants, leading to a humanitarian crisis.
The president’s three hours at Jedda’s royal palace are seen as a diplomatic victory for the prince in an attempt to restore his image, attract investment to the kingdom for reform plans, and strengthen the kingdom’s security relations with the United States. Was done
Biden appears to have approached it as needed as a somewhat offensive measure to improve relations with the world’s top oil exporters amid concerns over rising gas prices and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. ..
The conference was angry with critics who believed Biden had waived his human rights commitments, especially regarding the killing of Khashoggi, a US-based journalist who contributed to the Washington Post.
“The first clash between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake, which was shameful,” said Fred Ryan, the publisher of the post. “It predicted the level of intimacy and comfort that would provide MBS with the unjustified reimbursement he was desperately seeking.”
The United States has lowered expectations for an immediate increase in Saudi Arabia’s oil production. This can help mitigate the high gas prices that are politically damaging to his hometown of Biden. However, the White House said it “helps to significantly stabilize the market” and expects “further steps” over the next few weeks.
The current OPEC + agreement expires in September, after which it opens the door to potentially higher production.
The rise in gas prices exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is one of the factors that prompted Biden to reassess its approach to Saudi Arabia.
The President of the United States has long refused to speak to Prince Mohammed. Prince Mohammed is presumed to be the heir to the throne currently held by his father, King Salman. However, these concerns have been overturned by other challenges, such as the invasion of Iran in the Middle East and the failure of efforts to use diplomacy to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia wants to strengthen its security relations with the United States and secure investment to transform its economy into one that is less dependent on pump oil.
Saudi Arabia modestly welcomed Biden at the airport in Jeddah, but there was no ceremony associated with his previous stop in Israel this week.
The president later sat down with King Salman, an 86-year-old monarch suffering from poor health, including two hospitalizations this year.The journalist couldn’t enter the room Saudi has released a video Biden shook hands with the king while the crown prince was staring.
Later, Biden and Prince Mohammed held a broader meeting with several advisors. The two men sat face to face and honed their perception that they were the other. Known for his initials MBS, the image is that the Crown Prince has been enthusiastically raised to pave the way for the throne after he has been on the sidelines, detained, and seized the assets of his rivals and critics.
There was considerable speculation, both in choreography and content, about how Biden, who vowed to treat Saudi Arabia as the “Paria” of human rights records, interacts with Prince Mohammed.
Journalist access was restricted. When Biden’s fist hit the Crown Prince, the White House travel reporters did not exist and reporters were allowed to join their meeting for a short time. I could hardly hear their remarks. Biden did not answer when the reporter asked if he still considered Saudi Arabia to be Paria, and when Prince Mohammed did not answer the screaming question of whether to apologize to Khashoggi’s family.
“My view of Khashoggi was absolutely positive and clear, and I was never quiet about talking about human rights,” Biden said earlier this week. “But the reason I go to Saudi Arabia is broader. It’s about promoting US interests — I think we’ve made a mistake leaving, that is, we have the opportunity to reaffirm our influence in the Middle East. Promote US interests in a way. “
On Saturday, I will return to Washington after attending a gathering of leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates). Leaders from neighboring countries in the Middle East, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, will also be present, and Biden’s national security adviser said Biden would make a “major statement” on his vision for the Middle East.
Visiting Saudi Arabia is one of the most delicate things Biden has faced on the international stage. Successful settlements could pay diplomatic dividends as the president seeks to ensure regional stability.
But it could also expose Biden, already puzzled by domestic polls, to deeper criticism that he is reversing his promise to put human rights at the center of foreign policy.
“If we needed to visually remind the oil-rich dictator of our ongoing grasp of US foreign policy in the Middle East, we got it today,” said Adam Schiff of D-Calif.・ Rep. Schiff tweeted. “One fist bump is worth a thousand words.”
Khashoggi’s fiancé Hatice Cengiz said on his visit to Saudi Arabia that Biden had retreated human rights.
She told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday: And Biden will lose his moral authority by putting oil and convenience on principles and values. “
Aaron David Miller, senior researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former US State Department official, said Biden was looking forward to visiting Saudi Arabia “as if he were looking forward to root canal treatment.”
Miller contrasted Biden with his predecessor, Donald Trump, who visited Saudi Arabia on his first overseas trip.The visit was emphasized by the leader Gathered around a shining orb And Trump easily join Ritual sword dance..
With Biden and Prince Mohammed, “there aren’t many sword dances, smile photography and warm hugs,” Miller said.
Batrawy reported from Dubai, Knickmeyer from Sacramento, CA, and Megarian from Washington.
Biden says he had murdered Khashoggi in a meeting with the Saudi crown prince, the Chicago Tribune.
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